Regarded by many as one of the UK’s best pop singers and interpreters of songs, Mari Wilson (aka The Neasden Queen Of Soul) is releasing a new album in which she brings her own unique take to some classic pop songs from British icons including Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, Sandie Shaw and Cilla Black.
The inspiration for POP DELUXE came from Mari’s memories of growing up, listening over and over to these songs on the Dansette in her bedroom whilst daydreaming of one day being on Top Of The Pops herself. Each of the chosen songs means something truly personal to Mari. Her decision to sing the ‘White Horses’ TV theme is firmly rooted in her childhood: “This song is almost in my DNA. When I would come home from school, my dad and I would always do the Evening News crossword and watch The White Horses TV Show – the theme tune would send shivers own my spine and still does.”
Music fans may know all of these songs, but they are now given new life by Mari’s unique contemporary electronica production featuring lots of surprising and exciting arrangements. The album was co-produced with friend and long time collaborator Alastair Gavin. Having played keyboards with Mari in her band The Wilsations since the early 1980s, Alastair has produced records for Carol Grimes, Red Box, and Sarah Jane Morris and composed for TV, film and theatre. Through creative and engaging arrangements, Mari and Alastair have breathed new life into the pieces whilst staying true to their original intent.
Mari and Alastair were thrilled when the legendary Dave Bascombe agreed to mix the album, “that really was the icing on the cake”. The cover artwork has been designed by Julian Balme, who along with working with The Clash & Adam Ant, created all the memorable imagery for Mari Wilson & The Wilsations back in the 80s. The recording was crowd-funded through Pledge Music. “It’s so important to have a connection with the fans who have supported me for such a long time – since 1981 in fact! I’m pleased to say I’m still in touch with the people who came to see me back then, they’re a big part of this new record release.”
Mari Wilson has been a popular performer since the early eighties. With her striking beehive hair‐style and fully choreographed twelve‐piece band The Wilsations her childhood dreams came true as she became a mainstay of Top Of The Pops and sold-out concerts around the world. Chart hits included ‘Cry Me A River’, ‘Just What I’ve Always Wanted’ ‘Beat The Beat’ and ‘Showpeople’. Mari also recorded the themes for BBC’s comedy Coupling and the motion picture Dance With A Stranger. She has been a regular at Ronnie Scotts, and performed at the South Bank with BB King and Ray Charles. As well as starring in Dusty The Musical, other West End productions she has appeared in include Taboo (alongside Boy George), Sweet Charity and The Chainsaw Manicure.
1. Island Of Dreams
2. Always Something there to Remind Me
3. I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love
4. The Look of Love
5. Don’t Sleep in the Subway
6. You’re My World
7. 24 Hours from Tulsa
8. In Private
9. White Horses
10. Anyone Who Had A Heart
11. I Close My Eyes and Count to Ten
12. I Just Don’t Know