Friday, August 2, 2019

Mary Hopkin 3: Those Were The Days

Even though she hadn’t had a hit in a few years, somebody still cared about Mary Hopkin at Apple, which nicely capped off her stint there with a compilation. Save the title track, which was of course included on the US version of her first album, Those Were The Days collects several songs that were only ever released as singles, some of which actually charted. Besides “albumizing” several songs, it presents something of a link between her two proper LPs.
“Que Sera Sera” and “The Fields Of St. Etienne” were produced by Paul McCartney, and feature him and Ringo playing. These were also the last tracks she recorded before moving on to producer Mickie Most, whose song choices were even more single-minded. But for her voice, “Think About Your Children” and “Knock Knock Who’s There” might as well be the Partridge Family. “Temma Harbour” attempts to evoke musical echoes of various tropical islands without focusing on one. “Lontano Degli Occhi” continued the strategy of making her a multilingual superstar; this particular Italian pastry has a certain “Feelings” quality. “Heritage”, written by Gallagher and Lyle, is much more suited to her comfort level. (The album also included “Goodbye” and “Sparrow”, both of which have been appended to the Post Card reissue, as was “Kew Gardens” to Earth Song/Ocean Song.)
Much of the Apple catalog went forgotten after the label became inactive, and the non-Beatle artists went various ways. The Apple reissues of the early ‘90s included Mary’s first two albums alongside the likes of Badfinger, James Taylor, and Billy Preston, but—in the US anyway—interest thawed, so several titles were only released in the UK, including an upgrade of Those Were The Days. She actually had a hand in compiling the CD version, which collected further stray singles and B-sides that fell off the original LP, and added three tracks from Earth Song/Ocean Song (one of which actually was a single) plus one outtake from same. Just as the LP, it presents all sides of her repertoire, for better or for worse, and while its lack of availability today unfortunately leaves some gems buried once again, the label can’t blamed; she didn’t like them anyway.

Mary Hopkin Those Were The Days (1972)—
1995 UK CD: same as 1972, plus 6 extra tracks

1 comment:

  1. If you really want to hear her repertoire go to where you can find her back catalogue from 70's 80's and up-to-date all released on her own label Mary Hopkin Music