- Paddington Bear's Gold Record
Paddington Bear's Gold Record is a musical recording released in
1984by Audiotrax Records. The color of the record (LP) itself is actually a transparent sort of lime yellow. An audio tape was released simultaneously; both record and tape had the same cover picture of Paddington Bearin his classic blue coat and hat, waiting for someone to want to look after him.
The fifteen songs included on the recording detail many incidents in the books about Paddington written by
Michael Bond. The songs come from the musical Paddington Bear's Magical Musical which was written by Shirlie Roden. The musical premiered in Reading, Berkshirein 1983. Since it was written and recorded in the 1980's, listeners have the benefit of creative use of synthesizers on some pieces, imitation hard rock on others, and a variety of musical styles on the rest--the rock ballad, the waltz, and do-wop.
The track-listing for this release differs slightly on side B from the official release to accompany the musical.
The voice talent recruited for this album is fitting and effective. A warm, earnest tenor sings as the voice of Paddington. A snide singer voices the angry neighbor in one song. A cheesy but resonant soprano sings the ballads.
The songs included on the album are as follows:
*"Please Look After This Bear"
A heartfelt duet pleading for someone to follow the directions on Paddington's tag and look after him. Includes background information about the Bear in question, including his love of marmalade and his tendency to get into scrapes.
*"Down in Darkest Peru"
With the help of a scary-sounding refrain, Paddington sings about what his former country was like: "The sun was hot and you would sizzle with a frazzle."
*"Do the Duffle"
A rare song unrelated to anything Paddington-ish, this is a fun little 50's dance-type number encouraging you to "paint the whole town red."
*"Marmalade 'n Me"
With the help of a back-up chorus, Paddington proclaims that "Marmalade 'n me, we're the best of friends/we stick with each other to the stickiest end"--who knew breakfast jam had such a do-wop flair?
With an ache in his voice to break your heart, Paddington dramatizes through song his time of becoming a snowbear (covering himself in snow). Unfortunately, this makes his neighbor, Mr. Curry, angry, and Mr. Curry sings a thumping interlude, then whirls away as Paddington is once again alone and mourning that "snowbears are icy, they shiver and shake...they try not to cry...I think I'd rather not be a lonely Snowbear."
*"Is This Goodbye"
Another song that could be construed as not about Paddington, it is sung by the soprano, beginning with the line "I can't bear to say goodbye, good friends like you and I should not part; I know." Perhaps it is an imagining of what Paddington thought when at times he got it into his head to leave the Browns.
A fun, synthesizer-rich piece expounding the joys of Paddington's favorite place to shop, Portobello Market. He sings alternately with a chorus.
*"That Bear"Sung by a wry soprano, this upbeat number fondly recalls all the times Paddington has gotten into scrapes--and yet he's still lovable. Of course, not all his lovable traits are bad: "Show me anyone shopping with a shilling/ who can make a bargain better? That Bear!"
Paddington sings this 3/4 ode to his wellies, those rubber boots that make his paws in "heaven" and a rival for Fred Astaire.
Not for the faint of heart, Paddington again joins a chorus to get you into shape with "4-3-2-1, we're keeping fit with Paddington."
Paddington and Mr. Gruber mourn the sad day that is a bunless Friday.
One of the few unclear songs, Paddington and chorus narrate the story of a soccer match where Paddington somehow saves the day by pinch-hitting.
*"Never Go Out Without a Label"
Aunt Lucy makes a cameo appearance with some of her sound advice to never go out without a label.
*"Cross My Paws and Hope to Die"
Paddington belts out the final tune to this unknown gem of a recording. The chorus says it all: "Cross my paws and hope to die/I cannot tell a bear-faced lie/Everything you offered/From you to me forever/with your love."
A lyrics sheet was not included with either recording. Several words are unintelligible either through accent or poor enunciation.
It is currently unknown what the talent that made this recording accomplished elsewhere in the world.
[http://www.shirlieroden.com/paddington.php Paddington Bear's Magical Musical]
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