Over the Rainbow (Connie Talbot album)

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Over the Rainbow
Studio album by Connie Talbot
Released 26 November 2007
Recorded Olympic Studios, 2007–2008
Genre Pop
Length 38:43
Label Rainbow Recording Company (Rhythm Riders)
Producer Simon Hill and Rob May
Connie Talbot chronology
Over the Rainbow
(2007)
Connie Talbot's Christmas Album
(2008)

Over the Rainbow is the debut album of child singer Connie Talbot, and was released 26 November 2007 by Rainbow Recording Company. Most of the album's recording was done in a spare room in the house of Talbot's aunt, in an attempt to preserve her childhood by not interrupting her regular activities. Although initially public appearances were kept to a minimum, Talbot did make appearances to promote the album, and performed in public several times after the British release. It received poor reviews from critics and peaked at number 35 on the UK Albums Chart. Despite this, additional copies of the album had to be pressed after sales were higher than expected. She later toured Asia in support of the album. Over the Rainbow achieved more success on the Asian charts, reaching number one in Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Over the Rainbow was rereleased on 18 June 2008 with an updated tracklist, replacing some of the Christmas themed tracks of the original with more general covers. The first single from the album, "Three Little Birds," was released in June 2008, and a music video for the song was shot in Jamaica. On 14 October, the album was released in the US, appearing on several Billboard charts. Talbot visited the US to promote the album, appearing on national television.

Recording and release[edit]

Connie Talbot raised to prominence after reaching the final of the first series of Britain's Got Talent. After briefly recording with Sony BMG, Talbot was signed to Rainbow Recording Company, an offshoot of Rhythm Riders made specifically for her.[1] To produce Over the Rainbow, Talbot worked with John Arnison, then-manager to Gabrielle and Billy Ocean, and Marc Marot, former managing director of Island Records.[1] It was produced and mixed by Simon Hill and Rob May.[2] A recording schedule was worked out so Talbot could continue with her normal school activities while recording the album in her aunt Vicky's spare bedroom, which her mother described as "a better solution" than the one offered by Sony BMG, "which has not robbed her of her childhood".[1] Talbot said that "it was just amazing that we could do it in my auntie's house".[3] Arnison and Marot asked the Talbot family to "write down a list of the songs that Connie would sing at her birthday party" to help choose the track listing, and then "thought long and hard" about including more adult songs on the album.[4] Talbot herself insisted that they should.[4] The final version of Over the Rainbow was recorded at Olympic Studios, on 12 October 2007.[5] Arnison described the recording process by saying that Talbot "hadn't sung nursery rhymes; she'd always sung classic tracks. So it was actually quite an easy task to make the record."[4] The album was released on 26 November 2007,[6] with an initial pressing of 50,000 copies.[7] However, an additional 120,000 had to be pressed after the album sold out in a matter of days.[7] The album was released in the US on 14 October 2008.[8]

Over the Rainbow was rereleased on 18 June 2008,[9] and was available for preorder in May, with three new tracks to replace the Christmas-themed songs on the original album.[10][11] The new tracks were made available from Talbot's official website so that those who bought the original need not buy the rerelease.[10] Talbot's song "Three Little Birds", a cover of the Bob Marley song of the same name, was released as a single on 10 June 2008,[9][12] and a music video was shot in Jamaica to for the release.[13] The album was released in the US on 14 October, and Talbot travelled to America with her family to publicise it.[14] Talbot's cover of "I Will Always Love You" was released as a single in the US on 7 April, along with a newly recorded "You Raise Me Up".[15]

Publicity[edit]

A publicity shot of Talbot taken during the recording of Over the Rainbow at Olympic Studios (12 October 2007).

