Lady's Not for Sale / Fall Into Spring / It's Only Love
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For the first time on one superb Double CD, Raven presents three classic 1970s albums by one of the finest American singers of the pop era RITA COOLIDGE. The Lady's Not For Sale (1972), Fall Into Spring (1974) and It's Only Love (1975) established her career and feature the pure sounds of laid-back country-rock and West Coast soft-rock mixed with a soulfulness that marks them as polished, quality productions. Raven has previously combined her two platinum-selling hit albums Anytime Anywhere (1977) and Love Me Again (1978) on a great value 2-for-1 release (RVCD-277) containing her biggest hits 'Higher and Higher' and 'We're All Alone'. Originally recorded for A&M Records, these three albums showcase the renowned Coolidge stamp of soulful warmth which is predominant on splendid covers of 'Fever', 'Bird on the Wire', 'I'll Be Your Baby Tonight', 'Love Has No Pride', 'Desperados Waiting for the Train' and 'It's Only Love'. Produced by David Anderle and featuring crack session musicians (Booker T. Jones, Sammy Creason, Lee Sklar, Dean Parks, Jerry McGee, Al Perkins and her band the Dixie Flyers) plus stunning backing vocalists (Jennifer Warnes, Clydie King, Sherlie Matthews, Venetta Fields) these beautifully produced albums combine sophistication, flow and a sensual tone to make a completely satisfying whole. With superb quality audio, detailed liner notes and color booklet, this excellent release is a must for fans of sophisticated and soulful country-tinged pop.
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There's also great singing on 'That's What Friends Are For' with the hooky chorus of 'drink up like a home-sick old sailor who longs for the sound of his own front door' sounding just as terrific as it did some 35 years ago. Rita's 'Love Has No Pride' is surprisingly stirring, but it's so "1970's" to debate who recorded the best version of that song. Rita's version is completely different from the Ronstadt and Raitt versions before her, and it's to Rita's credit that she brought a distinctive and entirely new dimension to the oft-recorded song. Okay, I'll be "so 70's"- I like Rita's version best.
Perhaps the "sexiest" song Rita ever recorded, 'Late Again' - has a terrific blues vocal, all smoky, understated, and yet intense. It's a reminder that on "the right song" that the often unfairly underrated Ms. Coolidge can be one heck of singer with a presence that she perhaps hasn't been given credit enough for.
It was fun to revisit my childhood by catching up with music I hadn't heard in many, many years. Recommended!
I discovered Rita's music in 1969 when I was only 10 and still follow her today in the work she is doing with her sister Priscilla and Priscilla's daughter. My very favorite song on these CDs is BORN TO LOVE ME from It's Only Love which is a sweet tune about a woman who is in love with a man who "not many would say he's handsome, they don't realize, the best is often hidden from another's eyes". This song is so intimate and joyful about what real love is about, I have to hear it every day. Mama Lou is another song I like about a woman who "sings the blues like a prophet who's lived every word." The Kris Kristofferson song The Burden of Freedom is something that probably needs a gritty male vocal. Rita doesn't sound like a guy getting out of prison!
I have heard people say that Rita is "country rock" which puzzles me. Yes, she did sing some country songs with then husband Kris Kristofferson on his albums and on some of the joint Kris 'n Rita albums they recorded together but Rita, though she is from Nashville, is no country singer. She is jazzy, classy, soulful, and sings more of a bluesy soft rock/pop. Hold An Old Friend's Hand from Fall Into Spring is a unique breakup song that is not country but a blues/rock combo about a woman who had loved a man who has rejected her and now she wants to let him know that she doesn't intend to try to win back his love but just wants him to "come on around and hold an old friend's hand." It is bittersweet with longing yet a positive step forward as the singer recognizes that the old love relationship is over but wants to salvage the friendship that started it all.
I highly recommend this set to anyone who loves the smooth and smoky sounds of Rita Coolidge and to those who haven't heard these songs before but want a real musical treat.
Just wanted "Lady's Not For Sale" but couldn't find it on a cd release by it's self.
Really enjoy the other albums included, but "Lady" is probably Rita's best album
of her career, hands down.
Worth the extra money! Want her whole catalogue, now!
Top international reviews
Coolidge had come to initial attention as part of the LA based wider Leon Russell musical family who Joe Cocker amongst others, had linked up with. There the quality of her solo singing was soon the cause of her going solo. Her first two albums (available on another CD from Raven also) were an interesting first solo where with the help of Marc Benno (ex-Asylum Choir with Russell) she delivered an interesting set of songs but then on the second let down by poor choice of material and quality of musicians she seemed to be drifting.
In danger of disappearing from sight the opener here is where the lady started to get her act together. I saw her live as support to the last UK tour of the Byrds at the time of the release of The Lady's not for sale" and as the LP showed she was working hard to vary her music and the range of people she collaborated with. Like Judy Collins she was not a prolific songwriter but knew how to select and interpret others music with a white soul voice. The second offering "Fall into spring" follows the same vein with a varied and interesting choice of songs including "Love has no pride" long before Linda Ronstadt took it into the Top 10 and two by Guy Clark before his own debut LP "Old No. 1" had been released.
The third album "It's only love" while not a success at the time, did show the signs for her future breakthrough with a more MOR feel and greater use of strings plus hints at jazz, though I find it the weakest of the three albums. Personally I find the variety of styles and range of her singing on show here proving yet again that the lady always did have good taste even if the record buying public did not pick up on it at the time.
Einfach riesig diese Stimme: wie eine erstklassige Nachtclub Sängerin.