🎵 AOTW AOTW: Sandpipers A GIFT OF SONG (A&M SP 4328)

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LPJim

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Sandpipers
A GIFT OF SONG

A&M SP4328

sp4328.jpg


Side One:
A Gift of Song* 3:10/ It's Too Late 3:22/ Never My Love 2:49/ Leland Loftis**2:44/ I Think It's Going to Rain Today*** 2:55.

Side Two:
Never Can Say Goodbye 2:48/ How Can You Mend a Broken Heart 3:29/ An Old Fashioned Love Song** 2:49/ Chotto matte Kudasai (Never Say Goodbye) 3:19/ If 2:53/ A Gift of Song (Reprise) 1:39.

Vocal solos by *Jim Brady and Michael Piano, **Brady, ***Piano

Producer (and Sound Engineer at Wally Heider Recording, Hollywood) Bones Howe and Bob Alcivar (arranger) for Mr. Bones Productions, Inc.

The music accompaniment on this album features the creative talents of these great musicians:

Hal Blaine, Paul Humphrey - drums/ Joe Osborn - bass/ Larry Knechtel, Michael O'Martian - piano, organ, electric piano/ Pete Jolly - accordion, piano/ Dennis Budimir, Tommy Tedesco, Mike Deasy, Zavier -guitar/ Larry Bunker, Gary Coleman - congas and percussion/ Jim Horn, Bill Perkins - saxes and woodwinds/ Ray Triscari, Tony Terran - trumpet/ Lew McCreary, Mike Barone - trombone/ And the string section:
Sid Sharp, William Kurasch, Arnold Belnick, Stanley Plummer, Ralph Schaeffer, Joy Lyle, Jim Getzoff, Jacob Krachmalnick, Jesse Ehrlich, David Schwartz.

With special thanks to Ed Barton and John Golden
Mastering by Frank DeLuna, A&M Studios
Production assistant Pam Vale
Art Direction Roland Young/ Front cover photography Jim McCrary/ Album design and back cover photo Chuck Beeson.

JB
 

LPJim

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The Sandpipers were a vocal trio best known for their 1966 single "Guantanamera", for which their first album was named (SP 4117). Another single from that album, "Louie, Louie" (in Spanish), also charted. In 1970 they had another hit with "Come Saturday Morning" follwed by "Free to Carry On," both from the album COME SATURDAY MORNING (SP 4262).

Prior to being known as Sandpipers they recorded as The Grads, with at least one single on A&M. James Brady, Michael Piano and Richard Schoff were the original lineup.

GIFT OF SONG is the final A&M studio album. They would resurface on RCA in 1977 with a minor single "Hang On Sloopy."
 

Mr Bill

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It seems to me that Richard Schoff was out of the picture by this release. He has no direct credit (of course, that could be because he just had no solos on this one) and the lack of a band picture is suspicious as well.

--Mr Bill
 

Mike Blakesley

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This is probably my 2nd favorite Sandpipers album (COME SATURDAY MORNING being the first).

I always felt that they were almost trying to be a rock group on CSM, and if they'd leaned just a little more in that direction here, they could have busted wide open a la Carpenters. But, alas it was not to be...they shifted back to their old, covers-laden repertoire. Even the album cover is reminiscent of their older stuff. This was a group that was sadly in need of a new manager.

My favorite overlooked track on this one is "Leland Loftis," a fine pop tune and a sign of "what could have been."
 

Dave

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I remember being pretty disappointed by the Bread and The Association songs The Sandpipers were doing. Maybe because I didn't have my Greatest Hits albums by either group (Bread or The Association) handy at the time I picked up A GIFT OF SONG for Fifty-Cents at a Salvation Army Store. Seemed like The Sandpipers made a LOT of albums on A&M, before I realized there were only SEVEN!

It clearly wasn't the best album to start at, yet after getting all the other Sandpipers albums prior to it and finding a Mint copy of GIFT, (with the $3.99 Price Tag still on it) I wonder how I ever got along without it. And I know the entire String Section by Heart! :laugh:

Much of the songs appear on A&M DIGITALLY REMASTERED BEST and the FOURSIDER Compilation, too!

