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Paul Williams


Matthew C. Clark

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Paul Williams made a comeback in 1999 with "Back To Love Again" but it is no longer made & out of print. On the CD, Paul does a duet with J.D. Souther on the song "Somebody's Hero Tonight" as well as recuts of "An Old Fashioned Love Song", "I Won't Last A Day Without You" & "Rainbow Connection" from "The Muppet Movie". Paul has another CD called "For Him To You" which came out last year. Paul has also written songs for Diamond Rio "You're Gone" & Neil McCoy "Party On". It seems that A&M Records have the 1971 CD "Just An Old Fashioned Love Song" which is still in print but A&M have been tricky about their reissues. There is an import called "Greatest Hits" which I found at the All Music Guide at: www.allmusic.com & when you see the logo "Barnes & Noble", you can get it down there or the store can special order it for you which takes about 5 to 11 days for shipping. Matt

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As former Rolling Stone & Playboy critic Dave Marsh said back in 1983, Williams is the most facile and bubbleheaded of Seventies pop writers, his melodies are straight from advertising, and his lyrics are unctuous statements of things he may know about but has never felt. If one must suffer his banalities, it is far better to do so in the versions recorded by artists like the Carpenters and Three Dog Night. At least they can vocalize a bit; the composer cannot. mad Dave gave "Just An Old Fashioned Love Song", "Phantom Of The Paradise" (soundtrack) & "Classics" (greatest hits) * one star out of ***** five stars. The rest of the albums had no stars. Matt

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On the "Phantom Of The Paradise" soundtrack, Dave Marsh said: Brian De Palma's rock version of The Phantom Of The Opera was cinematically brilliant, but burdened with a stupefying Paul Williams score that rendered everything around it false. Here all you get is Williams' stupefaction, a miserable prospect; there is a kind of hatred for hard rock here that emerges as soured contempt. A competent performance by Jeffrey Commanor on a couple of oldies pastiches is all that keeps this one from biting the dust. mad Matt

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On the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Charts, Paul Williams "Waking Up Alone" went to # 60 back in March of 1972. That was his only chart appearance. The song also went to # 19 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Charts. The song "I Won't Last A Day Without You" went to # 40 (AC Charts) & # 106 on the Billboard's Bubbling Under Charts back in Feburary of 1973. The song "Inspiration" went to # 18 (AC Charts) & # 108 (Bubbling Under) back in January of 1974. Paul Williams also hit the Billboard Country 100 Singles Charts but I do NOT have the country book. On the Billboard Top 200 Album Charts, Paul Williams "Just An Old Fashioned Love Song" went to # 141 back in Feburary of 1972, "Life Goes On" went to # 159 back in Feburary of 1973, "Here Comes Inspiration" went to # 165 back in April of 1974, "A Little Bit Of Love" went to # 95 back in January of 1975, "Ordinary Fool" went to # 146 back in January of 1976 & "Classics" (greatest hits) went to # 155 back in September of 1977. That is all of the information. Matt

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I am fairly certain that Hilburn knows the 'berries' music just because Bruce Springsteen has gone on record of saying that he liked them - and Hilburn and Springsteen are pretty tight. So are Marsh and Springsteen for that matter. In fact, if I check my "Rock Lists" book (written by Marsh), I think he picked Overnight Sensation" as one of the best songs of 1974.

Marvin

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Hilburn was the L.A. Times #1 rock critic and Cromlein was #2. Every time a new Raspberries or Eric Carmen album was released Hilburn passed it off on somebody else. It used to piss me off, the unspoken message being he didn't think they were worthy of his review. Yes, I'm still pissed. Kirk.

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Last comment regarding L.A. Times rock critic Robert Hilburn: I'm still irritated that he never bothered to review the Raspberries or Eric Carmen because he is so influential and the coverage area of the Times is so huge that I always felt that a good review from Hilburn would make the difference between a song or album barely charting to gold record status. Who knows what would have been if the Raspberries had a Robert Hilburn front page review in the entertainment section of the L.A. Times. Kirk.

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Kirk I can't speak on Hilburn's reasons, but in his defence, I've worked with music critics at newspapers in Montreal and the number of discs (albums) that are sent their way each day for review is overwhelming. It is entirely possible that Hilburn had many other important discs to review when the 'berries or Eric discs were sent his way.

Marvin

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  • 4 months later...

Last comment regarding L.A. Times rock critic Robert Hilburn: I'm still irritated that he never bothered to review the Raspberries or Eric Carmen... Who knows what would have been if the Raspberries had a Robert Hilburn front page review in the entertainment section of the L.A. Times. Kirk.

THE 'BERRIES ARE A TOUGH ACT FOR CRITICS, AND GOD BLESS THEM FOR BEING SO... MANY CRITICS IN THE EARLY '70S WERE EITHER NOSTALGIA FREAKS WHO QUICKLY ENDORSED ANYTHING REMINSCENT TO THE MID-'60S WITHOUT GIVING IT A BALANCED VIEW, OR WERE STEADFAST ON LOOKING FORWARD AND COULDN'T UNDERSTAND BANDS LIKE RASPBERRIES, BADFINGER, DWIGHT TWILLEY BAND, AND BIG STAR... ALTHOUGH BIG STAR FARED BETTER W/ THE CRITICS (A BIT HEADIER IN THE LYRIC DEPT--AND MORE MUSICALLY ADVENTUROUS)...

THE 'BERRIES WERE MOST LIKEY, NOT HILLBURN'S CUP OF TEA, AND INSTEAD OF SLAGGING THEM, HE DIDN'T REVIEW IT AT ALL. (HE PROBABLY KNEW THEY WERE GOOD AT WHAT THEY DID, BUT DIDN'T LIKE IT.) IT ALSO DOESN'T MAKE SENSE THAT HE WOULDN'T LIKE THE "STARTING OVER" ALBUM... BY THEN MOST SERIOUS CRITICS (I.E. ROBERT CHRISTGAU, DAVE MARSH) WERE ON THE BAND'S SIDE...

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AS FOR PAUL WILLIAMS... i would never expect critics to like him... although those slags that were "posted" are way off... Williams could easily slide into schmaltz and jingle like melodies, but at his peak cut much deeper with pop as moving as Bacharach and Nilsson--check out the 1972 "Life Goes On" LP which features his version of "Out In The Country," "Traveling Boy," "I Won't Last A Day Without You" and great undiscovered gems like "Rose" and "Little Girl"--arguably his best stuff--and still holds up well... these days he's been honored by NYC's Loser's Lounge who did a tribute night to him.... he's also been working with Richard Barone of The Bongos...

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Paul Williams was in "The Phantom Of The Paradise" movie back in 1974. The group KISS made a NBC TV movie on Saturday night which was believe it or not was done by Hanna-Barbera Productions called "KISS Meets The Phantom Of The Park" back in September or October of 1978. Check out the A&M Corner Forum on "A Small Circle Of Friends: The A&M Forum" message board at: www.amcorner.com for a feature on the Paul Williams album "Just An Old Fashioned Love Song". Matt

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