Music Reviews

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1994:

Animal Tracks, written and recorded by
Dwayne Robertson; distributed by The Spayed
Club (POB 1145, Frazer, PA 19355). $9.00.
The first song of the four-song cassette Animal
Tracks could be a popular hit were it to enter the main-
stream. “Friends for Life” is reminiscent of a railroad bal-
lad with touches of the classic “Mr. Bojangles.” It tells the
true story of a loyal dog, Shep, who waits for his master
by the railroad tracks for six years. Every day he meets
the train, and every day he is disappointed, for his master
was dead when put aboard.
The other three songs are considerably less art-
ful, but carry important messages. They are, however,
too sad for me to enjoy. Thus I question their application.
Perhaps they could be useful as part of a humane society
program, but my experience is that people turn away from
messages that are depressing or overly preachy.
I’d market “Friends for Life” as a single, or put it
on a tape with more appealing songs if I were serious
about reaching the general public.
––Kim Bartlett

Listen to the Animals, Listen to the Wind,
written and recorded by Bill Van Noter;
V Note Music (4204 45th St., N.W., Washington
DC 20016). $9.00 postpaid.
“Blue sky and whales collide with the foam of
the briny sea.” There’s gold in this cassette of original
music by Bill Van Noter. Along with “Blue Sky and
Whales,” I really love “The Ark of Life” and “Consider.”
The first two could be popular hits if recorded by John
Denver, while the third screams for Joan Baez: “The
bruised and the battered, the wounded and sore, the souls
who are shattered, seek peace, once more…” Not that the
tape, recorded by Van Noter himself, isn’t professionally
done. In fact, the orchestration and special effects are
superior. But Van Noter isn’t going to make the bigtime as
a vocalist, and I’m sure he knows it. The songs were a
labor of love, written in his spare time, and the tape is
distributed as a humane project by Van Noter and his
mother-in-law, Ann Cottrell Free, one of the grand dames
of animal protection.
All the songs contain important messages, like
those in Animal Tracks. But also like Animal Tracks, all
of the songs are not of the same calibre. Some are simply
too sad for me, or upsetting, such as “Slaughterhouse
Way.” I fast-forward through several. Still, this tape is
very well done, some songs are wonderful, and the pack-
aging is lovely.
––Kim Bartlett
Animal Eyes, lyrics by Jorge Roos,
music by Gonzalo Lauret, vocals by Vicki
Moore and Lucy Sasca; distributed by
GEC/Atlantis Productions (50 Post Road West,
Westport, CT 06880). $12.95.
Jorge Roos, a writer and poet who lives in
Madrid, Spain, has devoted most of his adult life to the
struggle for animal rights, beginning long before the term
and philosophy gained public recognition. He is the author
of El Mono Degenerado (The Depraved Ape), a mordant
expose of speciesism. This English version of 10 of his
songs features Vicki Moore, who is not only an outstand-
ing singer and actress, but also heads the group Fight
Against Animal Cruelty in Europe and has been prominent
in the struggle to suppress the misuse of animals in tradi-
tional Spanish fiestas. Yet another noteworthy contributor
to this album is conductor Carlos Vizziello, who for many
years has been professionally creating musical scores for
television and other children’s entertainment. Powerful
anti-specieisist lyrics, narration, and an impressive
Broadway-style musical arrangement make this an ideal
vehicle to educate children (and adults) about the basic
concepts of animal liberation.
––Patrice Greanville
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