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The Wonder of it All (2004) - Wonder α
the wonder of it all cd cover

Listen to/download the title track and Songs Like These from this album

Track list: I Knew It All Along/The Wonder Of It All/A Wiser Fool/This Puzzle Of Mine/Songs Like These/My England/Soul Coat/An Ordinary Street/When You Retire Into Winter/If That Is Youth/I Picked A Flower In Ispahan/Life's Unhurried Prose

Buy this album

*see below for offline stockist details

The wonder is that this record got made at all. Since the release of My Favourite Part Of You, which had actually been recorded two years ago, I'd lost much of my impetus to do the rounds of various record companies to find a backer for the next project. The songs kept coming, the desire hadn't waned, fans and friends were as encouraging as ever. But I'd been struggling with my health, fearing at one time that I would never be able to perform again. The heart and the mind wished one thing; the body another - rest.

And where to go? Favourable as the reception of My Favourite Part Of You may have been, and proud all those who had been involved in its making may have felt, I could not but wonder if it was all worth it - until it became obvious that there could only be one answer to that question - a big, resounding "yes". As Ken and I started laying down the first demos of what would become the present album, we could sense that this was not going to be an "ordinary" album. There was something in these songs - twenty at the time, of which eight will have to wait to see the light of day - which demanded a radically different approach to their treatment; there would be no symphony orchestra, not even a string octet; no brass either. I'd have to devise arrangements of a different kink, pick my colours from another box. though there were rarely more than two people in Ken's studio at any given time, we'd spend more time refining this collection of songs than at any other time in my career. It should convey a greater sense of intimacy, but "grandeur" too; it would be a different light that bathed the record, one which what I'd written demanded. As I discovered I could still be surprised by what I came up with, the urge to carry on became stronger than ever.

But this was no solitary work, far from it. more people were involved in the creation of The Wonder Of It All than on any of my previous albums, starting with the fans who had enough belief in my music to provide the financial backing necessary to its completion. Their names appear on the CD sleeve, since this record is theirs as well as mine. Others provided their talent in the studio, and their encouragement from the sidelines, until, late one evening in mid-October, we switched off the mixing desk for the last time.

It now strikes me as an evidence - Jonathan Coe may have (rightly) said in the lyrics to the title track that "we live in an ocean of choices, trying to swim as best we can"; but there is one island in that ocean, which I'll always be drawn to, where there is no choice, but an overwhelming sense of necessity. What flows within must run its course. And there lies the greatest wonder of them all.

Louis Philippe, October 2004

Featured Musicians: Louis Philippe (voice, guitars, keyboards, melodica and percussion); Danny Manners (bass & double bass, keyboards); Andy Lymn (drums & percussion); Sean O'Hagan (Spanish guitar, banjo); David Longdon (flutes)

Production: Recorded and mixed by Ken Brake at Regal Lane Studio, Regent's Park, London.

*The Wonder Of It All can also be purchased at the following retailers:

United Kingdom
Rough Trade, 16 Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9DP
tel : +44-(0)20 7240 0105

Rough Trade, 130 Talbot Road, Notting Hill, London W11 1JA
tel: +44-(0)20 7229 8541

Bonjour Records, 24-1 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
tel: +81 (0)3 54 58 60 20

Exodisc, 70 rue Mont Cenis 75018 Paris
tel: +33-(0)1-42-23-39-40.
Ground Zero, 12, rue de Crussol 75011 Paris
tel/fax: +33-(0)1-43 55 32 76

Second Hand Records, Holzstr.21, 70173 Stuttgart

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