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Born in Birmingham, England in 1931 Reg began playing while serving in the Royal Navy. In the late 1950’s he formed the Reg Guest Trio. He first shows up on the record radar as Earl Guest with Honky Tonk Train Blues/Winkle Picker Stomp (UK Columbia DB4707). A year later, he has moved a mile up the road from EMI’s stable in London’s St. John’s Wood to British Decca in West Hampstead and become a member of The Nashville Five who record a few sides for that label, but see no appreciable chart action.
Thereafter, his skills as an arranger-for-hire and pianist are noted and are in keen demand. Some of his greatest successes came when he moved to Paris in the middle of the 1960s, where he was seemingly always in the studio recording some of France’s greatest names such as the gilded husband and wife, Johnny Hallyday and Sylvie Vartan. He also recorded hits for Claude François, Richard Anthony and Eddie Mitchell.
The title track of this CD was recorded during his tenure at UK Philips for their Mercury label. Guest was not afraid to experiment with so-called ‘wide separation’, with generous use of reverb in the Spector “Wall Of Sound” tradition and we have here fine examples of the transichord (actually an electrified accordion) and some superb tubular bells as well as French horns and Hammond organ.
The theme of this album is one that obsessed arrangers and composers in then one of the most musically influential decades - that of spies and private eyes. Television and cinema was awash with such imagery during the Cold War, and we think this collection of rather striking arrangements stands out on its own; in many cases improving on the original versions!
|1. THE JAMES BOND THEME