The self-destructive tortured-artist routine was bullshit when Kurt Cobain did it, it was bullshit when Elliott Smith did it, and it's bullshit now. As anyone who's seen the video of Amy Winehouse desperately finger-fumbling her way through "Back to Black" at the MTV Europe Video Music Awards knows, her look-how-messed-I-am public persona is now screwing up her art something fierce. So instead of a new record, Americans are now getting a modified version of Frank , her first album, originally released four years ago and subsequently dissed by the artist herself.
Its two weakest links, "Know You Now" and a pointless cover of standard "Moody's Mood for Love", have been yanked out of the original running order and appended as hidden penalty tracks. Winehouse has a hell of a voice, even when she imitates her favorite jazz vocalists-- especially Billie Holiday-- much too closely.
Just in case anybody misses the idea that she's supposed to be a jazz singer who's somehow stumbled into a neo-soul record, Frank begins with a little fragment of Winehouse scat-singing, and the chorus of "October Song" doesn't just namedrop Sarah Vaughan but lifts its melody from "Lullaby of Birdland". Soon after, she began working for a living, including, at one time, as an entertainment journalist for the World Entertainment News Network , in addition to singing with local group the Bolsha Band.
When he asked who the singer was, the manager told him he was not allowed to say. Having decided that he wanted to sign her, it took several months of asking around for Beese to eventually discover who the singer was.
However, Winehouse had already recorded a number of songs and signed a publishing deal with EMI by this time. She formed a working relationship with producer Salaam Remi through these record publishers. Beese introduced Winehouse to his boss, Nick Gatfield , and the Island head shared his enthusiasm in signing her. Winehouse was signed to Island, as rival interest in Winehouse had started to build to include representatives of EMI and Virgin starting to make moves.
Beese told HitQuarters that he felt the reason behind the excitement, over an artist who was an atypical pop star for the time, was due to a backlash against reality TV music shows, which included audiences starved for fresh, genuine young talent.
In a interview with The Observer , Winehouse expressed dissatisfaction with the album, stating:. Some things on this album make me go to a little place that's fucking bitter. I've never heard the album from start to finish. I don't have it in my house. Well, the marketing was fucked, the promotion was terrible. Everything was a shambles. It's frustrating, because you work with so many idiots—but they're nice idiots.
So you can't be like, "You're an idiot. In the liner notes for Winehouse's album Lioness: Hidden Treasures , producer Salaam Remi wrote about the track "Half Time", an outtake from the recording sessions for Frank , and revealed that Frank ' s title refers partly to Frank Sinatra , an early influence on Winehouse.
In , the album was re-released as a deluxe edition, including an track bonus disc of rare tracks, remixes, B-sides and live performances. Following the release of the critically acclaimed documentary film about Winehouse, Amy , Frank was reissued on vinyl on 31 July by Republic Records.
Frank received generally positive reviews from contemporary music critics. At Metacritic , which assigns a normalised rating out of to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 78, based on 11 reviews. Club ' s Nathan Rabin commended its loose, organic songcraft and wrote that it "features languid, wide-open neo-soul grooves and jazzy vamping". And then some". Frank debuted at number 61 on the Billboard in the United States, selling 22, copies in its opening week.
Credits adapted from the liner notes of Frank. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Amy Winehouse. Isham Jones Marty Symes. Winehouse Luke Smith. Winehouse Jony Rockstar [a]. Winehouse Matt Rowe Stefan Skarbek. Winehouse Howard Paul Watson L. Smith Williams E.
Winehouse Jimmy Hogarth. Smith Teodross Avery D. Winehouse Rockstar [a]. Winehouse Williams E. Smith Cooper D. Winehouse Howard Watson L. Smith Cole Cooper D. Smith Avery D. George Gershwin Ira Gershwin. Howard Paul Simm. Sammy Cahn Gene de Paul. Bernard D. Hanighen Thelonious S. Monk Charles "Cootie" Williams. The Guardian. Retrieved 14 February The New York Times. Archived from the original on 20 May Retrieved 15 May Retrieved 13 February Lioness: Hidden Treasures liner notes.
Island Records. I had this amazing track, 'Half Time', that we had worked on during the Frank sessions. In fact she mentions Frank Sinatra in the song, and although it never made the album, was actually one of the reasons why she named her debut album Frank.
Rolling Stone. Retrieved 11 February Access All Areas. Archived from the original on 15 February Retrieved 23 July LondonJazz News. Retrieved 17 August In New York it was more professional, we were trying to get photos for the sleeve and I was given this brief to make it look as London-like as possible. We researched locations in the day, but there was this huge thunderstorm so we had to stay back at the hotel for most of the evening!
Me and Amy drank wine for about seven hours and she played me her demos, which sounded remarkable, and we then went back out, slightly drunk, in the early hours of the morning and I got the shot of her on a yellow telephone. You worked with Amy right at the beginning of her career, but I know you stayed in touch later on.
Did it surprise you how much things exploded with Back to Black? I remember finding out that the paparazzi would camp outside her house.
When she opened the door they would try to hand her a bottle of vodka so they could get the perfect photograph for the morning spread. It all had a horrific effect on her. The intrusion was quite staggering. She was just enjoying life and loved to create and laugh.
She would happily sit and watch Sex and the City for hours on end; just a normal year-old really! She did all her own make-up, clothing and hair so I was just trying to capture her in her natural state. It was just the two of us so it was raw, and I think that worked best for her. Later on there was too many people. When you bring in all these stylists and rail upon rail of clothing, it overcomplicates things and Amy found all that exhausting.
Unfortunately, people still get lost in the tragic romanticism of Amy Winehouse. Rather than celebrate her artistry, they get lost in her darker side, which was largely driven by the media.
Do you hope your Frank photos can show Amy and her legacy in a different light to future generations? I got a brief glimpse of a pre-frame Amy starting out and dipping her toe in the waters, someone really feeling the thrill of making music for the first time. I guess my photos capture someone at a point of pure beginning. The reason I decided to go back and re-introduce these photos to the public was to re-balance that negative image of her that had been created.
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