Saturday, February 20, 2016

Back to the 1930's with Film-Tone!

From the sublime of last week's Rodd Keith two-fer, to the ridiculous of this week's Film-Tone mania. I've written before about Film-Tone, in posts which are sadly, now without their downloadable tracks, due to last year's Divshare meltdown. You can read what I've written about the company (without the files) here (that link will include this post, and three others under it). It's also worth noting that Film-Tone apparently had some sort of link with the larger Star-Crest song poem company, whose album products I've posted  multiple times, including here and here

Basically, these companies seem to have existed in the '50's and '60's, producing music which sounded like it was from 30 years earlier. The only Film-Tone releases I'm aware are all EP 45's, featuring a "Vocal Trio" of two men and a woman, backed by a small combo. 

First up is a stereotypical song-poem of longing, perhaps unrequited love, I had a dream. If you close your eyes, you can imagine yourself at a ballroom in 1935, listening and perhaps dancing to the cut-rate group that was all the ownership could afford.

Download: Film Tone Productions: I Had a Dream

Next up is "Have Faith in Love", a religiously inspired lyric from a wife to her husband. Unlike the previous track, I can't even imagine a scenario in which I'd be listening to this material, performed live.

Download: Film Tone Productions: Have Faith in Love
Flipping the record over, we hear "My Every Dream Came True". Here, the band has adopted a light Latin beat which one might have heard, again, in the 1930's, and I find myself back in the ballroom from the first track. I remain confounded, as I always do with this label's material being sung by a mixed group, as the lyrics - many of which tend to be written with one gender in mind, singing to the other - are indiscriminately given to a male singer to sing solo, followed immediately by the group, led by the female singer.

Download: Film Tone Productions: My Every Dream Came True

I'm definitely speaking in relative terms, but the best is saved for last. The one redeeming thing I've found on a few Film-Tone EP's is that there have been a few lyricists who submitted attempts at humorous, or at least clever, lyrics. "You're My Only Problem Now" fits that description, with its comparison of school work (many years ago) with today's relationship issues. And I do like "I ask absolution while I work some solution". It doesn't make up for the stodgy music, but it helps a little bit

Download: Film Tone Productions: You're My Only Problem Now


Kenny said...

Except the female lead, particularly on 'Have Faith in Love', everyone sounds like they took one too many valium tablets. One of the most enervating records ever.

Timmy said...

A very depressing collection of maudlin, hokey droning, complete with vinyl scratches galore. Thanx, but I'll have an overdose of strychnine.

martinf said...

Film Tone Productions: Have Faith in Love -> {"error":{"code":503,"message":"File is not available"}}