Dave

P.S. Bones Howe would later record an act similar to The Sandpipers a few years later--The Alessi Brothers, who were still in Long Island, NY with their group, Barnaby Bye, at the time this was made.

P.P.S. "Never My Love" coming from our copy was what I heard playing as my mom yelled for me to come in for dinner, while I was eating my M&M's from my red plastic bowl; she was worried I'd roll down the hill our house was on top of, that the front of it faced, overlooking our street, that she called me away from. :laugh:
 

W.B.

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LPJim said:
The Sandpipers were a vocal trio best known for their 1966 single "Guantanamera", for which their first album was named (SP 4117). Another single from that album, "Louie, Louie" (in Spanish), also charted. In 1970 they had another hit with "Come Saturday Morning" follwed by "Free to Carry On," both from the album COME SATURDAY MORNING (SP 4262).

Prior to being known as Sandpipers they recorded as The Grads, with at least one single on A&M. James Brady, Michael Piano and Richard Schoff were the original lineup.
And before this Sandpipers, there was another Sandpipers, a vocal group who sang on 1950's children's records issued on the Golden Records label, with instrumental backing by one Mitchell Miller -- better known as "Sing Along With" Mitch Miller, whose activities in this realm were simultaneous to his run as A&R head of Columbia Records.

And speaking of which, being as you mentioned "Guantanamera," I still prefer Pete Seeger's version, as performed on his We Shall Overcome album and released as a single by the label (as a flip to his rendition of "The Draft Dodger Rag") in response to the chart action of The Sandpipers' recording.
 

Rudy

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Mike Blakesley said:
I always felt that they were almost trying to be a rock group on CSM, and if they'd leaned just a little more in that direction here, they could have busted wide open a la Carpenters. But, alas it was not to be...they shifted back to their old, covers-laden repertoire. Even the album cover is reminiscent of their older stuff. This was a group that was sadly in need of a new manager.

:agree: They could have been bigger, IMHO, if they would have had a new approach. The same basic sound over so many albums wears thin. Yes, they did try some new angles, but they weren't enough. Almost like they were on the verge of becoming that much more popular if someone had found a better formula for their vocal trio concept.

The same can be said for someone like Chris Montez: that first album was good, the second one was close to the first, but that and subsequent albums never really stretched out. He went on to record popular Tejano albums after leaving A&M, with much success in Latin markets. He found his niche and did well with it, after having good success as a Richie Valens protegé (the Monogram sides) and as a pop-standards crooner (on A&M).
 

Dave

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I had a Captain Kangaroo album, on which he (and Mr. Greenjeans) are backed by The Sandpipers. CAPTAIN KANGAROO's TREASURE HOUSE was the name of it.

I'm sure they were not Brady, Piano & Shoff, but a "Sandpipers" that did a Children's Album, BABES IN TOYLAND, I sometimes see in Computerized Music Searches.

I like how The Sandpipers did The Jackson 5ive's "Never Can Say Goodbye"; wonder if they tried "I'll Be There" (which I've got Andy Williams doing, as well as "Never Can...") or "Got To Be There", which I don't have ANY versions of, yet a lot of artists in my collection, I think would be capable of doing.

Dave
 

W.B.

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Dave said:
I had a Captain Kangaroo album, on which he (and Mr. Greenjeans) are backed by The Sandpipers. CAPTAIN KANGAROO's TREASURE HOUSE was the name of it.

I'm sure they were not Brady, Piano & Shoff, but a "Sandpipers" that did a Children's Album, BABES IN TOYLAND, I sometimes see in Computerized Music Searches.
As you will see some posts above, I noted that that Sandpipers group preceded by several years the A&M vocal group whose last album for the label this was. I noted that I doubted that this was the same outfit. Only one question, though: How did the A&M Sandpipers get so named?
 

