Anthony Newley: Child actor: Artful Dodger (in David Lean's Oliver Twist), Bond theme composer, Las Vegas showroom headliner and Broadway star.
Anthony Newley was also an early vocal inspiration for fellow South London boy, David Bowie and here, in this track from 1971, he seems to re-pay the compliment, crooning away in LA exile, musing on the fickleness of fame and mangling vowels in his unmistakeable London-Jewish burr.
It's certainly a (space?) oddity, part Ziggy Stardust, part Frankie Howerd. Part psychedelia, part cane-twirling, top-hat-tipping music hall monologue.
In theatrical circles, Newley is best known for his collaborations with composer Leslie Bricusse on the stage musicals The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd, Stop the World - I Want to Get Off and songs for the 1971 film adaptation of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Those were the glory days of the West End; when London theatres hosted original shows that, whilst often hit and miss, gaudy or gauche, were at least original and inbued with a distincly British voice.
These days, every show in the Capital is based on a 20 year-old Patrick Swayze film and features cover versions of the sort of old chestnuts that pop up on Mother's Day cash-in compilation albums; watched by audiences in jogging pants, rustling Oxford Street shopping swag: Primark bags and pick 'n' mix.
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