"No Music, No Life. Know Music, Know Life." ---Thomas Carlyle ▼▼▼
Nelson Riddle Jr. was an American arranger, composer, bandleader and orchestrator whose career stretched from the late 1940s to the mid-1980s. His work for Capitol Records kept such vocalists as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, Johnny Mathis, Rosemary Clooney and Keely Smith household names.
In 1950, Riddle was hired by composer Les Baxter to write arrangements for a recording session with Nat King Cole; this was one of Riddle's first associations with Capitol Records. Although one of the songs Riddle had arranged, "Mona Lisa," soon became the biggest selling single of Cole's career, the work was credited to Baxter. However, once Cole learned the identity of the arrangement's creator, he sought out Riddle's work for other sessions, and thus began a fruitful partnership that furthered the careers of both men at Capitol.
In 1953, Capitol Records executives viewed the up-and-coming Riddle as a prime choice to arrange for the newly arrived Frank Sinatra. Sinatra was reluctant however, preferring instead to remain with Axel Stordahl, his long-time collaborator from his Columbia Records years. When success of the first few Capitol sides with Stordahl proved disappointing, Sinatra eventually relented and Riddle was called in to arrange his first session for Sinatra, held on April 30, 1953. The first product of the Riddle-Sinatra partnership, "I've Got The World On A String," became a runaway hit and is often credited with relaunching the singer's slumping career.
Riddle was to stay at Capitol for another decade, during which time he continued to arrange for Sinatra and Cole, in addition to such Capitol artists as Kate Smith, Judy Garland, Dean Martin, Keely Smith, Sue Raney, and Ed Townsend. He also found time to release his own instrumental albums on the label, most notably Hey...Let Yourself Go (1957) and C'mon...Get Happy (1958), both of which peaked at a respectable number twenty on the Billboard charts.
In 1963, Riddle joined Sinatra's newly established label Reprise Records, under the musical direction of Morris Stoloff. Much of his work in the 1960s and 1970s was for film and television, including his hit theme song for Route 66; steady work scoring episodes of Batman and other tv series, and composing the scores of several motion pictures including the Rat Pack features Robin and the 7 Hoods and the original Ocean's 11.
During the 1970s, the majority of his work was for film and television, including the score for the 1974 version of The Great Gatsby, which earned Riddle his first Academy Award after some five nominations. In 1973, he served as musical director for the Emmy Award winning The Julie Andrews Hour. Nelson Riddle's Orchestra also made numerous concert appearances throughout the 1970s, some of which were led and contracted by his good friend, Tommy Shepard.
MY SWEET LORD
Written by George Harrison. A number one hit in : Austria, Australia, Belgium, The Netherlands, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerkand, United Kingdom and in the United States.
With meanwhile more than 10,000,000 copies sold worldwide (2010) the single is one of the best selling hit singles of all time.
A fantastic arrangement of the 1971 worldwide hit written by George Harrison. A breathtaking intro (including a groovy guitar) is followed by a steady musical build up, where the instrumentation of the orchestra is being extended as the song progresses. Nelson Riddle proves that it's possible to create a groovy and exciting sound with a large orchestra. He successfully combines the more classical instruments of the orchestra (eg the strings) with the (at the time) modern instruments like the (electr.) guitar.
Of all (instrumental) versions that I have ever heard, this rendition by Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra is, in my opinion, by far, the musically richest ever recorded.
Enjoy this sixties jewel !