The Artful Dodger

Oliver!

Originally the plan was to present these alongside a Small Faces B side, but as you may have noticed Backed with is taking a little breather while I’m off with the birds.  So here without too much further ado are the three cuts from the soundtrack of the original stage version of Oliver! featuring one Stephen Marriott in the role of the Artful Dodger; as far as I can tell the first time that his voice was committed to vinyl.  Not only does Steve easily out-sing young Twist on ‘Consider yourself’, as he should, he also lays down a standard both for artfulness and ear-splitting volume that all subsequent Dodgers will have struggled – will struggle – to match.  With his East End background, his dad a pub pianist, the music hall awareness he will certainly have had, Marriott must have been Lionel Bart’s perfect Dodger for the musical version of Oliver Twist.

You can hear Bart’s tunes and the young Steven Marriott’s singing in the Small Faces of ‘Rene’, ‘Lazy Sunday’, and ‘Donkey rides, a penny a glass’.  And maybe I love them most for the soul-pop-psychedelia hybrid perfected on songs like ‘The Autumn stone’, ‘Afterglow (of your love)’ and ‘Song of a baker’ but it’s impossible not to retain great affection for those cockney knees-up numbers.

Alongside Marriott you will hear Ian Carmichael as Fagin, David Hovell as Oliver, and Joyce Blair as a particularly hard-bitten Nancy.

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