Four decades after its release, “Peter And The Wolf” still stands out as a prime example of translating a symphonic opus into rock idiom, with an all-star cast of musicians delivering blistering, if often overlooked performances. Not hoping to repeat its success but pursuing his creative dream, the record’s mastermind, saxophonist Jack Lancaster, has a similar project in his hands now, set for release next week. As its title suggests, “Carnival Of The Animals” is loosely based on Saint-Saens’ work, just like “Peter” was on Prokofiev’s, yet there’s also influences from William Blake and Anatol France on this albums whose performers include the “Wolf” luminaries Phil Collins and Gary Brooker, while among the instrumentalists are Rod Argent, Wayne Kramer, John G. Perry, Jack’s former BLODWYN PIG colleague Mick Abrahams and, in probably his last ever cameo, Jackie Lomax.
It’s going to be a partly charitable project, a percentage of the profits going to the WWF – and here’s why.
Explains Jack Lancaster:
“After ‘Peter And The Wolf’ was finished and released by RSO, I wondered how I was going to follow it up. Having just returned from Africa, I hit on the idea of recording an ecology album based on ‘Carnival of the Animals.’ However, generally people were not as interested in eco subjects as they are today, so I hit a few road blocks and ended up making the instrumental album ‘Marscape” with friends, while the band eventually became BRAND X.
For many years after I mulled the idea over in my head but did nothing until recently. All of the tracks were written and recorded within the last couple of years, with one exception: ‘The Whale’s Song.’ Phil Collins’ vocal was originally recorded in the early Eighties. I did manage to preserve the master in perfect condition and remixed and mastered it a couple of months ago. It fits in perfectly with the new material and sounds as if it was recorded yesterday. I’m currently making a video with this song.”
Read the review here.
2. Festival Carnival (lead vocal: Jack Lancaster)
4. We Were Lions
5. Tyger Tyger (lead vocal: Gary Brooker)
6. Tiger Rug
7. Symbiosis (lead vocal: Michael Milner)
9. Doin The Dodo (lead vocal: Michael Milner)
10. Camel Silk Road (lead vocal: Leslie Knauer)
11. The Swan
12. Penguin Island (lead vocal: Michael Milner)
13. The Whale’s Song (lead vocal: Phil Collins)
14. Dinos Fossils & Bones
15. Wild Stag Of Ireland (lead vocal: Anita Mansfield)
16. Primates (lead vocal: Michael Milner)
17. Alligators, Snakes & me
18. Elephant Song
19. B U (lead vocal: Leslie Knauer)