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"Shiver In The Night (Book)"

Andy self-published his autobiography memoirs in a book titled:

Shiver In The Night

Book Review Written by
Brett Milano, August 2008

Sharing his life secrets is nothing new for Andy Pratt: He’s been doing that for the past thirty years, in a string of creative and idiosyncratic albums. So as you’d expect, his biography "Shiver in the Night" is as honest and unflinching as was his album of the same name. His story is a classic rock’n’roll journey: He got into music out of love, wrote a timeless song almost by accident, then hit the heights without being fully prepared. Rolling Stone declared him the future of rock, the Who’s lead singer covered his song, lovers of thoughtful songwriting took him to heart. And the sudden fame took its toll on Prattt’s relationships and his internal life. Yet for all its painful moments the story isn’t a tragic one, as the hard times led to a spiritual awakening and further musical explorations.

Pratt’s book draws you right in, opening with a triumphant Boston show that was both the height of his career and a major turning point. He’s forthcoming about a privileged yet troubled childhood, and about the behind-the-scenes fallout that nearly derailed his career before it started. But you also feel his excitement at playing Beatles songs in a Harvard garage band; and the 70’s music industry where a gifted outsider could still get a major-label deal. He provides a memorable picture of Boston in the 70s, when the city was more adventurous than it is now. Pratt doesn’t let himself off the hook as he reveals failed love affairs that led to a successful one. But you also feel the confidence that hides behind his vulnerability: This is an artist who once found U2’s Bono asking if he could sing on his record, only to turn Bono down because he knew that the record didn’t need any improving.

If you know Pratt’s music you’ll be fascinated by the stories behind it; and fans will be glad to know that he’s lately been performing with renewed fervor. Yet the story here is pretty much universal: Like Pratt the singer, Andy Pratt the writer hits some high and resonant notes.

Brett Milano

Brett Milano is a Book Author and Music Review Writer for The Boston Phoenix, The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald.
- Brett Milano


"Andy Pratt - Resolution (Album)"

Album Review
Andy Pratt - Resolution

Written by Stephen Holden
Rolling Stone Magazine
July 1, 1976

Resolution successfully resurrects the late-Sixties idea of rock as high art. Inspired by the best psychedelic rock of everyone from the Beach Boys to the Rolling Stones, Resolution blends the mature styles of these groups in one of the most elaborate and costly rock productions ever undertaken. By enhancing their musical ideas with his own more sophisticated style, Pratt accomplishes the fusion of rock and classical music that so many artists have tried for and missed.


The philosophy of Resolution is simple and, in terms of rock trends, dated, since John Lennon summed it up nine years ago: all you need is love. But Pratt is the first rock artist to attempt to sustain this idea for a whole album—the first to take David Crosby's statement that music is love and try to prove the equation. And he does. While the Beatles confused love with politics, the Beach Boys with fun, the Stones with seduction, and Donovan with childhood, Pratt's open-ended definition includes all of the above and more.


From his postpsychedelic perch, Pratt describes love as a "searching song" in lyrics that are alternately autobiographical and visionary: they evoke the immediacy of a mystical experience. Though mystical transcendence followed by a missionary desire to share the experience is common enough these days, most people, in their zeal to share, become mired in earnestness. Not Pratt.


Resolution is no overnight career success. Pratt's out-of-print 1971 debut on Polydor, Records Are like Life, presented him as an eccentric, jazzy singer/songwriter influenced equally by Mose Allison, Donovan and the Beatles. Two years later, on his second, more rock oriented album for Columbia, Pratt flaunted many of the stylistic qualities that show up on Resolution in a more disciplined form: rhythmic adventurousness, frequent and unpredictable harmonic modulation and offbeat multiple vocals.


On Resolution, Pratt's avantgarde impulses are restrained in a much fuller, more melodic context. The lyrics are simple and compelling and, though mystically directed, too emotionally raw to fall prey to smugness or didacticism. The first and last cuts, "Resolution" and "Love Song," serve as bookends to a Mass of life in which the music, lyrics, singing and production work together.


