Sounds Orchestral

Sounds Orchestral was, for a time, Pye Records' answer to EMI's Sounds Incorporated, although unlike their better known rivals, they were more of a studio ensemble and never got into the position of touring with the Beatles. The group was formed in early 1965 by Pye Records producer John Schroeder, who perceived an audience looking for a sound other than the driving Liverpool beat that had dominated the British airwaves and charts for almost two years. The original line-up included veteran pianist John Pearson, born in 1925 and a bit long-of-tooth to be competing in the rock 'n' roll world, and ex-Johnny Dankworth drummer Kenny Clare, along with 21-year old bassist Tony Reeves, later of Curved Air, Greenslade, and Colosseum, among other bands. Schroeder got some considerable help from Reeves, who brought him a 1960-vintage Vince Guaraldi-trio record called "Cast Your Fate To the Wind". In the hands of Sounds Orchestral, the tune made it to number three on the British charts and even cracked the top 10 in America. It was to be their only major chart entry, but that was enough to yield a pair of LPs and several singles over the ensuing half-decade, and the group continued releasing music intermittently, in one form or another, at least thru the 1970's and early 1980's. Their rendition of "Black Is Black" was also a popular dance record, and has turned up on several Northern Soul collections. ~ Bruce Eder

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