From the Vault...


Gilbert O'Sullivan
"The Best Of Gilbert O'Sullivan"

© Rhino Records

Year of Release: 1991

track listing
  • Nothing Rhymed
  • Underneath
    The Blanket Go
  • Too Much Attention
  • Matrimony
  • No Matter How I Try
  • Alone Again (Naturally)
  • Ooh-Wakka-
  • Clair
  • Who Was It
  • Out Of The Question
  • Get Down
  • A Very Extraordinary
    Sort Of Girl
  • Ooh Baby
  • Why Oh Why Oh Why
  • Happiness Is Me And You
  • A Woman's Place
  • Christmas Song
  • I Don't love You
    But I Think I Like You
  • You Got Me Going
  • What's In A Kiss
    (Original Version)

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    Gilbert O'Sullivan
    "The Best Of Gilbert O'Sullivan"

    Amidst the post-Woodstock singer/songwriter influx of the early 1970s, Gilbert O'Sullivan stood out from other solo artists in several respects. He certainly didn't look like the rest of the bunch -- his collegiate sweaters, shortish hair and well-scrubbed appearance, harkened back to an earlier generation. His songs were different as well, owing as much to Tin Pan Alley and theater traditions as to typical R&B or rock roots. In some respects, O'Sullvan's wistful, little-boy-lost persona was odder than the garish glam-rock facades of the era.
    from liner notes of Rhino's The Best Of Gilbert O'Sullivan

    His real name is Raymond Edward O'Sullivan. And yes, his first name was changed as to the opera composers [Gilbert & Sullivan]. His manager, Stephen Shane suggested the name change. (I've always often wondered on that, since I had known of the two composers.)

    Gilbert O'Sullivan is a British musician. And if you're familiar with how "Britian Pop," this is a great collection. His most famous hit was a #1 hit in 1972, "Alone Again (Naturally)." The song was not autobiographical for O'Sullivan. The song's lyrics was contemplating suicide after being left at the altar, the father mistreating the mother, and the death of both parents. O'Sullivan did not know his father that well, who had died when he was 11. His mother was alive at the time the song was written. O'Sullivan was married in January, 1980 to his Norwegian girlfriend, Aase. They had two daughters: Helen-Marie, born in 1980, and in 1982, Tara.

    Along with "Alone Again," there were other hits that most may remember. "Get Down" was another huge hit, which did not hit #1, but it was just as easily remembered as his only #1 hit. And another 2-sided 45 I used to have (on the MAM label), was "Ooh-Wakka-Doo-Waka-Day" / "Clair." These songs, had the "Pop Gilbert" aka "happy Pop" that is probably best remembered for Gilvert O'Sullivan.

    More on the British Pop style ... His first hit, "Nothing Rhymed," was a UK Top 10 hit. His second hit, "Underneath The Blanket Go" bombed. "Too Much Attention" has a somewhat upbeat R&B sound, yet it's still British Rock. Another British artist, Donovan, is a comparison.

    "Matrimony" has more of a Pop styled 70s style, most remembered from the early 70s decade. Another "happy Pop Gilbert" gets "No Matter How I Try" -- as it sounds like the theme of the television show, The Courtship of Eddie's Father. Likewise, "Who Was It" compares to the 45 I had, "Ooh-Waka/Clair."

    Returning to the "Pop 1970s" are "Out Of The Question," "A Very Extraordianary Sort Of Girl" and the Elton John'ish "Ooh Baby." Pop, yet in a slower style of it : "Why Oh Why Oh Why," "Happiness Is Me And You," and "Christmas Song." A more upbeat Pop, has "A Woman's Place." Rock Pop: "I Don't Love You But I Think ILike You" and "You Got Me Going." Lastly, a song recorded much later, British Pop returns with "What's In A Kiss."

    The Best Of Gilbert O'Sullivan is a great compilation of his work. "Alone Again (Naturally)" was his biggest hit, but he was not a one-hit wonder. Ok, maybe a handful of hits, yet his songs that were best remembered was from a decade that covered such a wide range of popular music. Some felt it was the worse decade. Oh, not true... Comparing to the music 30 years later (and the 21st Century), the music of the 1970s will be classified as great music, compared to today. Sure, some of the 70s songs were L-A-M-E, but today's music is just bad. Not lame, just bad.

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