lunes, 18 de enero de 2010

David Essex - Imperial Wizard (1979)

David Essex (born David Albert Cook on 23 July 1947) is an English actor and singer, who has enjoyed a varied show business career.

Essex was born in Plaistow, England which, at the time of his birth, was officially part of the county of Essex. His father was an East End dock worker and his mother was a self-taught pianist and the daughter of Irish Travellers. His grandfather was named 'Philimore' which was the anglicised version of 'Philly Mor' - being Irish for 'Big Philly'. Essex was two years old when his parents moved out of the overcrowded home the family was sharing with relatives, to Canning Town where he grew up. Essex attended Star Lane Primary School, he loved playing football and didn't answer any of the questions in the Eleven plus exam for entry into a Grammar School, so that he could ensure he attended Shipman County Secondary School where he knew they played the game. He was also a member of West Ham United Juniors for a while and dreamed of one day being a professional player. He then also became interested in music and played drums with a local band, before becoming a singer.

He made his first record entitled 'And The Tears Came Tumblin' Down' for the Decca label in 1963. He then toured with a band called "David Essex and the Mood Indigo" for two years. His first notable acting role aside from small appearances in the films Assault and All Coppers Are... was the lead in the stage musical, Godspell in 1971 at the age of 23. Two years later, he starred in the film That'll Be The Day (1973) and recorded his only international hit single, The self penned "Rock On", in the same year. A second single, "Lamplight", also reached the British Top 10.

In the 1970s, Essex emerged as a performer of some note. His biggest hits during this decade included two UK Number One singles: "Gonna Make You a Star" (1974), a satirical look at success; and "Hold Me Close" (1975), a cheerful singalong. He also appeared in Stardust, a 1974 sequel to That'll Be The Day; the title song was another Top 10 hit. In 1976, Essex covered the Beatles song, “Yesterday”, for the musical documentary All This and World War II.

Essex's pop idol looks gave him a strong female fan base and his British tours created scenes of hysteria reminiscent of Beatlemania. According to the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles - 16th Edition - ISBN 0-85112-190-X 'he was voted the number one British male vocalist in 1974, and was a teen idol for more than a decade'.

In 1978, he appeared on Jeff Wayne's concept album, a musical version of The War of the Worlds, as the Artilleryman. In the UK the two-record set remains a bestseller.

In the same year, Essex played the character Che, loosely based on Che Guevara, in the original production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Evita, and his recording of the show's "Oh What a Circus" reached Number 3. Two years later, he starred in the film Silver Dream Racer; and the soundtrack song "Silver Dream Machine" was yet another Top 10 hit in the UK singles chart.

In 1985, he co-wrote and starred as Fletcher Christian in the West End musical Mutiny!, based on the novel Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall. The score produced two more hit singles, including "Tahiti," his tenth Top 10 success.

Essex has continued to perform in all areas of show business, to varying degrees of success. A 1988 sitcom, "The River", achieved good ratings. In 1991, a compilation entitled His Greatest Hits reached Number 13; a 1993 album, Cover Shot, featuring a cover version of the Buzz Cason/Mac Gayden classic "Everlasting Love", peaked at Number 3. His autobiography, A Charmed Life, was published in 2002, and became a bestseller.

In 1999, Essex was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. He still tours the UK on a yearly basis and releases albums through his website. Despite his long and successful British career, he remains largely unknown in the United States. "Rock On" reached Number 5 in 1974, and was his only Billboard Top 40 hit single.

The grandson of an Irish Traveller, Essex portrayed a kind-hearted gypsy in one episode of ITV1's 1960s Yorkshire-based drama Heartbeat in 2000. Essex told Jake Bowers of the BBC's Rokker Radio, a programme for Gypsies and Travellers, on 30 July 2006, that he has always been openly proud of his Traveller roots, but that having moved to the US, Essex has said he feels it inappropriate for him to continue as Patron of Britain's National Gypsy Council, which works for equal rights, education, and services for Romany and Irish Travellers.

In 2005, he appeared as a guest vocalist on Saint Etienne's album Tales from Turnpike House. Also that year, he appeared in the Channel 4 documentary Bring Back...The Christmas Number One.

Essex was due to join the cast of soap opera EastEnders, in early 2006, as new character Jack Edwards. However, the role was expanded beyond the three weeks planned, and Essex was unable to commit the time. The role instead went to Nicky Henson.

A model and recording of Essex is featured in the museum of West Ham United Football Club. In the recording, he explains his reasons for supporting West Ham and his love of the team.

Essex spent six years as an ambassador for Voluntary Service Overseas, which earned him an OBE in 1999. "That was a big day. I took my two eldest kids, and me mum even went out and bought a hat."

Rest of entry at Wikipedia.

David Essex - Imperial Wizard (1979)

Imperial Wizard reached number 12 in UK album charts for 1979.

Releases information:

- UK - Mercury Records, 9109 616
- Spain - Mercury / Phonogram, 63 10 039
- Scandinavia - Mercury Records, 63 10 039

- UK - Cherry Red Records, GLAM CD115 (1 Feb. 2011)


Side A:

Let It Flow - $
Call On Me - $
Are You Still My True Love - $
Oh What A Circus - +
Imperial Wizard - x

Side B:

I Forgot To Forget You - x
Oh What A Feeling - x
Won't Change Me Now - $
Goodbye First Love - +
20 Flights Up - +
Ships That Pass In The Night - $

Produced by: $ (David Essex), x (David Essex with Christopher Neil) and + (and arranged by Mike Batt).


Drums: Kenney Jones, Trevor Morais, Barry De Souza.
Bass: Herbie Flowers [Oh What A Circus - John Fiddy]
Percussion: Ray Cooper.
Guitars: Phil Palmer, Chris Spedding.
Keyboards: Francis Monkman, Paul Maguire, David Essex.
Synthesizers: Ken Freeman.
Orchestra: The London Philharmonic.
Saxophones (and brass arrangements on Let It Flow and Call On Me): Alan Wakeman.
String arrangements: David Cullen
Engineers: Paul Hardiman, Robert Butterworth, Laurence Diana.

Buy it:

- Cherry Red Records
- Amazon US
- Amazon UK
- iTunes
- 7Digital ESP
- 7Digital UK

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