Once in a Lifetime: The Collection

Once in a Lifetime: The Collection

by Anthony Newley



Anthony Newley was always a distinctly British phenomenon, since he specialized in the British form of vaudeville and burlesque known as music hall. However, his music became the touchstone for all the pop-rock acts who tried to incorporate music hall into their sound. In particular, David Bowie borrowed from Newley on his pre-fame recordings for Derham. So, in a weird way, he became a minor cult figure outside of England, which may explain Razor & Tie's release of Collection, the first CD collection of Newley's material to be released in America. Although it isn't as good as some British collections, which contain more charting hits, it's a fine introduction, relying on Leslie Bricusse compositions like "Gonna Build a Mountain," "On a Wonderful Day Like Today," "Once in a Lifetime," "People Tree," "I Do Not Love You," "Good Old, Bad Old Days," "Candy Man" and "Talk to the Animals." These over-the-top tunes allow Newley to be as theatrical and campy as he wants, which means that Collection serves as a good introduction to the essence of his music, even if it doesn't have too many hits.

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