Monday, October 22, 2012

New CD release from Artistry

The Artistry label has done some great work in recent times, restoring and reissuing many of the old Avenue sessions on CD, leading so far to the release of two separate collections of David Byron's vocal recordings (see blog entry for August 30). We were promised more, and sure enough the anticipated Remembering the Stars of Easy Beat and Saturday Club volume 1 has just been released, and is a real treat for fans of the covers genre.

Some background: the CD title refers to two BBC radio shows of the early 1960s, which rather than endlessly spinning plastic, offered listeners a take on the current hits through the lens of a live house band fronted by an esteemed line-up of vocalists: Danny Street, Laura Lee and Tony Steven. Easy Beat and Saturday Club became highly popular slots in their day, but of course by the middle of the 60s, the times were a-changin', and when Radio 1 started broadcasting in 1967, it served to push the old formats off the airwaves for good.

Fortunately, this was also the period in which the recorded cover version idea was starting to crystallise. No surprise then that the star vocalists of BBC radio soon found their talents in demand by labels such as Avenue, and it is from those celebrated studio sessions that the CD below was compiled.

The star turns here, Danny, Laura and Tony, are represented equally on this disc, their lead vocals rotating in sequence. In all we have 21 cuts to enjoy, not all of them obvious; there are, for example, half a dozen rarities which were originally issued only in America, while two or three others were not known to this listener, including the early "Puppet On A String". Besides these, we have a collection of classic Avenue LP cuts from the start of the 1970s, ranging through the album series in all its splendour.

The CD benefits greatly from its well-rounded sonics which bring the music fully to life, courtesy of some top-notch remastering by Colin Richardson and Paul Wilson. Special mention is due to a track I can't stop playing - Laura Lee's gorgeous take on The Carpenters' "Superstar" - not just for the first-class vocals, but the resonant bass and great drum fills - honestly - I think it's better than the original, and I say that as someone for whom "Superstar" has been a guilty pleasure for years.

If you love the old vinyl covers records, treat yourself to this CD. You won't regret it. You can currently pick it up through EBay, or contact Artistry via

Here's the full track listing, and where the original 1970s Avenue LP release is identified, the catalogue number is given: 
  1. Puppet On A String - Laura Lee 
  2. Almost There - Danny Street 
  3. Two Divided By Love - Tony Steven 
  4. Gypsies, Tramps And Thieves - Laura Lee  [AVE 097] 
  5. Take Me Home Country Roads - Danny Street 
  6. Galveston - Tony Steven  [AVE 017] 
  7. Rose Garden - Laura Lee  [AVE 067] 
  8. I'm Leaving - Danny Street  [AVE 092] 
  9. Witch Queen Of New Orleans - Tony Steven  [AVE 092] 
  10. I Don't Know How To Love Him - Laura Lee 
  11. Let's Dance - Danny Street  [AVE 0129] 
  12. All In The Game - Tony Steven  [AVE 044] 
  13. Superstar - Laura Lee  [AVE 092] 
  14. Baby I'm A Want You - Danny Street [AVE 0101] 
  15. Easy Lovin' - Tony Steven 
  16. If Not For You - Laura Lee  [AVE 081] 
  17. When You Are A King - Danny Street  [AVE 088] 
  18. How Can You Mend A Broken Heart? - Tony Steven 
  19. Help Me Make It Through The Night - Laura Lee 
  20. Taxi - Danny Street 
  21. My Marie - Tony Steven  [AVE 044]

Thanks to all concerned - and here's looking forward to volume 2 which hopefully will emerge soon.


  1. A superb compilation of Avenue Tracks the U.S.A. tracks are mind blowing as far as the production quality. These 6 tracks for me were worth the cost of the C.D.and to hear the other numbers in clear STEREO sound was a great bonus. Thanks for bringing this to the attention of all us collectors of high quality cover versions.I shall be looking out for any other Artistry C.D's on Ebay and Amazon please keep us updated with any New releases you may hear about.

    1. I certainly will update readers on any more of these releases, as information comes to me. Word is that there is another CD in the offing, called "Artistry Beat Club", which will contain some 30 tracks. When I find out more I will post something up.

      I agree about the production quality on this CD. It's a real revelation.

  2. After reading your comments about this disc i have ordered it from a dealer on Ebay. Can hardly wait to listen to these great AVENUE tracks some of the songs i have on mini L.P but not in the greatest condition.All three artists listed are in my opinion the best of all the session singers of our generation.The most interesting track for me will be Tony Steven singing How Can You Mend a Broken Heart. I just know its gonna be a 5***** rendition. Thanks for bringing this my attention. P.W.