I was curious to hear that on the 14th of January 2013, Natasha England will be releasing a digitally mastered version of her 1982 vinyl album hit, “Captured,” which reached the UK top 60 album charts and includes the UK top ten single ‘Iko Iko’ and the top 50 hit ‘The Boom Boom Room’. Songs from “Captured” also featured on Natasha’s 2008 two-disc release, “Back From The Mists Of Time.” So this is it’s third time around.
If you’re old enough to remember the 80’s, you could not have missed sexy Natasha England on Top of the Pops performing her hit single ‘Iko Iko’. Natasha who handled girly pop, soulful ballads, electro new wave and almost everything else in between, with equal nonchalance and passion has really come a long way since her first experiences in the music business backrooms, during the seventies. After her move from Scotland to London she worked back office for superstars such as Rod Stewart and David Bowie.
Natasha also formed a music management business with her ex-husband, Bob England, promoting acts such as the Average White Band, James Brown, Lionel Richie and The Commodores. Her behind the scenes success even allowed her to form Towerbell Records with Bob.
However the lady’s talents inevitably moved her into the spotlight, where her singing and songwriting abilities were forced to come to the fore. She recorded “He’s The Kind Of Boy” with The Flirts for Magnet Records, then moved on to record her first singles with Towerbell Records. But it was “Iko Iko” (produced by Tom Newman of “Tubular Bells” fame) that finally saw Natasha flying up the charts and beating The Belle Stars version of the same song. “The Boom Boom Room” and the album “Captured” soon found its way onto the charts too.
At about this time a string of bad luck, career differences and personal problems eventually led to Natasha’s divorce and a total breakaway from the music business in 1985.
In the late 80’s Natasha temporarily made a comeback by fronting the band, “Why,” in Canada alongside Gregg Deckert, before returning to the UK. Instead, during the nineties she wrote and stockpiled material for a serious comeback in the future.
A planned comeback a few years ago however had to be postponed when Natasha was diagnosed with breast cancer, which involved radiotherapy treatment. She fought back and by 2008 she began releasing more material, including re-releases and a brand new album “Deeper Into Reality” which is available on iTunes.
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Back to 2013 and Natasha England is ready to release her digitally mastered version of 1982’s “Captured.” Listening to the 12-track album, confirms that it has stood the test of time remarkably well. It’s pretty obvious that the production reeks strongly of the 80’s, but its exactly that retro sound, which gives the album its endearing twist, besides the passionate performances by Natasha, of course.
Somewhere between Annie Lennox and Debbie Harry. On “Captured,” the diva-like Natasha, weaves an array of colors, moods and emotions. Whether she drops to a soft whisper or just plain belts it out, you’ll love every song. Like for example her interpretation of The Kinks `All Day And All Of The Night’ and Sam Cooke’s `Bring It On Home’, or my personal favorite, “Sally Go ‘Round The Roses,” the 1963 hit, first made famous by The Jaynetts and covered quite a few times down the line.
Yet its not just about her interpretation of the covers, which by all means is impressive enough, but also the five tracks she either wrote or co-wrote, confirming the fact that she is a complete artist in every sense. The truth is Natasha England still sounds as good today as she did 30 years ago, and it is certainly heartening to know that any day she decides to step into the recording studio, she’ll be able to delight her fans and the world with her words and melody, as she always has done.
All in all, “Captured” is a terrific release by one of the most dynamic and interesting artists from the eighties and is no less provocative than it was on its original release date, indeed some of the songs will still smack you right between the eyes with a force and power that comes from a long way back.
Besides her undeniable artistic prowess, Natasha has always had the cream of the musical crop, on her crew and in her backing band. “Captured” is no exception to the rule. So the credits that follow are simply reprinted to fill you with awe!
Producers (On various tracks): Tom Newman, Ron Magness, Richard Hartley and Phil Chapman
All lead vocals and numerous backing vocals performed by Natasha England
Guitars: Tom Nordon, Phil Rambow, Keith More, Rob Davis, Martin Daley, Richard Hartley, Tom Newman, Snowy White.
Bass: Brad Lang, John Read, John Mckenzie, Tom Nordon, Arthur Grant
Piano,Synth&Keyboards: Tim Cross, Richard Hartley, Martin Daley, Ron Magness
Drums: Graham Broad, Pete Baron, George, Steve Broughton, Charlie Morgan.
Saxophone: Mel Collins, Horatio Hornblower, Vic Ash.
Percussion: Tom Newman, Jon Field.
Backing and additional vocals: Rita Ray, Ron Magness, Tina Jones, Tom Newman, Phil Rambow.
Miscellaneous: Dick Cuttle (Brass), Jon Field (Flute)
‘Captured’ is released in digital form for the first time, on Platform Records – January 14th 2013. Available from iTunes and all good download stores.
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