jueves, 3 de diciembre de 2009

Madeline Bell: Bell's a Poppin' (1967) ... plus

Though born in New Jersey, smooth soul diva Madeline Bell enjoyed her greatest success in the United Kingdom (where she began living in 1963), and her first album, 1967's Bell's a Poppin', is a thoroughly enjoyable example of British pop record-making at its most poised and professional. Bell had a world-class voice and sang supper-club soul in the manner of Dionne Warwick and Dusty Springfield (the latter of whom was a friend of Bell's and often used her as a backing vocalist). Those looking for Southern soul grit will be disappointed, but Bell's a Poppin' is a marvelous example of the British equivalent of Brill Building pop. The arrangements are clever and sophisticated, the musicians are spot-on throughout, producer John Franz adds just the right amount of polish without rubbing away the personality of the music, and Bell's vocals tell a story just beautifully, boasting smarts and understated passion while maintaining a firm sense of control and balance throughout. Franz also rounded up some great songs for Bell, with Pomus/Shuman, Bacharach/David, John Sebastian, and Ashford/Simpson among the tunesmiths represented on this disc. Highlights include 'You Don't Love Me No More', 'Beat the Clock', 'Mr. Dream Merchant', 'Soul Time', and 'I'm Gonna Make You Love Me'. Fans of the slicker side of Northern soul and great mid-'60s pop-soul will delight in Bell's a Poppin'. This reissue adds a handful of non-LP singles that are every bit as enjoyable, especially an interesting cover of the Beatles' 'You Won't See Me' and Baby Washington's 'I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face'. http://www.allmusic.com/
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Madeline Bell perfoming one of the bonus tracks included here, 'Don't Come Running to Me':
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Clip of Madeline singing Picture Me Gone (1967):

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