The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia - The Complete Bell Recordings Original recording remastered
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Carol Burnett wasn t the only multi-talented regular on The Carol Burnett Show. Her protégé Vicki Lawrence (a.k.a. Eunice and Mama ), actually did her one better by scoring a # 1 hit with The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia on the Bell label in 1973. But Vicki s big hit wasn t the result of her talent alone. In 1972, she married the great songwriter Bobby Russell, who penned Georgia and hooked her up with the legendary producer Snuff Garrett and arranger Artie Butler. The combo clicked not just on the song but also on the album, which went to #51 on the charts. A year later, Vicki recorded another album for Bell, Ships in the Night, again with the title song penned by Russell and production by Garrett. However, financial problems at the Bell label resulted in the album being released only in Australia, and it appears here on CD for the first time. We ve also added the non-Bell single sides Old Home Movies and The Other Woman and an unreleased track for a total of 25 tracks from this enduring performer. Notes and photos accompany...remastered by Steve Massie.
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Top Customer Reviews
The only problem is with the last two tracks -- one of which is the amazing "The Other Woman." These tracks both skip and jump. The problem is with the burn rather than this particular CD, because when I clicked various online "samples" of these songs, the same skipping and jumping occurred. That said, you can find *clear* versions of these two tracks on iTunes -- if you want digital downloads.
"The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia: The Complete Bell Recordings" contains two albums by Vicki Lawrence. The first is the 1973 release named after its Number 1 smash hit single. While the single "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" was a 2 million-copy seller in the US, Lawrence's second single from the album, "He Did with Me," scored her a Number 1 hit in Australia.
Because of the incredible clarity of "The Complete Bell Recordings" CD, it remains indisputable that Lawrence has a lovely voice and a heartfelt, uniquely stylized delivery. All of the songs on "Georgia" are beautifully arranged, especially the string arrangements and the use of horns.
The "Georgia" LP was indeed a success, so work on the followup album "Ships in the Night" began in 1974. The first 45 released, "Ships in the Night," backed with "Sensual Man" (from "Georgia"), was released in the US. The single was followed by the US 45 "Mama's Gonna Make It All Better," backed with a song called "Cameo."
An issue with Bell Records prevented the LP "Ships in the Night" from being released in the US. Stateside Records (a UK subsidiary of E.M.I.) released the "Ships" LP in Australia. Lawrence scored two hits from the LP: The title track and "Mama's Gonna Make It All Better." In 1975, she recorded a one-off single "The Other Woman," which was a hit in Oz, but also reached #81 in the US.
In 1979, Lawrence recorded her third and final album. The dance oriented LP, titled "Newborn Woman," produced two singles. The first was "Don't Stop the Music," which enjoyed success on the US Disco charts. The second was "Your Lies." It would be terrific to see "Newborn Woman" on CD, given the same loving treatment the producers gave "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia: The Complete Bell Recordings."
Vicki's big American hit was The night the lights went out in Georgia, which was an American #1 pop hit. I must have heard it on the radio around that time although the song was not a huge UK hit, because when I first bought a Lynn Anderson LP (Top of the World) containing her cover of the song, I knew I'd heard the song before, but couldn't place it at the time. Lynn did a great cover, as eventually did Reba McEntire, but I'm glad to at last have the original version. The follow-up single, He did with me, was only a minor American hit but made #1 in Australia.
Most of the other tracks could loosely be described as pop-country, which suits me fine. Many of the songs are unfamiliar to me, and those that are familiar nevertheless sound just different enough to be interesting, these being covers of Gypsies tramps and thieves, Killing me softly, Little green apples and You are the sunshine of my life,
This is a great collection that suggests Vicki could have had a great career as a singer, but she chose other options.