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A Lover's Concerto by The Toys
Album: The Toys Sing A Lover's Concerto and Attack!Released: 1965Charted:
The melody was adapted from "Minuet In G," a composition written by Christian Petzold. "Minuet In G" is often thought to be by Johann Sebastian Bach because it was included in a book of sheet music kept by Bach's wife Anna Magdalena. The song was written by Denny Randell and Sandy Linzer, who wrote all the original songs on the album and went to write some of the biggest hits for The Four Seasons. In our interview with Denny Randell, he explained that he started listening to "Minuet In G" at an early age. "I must have been about 5, 6" said Randell. "I was taking lessons at a very early age, and I loved that piece. It stuck with me. Over the years, I grew up and got more into music from a creative point of view. It's really interesting, throughout all my later teen years and when I first got into the business, I always had it on my mind that it would make a wonderful grounds for a pop song if done in the right way. At some point, finally, I just decided to write the song; it was time to put it together. It's in a different groove and it's a different time signature than the original piece; it was put into a form that could work for a Pop record at that time."
The title does not appear in the lyrics. Denny Randell told us how he came up with it: "In those days, I used to see a lot young girls, and they would like to write poetry of sorts. So I wanted this to be basically a romantic poem, and I came up with the title, which also reflected the classical background of 'A Lover's Concerto.' I just felt that it could work, I just had this feeling about it, even though it is not generally the way you write songs and hooks. The title was the combination of the feeling of both the lyric and the music. And it worked."
The Toys were Barbara Harris, Barbara Parritt and June Montiero. They met in high school and were signed by Lizer and Randell. This was their first single and biggest hit - the group broke up in 1968.
, who played guitar on this track, tells us that the song's producerCharlie Calello had the arrangement laid out, and the two guitarists played "chicks." What's a chick? Ralph says: "Musicians used that word because when you pronounce the word 'chick,' with a heavy accent, it describes the sound produced when a guitarist strikes the first three strings of an electric guitar with a plectrum (pick) and the left hand stops the strings from resonating. You can also produce both the 'chicking' sound and a resonating sound at the same time. The rhythm pattern can be quarter notes, eighth notes or any pattern desired. The pattern used often was quarter notes on the second and forth beat of the measure. On 'Lovers Concerto' one guitarist played quarter notes on the second and fourth beat with one sound and the other played on all four beats with another sound."
Ralph adds, "On this record Charlie wanted one guitar playing on two and four and the other playing on all four beats. The strings are struck in such a way that a chord sound and a chicking sound is produced. You can hear that effect on 'Lover's Concerto.' Charlie did a great job on that record. For me it was pretty much what we call 'straight ahead.' It was clever of the writers Denny Randell and Sandy Linzer combining their lyrics with a well known classical piece."