Kenneth Williams on Pleasure Bent

"Once in a lifetime a voice emerges from the ranks of mere singers into the spotlight of greatness. Gigli, Frank Sinatra, Mavis Clapthorne and now ... Kenneth Williams. Moreover Ken (or Mr. Williams as he prefers to be called) is not just one voice but many. Inside him are a whole lot of other people fighting to get out. And no wonder. Ted Dicks and I have tried to provide music and words for some of these others, backed up by Barry Booth and his all male ensemble, and the results range from fantastically brilliant to absolute rubbish.

BOADICEA sheds new light on a dark period in English history and PARDON ME, SIR FRANCIS is an eye witness account of the Spanish Armada. Both are historically inaccurate but sung with limpid beauty and flawless phrasing. The haunting nostalgia of THE MESOPOTAMIA TANGO may revive poignant memories for some and it is interesting to note that Mr. Williams had the entire studio floor covered with sand before recording it.

THREE CHEERS FOR CHARLIE is a comment on the contemporary scene, ‘Charlie’ being recognisable as Lord xxxx*, whose recent elevation to the peerage caused such widespread disgust and envy. In the same robust vein is ALL TOGETHER, a song originally written for Maria Callas who regretfully decided it was beyond her range.

TOLL THE BELL FOR MINNIE DYER is a folk song but not, for once, about political disturbances in our late lamented colonies. It tells of the love of a simple country girl for her bicycle. However, the rights of an oppressed minority are championed in ABOVE ALL ELSE, the story of a sex starved computer. This cause is very close to Mr. Williams’ heart. Similarly, SPA’S, which he wrote himself, is an outspoken attack on the medical profession based on personal experience. With THE SOUND OF CHILDREN we are in the magical world of the very young. And for those who wish to stay there, or indeed have never left it, THE ITTY BITTY HITTY POTAMUS will give them something to think about. Equally charming is the poem called A BOILED EGG though it is hard to know how to describe A RUNCIBLE EPISODE. Suffice to say it is an episode of a runcible nature with overtones of Lear. (Edward not King).

This L.P. is probably the most astonishing aural experience of the decade ... our thanks to David Platz who produced it, his legal advisers who tried to prevent it and The Conglomerated Concrete Co. for lending us their sand.
Myles Rudge
*(xxxx, deleted pending legal action)

Pardon Me, Sir Francis
Above All Else
Itty Bitty Hitty Potamus
The Sound of Children
The Mesopotamia Tango
Minnie Dyer
A Boiled Egg
Three Cheers for Charlie
A Runcible Episode
All Together
playlist image
JW Player goes here