Richard Harris – Watermark (1968)

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Since the late 1960s Jimmy Webb has been one of the truly enigmatic American songwriters, impressing with such diverse works as ‘Wichita Lineman’, ‘Do What You Gotta Do’, ‘I Keep It Hid’ & ‘The Moon’s A Harsh Mistress’. But perhaps his most towering achievement & one of the most astonishing collaborations in contemporary music, occurred in 1968 when Webb used imposing Irish actor Richard Harris (of CAMELOT fame) to dramatically interpret a truly bizarre and amorphous 7 minute orchestrated epic called ‘Macarthur Park’. Although it was greeted with some bewilderment it became a global hit, reaching #2 in America. This seemingly odd association continued for two Dunhill albums, ‘A Tramp Shining’ (1968) & ‘The Yard Went On Forever’ (’69) and one single A-side (‘One Of The Nicer Things’).

[Dedicated to Peter H. Olsen]

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