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Flying Pickets

Flying Pickets


The Flying Pickets are commonly regarded as being one of the leading pop a-cappella groups in Europe. Their dynamic stage shows and acclaimed innovative albums have all contributed to their recognition as the undisputed masters of their field. The group was first formed in 1982 by members of the 7:84 Theatre group, a socialist fringe theatre group who used acappella singing in a production called One Big Blow, the story of the 1982 miner's strike in England, from the miner's point of view. They enjoyed the singing so much that they started to work around the pubs and clubs of London, at a time when nobody else in the UK was performing pop/rock based acappella, and found immediate success. The first recording was a live show 'Live at the Albany Empire' on the group's own label, which sold so well that they soon came to the attention of Virgin Records, who signed the group in 1983.

The very first single with Virgin, "Only You", a cover of a recent song by Yazoo, went straight to number 1 in the UK charts and was to remain there for five weeks over the Christmas of 1983 before going on to repeat the success throughout almost every country in Europe. This was soon followed by the Lost Boys album (1984). Two more albums followed - Flying Pickets Live (1986) and Waiting For Trains (1988), but sadly none of the four albums from the eighties are still available, although some of the tracks can be found on the 'Best Of Flying Pickets' album in some countries. In 1989 the group were commissioned to write a musical theatre production for the Theatre Royal Stratford in London, a whole show based on songs about the working life, which they performed for a successful 4-week season. Around the same time, the group also performed the musical score on the BBC TV series Porterhouse Blue.


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Flying Pickets : Only Yule : 1 CD : 

Flying Pickets : Only Yule    onsale

Review: Formed over 30 years ago and one of the very early contemporary a cappella The Flying Pickets are still going strong today and continue to tour extensively across Europe. The group members have changed over the years but the level of excellence has stayed consistent and it easy to tell listening to this fine recording why they have remained popular for all these years. Each one of these Christmas tunes is creatively arranged along with the strong voices makes for a delightful holiday treat. This recording deserves to be in your collection.

Songlist: 2000 Miles, Ding Ding Merrily On High, Shine, Little Drummer Boy, I Believe In Father Christmas, Christmas Present, Very Good King, In The Bleak Mid Winter, Christmas Lullaby, Alleujah, Silent Night, Frosty The Snowman, Only You (And You Alone)

2683c | 1 CD | $6.95 Contemporary Christmas CDs

Flying Pickets : Best of... : 1 CD :  : VIP 115

Listen to
Only You

Flying Pickets : Best of...

Review: This is the second release of the early Flying Pickets. They took their name from the that given protesters who traveled to communities other than their own to man the picket lines during labor protests. On this album are 16 tracks. Though many are studio versions with the great harmonies, swooping choruses and novel rhythmic elements (remember this was BVP-- before vocal percussion) our favorite tracks are the live tracks, David Bowie's "Space Oddity," "Higher and Higher" and the like. The intro to "Summertime" is a Cheech & Chong like parody and positively delights the audience.

Songlist: Only You (And You Alone), I Heard It Though The Grapevine, The Tears Of A Clown, You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin', Sealed With A Kiss, Only The Lonely, Space Oddity, Who's That Girl, When You're Young And In Love, Groovin', Coral Island/Summertime, Buffalo Soldier, I Got You Babe, Summer In The City, Get Off My Cloud, Higher And Higher

2449c | 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella Male Contemporary CDs

Flying Pickets : Everyday

Review: Veteran European Contemporary a cappella quintet The Flying Pickets, known for their innovative arrangements, crisp vocal percussion and clean, flawless harmonies, has long been one of our favorite groups. "Everyday" is the Pickets' much-anticipated 6th winning CD. 12 finely-crafted songs, particularly fine are four originals, two by group member Dylan Foster, "Do It" and "Perfect Day," "Chapel on a cloud" by group member Michael Henry, and "That which can't be explained (ming's lullaby) by Peter Eldridge. Also marvelous are covers of Sheryl Crow's "Everyday Is A Winding Road," Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car," Sting's "Roxanne," James Warren's "Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime," Michael McDonald's "I Keep Forgettin'," Tom Johnson's "Long Runnin'," and Peter Gabriel's "Here Comes The Flood." "Everyday" is anything but, a groundbreaking masterwork that needs to be listened to many times to be fully appreciated, especially by other Contemporary a cappella groups. A confident sound like this is fashioned by years of taking chances, experimentation, a whole lot of performing and recording together, and of achieving artistic maturity individually and as a group. This is one of the best Contemporary CDs we've listened to in a long time!

Songlist: Everyday Is a Winding Road, Fast Car, Love Rears Its Ugly Head, Do It, Everbody's Got To Learn Sometime, Chapel On A Cloud, Roxanne, Perfect Day, I Keep Forgettin', Here Comes the Flood, Long Train Runnin', That Which Can't Be Explained

7437c | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella Male Contemporary CDs

Flying Pickets : Lost Boys

Review: Another CD we were lucky enough to score on import, "Lost Boys" is the second recording by England's Flying Pickets (their first, "Live At The Albany Empire," isn't available any more). One of our favorite European contemporary a cappella groups (though predating the advent of vocal percussion), they emerged from the 'eighties new wave craze with their number one U.K. hit, "Only You," (included on this recording). The Pickets have an honest and soulful sound; their material is always strong - "The Tears Of A Clown," "Who's That Girl" and Dylan's "Masters Of War" are representative - and their arrangements convey the power of the song itself, without any extraneous frippery. Given this discernment, when the sextet does unite and deliver a surging stacked chord, as they do frequently on "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," they really command attention.

