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Gruesome Twosome: Feelin’ Mellow Edition

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Lani Hall: “Love Song”
LP: Sun Down Lady, 1972

Nanette Natal: “Knowing You”
LP: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, 1969

Today I’m digging the kind of music that comes across like a cup of warm coffee on a Sunday morning — mellow, yet invigorating. Lani Hall’s “Love Song” was recorded shortly after the singer left Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66, and based on this tune it was apparent that she desired to sound as little like her former band as possible. Producer Herb Albert (soon to marry Ms. Hall) was going after an easygoing L.A. vibe here, with a little bit of funkiness and a haunting quality in the lady’s voice. I don’t know much about Nanette Natal, but apparently early in her career she made a splash as a teen folk prodigy in the Janis Ian vein. “Knowing You” is quite an extraordinary song, starting out introspective and quiet before it launches into a simmering groovy ’60s vibe. Both of these are short-but-sweet overlooked gems, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

4 Thoughts on “Gruesome Twosome: Feelin’ Mellow Edition

  1. OMG! LOL It was as the Lani Hall track ended that I began to harmonize with it in my head and realized that I knew the song…but who else sang it??!??! It took me a minute and a quick search of my iTunes library to come up with the other artist: Dionne Warwick! She recorded the song in 1972, too! Her version is still quiet and slightly intimate, but not as laid back as Lani/Herb’s take on the song. I wonder who released it first?

    The Nanette track is definitely groovy, too!

    Thanks for sharing these, Matt!

    -Dan

  2. These are wonderful! I love your website.

  3. Thanks, JH.

    Dan, it appears that songwriter Lesley Duncan and Elton John both best Lani and Dionne to the song by at least 2 years. I liked Dionne’s version, too!

  4. I’m listening to a version of “Love Song” by Olivia Newton-John as I type this. It’s pretty. Don’t know when it was recorded, though. Never heard either Elton’s or Lesley Duncan’s versions before.

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