Although Arnison claimed he did not "want to put [Talbot] through the promotional grind which most artists go through because she is too young",[1] Talbot made several public appearances after the album's release. These included headlining the Great Bridge Christmas and Winter Festival, which local police threatened to cancel unless crowds clamouring to reach the tent in which Talbot was performing could be brought under control.[16] At the event, on 7 December 2007, Talbot was quoted as saying "I love it here, it's brilliant, really fun", but she had to be ushered off-stage by the police.[16] Talbot performed publicly in Walsall's HMV store, and in Birmingham's Centenary Square.[17] TV appearances included GMTV and Channel 5 news, both on the day of the album's release.[17]

In April and May 2008, Talbot toured Asia to promote Over the Rainbow.[18] Asian press attributed her success to her videos on YouTube, with writers for the Sun.Star noting that her most viewed video had been watched over 14 million times,[11] and Bernard Koh, of The Straits Times, saying that videos of Talbot's performances have been watched over 30 million times.[18] The tour made stops in South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, and Talbot and her family returned to England in late May.[19] News that Talbot was to release the album in the US resulted in attention from American press sources including Fox Business Network and MarketWatch.[20][21] Kerri Mason, writing for Reuters, described Talbot's videos as "viral", and added that she had been watched on YouTube over 46 million times.[4] Talbot travelled to the US for a promotional tour to coincide with the release, where she performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show,[22] appeared as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show,[23] and appeared in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York City and Washington D.C..[22] Following the television appearances, sales of the album were boosted in the US.[24] Talbot again travelled to the US to promote her single "I Will Always Love You" on 30 April 2009, and returned again in May.[25] Appearances have included a performance on Good Day New York on Fox Broadcasting Company's WNYW.[26]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[27]
Digital Spy 2/5 stars[28]

The album was received mostly negatively by critics. Sharon Mawer, of Allmusic, praised Over the Rainbow by saying "[Talbot] can sing, for a seven-year-old, and most of the notes (if not all of them) are in the right order and sung to the right pitch; the timing is fine too".[27] However, she criticised the album, saying "there's no feeling, no emotion, no realization of what each song is about; they're just pretty little songs", giving the album 2/5.[27] Nick Levine, of Digital Spy, said in a review of the album that Talbot had a "sweet, pure voice", but that there is "no nuance or depth to her performance".[28] However, he said that "There's something inherently wrong about awarding a star rating to a seven-year-old", and that "the decidedly adult concept of musical merit should have nothing to do with [her music]", rating the album 2/5.[28] Reviewers in the Harlow Star also commented on her age, saying "There's no doubt she's a sweet little girl with a nice voice, but surely there's something inherently wrong with thrusting a child into the limelight at such a young age?"[29] Rashvin Bedi, writing for Malaysian newspaper The Star, praised the album, saying that "Connie sings with ease and manages the high notes admirably", but asked whether "people would buy an album of the same songs sung by a 20-year-old girl".[30]

Chart performance and sales[edit]

The album entered in the British album charts at 35 on 8 December 2007,[31] but was at the bottom of the charts by Christmas,[32] despite having been tipped as a potential Christmas number one.[1][33] It remained in the charts for five weeks, peaking at 35.[31] However, the album was certified gold in Britain in early December,[16] with Talbot being presented a gold disc by Phillip Schofield on daytime television programme This Morning.[7] Following Talbot's tour of Asia, it was reported that the album had reached number one on the charts in Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong,[9][19] as well as reaching number three in Singapore.[19] The album has gone platinum in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and double platinum in Korea,[22] selling 30,000 copies.[34] In the US, the album appeared on three charts. It featured on the Top Heatseekers for nine weeks, peaking at number 7, on the Kid Albums for four weeks, peaking at number 8, and on Top Independent Albums for one week, at number 43.[35]

Personnel[edit]

Orchestra[edit]

  • Nicholas Allen – cello
  • Simon Baggs – violin
  • Catherine Heather Burnley – violin
  • Ben Castle – clarinet, flute, saxophone
  • Calina de la Mare – violin
  • Jonathan Few – cello
  • Timothy Grant – viola
  • Sharron Griffiths – harp
  • Simon Hill (arranger) – bass, percussion, drums
  • London Media Ensemble – strings
  • Robert Bucchi May (arranger) – bass, piano, keyboard
  • Jim McLeod – violin
  • Helen Nelson – cello
  • Buffy North – violin
  • Patrick Roberts – violin
  • Mary Scully – double bass
  • Emma Sheppard – viola
  • Emlyn Singleton – violin
  • Matthew Slater (conductor, arranger, transcriber) – piano
  • Jo Watts – violin
  • Alexandra Welch – viola
  • Dave "Fat Man" Williams – violin
  • Warren Zielinski – violin

