Recorded Covers Of Atkin-James Songs

... Plus!

From The Cellars of Completists' Corner : November 2005

Here is an illustrated list of known :

        1.   Cover versions of Atkin-James songs which were previously recorded by PA
    plus ...
        2.   Atkin-only compositions recorded by other artists (but not by PA)
        3.   Songs composed by PA in collaboration with writers other than CJ

It updates a text-only list which appeared as MV8908 (in old money!).

The list of 16 entries details 19 songs, some appearing under more than one entry, and is arranged chronologically by release date. Some items were not released commercially.

References to Julie Covington (actually, she is mentioned once) and to The Shrinks, both of whom have coverage elsewhere in Smash Flops, are excluded - as is at least one item formerly available to MVs via the CD Library.

Appended to the list, like soothing mints at the end of a curry, are a set of curios.

The illustrations of LP sleeves are fuzzy-wonky photographs, so I apologise for their dodgy quality. Of course, if anyone has an A2 colour scanner ...

Please do get in touch via the Forum if you have any items to add to the list or if you wish to correct any glaring errors.

Andy Love
Nov. 2005

Girl On The Train (Atkin-James)

Joe Stead.   Joe Stead

Format : Vinyl LP.
Release : Westwood Recordings, 1973 [WRS009]
Track length : 1m 57s

Notes :

A mega-rare LP -- seemingly Westwood is highly collectible -- which found its way into Completists’ Corner only through the kindness of Joe himself. Therefore, so far as I’m concerned, he can call the song ‘Girl On A Train’ any time he likes!

The Flowers And The Wine (Atkin-James)

Doug Ashdown.   Winter In America

Format : Vinyl LP.
Release : Philips, 1974 [6305 368]
Track length : 2m 10s

Notes :

Also released on audiocassette [7105 294]

Master Of The Revels (Atkin-James)

Don Partridge.   Don Partridge And Friends

Format : Vinyl LP.
Release : Sonogram, 1974 [LSG-72002]
Track length : 2m 56s

Notes :

Oh dear! Mr. P. not only titles this track ‘I Am The Master Of The Rebels’ (and sings it so) but he claims it was written by ‘Pete Atkinson’. No credit at all is given to Mr. Jamesworthy.

This album is sometimes titled Don Partridge Live At Biblioteksgatan, Stockholm. However, that is actually the subtitle of Side One : DP’s friends don’t join him until the record is flipped over.

Webmaster's Note, October 2016:

Don Partridge died in 2010, but his brother Stewart (now an MV member) advises us that the errors in attribution were in fact made by the publishers of this Swedish album release, and only spotted by Don after it had gone to press.

As self-styled 'King of the Street Singers' he considered himself primarily a busker rather than a stage artist, and MOTR was amongst his street performance repertoire — his one man band arrangement of the song was reportedly better than the more conventional one captured here.

He was something of a rebel himself, and enjoyed taking small liberties with his source material. As if to celebrate the busker's rebellious nature, he would frequently sing this song as 'Master Of The Rebels', as he does here. In private he would always sing the correct words.

Don was a great admirer of Pete's music, and bought a second copy of the Beware Of The Beautiful Stranger album for his brother. His favourites also included 'Sunrise' and 'Touch Has A Memory'. A Don Partridge website is planned, along with the re-release of several of his recordings, 50 years on from his biggest hits.

S J Birkill

Errant Knight (Atkin-James)
The Flowers And The Wine (Atkin-James)

John The Fish.   Coelacanth

Format : Vinyl LP.
Release : Sweet Folk And Country, 1975 [SFA 014]
Track length : 4m 08s
(Errant Knight) ; 1m 38s (The Flowers And The Wine)

Notes :

The sleeve’s track listing removes the definite article from The Flowers And The Wine and adds it to Errant Knight.

A Girl Can't Grumble (Atkin-James)

National Youth Jazz Orchestra.   To Russia With Jazz

Format : Vinyl Double LP.
Release : NYJO, 1978 [DNYJ501]
Track length : 2m 24s

Notes :

Arranged by Bob Leaper (named as co-composer on the disc label).
Vocal by Carol Kenyon.
Tenor solo on A Girl Can’t Grumble by Mike Read.

The Flowers And The Wine (Atkin-James)

Val Doonican.   Quiet Moments

Format : Vinyl LP.
Release : RCA, 1980 [RCA LP 5018]
Track length : 2m 00s

Notes :

Also released on cassette -- RCA K5018. Date on disc is 1980; date on sleeve is 1981. Mr. Doonican’s ...artistic licence, lyrically speaking, has been mentioned elsewhere in MV.

As If I Cared (Atkin)

National Youth Jazz Orchestra.   NYJO Down Under

Format : Vinyl Double LP.
Release : NYJO, 1981 [DNYJ 502]
Track length : 4m 28s

Notes :

Arranged by Rick Taylor. Vocal by Kim Lesley ; Tenor solo by Dave Bishop.

As If I Cared (Atkin)

Kim Lesley.   Store It Up ’Til Morning

Format : Vinyl LP.
Release : Zodiac Records, c1981 [ZR 1016]
Track length : 3m 32s

Notes :

Writing credit is accorded to one ‘Pete Aitken’. There is no release date on either disc or sleeve. However, sleeve notes on other (NYJO) albums pretty much tie it down to 1981. Doubtless The Jazz Discography would clear up any doubt.

A Girl Can't Grumble (Atkin-James)
Why Don't They Write Songs Like This Any More? (Ashton-Atkin)
National Youth Jazz Orchestra (featuring Litsa Davies).
Why Don't They Write Songs Like This Any More?

