Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A-440 Feat. Ted Neeley & Yvonne Iversen - 1978 - Ulysses The Greek Suite

A-440 Feat. Ted Neeley & Yvonne Iversen 
Ulysses The Greek Suite

01. Greetings From Olympus    4:50
02. Ulysses Theme    2:44
03. Interlude    1:00
04. Island Of The Lotus Eaters    6:30
05. Ithaca    4:22
06. Interlude    0:44
07. Polyphemus (Island Of The Cyclops)    3:33
08. What Will I Say    3:43
09. Circe's Theme    3:20
10. Never Had A Woman On My Mind (For More Than A Day)    3:22
11. Free Them    3:10
12. Hades (Circe's Reprise)    2:35
13. Interlude    0:19
14. Your Journey's End (The Sirens)    3:27
15. Your Mind Is A Door    3:50
16. Scylla    1:50
17. Find Yourself    4:22
18. Charybdis (Instrumental)    2:05
19. Take It From One Who Knows    3:16
20. Promises I Made To Me    3:45
21. Pardon My Tears (Prelude)    2:56
22. Plea To Ithaca    3:54
23. One Thing Sure To Get You There    2:56
24. Finale    0:50

Michael Rapp: Keyboards
Ted Neeley: Vocals
Yvonne Eversen: Vocals

Acoustic Guitar – Peter Klimes
Backing Vocals – Channen Junge, Cindy Snyder, Grant Goracy
Bass – Bob Gross, Craig Meacham
French Horn – Darrel Gardner
Guitar – Carlos Luevano
Harmonica – Peter Klimes
Harp – Maureen Love
Narrator – David Arias
Percussion – Billy Myers, Ian Hoffman
Saxophone – Lee Secard
Steel Guitar – Jim Eaton
Trumpet – Darrel Gardner

A-440 appears to have been a studio entity built around the talents of writer/keyboardist Michael Rapp.  Produced by J.J. Jorgensen A-440's debut came in the form of  a rather bizarre 1978 effort entitled "Ulysses, the Greek Suite".  Released for 20th Century Fox, the resulting 23 track, double album set was clearly intended as a concept piece built on ancient Greek mythology. Written and arranged by keyboardist Rapp, musically the set showcased the talents of singers Ted Neeley (who'd previously released several solo efforts and starred in the film "Jesus Christ Superstar") and Yvonne Iverson.  Neeley wasn't half bad, displaying a nifty gruff voice that was well suited for more mainstream rock (the MOR Ambrosia-styled 'Ithaca'). Recalling Yvonne Elliman, Iverson wasn't as impressive, though it didn't matter since her performances were scattered far and wide ('Polyphemus (Island of the Cyclops)').  Exemplified by material such as the instrumental 'Greetings from Olympus', 'Ulysses Theme' and 'Island of the Lotus Eaters' the collection was heavy on pomposity, complete with spoken word narratives and over-the-top ELP-styled synthesizers and keyboards (check out the instrumental 'Greetings from Olympus'). Hardly something to get excited about, though it would have made for dandy background music when you were studying the Classics and Neeley never dissapoints.  (The album was originally released with an elaborate gatefold sleeve and included a multi page lyric insert.)



  2. The year this album came out, "Peaches" - a favorite well known record store chain was GIVING this album away for free. There was a rack full of copies of it at the exit door. I took one home and listened to it. I enjoyed the instrumental opening but from there it went downhill very fast.