Can-Con 45 Of The Day - February 14

Can-Con 45 Of The Day - February 14

Postby radiofan » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:13 pm

Today's Can-Con 45 is from 1970 ... Vancouver's Tom Northcott and his hit version of Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going To Rain Today" ...

Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Re: Can-Con 45 Of The Day - February 14

Postby Richard Skelly » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:20 pm

Oh that I had sprung for the $3.99 sale price and snatched up a copy of Tom Northcott’s Upside Downside album back in 1971. It was the pop-folk troubador’s last major studio album with well-produced interpretations of other composers’ work plus a couple of Northcott originals. A 1970 single, Tom’s version of I Think It’s Going To Rain Today by Randy Newman, along with his subsequent album take of Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne, helped get him a 1971 best male vocalist Juno Awards nomination. As well, he vied for best folk artist. Tom lost in both categories to Gordon Lightfoot and Bruce Cockburn respectively. But it was still an honour to be in the running.

Fun fact. According to there have been 87 versions (including Newman’s own) of I Think It’s Going To Rain Today. Over the decades, Judy Collins, “Babs” Streisand, Joe Cocker and Bette Miller (just to name a few) have covered the hymn-like opus. Yet only Tom Northcott and England’s UB40 released singles that charted decently.

Tom’s version was co-produced by Barry De Vorzon. Previously part of Barry & The Tamarlanes, De Vorzon had past connections to both Vancouver and Tom Northcott. As head of Valiant Records, LA-based De Vorzon signed The Collectors who released in Canada on the New Syndrome label that Tom co-owned. De Vorzon co-produced Looking At A Baby for The Collectors plus its followup Fisherwoman. When Valiant subsequently merged with Warner Bros Seven Arts, The Collectors and Tom joined the Warners roster.

Tom subsequently signed to the Uni label, part of what became MCA. I’ve googled in vain for recording information on Upside Downside. If memory serves, at least some of the tracks were laid down in Vancouver at Studio 3 with local session players. Located in Kitsilano near the old Carling O’Keefe brewery, Studio 3 was co-owned by Tom. But I can’t learn whether “Rain” was assembled in Los Angeles or if Barry De Vorzon flew to Vancouver to oversee the sessions. Great performance, though.
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