Bay City Rollers: Once Upon a Star

May 7, 1975 – Bay City Rollers: Once Upon a Star is released.
# allmusic 4/5
Once Upon a Star is an album released on this date in 1975 by the Scottish group Bay City Rollers. The album featured a British #1 hit single, “Bye Bye Baby”, and marked the first time the group performed its own music, rather than relying on session musicians.
by Donald A. Guarisco, allmusic
On their second album, the Bay City Rollers attempted to break away from their image as pop puppets by taking on a greater portion of the behind-the-scenes chores. Eric Faulkner and Stuart “Woody” Wood wrote seven of the album’s 12 songs (lead singer Les McKeown also contributed to two of them), and the band also performs the majority of the instrumental work themselves on the album’s surprisingly complex arrangements, which include such instruments as a mandolin, a violin, and even an accordion. The result of these labors is a well-crafted album of lightweight but charming pop that covers an impressive range of musical styles: “La Belle Jeane” is a French-styled ballad, “My Teenage Heart” is a ’50s-style pop tune reminiscent of the Everly Brothers, and “Once Upon a Star” is a surprisingly Beatlesque slice of orchestrated pop. The album’s biggest hits were the cover songs “Bye Bye Baby” and “Keep on Dancing,” but the group’s self-penned tunes are well written and catchy in their own right and make excellent company for the hits. Good examples of the group’s homegrown work include “Angel Baby,” a tribute to the Phil Spector sound with a castanet-driven beat, and “Marlina,” a lovely ballad about a daydreaming girl that highlights Faulkner’s skill with the mandolin. While it may not win over listeners who dislike sugary pop music, Once Upon a Star shows that the Bay City Rollers stood out from the rest of the teen idol pack because of their skills as writers and instrumentalists.
Side One
“Bye Bye Baby” – Bob Crewe, Bob Gaudio – 2:50
“The Disco Kid” – Faulkner, Wood – 3:16
“La Belle Jeanne” – Faulkner, Wood – 4:01
“When Will You Be Mine” – Goodison, Wainman – 2:32
“Angel Baby” – Faulkner, Wood – 3:52
“Keep on Dancing” – Young – 2:42
Side Two
“Once Upon A Star” – Faulkner, Wood – 3:00
“Let’s Go (A Huggin’ And A Kissin’ In The Moonlight)” – Goodison, Wainman – 3:28
“Marlina” – Faulkner, McKeown, Wood – 3:01
“My Teenage Heart” – Faulkner, Wood – 2:31
“Rock & Roll Honeymoon” – Goodison, Wainman – 2:45
“Hey! Beautiful Dreamer” – Faulkner, McKeown, Wood – 3:49
A 2004 CD reissue on Bell included five bonus tracks: “All Of Me Loves All Of You” (1974 Single), “The Bump” (B-side), “Keep On Dancing (1971 Single Version)”, “Alright” and “It’s For You”.

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