Format : Vinyl LP.
Release : NYJO, 1983 [NYJ 002 (X83CUS1721)]
Track lengths : 2m 21s
(A Girl...) ; 4m 37s (Why Don't They...)

Notes :

Arrangement of A Girl Can’t Grumble as in From Russia With Jazz except: Vocal by Litsa Davies; Flugelhorn by Steve Sidwell.
Why Don’t They Write Songs Like This Any More? arranged by Chris Smith (Jr.). Tenor solo by Dave Bishop; Flute by Richard Symons.

Touch Has A Memory (Atkin-James)

Wizz Jones.   The Grapes Of Life

Format : Vinyl LP.
Release : Run River Records, 1987 [RR A005]
Track length : 3m 40s

Notes :  By far the best cover in this list.

The Million Pound Song (Atkin)
Catch It If You Can (Atkin)

Songs From The BBC’s Play School & Play Away

Format : Vinyl Double LP.
Release: EMI Music For Pleasure, 1987 [DL 1114]
Track lengths : 3m 42s
(The Million Pound Song) ; 1m 58s (Catch It If You Can)

Notes :

Both discs were originally issued separately:
Disc One as Bang On A Drum BBC London, 1976 [ REC 242]
Disc Two as Hello BBC Enterprises, 1981 [REC 425]
Both PA songs are on disc two and are sung by Brian Cant and Jonathan Cohen.

As If I Cared (Atkin)
Lorraine Craig & The National Youth Jazz Orchestra
Shades Of Blue And Green

Format : Vinyl LP.
Release : BBC Enterprises, 1988
Track length : 4m 21s

Notes :

Arrangement by Steve Tichener.
Tenor by Adam Talbot ; Guitar by Mike Eaves.

Touch Has A Memory (Atkin-James)

Wizz Jones.   Through The Fingers

Format : CD-R
Release : Private Issue, 2001 [Far Flung Island FFI CD 004]
Track length : 5m 00s

Notes :

Wizz’s track notes say: ‘It was a great honour to be invited to the Midnight Voices’ day and to meet up again with Pete Atkin. Clive and Pete’s songs were a great part of my life in the seventies and my meandering version of Touch (with all the wrong chords) still gives me a thrill to sing’.

The Flowers And The Wine (Atkin-James)

Bernard Bolan.   An Eclectic Collection

Format : CD
Release : Private issue, c2002. [‘Made In Australia CC79759’ printed on disc]
Track length : 2m 02s

Notes :  Song is titled ‘Flowers And The Wine’ and is credited to Clive James only.

The Magic Wasn’t There (Atkin-James)

Naomi Hyamson.   Do You See The Moon Over Soho?

Format : DVD (prepared from the original videotape)
Release : This is a recording of the live show at the Rosemary Branch Theatre, 25th February 2002.
Track length : 2m 08s

Notes :

The right-hand still, above, shows the song being performed (piano by Janet Haney). Naomi now has several PA/CJ songs in her repertoire and performed at PoD04. She would like to hear from anyone who inadvertently recorded her set that day.

With Me It Goes Deeper (Atkin-James)

Chris & Siobhan Nelson.   Tomorrow’s Sun

Format : CD
Release : Private issue, 2004. Cat. No. CSN001
Track length : 1m 46s

Notes :

Track notes say: ‘Siobhan discovered this lovely song on the B-side of a Julie Covington single in the early 1970s, and has loved it ever since. It was penned by Pete Atkin and Clive James (yes, the very same).’

Four Curios !

(Found Lurking In The Darker Recesses of Completists’ Corner)


Ballad Of A Rock’n Roll Loser

Format: Vinyl LP
Format: CD
Release : CBS, 1975 [CBS 80786]
Release : Repertoire Records, 2000 [REP 4882]

Notes :

Titanic was a Norwegian band which recorded this album at Morgan Studios. The fact that they grabbed a (sandwich-watching?) Pete Atkin to play piano on tracks two and three is declared on the vinyl’s sleeve but not on the CD release.

Play Away

Jest Down The Road

Format : VHS tape
Release : BBC, 1977
Track length : 1m 59s

Notes :

The title of PA’s clever and catchy contribution to this episode of Play Away is unknown. It’s sung by Julie Covington, Toni Arthur and David Wood. That it does come from PA’s pen is rather given away by the song’s last section which revolves around the phrase: ‘I’m the original honky-tonk train’. Thanks to MV Peter Charlton for alerting Completists’ Corner to this gem.

Andy Victor

My Wife Hates Pete Atkin b/w Uncle Seabird

Format : CD single
Release : Private Issue, 2000 [Far Flung Islands FFICDS-001]
Track lengths : 3m 39s
(My Wife...) ; 3m 29s (Uncle Stephen)

Notes :

The ‘A’ side (as it were) is a song composed by MVs Andy Victor and Mike Walters. It was written for, and premiered at, SoD2K ... as was the ‘B’ side which uses Pete’s setting of Uncle Seabird (Atkin-James) but with alternative words supplied by Mike Walters in honour of our Webmaster. Both tracks are studio recordings.

These songs really should enjoy a wider MV audience than they achieved post-SoD. Time for a re-release, perhaps, now the Forum is operational?

Julian The Juggler

The Real Master Of The Revels

Format : DVD (prepared from the original videotape)
Release : Private, 2003
Track length : 3m 28s
(including Roy Brown’s intro)

Notes :

Julian The Juggler offered his Amazing Illustration of The Master Of The Revels (Atkin-James) at Midnight Voices’ Cinema Of Dreams, Hebden Bridge 2003. Stills reproduced with kind permission of Mr. The Juggler.

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