This is one of the Decca stereo recordings of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas that does not include dialog. Thanks to the popularity of the work, it is familiar enough that missing the few plot points that occur in dialog doesn't hurt it. However, this is a somewhat disappointing performance and recording by the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company compared to the others in this series of reissues. Longtime principal comedian John Reed is Ko-Ko.
Following Paul Gilbert's last highly successful CD, "Fuzz Universe," "Vibrato" is a hybrid instrumental/vocal CD by an important guitarist regarded internationally as one of the greatest players in the industry. Boasting four phenomenal new instrumentals, four new vocal tunes and three riveting live tracks covering artists such as Yes, Muddy Waters and AC/DC, Gilbert once again proves why he is the guitarist's guitarist.
A sudden switch in image accompanied Gilbert O'Sullivan's second album, 1972's Back to Front and its simultaneously released separate single "Alone Again (Naturally)." Gone was the mischievous little scamp sporting a jaunty cap and hand-me-down tweeds, in was a slick, hairy-chested lothario and along with this visual makeover came an aural overhaul, with O'Sullivan's sprightly show tune-inspired pop sounding slicker than before. And it's not just that Back to Front is given a gloss that would not have seemed out of place on a televised variety show from 1972, it's that O'Sullivan is taking great care to write sprightly theatrical tunes, songs that take great pride in their clever-clever twists, smiling, crowd-pleasing melodies, and the proudly cheeky sentimentality that drips off of “Clair,” to name the most obvious example here. In many ways, the unabashed showbiz cheer of Back to Front trumps the bedsit introspection of Himself: in his heart Gilbert O’Sullivan is a song-and-dance man possessing a way with a snappy hook or tearjerking melody, qualities that are amply – and charmingly – displayed here.