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Happy Love


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Audio CD, November 5, 1996
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 5, 1996)
  • Original Release Date: 1981
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: One Way Records
  • ASIN: B000002R24
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #400,834 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. You Were Right Girl
2. Only Love
3. Nothin' But A Fool
4. The Joke Is On You
5. These Eyes
6. When A Man Loves A Woman
7. I Can't Let Go
8. Love And Kisses
9. Across The Nation

Editorial Reviews

One Way Records Label

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nathaniel Marsaleno McGhee on July 3, 2004
Format: Audio CD
With the release of Natalie Cole's 1981 Album Happy Love the comparosons of Nat King Cole,Aretha Franklin,Diana Ross,Chaka Khan,Ella Fitzgerald,and Nancy Wilson are almost nonexistant as well as broadening her style from the 1970's into the 1980's.There is the Country of You We're Right Girl,Nothin'But A Fool,The Joke Is On You,I Can't Let Go,and Love And Kisses.The R&B of Only Love and the Remake of Pearcy Sledge's When A Man Loves A Woman,the Rock of The Guess Who Remake These Eyes,and the final Disco of Across The Nation.
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Format: Vinyl
Considering her personal situation during the early 1980's? It's more than surprising that Natalie Cole could upkeep her schedule of releasing an album or so per year during this time period. Yet somehow she managed to get through this album featuring the talents of bass player Keni Burke. "You Were Right Girl" starts the album with mid-tempo doo wop type number while "Only Love" is an instrumentally joyous and catchy poppy uptempo funk/soul number.

A cover of "These Eyes" is done up in a more stripped down,mid tempo danceable soul/pop type sound while the upbeat gospel hued uptempo funky soul of "Across The Nation",with it's percussive instrumental bridge,are the highlights of an album that for the most part consists of lyrically downbeat adult contemporary ballads such as "Nothin' But A Fool","The Joke Is On You","I Can't Let Go","Love And Kisses" and a cover of "When A Man Loves A Woman".

The dour nature of some of the romantically themed music here isn't surprising. She was dealing with her own romantic and substance abuse related problems. This album has a very different flavor from most of Natalie's earlier albums. It's very much in the vein of where the Pointer Sisters were going musically during this time. Most of these songs have a sleek contemporary pop production of an easy going countryfied soul style. Yet when the funk and uptempo gospel soul percolates? It really does so with vigor. Have to congratulate the lady for staying vocally on her game during such a rough time for her.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Starr on July 30, 2009
Format: Audio CD
With a title like "Happy Love," one would expect happy songs that celebrate good love. However, what you get here instead is a strangely uneven platter which features two of the most painstakingly heartbreaking and hopeless singles about love gone awry to introduce this album ("You Were Right, Girl" and "Nothin' But A Fool."), which didn't fare very well on the charts nor with the masses either. It's too bad because after the success of "Someone That I Used to Love" and its major bid for a Pop audience, "You Were Right, Girl" was the perfect vehicle for Cole to further that bid. Capitol might have just entitled this album, "UNhappy Love." It would have made more sense.

It's not to say that it isn't a good album, because it really IS and there still ARE some moments worth salvaging, but on the whole, it leaves a lot more to be desired. It's just not up there with her BEST albums. This is apparent in the overall sequencing of the record and especially in the song selection which makes for a rather jerky audio experience. Incidentally, "Happy Love" would end longtime production with Marvin Yancy (her husband) and Chuck Jackson and introduce collaborations with Mike Piccorillo and Gary Goetzman at the board (High Inergy, Latoya Jackson, etc...) I WILL say THIS: her semi-spoken vocal delivery on "Nothin' But A Fool" could EASILY bring one to tears. It's heartache at its wrist-slitting best and has the power to conjure up memories of one's most disappointing past love experiences. Picture yourself inside a smoky bar and you're all alone with a drink after you finally submit to the idea that you've been MAJORLY stood up. It hurts. She NAILS it on this one.
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