California’s multi-instrumentalist the late Andrew Gold — son of Academy Award-winning composer Ernest Gold (“Exodus”) & singer Marni Nixon (who dubbed vocals for actresses who didn’t sing like Natalie Wood – West Side Story, Audrey Hepburn – My Fair Lady, Deborah Kerr – The King & I). Andrew also produced & played for many famous artists too numerous to mention.
My introduction to Gold was hearing the piano-driven rocker “Lonely Boy,” – Linda Ronstadt on backing vocals at NYC’s Sam Goody’s. Bought it.
Once his record deal ran out Gold produced demos for a new deal. None made the final cut of his 4 new solo LPs. This set has those 16 previously unreleased tunes that are interesting artifacts — on Lonely Boy/Omnivore Records’ – Something New: Unreleased Gold (12-track vinyl drops 4/18 & 16-track CD 4/24).
The majority sound finished & was originally produced by Chuck Plotkin (Bruce Springsteen). Many are Andrew solo, with 4 tracks with Kenny Edwards (guitar/vocals), Peter Bernstein (bass), & Gene Garfin (drums/vocals).
After listening I wondered why Andrew never released these. “Come Down To Me,” is typical Gold. If they never made it to an LP why didn’t his publishing get them to other artists as Bob Dylan does?
In quite a different vocal tone from what became “Lonely Boy,” Gold is folksier with “What You Do Is What You See.” The clarity is good but Gold worked on this tone & showcase.
As far as Andrew not using these I assume by the time he laid these down he sang them so many times the polish wore off. This could’ve been the reason he abandoned them. Not all songs grip but they’re demos. The Rolling Stones’ original “Start Me Up,” was a reggae demo. Years later it became the rocker that’s familiar. Some tunes are clearly not where Andrew went musically, but only he knows why. Dylan wrote a 1/3 of his “Wagon Wheel,” before other writers finished it. Darius Rucker made it a hit. I don’t hear Dylan in that song & Dylan didn’t hear it either.
“Prisoner,” doesn’t sound like Gold but he may have been stretching. It has a good progression. The best of Gold are piano-driven (“Timothy Corey” & “Penny Arcade”). The pop quality is evident (“Resting In Your Love”). But the approach is mundane at times with good ideas evident at the surface but undeveloped. Again, they’re demos. Many singer-songwriters like Bruce McPherson, David McWilliams, Michael Dinner & Larry Weiss had many good songs in the can but never used. Maybe they didn’t fit their LP themes. Lyrics are good but solid melodies come harder. There’s no “Lonely Boy” here.
It may be the reason Gold recorded 3 covers on “What’s Wrong With This Picture?” But, this LP ends on a high note with the solo piano song with Elton John muscle: “To Be Someone.” A real good ballad the late Leon Russell or Nicolette Larson could’ve covered. Could have…