Casanova (album)

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Casanova
Studio album by The Divine Comedy
Released 29 April 1996 (1996-04-29)
Recorded June 1995–January 1996
Genre Baroque Pop
Length 51:52
Label Setanta
Producer Darren Allison and Neil Hannon
The Divine Comedy chronology
Promenade
(1994)
Casanova
(1996)
A Short Album About Love
(1997)
Singles from Casanova
  1. "Something For The Weekend"
    Released: 17 June 1996 (1996-06-17)
  2. "Becoming More Like Alfie"
    Released: 12 August 1996 (1996-08-12)
  3. "The Frog Princess"
    Released: 4 October 1996 (1996-10-04)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Dotmusic (90/100)[2]
Mojo (positive)[3]
Q 4/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[5]

Casanova is The Divine Comedy's fourth album. It was the band's commercial breakthrough. It was released on Setanta and certified gold in the UK in July 1997. This was helped by the release of The Divine Comedy's first single "Something For The Weekend" which reached number 13 on the charts. The two other singles released from the album, "Becoming More Like Alfie" and "The Frog Princess", charted at 27 and 15 respectively.

Themes[edit]

The album is less classical sounding than the previous album, Promenade and adopts more of a Britpop feel. Its central theme is sex, around which all songs on the album centre, except "The Dogs and the Horses", which is the last song on the album and whose theme is death.

The first song begins with the word "Hello" and the last ends with "Goodbye."

Recording[edit]

Casanova had the longest recording period of any Divine Comedy album up to that point and consequently cost more. Setanta was able to indulge Neil's desires because of the success of Edwyn Collins' hit single "A Girl Like You."[citation needed]

Although more musicians were involved than on Liberation and Promenade, for most of the album, as with the previous two albums, Neil Hannon plays the majority of the parts himself, with co-producer/drummer Darren Allison directing proceedings.[6] The album's last track "The Dogs and the Horses", which was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, features a large orchestral ensemble which includes future members of the live band, namely Joby Talbot, Stuart 'Pinkie' Bates, Grant Gordon, and Bryan Mills. Talbot was beginning to play an increasingly important role in the band; he arranged and orchestrated "The Dogs and the Horses," and he co-arranged "Theme from Casanova" with Hannon.

Connections with other music[edit]

"The Dogs and the Horses" is very close to the musical style of Scott Walker's first four solo albums. "Through a Long and Sleepless Night," a track off Casanova, shares the same title as a track off Scott's first solo album.

Two of the album's songs were originally composed by Hannon as potential theme tunes for the 1995 sitcom Father Ted. Hannon's first attempt was rejected, and he reworked it to become "A Woman of the World". His second attempt was accepted and used as the theme for the series; however, Hannon later reworked it, played on harpsichord (rather than the series' guitar), to become "Songs of Love".

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and arranged by Neil Hannon, except Track 10 arranged by Hannon and Joby Talbot; Track 11 arranged and orchestrated by Talbot.

  1. "Something for the Weekend" – 4:19
  2. "Becoming More Like Alfie" – 2:59
  3. "Middle-Class Heroes" – 5:26
  4. "In and Out of Paris and London" – 3:27
  5. "Charge" – 5:27
  6. "Songs of Love" – 3:26
  7. "The Frog Princess" – 5:13
  8. "A Woman of the World" – 4:12
  9. "Through a Long and Sleepless Night" – 6:12
  10. "Theme from Casanova" – 5:51
  11. "The Dogs and the Horses" – 5:14

Singles[edit]

  • A Casanova Companion No.1
    1. "Something for the Weekend" – 4:20
    2. "Birds of Paradise Farm" – 3:52
    3. "Love is Lighter than Air" – 3:54 (written by Stephin Merritt)
    4. "Songs of Love" – 3:22 (Theme from Father Ted)
  • A Casanova Companion No. 2
    1. "Becoming More Like Alfie" – 3:02
    2. "Untitled Melody" – 2:09 (written by Edwyn Collins)
    3. "Your Daddy's Car" – 4:14
    4. "The Dogs and the Horses" – 4:27 (NYC acoustic)
  • A Casanova Companion No.3
    1. "The Frog Princess" – 5:13
    2. "Motorway to Damascus" – 4:22
    3. "A Woman of the World" – 4:16 (band version)
    4. "Lucy" – 4:03 (Demo)
  • A Casanova Companion No.4
    1. "The Frog Princess" – 5:13
    2. "Something Before the Weekend" – 2:02 (Demo)
    3. "Neptune's Daughter" – 5:08
    4. "Tonight We Fly" – 2:40

Personnel[edit]

  • John Allen – Celeste, Whistle (Human)
  • Darren Allison – Percussion, Drums, Producer, Engineer, Mixing
  • Kathy Brown – Cello
  • Jane Butterfield – Trombone
  • Andy Chase – Producer, Engineer, Mixing
  • Emile Chitikov – Violin
  • Ian Cooper – Mastering
  • Eos Counsell – Violin
  • Rob Crane – Design
  • Alison Fletcher – Violin, Viola
  • Anna Giddey – Violin
  • Charlotte Glasson – Viola
  • Ruth Goldstein – Cello
  • Tom Gurling – Assistant Engineer
  • Neil Hannon – Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Arranger, Organ (Hammond), Vocals, Producer, Tympani [Timpani], Art Direction, Wurlitzer
  • Rebecca Hayes – Violin
  • Robin Hayward – Tuba
  • Yuri Kalnitz – Violin
  • Robbie Kazandjian – Assistant Engineer
  • Mark Knight – Violin
  • Alex McRonald – Flute
  • Bryan Mills – Bass
  • Paul Mysiak – Assistant Engineer
  • Darren Nash – Assistant Engineer
  • Gerard Navarro – Assistant Engineer
  • Gareth Parton – Assistant Engineer
  • Alex Postlethwaite – Violin
  • Alice Pratley – Violin
  • Alice Reynolds – Laughs
  • Joe Richards – Cello
  • Adrian Roach – Oboe
  • Laura Samuel – Violin
  • Padraic Savage – Violin
  • Chris Scard – Assistant Engineer
  • Joby Talbot – Piano, Arranger, Conductor, Sax (Alto), Orchestration
  • Titch Walker – Trumpet
  • Jane Watkins – Cello
  • Kevin Westenberg – Art Direction, Photography
  • Chris Worsey – Cello

References[edit]

  1. ^ Casanova (album) at AllMusic
  2. ^ Dotmusic
  3. ^ Mojo
  4. ^ Q
  5. ^ Rolling Stone
  6. ^ Liner Notes by Darren Allison - "A Secret History". Setanta Records SETCDL100

External links[edit]