sábado, 16 de mayo de 2009

Petula Clark: My Love (1966) ... plus

This is one of the 17 major albums Petula Clark recorded for Pye Records between 1957 and 1971. The result of her first New York sessions, the set was issued at the height of their popularity and, as well-loved as it was then, critical opinion of it has grown rather than diminished over the years. Produced by Tony Hatch, there are no less than nine original songs written by him, either alone or in collaboration with Petula. There is the pair of international smash hits ‘My Love’ (a US nº 1, which Petula hated then and still dislikes) and ‘A Sign of the Times’, which with its bouncy B-side ‘Time for Love’, not only stormed up the charts round the world, but also became a Northern Soul favourite. Another highlight is ‘The Life and Soul of the Party’, on of the finest beat songs Petula recorded. It was considered as the first single of the set until Hatch was told that the title meant nothing in the States. ‘Dance with Me’, in contrast, is a slow seductive and hypnotic track, while ‘Hold on to What You Got’ is as raunchy and driving as you could wish and Hatch’s ‘31st of June’ is ‘60s pop at its best. Petula wrote the melodies for two masterpieces which became concert classics and, by the way, are among my favourite Petula Clark’s numbers. ‘Just Say Goodbye’ became a smash hit for her in French, Italian and German and d a huge success for the Walker Brothers round the world. ‘Where Did We Go Wrong’ was just as haunting and provided Petula with a number 1 in South Africa when lifted as a 45. Add to these originals three wonderful covers and the result is a classic album indeed. From Guys and Dolls is remarkable ‘If I Were a Bell’, from the Beatles’ songbook a driving and convincing ‘We Can Work It Out’ and from the then-unknown Randy Newman, the classic ‘Can’t Remember (Ever Loving you)’. As bonus tracks, this out-of-print reissue from 1994 has added another great Beatles cover, ‘Rain’, and two of Petula’s self-penned 1966 B-sides ‘Love Is a Long Long Journey’ and ‘Your Way of Life’, three beautiful and rare tracks. Taken from the original liner notes.

Petula singing live 'My Love':

Here, on a TV performance of 'A Sign of the Times':

The Italian version of another of my favourite Petula's songs, 'Just Say Goodbye':

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