Choir[edit]

  • Blackwood School Choir
  • Katrina Bagdi
  • Nadine Bailey
  • Anneliese Barlow
  • Charlotte Berry
  • Elizabeth Demaine Bowler
  • Hannah Buckley
  • Alexandra Cash
  • Rebekah Daniels
  • Shannon Duffy
  • Jasmine Ewers
  • Rachael Garton
  • Adhiti Shwena Gunputh
  • Helen Hinsull (conductor)
  • Natalie Johnson
  • Mia Emma Jordan
  • Molly Lambeth
  • Corliss Luong
  • Sophie McMullan
  • Chloe Norris
  • Laura Amy Pinson
  • Gemma Smith
  • Emily Stableford
  • Molly Anne Stait
  • Tayla Tapley
  • Cathy Turner
  • Laura Turner

Production and publicity[edit]

  • Piers Allardyce – photography
  • Rob Derbyshire – programming
  • Kevan Gallagher – engineering
  • Simon Hill – programming, production, editing, mixing
  • Tommy Hough – engineering
  • Marc Marot – photography
  • Robert Bucchi May – programming, production, editing, mixing
  • Debbie Roberts – styling
  • Miles Showell – mastering

Track listings[edit]

Original track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Over the Rainbow"   Harold Arlen, E.Y. Harburg 2:52
2. "I Believe"   Ervin Drake, Irvin Graham, Jimmy Shirl, Al Stillman 2:58
3. "White Christmas"   Irving Berlin 3:15
4. "Smile"   Charlie Chaplin, Geoffrey Claremont Parsons, John Turner 2:48
5. "Imagine"   John Lennon 3:05
6. "Walking in the Air"   Howard Blake 3:32
7. "Favourite Things"   Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II 2:37
8. "What A Wonderful World"   Bob Thiele, George David Weiss 2:21
9. "Ben"   Don Black, Walter Scharf 2:46
10. "I Will Always Love You"   Dolly Parton 4:25
11. "Silent Night"   Franz Gruber 3:29
12. "I Have a Dream"   Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus 4:33

Rerelease track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Over the Rainbow"   Harold Arlen, E.Y. Harburg 2:51
2. "I Believe"   Ervin Drake, Irvin Graham, Jimmy Shirl, Al Stillman 2:58
3. "Smile"   Charlie Chaplin, Geoffrey Claremont Parsons, John Turner 2:48
4. "Three Little Birds"   Bob Marley 3:05
5. "Imagine"   John Lennon 3:05
6. "Favourite Things"   Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II 2:37
7. "Any Dream Will Do"   Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice 3:49
8. "What A Wonderful World"   Bob Thiele, George David Weiss 2:21
9. "Ben"   Don Black, Walter Scharf 2:45
10. "I Will Always Love You"   Dolly Parton 4:24
11. "I Have a Dream"   Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus 4:31
12. "You Raise Me Up"   Rolf Løvland, Brendan Graham 4:04

