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Plain and Fancy

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Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Orleans - Orleans (1973 us, pleasant funky soft rock, 2023 korean remaster)

From their earliest days as a favorite at colleges and clubs in the Northeast US … to studio and live collaborations with great artists, including Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Little Feat and many others … to Top 10 success with bona-fide classics such as “Still the One”, “Dance With Me” and “Love Takes Time” …  Orleans is now celebrating 50 years of creating musical history.

Although the makeup of the live band has seen many incarnations over the years, their oldest fans are amazed at the fact that the band still sounds as good as (or even better than) ever … especially their vocals! Younger fans are simply impressed. Everyone agrees *these guys “still have it”.

Formed in Woodstock, NY in February 1972 by John Hall, Larry  Hoppen and Wells Kelly, Orleans became a quartet when Lance Hoppen joined in October of that year. Hall’s “Half Moon” was in the first batch of original song demos but, to fill out live shows, they played lots of covers. Some were Alan Toussaint, Neville Brothers / Meters tunes (hence the intended-to-be-temporary choice of name) as they went about perfecting a delicious recipe of eclectic material, incorporating rock, R&B and reggae with vocal harmony. That led Rolling Stone  magazine to christen them “the best unrecorded band in the country” in early 1973.

Soon after, a round of showcase performances in NYC gave rise to a recording contract with ABC Dunhill Records and the release of the eponymously titled first album. Later signing with Asylum Records, they produced chart-topping hits including “Let There Be Music”, “Dance With Me”, “Reach” and, of course, their American standard, “Still the One” (with Jerry Marotta lending his drumming skills to their Waking and Dreaming album). Adding to each other’s strengths, John (with his then-wife and songwriting partner, Johanna) was the most prolific songwriter while Larry supplied the lead voice for the radio hits. Orleans’ classics have been played on terrestrial radio countless millions of times since they were first released and now stream constantly on all the major platforms. After Orleans established national radio popularity, Hall left in the fall of 1977 to pursue a solo career

1. Please Be There - 3:52
2. If - 5:05
3. Two-Faced World - 4:36
4. Turn Out The Light - 5:22
5. Tongue-Tied - 4:19
6. Half Moon - 3:42
7. Moutain (Wells Kelly) - 3:26
8. Wanderlust - 4:32
9. Ticonderoga Moon - 3:11
10.Stoned (Larry Hoppen) - 3:14
11.It All Comes Back Again - 4:40
All compositions by John Hall, Johanna Hall except where indicated

*John Hall - Electric, Lead, Rhythm Guitars, Lead Vocals 
*Lance Hoppen - Bass, Vocals 
*Wells Kelly - Drums, Timbales, Vocals  
*Larry Hoppen - Piano, Organ, Vocals 
*Roger Hawkins - Tambourine,Congas  
*Barry Beckett - Piano 

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