Catalogue Number: Ace of Clubs ACL1232
Review Format: LP
Release Year: 1967
It is amusing to look back to what an album was in the sixties. Back then, an album was basically a cash in consisting of a hit single or two and a bundle of covers to pad out the running time. Nowadays that would never happen of course. Well actually it would - big record companies do not seem to move with the times. Anyway, the Vinyl Vault is a source of many treasures and this 1967 album from Lulu caught our attention.
They really had the art (!) of the sleeve note sorted then. We are informed that Lulu is "an impish 5'2" …" and she has "… more energy than a Mars Bar". They just don't do them like that anymore. Now to the songs themselves. Covers one and all, of course, but quite a tasteful selection nonetheless including "Stubborn Kind'a Fellow", "Lies" and "I'll Come Running Over". Lulu gives a pretty good account of herself too with "Leave A Little Love" and "Surprise, Surprise" (by those hardened songsmiths Jagger and Richards) working best and the schmaltzy "Call Me" sounding rather out of place and uncomfortable. Of course, her hit single version of "Shout" is in there too. The arrangements are pretty much karaoke versions of the original arrangements but that was a very common practice in the British record industry in those days and, for the trainspotters out there amongst you, Jimmy Page famously pops up as a session musician on the album as well.
This was actually quite an enjoyable album to listen to. The reverb laden backing tracks do seem dated but they have a cohesiveness that today's digital perfection often fails to capture and Lulu's voice is big and confident. Given the benefit of hindsight, it is easy to see why she has managed to stay in the business for so long. That's a long time too as according to the Bluesbunny calculator, this album is 40 years old.
May 23, 2008
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