Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Gene's specialty was love gone wrong
John DePrisco | Wilmington, Delaware United States | 10/28/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Gene Pitney's forte appears to be with songs about broken hearts and love gone wrong. No, not all of his songs were of that genre, but some of his best followed that trend. Pitney had enough talent to turn the trend in to a positive and establish himself as a star performer.Pitney's first claim to fame was with "Hello Mary Lou" which he penned for Ricky Nelson. Gene began his singing career with two positive songs, "(I Wanna)Love My Life Away" and "Every Breath I Take". They were minor hits but decent starts.
His first big hit was "Town Without Pity", from the movie of the same name. But that's the only thing the two had in common. He followed that with another movie theme, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence", a western staring John Wayne and James Stewart. This song really did resemble the movie even though it was not in the movie itself.
Then the 'love gone wrong' part of his career kicked in. "Only Love Can Break A Heart" and "Half Heaven, Half Heartache" were pretty good songs and well perormed. "Only Love..." turned out to be his biggest hit as singer, going to # 2. At the same time Gene wrote "He's A Rebel", which the Darlene Love led Crystals took all the way to # 1.
Gene's next offering was "Mecca". This one had a catchy Middle East flavor in its melody. It's about a guy dreaming about a girl across the street. As the lyrics go, "each morning I face her window and pray that our love can be, cause the brownstone house where my baby lives is Mecca to me". If you have never heard this song before don't let recent events mislead you. It's a really good song.
Then it was back to string of love gone astray songs. "True Love Never Runs Smooth" was more like the rocky road of love, but it was an indication of which direction his songs were going.
"Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa" was a really good performance, an up tempo "Dear Jane" song where he's driving home and stops to rest for the night. That's when he falls for another girl just "one day away from your arms". Probably one of his better songs.
"That Girl Belongs To Yesterday", "It Hurts To Be In Love", "I'm Gonna Be Strong", "I Must Be Seing Things", and so on, were all broken heart and love gone wrong songs. Even so they were pretty good with Pitney's typical solid performances. The best of them, IMHO, is "Last Chance to Turn Around". This is about a guy who was hurt by his girl (so what else is new?) and is leaving town. He's telling his story as he approaches the last exit to Brooklyn, his "last chance to turn around". The song has a very good beat that even gives you the feeling, as the lyrics go, of "these wheels of mine covering ground".
"Looking Through The Eyes of Love" was more like a love song, but it sort of had the same flavor. As the lyrics put it, "in the eyes of the crowd I'm just another poor joe on the street".When all is said and done, Gene Pitney had a solid career as both a singer and a song writer. It doesn't matter if you are fond of sad songs or not, this album is a great example of his singing career and well worth the price."