Tony Hatch

Hatchbox: The Original Album Collection

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Though Tony Hatch is most well-known as a producer of hit British '60s pop/rock records (particularly for Petula Clark and the Searchers), he also put out quite a number of records (most of them instrumental) under his own name. In fact, as exorbitantly sized as this six-CD set is, it doesn't even include all of the albums he did for Pye between the mid-'60s and mid-'70s. Hatch Box does, however, contain six of them: 1965's The Tony Hatch Sound, 1966's A Latin Happening, 1967's Beautiful in the Rain, 1968's The Two of Us (a vocal effort, billed to both Tony Hatch and his wife Jackie Trent), 1970s Sounds of the 70s, and 1974's Hit the Road to Themeland. Like some other producer-as-artist albums of the time (George Martin's probably being the most widely known), much of the material simply offers easy listening orchestral pop versions of '60s pop/rock hits, some originally produced by Hatch, some not. Far from being novel twists on the familiar versions, they seem more like dilutions of the originals to pick up some sales from an adult market that didn't like rock music. Hatch also used Latin jazz rhythms (especially on A Latin Happening and Sounds of the 70s), as well as doing an entire record of film and TV themes (Hit the Road to Themeland), though these also seem intended primarily to pick up sales from the very casual buyer of background music, and not as serious artistic statements. Sounds of the 70s is about the best of these records, as it actually does have some jazzy period lounge/go-go music that's funkier than the norm. But none of the records are too worthwhile or creative, though if you go in a big way for this sort of thing, this multi-disc set does benefit from liner notes featuring comments on each album by Hatch himself.

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