Yellowstone and Voice


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1972)

- Peter Papini (aka Peter Yellowstone) -- vocals, guitar

- Steve Voice -- vocals guitar

 

  supporting musicians:

- Tony Campo -- keyboards

- Clem Cattini -- drums, percussion

- Malcolm Gates -- bass

 

 

 

- Revolver (Steve Voice)

- Steve Voice (solo efforts)

 

 

 


 

Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Yellowstone and Voice

Company: Regal Zonophone

Catalog: SRZA 8511
Year:
 1972

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 776

Price: $120.00

 

Having listened to this album a couple of times, I'm was initially at a loss to explain why its pretty high on the collectibles scale.   My initial take was vapid, throwaway pop and while that's still a pretty apt description for set, repeated spins have shown me some of the album's subtle charms.   It isn't perfect and won't appeal to a big cross section of folks, but ...   well there will be some pop fans that find it charming.

 

left to right Peter Papini (Yellowstone) - Steve Voice

 

Yellowstone and Voice were a short-lived UK duo featured the talents of singers/guitarists Peter Papini (aka Peter Yellowstone) and Steve Voice.   Papini had previously enjoyed some minor success as a songwriter (marketing his material to Italian pop singers).  In 1972 the pair somehow attracted the attention of the British Parlophone label which financed and released their debut single:

 

  

- 1972's 'Philosopher' b/w 'The Flying Dutchman' (Parlophone catalog number R 5965)

 

By the time they released their follow-up 45, they were signed to Regal Zonophone which took advantage of the debut's single's commercial success to release an album.   Co-produced by Ellis Elias and Roberto Danova, 1972's "Yellowstone and Voice" showcased a collection of highly orchestrated, ballad-heavy pop tunes.   Largely written by Papini and lyricist Jane Schwartz, tracks like 'Old Man Jack', 'Thinking About You and Me' and 'Nowhere Like Home' were perfectly suited for mid-'70s European top-40 radio.  Commercial, but immensely sappy ('Grandmother Says' may have been the worst of the lot),  anyone with a taste for Brotherhood of Man, The George Baker Selection, Terry Jacks (yeah I know he was Canadian), or The Les  Humphries Singers was likely to find this up their aural alley.  That said, these guys weren't without talent (check out the opening tune 'Days To Remember').  They both had nice voices and each had a knack for crafting commercial McCartney-styled melodies ('Lonely Man' literally sounded like a McCartney outtake).   Unfortunately, the heavy orchestration and touchy-feely subject matter frequently reduced it to Harry Chapin-styled cringe-inducing. Shamed they didn't shake it up with a couple of up-tempo numbers.  Could have been a dynamite set.

 

"Yellowstone and Voice" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Days To Remember   (Yellowstone - Jane Schwartz) - 

Probably the best song on the album, 'Days To Remember' was one of the few songs to team the pair with a straight ahead rock band arrangement (ah - drums) and one of the few tracks to showcase true energy.   Yeah, the song was over orchestrated and the Balalaika  was unnecessary.   Still, it was catchy and radio friendly with some interesting treated vocals.   rating: **** stars

2.) Lonely Man   (Steve Voice) - 

Voice was probably lucky he didn't get slapped with a plagiarism suit for lifting Paul McCartney's everyday-man sound.   Giving credit where due, Voice had the smarts to borrow from the best and as a slice of imitation the result was actually quite enjoyable (nice horn arrangement).  rating: **** stars

3.) Old Man Jack  (Yellowstone - Jane Schwartz) - 

With a sensitive singer/songwriter lyric, 'Old Man Jack' was the kind of tune that Harry Chapin would have loved to record.   Nice bass line, but the rest of the song was forgettable.   rating: ** stars

4.) Thinking About You and Me  (Yellowstone) - 

'Thinking About You and Me' was another track with a distinctive McCartney flavor ...  actually it sounded like McCartney recording a demo for Mary Hopkins.   About half of the song was simply horrible, but the title chorus and the Balalaika  riff saved it from the creative waste bin.  rating: *** stars

5.) Philosopher  (Yellowstone - Jane Schwartz) - 

Their claim to commercial success ...  'Philosopher' was a pretty, radio-friendly pop ballad with some typically "deep" '70s lyrics.   In other words it was a perfect song to play while you were gazing at your bellybutton.   The heavy orchestration and Up With People vibe didn't do a great deal for my ears, but it was a massive hit, so what do I know ...     rating: *** stars  

6.) Nowhere Like Home  (Yellowstone) - 

And by the time you got to 'Nowhere Like Home' the pair's hyper-sensitive singer/songwriter sound started to wear out its welcome.   Sure, the song was pretty enough (another one with a McCartney-styled melody), but you were left to wonder why they couldn't shake things up a touch.   rating: *** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) Lady Rita  (Yellowstone -
Jane Schwartz) - 

Side two opened up with the Beatles-esque 'Lady Rita'.   Too much orchestration and a goofy lyric (falling in love with a 500 year old ghost), but underneath it was a tasty pop tune complete with harpsichord (I'm a sucker for the instrument) and a nice bass line.   rating: **** stars

2.) Come On Out  (Yellowstone - Jane Schwartz) - 

Pretty, but forgettable radio-friendly mid-tempo ballad.  A couple of minutes after it was over, other than the tasteful lead guitar,  I couldn't remember anything about it.   rating: ** stars

3.) Grandmother Says  (Yellowstone - Steve Voice - Jane Schwartz) - 

How 'Grandmother Says' became a hit is a completely mystery to me - with the pair slapping on their best Bee Gees accents, the song was a completely sappy and cloying ballad.  Seriously dangerous to anyone who was diabetic ...   rating: ** stars

4.) The Flying Dutchman  (Yellowstone - Jane Schwartz) - 

I think I would have liked this ballad were it not for the irritating, operatic backing female vocal.   This one actually reminded me of something Chris DeBurgh ('Lady In Red') might have recorded (sans the heavy orchestration).  rating: *** stars

5.) Goodbye  (Yellowstone - Steve Voice) - 

'Goodbye' was interesting for sounding like a mash-up of The Beatles and The Left Banke - something off of "Magical Mystery Tour" meets Baroque pop ...   probably a bit lightweight for most folks, but not without a certain charm.   rating: *** stars

 

As mentioned, the album included the earlier hit and a follow-up single::

- 1972's 'Grandmother Says' b/w 'Thanking About You and Me' (Regal Zonophone catalog number RZ 3065)

 

The second Regal Zonophone single even saw a US release:

 

- 1973's 'Grandmother Says' b/w 'Stay' (MGM catalog number K 14632)

 

 

The album did little commercially and never saw a US release, though Regal Zonophone released a  follow-up non-LP 45:

 

- 1973's 'Well Hello' b/w  'Memories' (Regal Zonophone catalog number RZ 3073)

 

Signed by EMI, the company reissued the last Regal Zonophone 45, followed by two more non-LP singles before the duo calling it quits in 1974.

 

  

- 1973's 'Well Hello' b/w  'Memories' (EMI EMI catalog number EMI 2074)

- 1974's 'Super Duper Star' b/w 'Someday Someday' (EMI catalog number EMI 2111)

- 1974's 'Do Me Good' b/w 'Stay J' (EMI catalog number EMI 2193)

 

 

 

 

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