ROIO of the Week [Recordings
of Indeterminate Origin]
Were The Daze
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Osaka Expo 1970 [Franny
Bankokuhaku Hall, Osaka Expo, Japan 1970. Released in 2005.
not a performer. I've never been comfortable onstage, really. I am a singer
and now, hopefully, a songwriter. I love that. I feel as if I'm finally
expressing myself in the way I want to. So the Apple days were like being
in kindergarten, really, just falling over a lot and the whole world witnessing
all my spelling mistakes."
talking to Goldmine, in 1992.
Manipulation is the
name of the game in pop music, just like in politics. So when a 17-year-old
fresh out of school signs to Apple Records, the Beatles label, expectations
touched the heavens. Mary Hopkin made hit after hit for the Beatles label.
But as the years peeled away, the awkward teen has revealed she was not
unaware of her ridiculous school girl image that made it difficult for
her to tackle different types of songs.
For instance, Hopkin
claims she was shanghaied into doing the Eurovision Song Contest and was
appalled that she had to sing Knock Knock Who's There?
When she left Apple,
Hopkin joined Mickie Most and was ultra-sensitive to uncool songs to the
extent that she rejected two great songs.
"I'll always regret
turning down 'You've Got A Friend'. Peter [Asher] sent me a tape, giving
me the first opportunity of recording it, and I turned it down. I could
have kicked myself. And I also turned down Elton John's 'Your Song'. I
had a demo of that but turned it down because I thought one line was too
life is when you're in the world'. After what I'd been doing with Mickie
Most I just couldn't face lyrics like that. Of course, when Elton did
it, it sounded marvellous, not corny at all. That's how much I'd lost
confidence in my own capabilities by the time of Mickie Most: I'd turn
down anything remotely 'sweet'."
to Record Collector, Aug 1988.
Hopkin since then
has only recorded songs when in the mood. She sang an anti-war song released
during England's war in the Falklands. In 2006, Hopkin recorded a Christmas
song that was distributed through her website.
Currently, she lives
in the south of France. She never tours anymore, doesn't give interviews
or pose for publicity pictures. Which makes every live recording of hers
a treasure. Here is a rare recording of a concert in Japan. Recorded at
the Osaka Expo in 1970, it was at the height of her popularity and many
of her hits are performed. A couple of awkward interviews are included
with a Japanese musician and a female journalist who asks her how she
keeps her hair so beautiful.
Perhaps if Mary Hopkin
had success with her Earth Song/Ocean Song second album, she would have
been the folk singer/songwriter she wanted to be. Just listen to her take
of Paul McCartney's Yesterday followed by John's In My Life both dripping
with bittersweet regret.
As it stands she
will be remembered as the little girl who sang sweet and bubbly pop tunes
with singalong choruses.
This recording is
pretty good from such a long time ago. It sounds like a radio broadcast.
Thankfully the Japanese were never afraid of Western pop culture and invited
every important and not-so-important act to their shores, unlike the little
chickens who continue to rule $heep City.
- The Little Chicken
+ + + + +
The Franny bootleg is actually the TV Special that was broadcast on Japanese
networks on July 12, 1970. Altogether, Hopkin played seven shows in Osaka
from July 4-7. You can view pictures taken of her visit to Japan at this
The automatic English translation is computer-derived.
+ + + + +
Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality,
stereo MP3s - sample rate of 192 kibit/s). As far as we can ascertain,
this recording has never been officially released.
Note: Kindly email us at [email protected]
if you encounter problems downloading the files.
Mary Hopkin has gone indie with her latest release in May 2007, Valentine,
on Mary Hopkin Music. The songs she sings come from fellow singer-songwriters
Bruce Cockburn, Emmitt Rhodes, and even John Kongos. There are also three
Hopkin originals. These songs were found in her personal archives and
have never been released before. They were originally recorded between
1972 and 1980.
Also at her website,
you can order her first official live album Live at the Royal Festival
Hall 1972. Order both here.
For more... email [email protected]
with the message, "Put me on your mailing list."
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