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Lulu’s Back in Town

album_lulutosirI’m going for an all-’60s month on eMusic, with Lulu’s To Sir With Love the latest acquisition. This brief (32 minutes) album was given punchy production and arrangements by, respectively, Mickie Most and future Led Zepplener John Paul Jones. Lulu has a throaty voice with the kind of carefully enunciated phrasing that seems better suited to musical theater than peppy ’60s music (witness the LP’s goofy closer, “You And I”). Despite that, she’s adorable and the album is a good showcase for her versatility. Everybody knows the beautiful title cut, of course, but there are a few other tracks worth noting, including the jumpy Neil Diamond-penned “The Boat That I Row” and “Best Of Both Worlds,” a plush ballad in the Dusty Springfield mold. Honestly, the thought of somebody else covering stuff like “Day Tripper” and “To Love Somebody” fills me with dread, but Lulu (along with those brassy arrangements) manages to make them her own. This album also contains the oft-sampled “Love Loves To Love Love” and “Take Me In Your Arms and Love Me,” a cover of a somewhat obscure Gladys Knight & The Pips tune. Merely a notch better than the typical album of 1967, perhaps, but real cute all the same — Lulu knows how to bring the groovy.

One Thought on “Lulu’s Back in Town

  1. I have a collection of Lulu’s material from the Mickie Most-era that spans from about 1967 to 1969. I am familiar with all the tracks you mentioned. Before I knew her for more than just the song “To Sir, With Love,” I never would have imagined her as able to really carry across a song as she actually does. Lulu is terrific! Oh! And rarely do I enjoy Motown covers by non-Motown artists. Often, the producers and/or singers just can’t do the music and lyrics justice. Lulu is a rare exception. Back in the ’60s, the British artists loved their “American Soul” and tried to record their own versions–mostly failing in their attempts. Like Dusty Springfield, Lulu is one of the few who I can totally dig covering Motown songs!

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