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"CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL" - " A GREAT ACTOR SINGING" - FEATURING THE ALBUM "A TRAMP SHINING" By RICHARD HARRIS IN HIGH DEFINITION WITH NARRATIVE - -EPISODE # 42- THE CAPTAIN MINES HIS COVE OF 8 TRACK TREASURES!

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“A GREAT ACTOR SINGING

A TRAMP SHINING by Richard Harris (Dunhill, 1968)

This is an odd one, and at the time of its release, being 15 years old, I just couldn’t relate. Apart from the fact that MacArthur Park, that 7:20 opus, constantly played on the radio, and its lush orchestral depiction of a melting cake in the rain intimated an acid trip, (which did intrigue me), I just couldn’t get into it. It was all too, too much. But, I suppose, that excess was partially the point.

Since then, of course, Richard Harris, that Irish God of cinema (This Sporting Life; A Man Called Horse; The Field) has loomed large in my consciousness. And, now, in the gloaming of my life, I drink in this album’s doomed romanticism with gusto. As Harris’s quavering baritone wanders across my sonic and psychic field, it beckons me to follow across mystic, symphonic moors of yearning.

Jimmy Webb was 24 years old when he wrote and produced this masterpiece. Everybody probably knows that this wunderkind wrote By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Wichita Lineman, Up, Up, and Away, and many other blockbusters. And, although his career’s peak is far behind him, he continues to share stories of his illustrious life and times with audiences around the world, as a solo artist. A few summers ago, I saw him perform for free at a summertime bandshell in Pasadena, California, and his genial Southern drawl and inventive chordings still charm. But, oh Lord, in 1968, this was a Titan. And, listening to such a great actor as Richard Harris serve up this impeccably crafted confection is a meal that satisfies the mind, heart, and soul.

Side One: 1. “Prelude” 0:24 2. “Didn’t We?” 2:24 3. “Interlude #1” 0:29 4. “Paper Chase” 2:15 5. “Interlude #2” 0:31 6. “Name of My Sorrow” 3:21 7. “Interlude #3” 0:27 8. “Lovers Such as I” 3:36 9. “In the Final Hours” 2:45

Side Two: No. Title Length 1. “MacArthur Park” 7:20 2. “Dancing Girl” 2:06 3. “Interlude #4” 0:19 4. “If You Must Leave My Life” 3:18 5. “A Tramp Shining”


By Rich Buckland 01/09/2022 01:55 PM

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