Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Mitch pitch

Nothing says that PRs have confidence in their product like them sending out a press release announcing the imminent release of an album eight days ago.

So it is that an email arrives heralding last week's debut of Mitch Winehouse's album, Rush Of Love.

Mitch Winehouse, former cab driver and father to one of the UK's biggest music exports is about to prove the critics wrong with the release of his debut album 'Rush Of Love' on April 5th 2011.
Well, yes. The critics who said 'he'll never be allowed to release an album' will be proved wrong.

Father to a big music export. Is that really the best way they could think of to introduce the 'he's Amy's dad' bit? Not 'one of the UK's favourite singers', not even 'one of Britain's biggest-selling acts'. But focusing on her appeal to the export market, like she's up there with Rolls Royce aircraft engines and cluster bombs.
At the age of 59, Mitch is turning a life-long ambition into reality, showcasing his in-depth knowledge and sheer passion for jazz and swing music with this 11-track debut featuring a host of rarely uncovered classics as well as four brand new tracks.
Showcasing his knowledge? Isn't that something better done in a pub quiz? You'll note the release doesn't suggest he's showcasing any talent. Just knowledge and passion.

I'm not sure you turn ambition into reality, either - don't you achieve an ambition, or turn a dream into reality? Ambition, surely, is real in its own right - look at people going on Big Brother; they have ambition, and they have reality. But they don't always achieve their reality.

And, no, I have no idea what a "rarely uncovered classic" is, apart from a phrase that you'd have removed if you proof-read the email before sending it out. Surely they didn't mean to boast that Mitch has turned in an album full of songs which are always being rerecorded? ("At long last - the sixteenth cover of Mustang Sally this week...")
"We love singing in our family" Mitch explains, "I was always singing at home. But this is a dream come true and musically, it's a great album."
Again, this is worded oddly. The singer is saying that, musically, it's a great album. What other criteria would you be judging it by? "From a geometric point of view, the circularity is excellent."
Despite his own undeniable music talent, Mitch is also realistic about the assumptions that will be made about his newfound career choice:

"If Amy wasn't my daughter I wouldn't be given this opportunity. I'm not stupid, I know that. But if I couldn't sing I wouldn't have been given the opportunity either."
If Mitch is admitting it as a fact, then it isn't an assumption, is it?

Still, fair play to Mitch for admitting he's got the job on pretty much the grounds that he's famous-by-reverse-injection, although he's on shaky ground with the belief that people only get to make records if they're great at singing. To be fair, he's not bad, but... well, the 'being Amy's dad' swung the project, not the 'able to sing a bit' part.
Teaming up with old family friend Tony Hiller, writer of 'Save Your Kisses For Me' and hundreds of other jazz and pop standards...
Too many others to list, or even mention. Should we assume that Save Your Kisses For Me was the highpoint?

That would be unfair. The man who wrote the England World Cup Squad's Whole Wide World At Our Feet and, erm, rewrote Save All Your Kisses For Me for Pepperoni? He's got a catalogue.
... was another logical step for Mitch who has, quite obviously, had the time of his life researching and compiling his music debut.
That's sweet. Seriously, I might be a cynical old hector but it is clear that this is something Winehouse is really passionate about. It's just a bit like late period Fred Dibnah, though; why do we have to be drawn into his hobby?
Mitch also pays homage to Frank Sinatra with 'Close Your Eyes', "...a beautiful jazz song, but a less known Sinatra song," Mitch enthuses, "Stacey Kent does it, but I've never heard anyone else and it's just wonderful."
According to Wikipedia, it's also been done by Harry Belafonte. Oh, and Doris Day. And Vic Damone. Queen Latifah did a cover, as did Nancy Wilson, Liza Minelli, Peggy Lee, Betty Carter, Tony Bennett, Oscar Peterson, Humphrey Littleton and Ella Fitzgerald. And the Commedian Harmonists had a go, too. Somehow, Mitch seems to have missed all those versions in his research.
The album also features the 1931 Bing Crosby classic 'I Apologize', and 'Day by Day', also later recorded by Crosby in 1946 as well as by Doris Day in the same year.
You know what? I'd pay to hear an album where that sentence was read out loud.
'You Go To My Head' has been re-worked by such fans ranging from Billie Holiday to Rod Stewart.
That one doesn't even make any sense. To be fair, you know what they mean, but you shouldn't have to rework a press release into English.
Finally, the popular 'April In Paris,' taken from the 1932 Broadway musical 'Walk A Little Faster' and later performed by the likes of Louis Armstrong, is given the Mitch makeover.
It's not meant to sound like a threat. Honestly, it isn't.


Dave Heasman said...

The album also features the 1931 Bing Crosby classic 'I Apologize'

which charted in the 60s with a ghastly version by P J Proby. V obscure.

Mikey said...

It's not just press releases. Everywhere I look, I see evidence of deskilling, cheap labour, and slipshod education.

I sometimes wonder if the Daily Mail has got it right.

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