Pure Gold 3 is the final set of the NDO double albums, and continues the story of this very special group of musicians from where Pure Gold 2 left off. It also contains some of the last recordings the NDO made before they were disbanded in 1974.
By the late 60’s tastes in music were changing, and the band were increasingly being called on to play arrangements of current pop tunes. This is not to say that the band in any way dropped its high musical standards, indeed according to Bernard Herrmann the ongoing threat of being disbanded may well have had the opposite effect..
1972 was a crossroads in many ways, the Playhouse Theatre became stereo capable, and the sounds produced were superb - they can be clearly heard in CD 2 which contains tracks recorded between 1972 -74. These superb stereo tracks only surfaced recently thanks to Chris Livingstone and the estate of the late Peter Wheeler. Sadly we lost Peter’s brother Geoffrey in December 2013.
Geoffrey not only produced the NDO in its early days, but when he left to go freelance, announced many programmes by the band, including ‘Melody on the Line’ and ‘Make way for Music’. Both will be greatly missed.
The excellence of the sound balancers, the recording engineers and the production team in Manchester contributed to the great success the band enjoyed throughout its long career.
Shortly after the production of the 1972 Vinyl, Bernard Herrmann left the band and was replaced by Alan Moorhouse, with Brian Fitzgerald as his deputy. Alan brought quite a change to the music the Band played - he brought to Manchester the idea of ‘The Marching band’, a unique concept which they embraced, some would say a little tongue in cheek.
‘Hello Dolly’ - CD 2 is one such number.
The NDO was unique amongst Big Bands in that the line up changed very little over it’s 30 years of playing - in addition to that some players could ‘double’ or ‘treble’ on instruments, and that allowed the arrangers a much larger musical canvas to work with. This is what gave it such a distinctive and enjoyable sound.
The freshness of their performance was because many of their recordings were what most bands would call their rehearsal, a second take was not needed - a true mark of excellence.
From all at the NDO project, thank you for your great support, your kind comments about the previous CDs, and above all sending in charity donations now approaching £4000 which have been gratefully received by Children in Need and Nordoff - Robbins music therapy. Our nominated charity for this album is the Musicians Union Benevolent fund.