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Sewards, Lisa (17 November 2007). "Connie gets second bite at stardom as gap-toothed girl shrugs off Cowell's rejection". Daily Mail. Retrieved 16 November 2007. 
  2. ^ "Buy Connie Talbot- Over the Rainbow". Woolworths. Archived from the original on 11 December 2007. Retrieved 19 December 2007. 
  3. ^ Masley, Ed (26 November 2008). "Connie Talbot enjoying British pop stardom 'really nicely'". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 27 November 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c d Mason, Kerri (10 October 2008). "Record buyers head-"Over"-heels for 7-year-old". Reuters. Retrieved 30 October 2008. 
  5. ^ "Photos". Rhythm Riders (Connie Talbot official website). Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2008. 
  6. ^ "Connie Talbot- Over the Rainbow". HMV. Retrieved 7 April 2008. 
  7. ^ a b c "Connie claims gold disc". Express & Star. 14 December 2007. Retrieved 19 December 2007. 
  8. ^ "Connie stars on Wii". Express & Star. 19 August 2008. Retrieved 22 August 2008. 
  9. ^ a b c "Britain's Got Talent Connie Talbot sings Three Little Birds". Daily Mirror. 12 June 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2008. 
  10. ^ a b "A new version of the album will be available in May!". Rhythm Riders (Connie Talbot official website). Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 6 April 2008. 
  11. ^ a b "Pinay girl makes noise in UK". Sun.Star. 30 April 2008. Retrieved 2 May 2008. 
  12. ^ "Buy Connies single today!". Rhythm Riders (Connie Talbot official website). 10 June 2008. Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 12 June 2008. 
  13. ^ Van Geuns, Sharon (6 April 2008). "Britain's Got Talent star Connie's got teeth". The Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 6 April 2008. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Connie to appear on The Ellen Show!". Rhythm Riders (Connie Talbot official website). 16 September 2008. Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 24 September 2008. 
  15. ^ "Connie to release new USA single on April 7th". Rhythm Riders. 5 March 2009. Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 30 April 2009. Connie will be releasing her rendition of "I'll always love you " as her new single from her album "Over the Rainbow" in the USA on April 7th. The release is a double A-sided single (AAO Music/Reality Records) featuring her dynamic interpretation of the classic "I Will Always Love You" and the newly re-vocaled "You Raise Me Up." 
  16. ^ a b c "Crowds go wild for Connie". Express & Star. 8 December 2007. Retrieved 8 December 2007. 
  17. ^ a b "Connie Talbot gets more stardom". Express & Star. 15 November 2007. Retrieved 8 December 2007. 
  18. ^ a b Koh, Bernard (5 May 2008). "Sweet smile, shy child". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 17 June 2008. Retrieved 24 September 2008. 
  19. ^ a b c "Now Connie's taking on the world". Express & Star. 26 May 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2008. 
  20. ^ "Britain's Singing Sensation Connie Talbot Comes to America". Fox Business Network. 18 August 2008. Archived from the original on 23 August 2008. Retrieved 22 August 2008. 
  21. ^ "Britain's Singing Sensation Connie Talbot Comes to America". MarketWatch. 18 August 2008. Retrieved 22 August 2008. 
  22. ^ a b c Lopez, Korina (2 November 2008). "'Talent' star Connie Talbot is 7 going on globally successful". U.S.A. Today. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  23. ^ Ellam, Dennis (16 November 2008). "Connie: The world tour". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 16 November 2008. 
  24. ^ Burger, David (20 November 2008). "Music: 8-year-old phenom Connie Talbot captures Utah's attention". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 21 November 2008. 
  25. ^ "Connie to perform in America". Rhythm Riders. 24 April 2009. Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 30 April 2009. Connie will be travelling to America on a whirlwind promotional tour from April 30th through to May 2nd. She will be performing on a couple of television shows and just announced that she will be performing and signing autographs at a very special store appearance. 
  26. ^ "8-Year-Old Songbird Connie Talbot". Fox Broadcasting Company. 29 April 2009. Retrieved 30 April 2009. 
  27. ^ a b c Mawer, Sharon. "Over the Rainbow". Allmusic. Retrieved 5 April 2008. 
  28. ^ a b c Levine, Nick (3 December 2007). "Connie Talbot: 'Over The Rainbow'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 5 December 2007. 
  29. ^ Wilkinson, Ben; Tanfield, Jim; Moss, Chris. "CD Reviews". Harlow Star. Retrieved 5 December 2007. 
  30. ^ Bedi, Rashvin. "Over the Rainbow". The Star. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  31. ^ a b "Over the Rainbow". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2008. 
  32. ^ Mawer, Sharon. "Connie Talbot". Allmusic. Retrieved 7 April 2008. 
  33. ^ "Connie signs album deal". Express & Star. 18 October 2007. Retrieved 23 October 2007. 
  34. ^ Hyung-eun, Kim (4 December 2008). "Mini superstar returns to Korea". JoonAng Daily. Retrieved 3 December 2008. 
  35. ^ "Over the Rainbow". Billboard. Retrieved 21 September 2009. 

External links[edit]