Respect -- The 1968 Capitol Hit Recordings

BB 003CD BB 003CD

Originally reissued on the Bureau B label in 2006. Presenting Helmut Zacharias' Zacharias Plays The Hits, originally released in 1969 and re-titled Respect -- The 1968 Capitol Hit Recordings, including one bonus track. Known as the perennially-perky virtuoso violinist, Helmut Zacharias was on the roster of the English EMI label, recording string interpretations of contemporary hits in his own inimitable style. Originally established as more of an exponent of easy listening in his native Germany, on these sessions he tucks his violin under his chin and, with a wonderfully-primed orchestra behind him, shows just how effortlessly sexy, laid-back, swinging and groovy pop song arrangements can be. Zacharias leads us from Otis Redding's "Respect" via Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man" all the way to The Doors' "Light My Fire." This musical reissue is housed in a high-quality digipack, complete with a comprehensive 20-page booklet featuring previously-unpublished photographs and detailed liner notes. Helmut's youngest son, the film composer Stephan Zacharias, delved into his father's archives and his findings offer a fascinating insight into the making of the album. The sound engineer on duty in Cologne's EMI studios also casts his mind back to the sessions, while the original American liner notes are no less remarkable -- not only for their cavalier attitude to facts, as their switching of Mozart and Beethoven's birthdays to suit their Zacharias narrative reveals. They also turn "The Magic Violin" into a "talking" violin -- but no matter, the music remains intact and as impressive as it was in 1968. High time to set the record straight that violins ARE cool and honor one of Germany's finest and most playful violinists.