LPJim

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Schoff and Brady were in the 1977 lineup for the OVERDUE album (RCA VPL1 4048) along with Gary Duckworth.
My copy is an Australia/New Zealand version; haven't seen a US one.
JB
 

Dave

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Sandpipers
A GIFT OF SONG

A&M SP4328


Far-Fewer musicians than the previous Bones Howe-produced efforts, such as The 5th Dimension. About the same as The Sandpipers' COME SATURDAY MORNING, the Punch and Robin Wilson LP's and much more than were hired for Jeffrey Commanor's Album. Recorded at Wally Heider, as opposed to A&M Studios. And a delicious assortment of tunes, though among the confection, some signs that the group had run its course.

A Gift of Song -- Good ballad that introduces the final Sandpipers entry on A&M quite well. Mason Williams did this one a couple years prior with a choir (from a Van Nuys Church), but this group does a much more introspective approach; don't want to copy the ORIGINAL, too much! Or make another "Santo Domingo"! Also available on the FOURSIDER and A&M DIGITALLY REMASTERED BEST Compilations.

It's Too Late -- A Carol King Tune, that the two roll out an easy vocal-instrumental workout to. A guitar solo on the original, is replaced by an electric piano solo. Also available on the A&M DIGITALLY REMASTERED BEST Compilation.

Never My Love -- Most commonly associated with The Association and given countless reeinditions of (next to The Beatles "Yesterday") and here sounds very much like AM/FM Radio Fare; Commercial Sounding, in other words. Also available on the A&M DIGITALLY REMASTERED BEST Compilation.

Leland Loftis -- An original Ostinado written by Jim Brady (with Dale Bobbit) and a good plot of someone dumped by his girl. Favorite line in song: ...Serves the soup down at Old Cactus Pete's for a trailer to sleep in and all that he can eat...

I Think It's Going to Rain Today -- This is definitely a Michael Piano solo; no other vocal is heard. (by Jim Brady or Richard Shoff, who is missing, altogether) A Randy Newman song, others covered, as well.

Never Can Say Goodbye -- Lots of piano, electric piano and organ and even an organ solo compliment this piece. Very pleasant audio-fare and even appears on the FOURSIDER compilation. The harmonious vocal quality suggests these guys would be capable of doing other Jackson 5ive numbers, as well. Anyone for "Maybe Tomorrow", "I'll Be There", "Got To Be There" or "ABC"?

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart -- Another Bee-Gee's number; The Sandpipers covered The Brothers Gibb's "The Sound Of Love" on their previous LP, so another one works just as well. Dig the electric piano treatments and ESPECIALLY Pete Jolly's accordian!

An Old Fashioned Love Song -- Jim Brady belts out a terrific lead! Note how this number was done on our last A&M by the composer, himself, Paul Williams on his LP of the same name. And the song is done almost in the same manner, with a horn section and a tack piano. Look for it on the FOURSIDER and A&M DIGITALLY REMASTERED BEST compilations, too!

Chotto Matte Kudasai (Never Say Goodbye) -- No, The sandpipers don't sing it in Japanese, but like their Spanish songs and stuff done in other Foreign Languages, it would be neat if they did! Also a "Radio-Ready Ringer" and you can hear it on the FOURSIDER and REMASTERED BEST Packages, too.

If -- Would be nice to have a phased guitar like Bread's original did, but The "Wally Heider Symphony" introduces the number really neat, too! Always think this is coming on the radio, but it turns out to be Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons "I've Got You Under My Skin". Hey, maybe The Sandpipers could...No, Never Mind! An engaging piece done very well, The Sandpipers Way!

A Gift of Song (Reprise) -- Yes, the LP closes just right with the Reprise of the Title-Track. And watch where you're walking when you're "on your cloud" listening in a trance to a still deliciously aural musical treat! A final, and somewhat sad outing for The Sandpipers on A&M, but pure Ear Candy. For the novice, discovering this group or anything beyond "Guantanamera" and die-hard Sandpipers fan or collector alike.

Dave
 
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