Billy Fury – Wondrous Place

2020 will mark the 80th anniversary of the birth of British rocker Billy Fury. Fury was known for hits such as ‘Maybe Tomorrow’, ‘Halfway to Paradise’ and ‘Jealousy’, and fondly remembered by Pop and Rock music fans alike. Following on from Tommy Steele, Billy Fury is the next artist to feature on Bear Family Records‘ ‘The Brits Are Rocking’ CD series; is this new 34 track compilation worth picking up?

The album features tracks recorded on Decca Records between 1958 and 1964. The decision to bypass the ‘Best Of’ format and highlight the more upbeat rocking side of Fury’s repertoire may seem unusual, but it is refreshing. Some big ballads might be absent, but there is still a nice selection of well-known recordings. Bear Family have included eight of the masters from Fury’s 1960 debut album The Sound Of Fury, alongside other tracks including early B-side ‘Gonna Type A Letter’, the glorious dark-toned ‘Wondrous Place’ and his rip-roaring version of ‘Nothin’ Shakin’. Each track shows off Billy’s talent for a strong vocal that one could compare to Elvis Presley. If it might seem like each recording represents the shift in production over a short period, but Fury’s attitude is consistent.

Two of the more obscure recordings originate from the soundtrack of Fury’s 1962 film ‘Play It Cool’, the title track and ‘The Twist Kid’; The former is an ice-cold attempt at an American Pop while the other sports an effect-laden sound that jumps right out of the speakers. Five tracks originate from a live album recorded in 1963 at Decca Studios. Backed by The Tornados, these tracks are a nice addition and add some rawness to proceedings. Covers they may be, but Fury puts his stamp on them.

A Little Something Extra…

Cased in a standard CD case, the package includes an illustrated 34-page booklet with liner notes by Ashley Wood. The write-up is extensive, telling the story of the career of Fury. The attention to detail, as always, is just what any fan of Fury would want. The included discography, compiled by Nico Feuerbach and Ashley Wood, contains useful information on individual tracks.

Conclusion:

Bear Family Records have compiled a compilation that showcases the more upbeat area of Billy Fury’s catalogue. Excluding some of his biggest hits seems like a risky idea for a compilation, but there is enough to satisfy even a casual fan. The sound quality is mostly good, with any defects down to the original source material. If you’re looking for something to supplement a greatest hits package, this could be it!

Promo Video.
Tracklisting:
  1. Gonna Type A Letter
  2. Baby How I Cried
  3. Comin’ Up In The World
  4. Wondrous Place
  5. Don’t Leave Me This Way
  6. Colette
  7. Keep Away
  8. Running Around
  9. Bumble Bee
  10. Nothin’ Shakin’ (But The Leaves On A Tree)
  11. My Advice
  12. Don’t Say It’s Over
  13. Unchain My Heart
  14. Sticks And Stones
  15. Twist Kid
  16. Push Push
  17. Baby Come On
  18. What Did I do
  19. If I Lose You
  20. One Kiss
  21. Play It Cool
  22. Sweet Little Sixteen
  23. Don’t Knock Upon My Door
  24. That’s Love
  25. Don’t Jump
  26. Tell Me How Do You Feel
  27. Talkin’ In My Sleep
  28. I’d Never Find Another You
  29. I’m Moving On
  30. It’s You I Need
  31. Phone Call
  32. Turn My Back On You
  33. Alright, Goodbye
  34. You’re Having The Last Dance With Me
Wondrous Place: The Brits Are Rockin’ Vol 2 is available to order from Bear Family Records.

Wondrous Place - Billy Fury

9

Rating

9.0/10

Jamie Dyer

Jamie Dyer is an experienced writer, broadcaster, musician and social media marketer. He enjoys Old Time Radio, vintage TV, collecting vinyl and supporting the New York Knicks.

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