What makes the album emotionally and spiritually overwhelming is the vulnerability of Pratt's singing. Though his passionate lead vocals must have taken hours to record, they have the explosive spontaneity of inspired first takes. Pratt, who can sound like many rock stars when he wants to, resembles Mick Jagger most often in his fierce hard-rock attacks and Leo Sayer in his falsetto. But Jagger sounds mannered and jaded after Pratt, while Sayer seems the slapstick vaudevillian beside Pratt's cosmic clown.


In its technical achievement alone, Resolution sets production standards that the record industry will be unable to ignore. Arif Mardin's extraordinarily rich production points the way toward a style of record making more ambitious and complex than anything Brian Wilson and Phil Spector have attempted. Though the sound of Resolution is grandly phantasmagoric, every instrument is clearly articulated and mixed hot. Always emotionally charged, the instrumental textures evoke volcanic eroticism on one cut, aching tenderness on another. The musical fabric is thick enough to support an unusually heavy drum sound, while Mardin's orchestral arrangements and his use of upper-register percussion are unprecedentedly lavish for a rock album.


The songs carry rock harmony one step beyond the Beach Boys and the Stones. Because they modulate so frequently and unexpectedly, they require great concentration. Given that, the changes seem not just logical, but inevitable. Not even the most die-hard antirock fanatic could call these melodies boring or clichéd, for their cadences are mercurial like no one else's. Like the late-19th-century Romantic composers, especially Scriabin and Mahler, Pratt uses chromatic restlessness to evoke extreme emotional volatility. It would all probably seem silly and overwrought if he didn't balance this intensity with humor, a characteristic that was in very short supply among late-19th-century Romantics.


Resolution is filled with accessible, joyful humor. "If You Could See Yourself (Through My Eyes)" bounces around like a squeaky calliope. "Set Your Sights" skids along to a jaunty Caribbean motif. "Treasure That Canary" segues from a near replica of the Stones' "No Expectations" into an improvement on the main theme of the Beach Boys' "Sail On Sailor." Toward the end of "Karen's Song," a riveting piece of erotica, Pratt laughs at himself and confides: "But when she strips me naked and oh how she can/ You see a little fuzzy-brained intellectual/Who just became a real man." Such candor is hard to resist. Probably the best-sounding cut of all, "That's When Miracles Occur," magically fuses the style of the Bee Gee's "Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)" with that of the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" in music that romps ecstatically.


Resolution's reflective ballads create a nice balance with its antic celebrations. "Constant Heat," a shivering, orgasmic devotion, contains the album's most romantic music. The most touching song, "Can't Stop My Love," is a remembrance by Pratt of his late father that blends conversational and elegiac diction:


You used to carry me to bed And I turned away from you I held back my love I know that now.

Can't stop my love for you. Here I am still alive.


The album's ample rock guitar grows organically out of carefully plotted keyboard-based structures. On his last album, Pratt played and sang almost every part; here he hands the guitar work to Mark Doyle, a little-known but first-rate talent. "Resolution," "Karen's Song" and "Treasure That Canary," in particular, show Doyle to be a master of the Mick Ralphs/Mick Ronson guitar style.


Obviously Pratt has long seen in the best of the Stones and the Beach Boys the flowering of a genuine high art rock tradition. Unlike other art rock aspirants, Pratt believes in the potential greatness of the form enough to work with the ambition of a classical composer almost entirely within rock's own tradition. Pratt's last album didn't quite accomplish this because too much of it imitated his idols' experiments. Resolution builds only from their successes. While the orchestration has a classical kind of grandeur, it is used throughout the album in the rock manner, for textural augmentation only, and not thematic exposition. The distinction is crucial. Finally, and most importantly, the humor and eroticism of Resolution are totally rock based, they'd be almost unthinkable in another musical genre. By reviving the dream of rock as art and then reinventing it, Pratt has forever changed the face of rock. (RS 216)

STEPHEN HOLDEN
- Rolling Stone Magazine


Discography

For more info and to hear music please check out my main web site: http://andyprattmusic.tripod.com

1971 - Records are like life - Polydor - strange songs, clever and busy-fast.

