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Cage the Songbird Import

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, May 13, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Kiki's career within the music industry has been a unique and incredible ride, spanning four decades. She has covered all bases - from classic interpretations of soul hits, to a repertoire of live and recorded material which includes eight UK top forty hits as well as masterful performances in major West End musicals. In Bradford during the 60's, Kiki began her career as a vocalist with a local dance band. Her first major break as a session singer was performing backing vocals for Dusty Springfield. In 1964, her debut solo recording of the Mitch Murray song Early Night led to a series of Phil Spector style tracks before Kiki moved on to cover contemporary US soul hits, attracting the attention of Tamla Motown's executives. Kiki became the first European artist to be signed to the label. Despite widespread critical acclaim, commercial success remained elusive until 1973 when Kiki signed to Elton John's Rocket Records label. The anticipated commercial success materialised. Amoureuse (1973), the first single from the Elton John produced album Loving And Free, became Kiki's first Top Twenty hit and remained in the charts for thirteen weeks. Following singles were I Got The Music In Me (1974) and You Don't Know, How Glad I Am (1975), both reaching the UK top 40. In 1976 Kiki's duet with Elton John: Don't Go Breaking My Heart became a surprise number one single in the US and UK. Subsequent chart hits for Kiki in the 70's and early 80's include Loving and Free (13) and Amoureuse (13 in1976), First Thing In The Morning (32 in 1977), Chicago (28 in 1977) and Star (13 in 1981). Rising to a new challenge in 1984, Kiki took her first singing and acting role in the West End hit Pump Boys And The Dinettes. She went on to star in Willy Russell's award-winning Blood Brothers for which she was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award. In between Kiki took time out to work on an album with Dave Stewart in 1986 and to record vocals for Elton's studio album The One. In 1993 Kiki took the chart by storm again with True Love (2), the duet with Elton John.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 13, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B000F8O7QU
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #538,979 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Leonardo on June 14, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Wow! I think I have a new favorite Kiki Dee album. I have been playing this CD over and over again, like I played "Kiki Dee" and "Stay with Me" when they first came out.

Why this album was never released in the first place is a mystery. I remember reading interviews in which Kiki stated that it wasn't up to the company's (Rocket Records)expectations and I find it really strange as I feel it contains some of her best vocals ever, as well as several potential singles. I always thought her "Stay with Me" album vocals were some of her best, but I may be changing my mind. It was probably due to the mediocre chart success of her previous singles "How Glad I Am" and "Once A Fool" and maybe Rocket was trying to position Kiki as a singer-songwriter. It doesn't appear that she wrote or co-wrote any of the songs on this album.

The CD opens with "Cage the Songbird" which is based on the life of Edith Piaf and is all the more poignant, if you've seen the movie "La Vie En Rose". Kiki's vocals are absolutely beautiful on this excellent ballad track written by Elton John, Bernie Taupin and Davey Johnstone.

"Uphill Piece of Mind" has some of Kiki's gutsiest vocals and would have been a great track at AOR radio back in the day, maybe even a single. It's one of my favorites and a reminder of how much she could rock!

"Prince of Fools" is country-rock ballad that sounds like it could have been lifted from the "Loving and Free" sessions. Again, she sounds fantastic, great vocals.

"Once A Fool" - it's so good to have this on CD, as this has always been one of my absolute favorite Kiki songs. I love the vocals (some of her best), the hooks, the strings.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Buried treasure unearthed here, as Kiki's shelved 1976 album finally gets to be heard. Only ONCE A FOOL was released as a single - a great, catchy pop song that should have charted higher. There are many interesting songs on here, some of which fans may know , like A MAN AFTER MY OWN HEART - a beautiful ballad that Kiki did in concert, and here in a studio version at last. Also the original versions of 2 songs that were re-recorded for the 1977 " KIKI DEE " album - CHICAGO and FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. The versions here are much more in a rock band sound, without the elaborate strings given them on the 1977 versions. My favorite is absolutely ROCK AND ROLL ME BABY, better known in the US from it's later charted version by Dave Mason - SO HIGH [ ROCK ME BABY AND ROLL ME AWAY ]. This should have been a single, as it's just a perfect melodic rocker. Then, there are versions of some well known classic hits, some beautiful ballads , and a rather eerie, strange mid-pace rock number UPHILL PEACE OF MIND. It's got a spooky atmospheric backing, and Kiki lets loose with some screaming . Definitely something different going on here, and how it could be used as the 2nd track is odd. It's more of an album closer tour-de-force. There are many ballads on here, like the title song CAGE THE SONGBIRD written by Elton John & Bernie Taupin, PRINCE OF FOOLS [ soon to be done by Yvone Elliman also ], BRIGHT MEDALLION and the beautiful A MAN AFTER MY OWN HEART, which is a bit different than the live 1975 version. Plus, 2 remakes of CRY LIKE A BABY and A CHANGE IS GONNA COME.

This album was done after THE KIKI DEE BAND broke up in 1975. Kiki didn't feel it was ultimately what she wanted , and Rocket agreed to shelve it for her.
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Format: Audio CD
OK... For all us Kiki fans who waited so long for the release of her back catalouge on cd I feel I must give a review of 'Cage The Songbird' here. I say beware... It's just very mediocre. It's obvious what the record execs must've been thinking at the time, when & why they decided to shelve this project between 'Stay With Me' & the 'Kiki Dee' albums in the 70's. It was never released & you can sure hear why if you buy this widget. It wasn't what I was hoping for, and wanted so much, to have a bunch of new gems I could discover & add to my Kiki collection. Don't get me wrong. I am so thankful EMI finally got behind this underrated powerhouse singer for her catalouge rerelease. But, you know how there were always a couple of songs on each album that were kind of, well, duds? Well, this cd is ALL duds. No, sadly it's really the case here. I've listened to it several times in the last few days, hoping it would grow on me... but it just lays there. It's only interesting for the original recordings of 'Chicago' & 'First Thing In The Morning'. But even after you hear those a couple of times, you realise they you really don't need to hear them again. They just sound like demos of what they eventually became. You always read people say in these reviews... 'if you are a die-hard fan, get this one'... But, even as one, I found this cd a dissapointment & waste of $. Just be happy for the catalouge of the real goods!
p.s. Don't look for 'Angel Eyes' to be anything new/good either. It's better just to move on to Kiki's stage stuff (Blood Brothers, Freudiana & Konig der Lowen ). And, of course, her great collaberations with Carmelo Luggeri. I hope you'll find this review helpful in thinking about buying 'Cage the Songbird'. It does come with all the great remastering sound of the rest of the catalouge...
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