Music fans in Europe seem to have a different mindset when it comes to veteran artists than their equivalent in the United States.
Over the last forty years, artists who have been cast aside in the states have found renewed careers in the U.K and throughout Europe. Their albums sell in numbers that are acceptable to the record companies where U.S. companies are less interested in working with older artists who are still very viable talents.
Such is the case with Neil Sedaka. It has been many years since we have gotten a new set from the singer, instead being given a myriad of different collections and live albums. The fact is, the man still has a great voice and is still active so it’s more than time for a new LP.
The U.K. just got such an animal with the Monday release of The Real Neil. The acoustic album features a number of new songs along with a couple re-recordings of Sedaka classics such as Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Laughter in the Rain and Amarillo. Still, the majority of the album is new, something fans have been waiting for for a long time.
From the album’s U.K. press release:
“The most challenging task for a songwriter is to write a simple tune but still bring an emotional feeling to it”, says Neil. “After 60 years of writing, I am very proud of these new songs. This is my first acoustic album. Piano and voice, the pure form of the song, just the way I write them. The songs are very personal and come from my soul. It’s the culmination of all the years of writing. No frills. No production gimmicks.”
The album closes with classically trained Neil’s first piano concerto Manhattan Intermezzo, recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Air Studios in London. “At the suggestion of my co-producer Robert Cotto, I am very excited about the inclusion of the final track, my first piano concerto Manhattan Intermezzo. As a lifelong New Yorker, I wanted the audience to feel the spirit of the city, exploring its melting pot of nationalities. I tried to incorporate the sounds of the city where I was born; Latin, Asian, Russian, Broadway and the New York of today and yesterday. Having studied at the Juilliard School, I was exposed and inspired by many different composers. I wanted to write something that was clearly American, in style and feel, but still keeping it distinctively Neil Sedaka. Writing pop songs is one thing. But, composing a serious piece gave me much more creative freedom. This is the result of all the music I’ve studied and played. I am very proud of this work.”
Now it’s time to ask an American record company to PLEASE pick up this album and bring it to our shores.
The track list for The Real Neil:
- Beginning to Breathe Again
- You’ll Be There
- Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
- Laughter in the Rain
- Broken Street of Dreams
- Heart of Stone
- It’s Hard to Say Goodbye
- Queen of Hearts
- Everybody Knows
- Captured By Your Love
- Runaway Lover
- Mi Amour
- Sweet Music
- Manhattan Intermezzo