1973 - Andy Pratt - Columbia - starts off with my only real hit, Avenging Annie. This album is on Al Kooper's top 100 (see his web site). Avenging Annie was covered by the Who's Roger Daltrey.
just about everything on this album is great. its available on amazon.com as a japanese import.

1976 - Resolution - Nemporer/Atlantic - produced by Arif Mardin - very popular with my fans, a positive, uplifting album. Luther Vandross sings backup, and many top musicians play.

1977- Shiver in the Night - Nemporer/Atlantic - produced by Arif Mardin - also popular, the only recording of my 70's touring band - strong funk party influence. Andy Newmark and the Brecker Brothers appear, as well as Luther Vandross.

1979 - Motives - Nemporer/Epic - produced by Yes's Eddy Offord, featuring David Sancious and his band - jazzy, quirky, spiritual music.

1982 - Fun in the First World - Enzone Records -produced by Leroy Radcliff of the Chartbusters, eighties apocalyptic rock.

1983 - Not Just For Dancing - Lamborghini Records - produced by Leroy Radcliffe, featuring Steven Hague of the Pet Shop Boys. Eighties, Thomas Dolby influence, some beautiful wide-ranging Christian songs. Featuring the Double Fantasy rhythm section Tony Levin and Andy Newmark. Funi in the First World and Not Just for Dancing are now combined and released on the Dutch label Corazong as Age of Goodbye, available all over the Internet.

1987 - Perfect Therapy - Produced in Germany by Dan Cutrona. Released in Holland by GMI records and became their most successful album that year. Beautiful Gospel/pop.

1991 - Life - produced in Germany by Dan Cutrona - GMI - considered by some my best Gospel record.

1992 - One Body - GMI - produced in Germany and Toronto by Dan Cutrona - powerful healing music

1994 - Fire of Love - produced in Germany, Toronto, and the Netherlands by Dan Cutrona and Jos Hagmans - GMI - powerful healing music.

1996 - Runaway Heart - produced in the Netherlands by Andy Pratt and Jos Hagmans. no drums. peaceful Christian music. as yet unreleased
Selected tracks can be heard on the compilation Heaven and Earth

2001 - Cover Me - produced in Syracuse by Mark Doyle. radio versions of 15 cover songs, by Bowie, John Lennon, Grandmaster Flash, Fred Neil, Aaron Neville, the Temptations, the Beach Boys, etc.

2002 - I'm All Right - Produced by Mark Doyle.

2003 - Cover Me

2003 - Andy Pratt Solo

2003 - LIVE at the Village Underground in New York

2003 - New Resolutions - compilation of new songs and songs from unreleased cds, containing the single "Change your Mind", which is getting airplay here and there. several songs produced in Nashville by John Billings, Donna Summer's bass player.

2004 - Age of Goodbye - A Dutch release, basically a compilation of Fun in the First World and Age of Goodbye.

2008 - Masters of War

My latest two albums listed below are 'in the can'. I'm looking for a Record Label to help release them.

2008-09 - Songs For the Dying (UNRELEASED)

2008-09 - The Snake Charmer (UNRELEASED)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Andy Pratt grew up in a very rich family, attended prep schools and graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Literature. He has a lot of experience with women, and some with drugs, which he no longer does. He had a radio hit in 1973 with "Avenging Annie" (Columbia Records). In 1976 and 1977 he did two albums for Atlantic Records, with the famous record producer Arif Mardin. Then toured the country with a great band, truck loads of equipment and roadies, playing concerts to thousands of people. He has continued to write and record albums ever since, over 20 Albums and more to come... Andy has worked with some of the best musicians in the world and is respected by all of them. Andy Pratt music is unique and emotional, influenced by all kinds of pop, rock, jazz, and classical music too. Some of his all-time heroes are David Bowie, Brian Wilson, Marvin Gaye, and Bill Evans. Other influences include the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Motown artist. He loves almost anything that has ever been on the radio, especially in the fifties, sixties, seventies, and eighties. He also loves classical music, such as Brahms and Rachmaninoff, just to name two. For more information on Andy Pratt the Rock/Pop Star Legend please visit his mani web site: http://andyprattmusic.tripod.com