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Sweet Beginnings [Import, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks]

Marlena ShawAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Price: $23.11 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 9 Songs, 2012 $7.99  
Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, 2011 $23.11  
Vinyl, 1977 --  

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Frequently Bought Together

Sweet Beginnings + Who Is This Bitch,  Anyway? + Spice of Life
Price for all three: $50.00

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 25, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: BBR
  • ASIN: B004EK3L0S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,871 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Pictures And Memories
2. Yu-Ma
3. Go Away Little Boy
4. The Writing's On The Wall
5. Walk Softly
6. Sweet Beginnings
7. Look At Me, Look At You (We're Flying)
8. No Deposit, No Return
9. Johnny
10. I Think I'll Tell Him
11. Pictures And Memories

Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered reissue of the 'quiet storm' vocalist's 1977 album for Columbia. Once the most popular female vocalist at Blue Note, Sweet Beginnings is considered one of her best albums. Includes her hit cover of Gerry Goffin & Carole King's 'Go Away Little Boy'.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent May 1, 2010
Format:Audio CD
Soul singers, except for Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, George Clinton, the heavies, are not inventors. They go where the music does.

As goes Marlina Shaw. Shaw did a fantastic album in the late 1960s called Spice of Life which had soul, jazz, and a terrific cover of the 5Ds "California Soul."

Roll your CD player up a decade, and we have Sweet Beginnings. This is a commercial album, but given streamlined late 1970s soul, this is good. Here we have a little jazz inflecting work, some disco, and some nice torch song.

But what makes it all work, well, is Shaw's taste. This album walks a thin rope down the mainstream middle, avoiding extremes such as the syrup bath of How 'Bout Us by Champaign, the Big Easy whip crack of Labelle's Lady Marmalade, or the experiments of George Clinton.

Shaw has, like all great singers, an actors pacing and drama, and she makes the right choices each time out. She is able to make the soul sweet and not sappy, and her voice is crisp, direct and unaffected. So even when she covers what would be lounge of a lesser talent, "Go Away Little Boy," Shaw keeps it light jazz, great light jazz, and it works to a tee.

Great album
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SWEET, SEXY, SASSY AND SOULFUL !!!. September 27, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I became aware of MARLENA SHAW'S amazing style and ability by the thought provoking and haunting song "WOMAN OF THE GHETTO", which realy got me hooked!!.
Her style is so unique...the monologues...her crystal clear voice...which can go up and down the scales in an instant...her versatility is similar to AL JARREAU!!.
Thanks, this wonderful album,which is perhaps her very best is at last now available on a fully digitised compact disc, with a top class inlay card loaded with outstanding liner notes, well presented!!.
This sassy album, perfect from top to bottom, kicks off with the sad yet lively "PICTURES AND MEMORIES",real sweet!!, then comes the ultimate track.."YU-MA/GO AWAY LITTLE BOY"!!. This cut have it all!!..sweet, sexy, sassy and indeed soulful!!. Mayhaps MARLENA SHAW'S greatest record!!. IT's my most loved MARLENA song!!. This is drama at it's best!!.
Next is "THE WRITINGS ON THE WALL", as lively as ever!!. "WALK SOFTLY" is a sad pretty ballard, I love this one too!. Things get busy again with the title tract.."SWEET BEGINNINGS", real sweet and uptempo. The jazz in her realy comes out in the breezy "LOOK AT ME,LOOK AT YOU(WE'RE FLYING)",well done, a favourite!!.
Another jazzy piece is the swinging/dipping "NO DEPOSIT,NO RETURN",this one will wake you up!!. "JOHNNY" is a mellow ballard refering to a very special friend in a fantasy manner..smooth..MARLENA finishes off with the lively,jazzy, yet very brazen.."I THINK I'LL TELL HIM", here, she cheats and is summoning the courage to tell him!! that's guts!!!. I love it!!. The single version of "PICTURES AND MEMORIES" is added as a bonus tract.
IF a fan, it is already under lock and key in your private stock!!, if not,please reserve your copy today...highly recomended.. It will quickly become one of your favouries...just as it is one of mines...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb jazzy soul beautifully remastered August 21, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Marlena Shaw has always been a strong willed versatile female vocalist who can tackle a multitude of genres to huge success. Her standard style is as a true jazz singer and there is a hint of jazz in all her songs whatever the genre. SWEET BEGINNINGS from 1977 was Marlena's first release with Columbia and is very succesful at showing the great and diverse talent this woman possesses. The album opens with PICTURES AND MEMORIES a soulful uptempo track that rings with r@b and jazz touches. Then we move onto the album highlight which is her take of GO AWAY LITTLE BOY. This song has classic all over it and she rings out every emotion as she caresses this jazzy story song for almost 7 minutes. It is here that her true mastery of the craft is shown. The title track and THE WRITING'S ON THE WALL both show her tackling strong uptempo r@b tinged tracks. Excellent. LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT YOU and JOHNNY totally change things with their light and airy sound that provide an amazing backdrop for very sensual performances from Ms. Shaw. WALK SOFTLY is a lovely ballad. The album closes with a joyous uptempo jazz track I THINK I'LL TELL HIM that is true Marlena Shaw. This peppy number is actually about a woman talking about telling her man she has cheated and she is thrilled. And this is what Marlena Shaw does. Her personality is in the forefront as she owns each song with emotive ability. She lives each song and this album provides many styles which she tackles in amazing voice.

The album is a tour de force from beginning to end and BBR presents it here on cd beautifully remastered with a bonus track and extensive liner notes. A great musical package. This cd is a must have. This is not just a great jazz/soul album from the 70s but rather a cd from one of the greatest jazz vocalists of all time. If you know of Marlena Shaw a purchase is a no brainer and if this is your first introduction you will not be disappointed. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost Treasure Found August 26, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
What a treat to have this terrific late 70's soul gem on CD. BBR does a masterful job re-mastering these out of print titles. Every song here is a winner. Marlena Shaw is in great vocal form, the material is first rate and the liner notes are a must.
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