Yesterday Has Gone-The Songs Of Teddy Randazzo.

Label: Ace Records.

The name Teddy Randazzo means different things to different people.  To some, he’s the singer who had Billboard 100 hits with 1958s Little Serenade, 1960s The Way Of A Clown and Big Wide World in 1963. He featured in  rock revues alongside Chuck Berry and LaVern Baker, and had roles in films including  Hey, Let’s Twist!, The Girl Can’t Help It, Rock, Rock, Rock and Mister Rock and Roll in the late-fifties and early sixties. However, that was just part of the Teddy Randazzo story.

He was also a talented arranger and producer who was known for arrangements that were variously elegiac, ethereal, intimate, intense and often, were dramatic with sweeping strings and featured lyrics that were emotive or ordinary people could be relate to. That was no surprise as Teddy Randazzo was one of the leading songwriters of the sixties and seventies.  He’s the latest inductee into Ace Records’ Songwriter Series, and twenty-five of his songs feature on Yesterday Has Gone-The Songs Of Teddy Randazzo, which was released recently. It’s a reminder of one a great songwriter, arranger and producer who was one of the finest of his generation.

Opening Yesterday Has Gone-The Songs Of Teddy Randazzo is I’m On The Outside (Looking In) by Little Anthony and The Imperials. It was released on DCP in 1964, and features a vulnerable vocal full of emotion. It reached  fifteen on the US Billboard 100 and eight on the US R&B charts and gave the reformed group a hit single.  Little Anthony and The Imperials’ other contribution is a cover of Yesterday Has Gone which although failed to chart, would resonate with many who heard the song.

In 1965, Tim Yuro recorded Yesterday Has Gone which was penned by Bobby Weinstein and  Teddy Randazzo, who was commissioned by Mercury to arranged the session. It features a big, bold and dramatic arrangement that is a perfect backdrop for a vocal that is emotive and powerful.

You Don’t Need A Heart was released by Teddy Randazzo as a single on DCP, in 1965. By then, he was enjoying a successful career as a songwriter and arranger, but delivers a vocal masterclass. The result was one of his finest releases for DCP.

When Tony Orlando released Think Before You Act, which was produced by Teddy Randazzo and released on Atco in 1965, he was still a solo artist. It was only later that he would become the lead singer with Dawn. However, Think Before You Act more than hints at what was to come from the twenty-one year old singer.

When Esther Phillips recorded Let Me Know When It’s Over for Atlantic in 1965, one of her backing vocalists was Tony Orlando. Teddy Randazzo arranged and produced the song, which features lush, sweeping strings and a soul-baring vocal from one of the most underrated singers of her generation Esther Phillips.

The Chairman  Of The Board recorded Rain In My Heart, which was written by Teddy Randazzo and Victoria Pike, and released on Reprise in 1968. It’s a powerful and emotive song that opened Frank SInatra’s Circles’ album, which was also released in 1968.

Jimmy Rice channels the spirit of The King on his rendition of On Or Not At All. Teddy Randazzo cowrote, conducted and arranged the song which was released on Red Bird in 1965.

Teddy Randazzo  cowrote Goin’ Out Of My Head which has been recorded by many artists over the years. This includes  Dionne Warwick. Her soulful and needy cover was produced by Bacharach and David and featured on her 1966 album Very Dionne.

In 1968, The Delfonics recorded Hurt So Bad, which Teddy Randazzo cowrote, for their La La Means I Love You album. It was arranged, conducted and produced by the legendary Thom Bell and is a tantalising taste of the Philly Soul sound.

By 1979, The Stylistics were signed to Mercury and were working with Teddy Randazzo. He cowrote, arranged and produced  Love At First Sight, which is an underrated song from the group’s impressive back-catalogue.

Closing Yesterday Has Gone-The Songs Of Teddy Randazzo is A Million To One by The Manhattans. It was written by Teddy Randazzo and Victoria Pike, and was the title-track to their 1971 album for De-Luxe. Slick and soulful, it’s a reminder of The Manhattans’ trademark sound and style that was successful during the late-sixties and seventies.  It’s also the perfect way to close this lovingly curated compilation.

There’s twenty-five tracks on Yesterday Has Gone-The Songs Of Teddy Randazzo which was recently released by Ace Records and showcase a talented singer, songwriter, arranger and producer at the peak of his powers. These songs were recorded between 1964 and 1979 when the great and good of music wanted to work with the late, great Teddy Randazzo. He wrote, arranged and produced songs for the biggest names in music during that period. 

Proof of that is Yesterday Has Gone-The Songs Of Teddy Randazzo, a lovingly curated compilation that pays homage to one of the great songwriters of his generation. He is a worthy indictee into Ace Records’ Songwriter’s Series and the compilation also showcases his talents as an arranger and producer. The arrangements are elegiac, ethereal, lush, intimate, intense and often, were dramatic and majestic with sweeping strings and lyrics that the listener can relate to. Yesterday Has Gone-The Songs Of Teddy Randazzo is another quality compilation and a welcome addition to the long-running and successful Songwriter’s Series.

Yesterday Has Gone-The Songs Of Teddy Randazzo.

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