The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

And that is the truth, we evolve, and that goes for everything in life, including music. I liked ABBA from the start and yes, was able to say that out loud. However, it was not until yesterday that I discovered the secret of why I liked them so much. In ABBA there were two girls with outstanding voices and two boys who were cleaver musicians, and when writing their lyrics painted simple pictures, but what was that special ingredient.

The answer came to me whilst listening to a programme on Sky Art, called, California Dreaming, the songs of The Mamas and The Papas. They had two girls with beautiful voices, one Cass Elliot

No one is getting fat, except Momma Cass

she had such a big voice but she also had the ability to not only blend her voice to the other singers but hold it down so she did not swamp, it was that harmony that made them special on stage. However it was in the studio when the magic started to happen, they started to do something new at the time, multi-tracking and even with the limited equipment of the day it made their music very special indeed. And of course although it was a collaboration of talents when it came to writing their music it was John Philips ability to write lyrical, pictures, that appealed. I was amazed by how close ABBA had followed in their footsteps, whether by design or accident, ABBA stands on the shoulders of The Mamas and The Papas, without a doubt, but that does not detract in any way from ABBA’s great talent, hard work and dedication to their music.

I had only discovers Sky Art a week or so back but now I check it out every day to see if there is anything that would interest me. Sunday, it was Bizet’s Carmen from Sydney Opera. The voice of the Ukrainian singer Dmytro Popov was simply outstanding in the part of Don Jose, as was a very young-looking Carmen, Rinat Shaham. Of course, I had to divert my eyes as she alluringly seduced Don Jose, my ‘dicky ticker’ as Monsieur Alfonse (Kenneth Connor) would have said in Hello Hello. Hope they perform ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ (Le Nozze de Figaro) we could all do with a laugh at this time. Or the evergreen ‘Tosca’ for me the best opera ever written and an opera with one of the best aria ever written. Tosca telling us how she has followed ever law of man and God to no avail.

The wind has dropped and the weather seems more settled so as soon as my washing is out of the dryer I will get out for an hour or two. My trip over to Loch Leven could well be imminent.

Thinking of Loch Leven (a bird sanctuary) reminded me of a time when two of my friends went off to shoot geese, but that is for another day. Keep well.     

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