Songlist: Remember This, I Heard It Through the Grapevine, Disco Down', So Close, The Tears of a Clown, When You're Young and in Love, Who's That Girl, You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling', Psycho Killer, Wide Boy, Factory, Monica Engineer, Only You (And You Alone), Masters of War

2448c | 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella Male Contemporary CDs

Flying Pickets : Next Generation : 1 CD : 

Flying Pickets : Next Generation

Review: First formed in England in 1982 by members of a socialist fringe theatre group who used a cappella singing in a play about a miner's strike, the Pickets fell in love with the music. They started doing pop/rock a cappella in UK clubs, released a live CD on their own label, which sold so well they were signed by Virgin Records in 1983. The first single with Virgin, "Only You," a cover of a song by Yazoo, was number 1 in the UK and huge in Europe. Four more excellent Contemporary CDs followed. "Live" was recorded at the Fliegende Bauten in Hamburg in 2002, and it shows off the group's forte: dynamic live performances, reminiscent of the Nylons. 14 songs, "I Want It That Way," "Let Me Entertain You," Stephen Stills' "Love The One You're With," Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," a FP original, "Guilty," "When," Seal's "Kiss From a Rose," Sting's "Moon Over Bourbon Street," Stevie Wonder's "As," "Living La Vida Loca," "Eternal Flame," Kool & the Gang's "Celebration," "Mama Lou" and "Only You." We'd love to see this group live!

Songlist: I Want It That Way, Let Me Entertain You, Love the One You're With, Billie Jean, Guilty, When, Kiss From A Rose, Moon Over Bourbon Street, As, Living La Vida Loca, Eternal Flame, Celebration, Mama Lou, Only You (And You Alone)

7381c | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella Male Contemporary CDs

Flying Pickets : The Warning : 1 CD :  : 90 698

Flying Pickets : The Warning

Review: The Flying Pickets are an English male quintet who raised some dust on the English charts in the 1990's. Their CD's can be virtually impossible to find in this country, and indeed, "The Warning," released in 1992 on an Austrian label, had disappeared like a rabbit into a magician's hat! These fifteen contemporary pop songs, in the English "blue-eyed soul vein," feature strong rhythms and vigorous percussion, with vocals that come straight from the gut. Some originals ("The Warning," "No Deposit, No Return," "God We Were Laughing" and others), balance the covers of recognizable hits such as "Billie Jean," "Tainted Love" and "Don't Dream It's Over." Added plus: technically, the production on this CD is superior to some of the group's other recordings, and really opens up their sound.

Songlist: God We Were Laughing, Love is a Wonderful Thing, Breakfast With Aliens, No Deposit, No Return, The Warning, Billy Jean, Don't Dream its Over, Mama Loo, Wonder, Stand Up, Sunny Afternoon, Something Inside So Strong, Master Blaster, Tainted Love, Me and The Fellas

2444c | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella Male Contemporary CDs

Flying Pickets : Volume One : 1 CD : 

Flying Pickets : Volume One

Review: First the original Flying Pickets are not the same quintet that are frequently thought of to be the Flying Pickets; in another example of the machinations that occur between band members, there are in fact two different groups entirely. This CD was released in Europe in 1994, and features a new version of "Only You," their 1983 #1 hit. In terms of sound, the differences between the two Pickets are well, not in name only, but are negligible; uncomplicated arrangements of rock hits ("Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Sign Your Name," "When Doves Cry" etc), performed in a candid style. The name of the group links directly to its working-class origins (a picketer is a striking union worker), and their music is similarly raw and unpretentious. One can imagine them singing at the local pub and having a beer with them later.

Songlist: Under The Bridge, When Doves Cry, Sign Your Name, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Wonderful World, Here, There And Everywhere, Tracks Of My Tears, She Drives Me Crazy, Only You (And You Alone), When You're Young And In Love, Dance The Night Away, Road to Nowhere, Take My Breath Away

2701c | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella Male Contemporary CDs

Flying Pickets : Vox Pop : 1 CD : 

Flying Pickets : Vox Pop

Review: The Pickets have an excellent ear for pop classics and translate them impeccably in the a cappella style, imparting their own unique spin. While some the arrangements remain on the whole true to the original versions, when the Pickets innovate, as they do on Neil Diamond's "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon," the results are even more impressive. "Southern Man" is transformed into a Jamaican reggae number; the only recognizable part is the refrain. The group has a particular knack for writing interesting countermelodies, that diverge and then resolve in unexpected ways. Their vocal approach is relaxed, never strained; the production, smooth and refined. Few groups handle contemporary material as well.

Songlist: Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, Stand by Me, Les Yeux Revolver, Love Is All Around, Stop, Men And Women, No More I Love You's, Stupid Things, Time After Time, Girl You'll Be a Woman Soon, Southern Man, If I Could Fly, Eternal Flame, Dream a Little Dream, The Look in Her Eyes

2441c | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella Male Contemporary CDs

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