Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Juice Newton - Greatest Hits [Cema/Atlantic]
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
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Playing with the queen of hearts...
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 06/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Let's go back in time, two decades before the likes Shania Twain and Faith Hill put their brand of pop-country on the charts. Juice Newton's style of music straddled the pop and country spectrums, although given some of her cover songs, belied an influence of 60's pop like Joan Jett.
However, she first made her mark by covering Bonnie Tyler's "It's A Heartache" the same year Tyler hit #3 on the charts. Newton's cover did reached an abysmal #86, and her version has more of a slicker pop production than the original. But the country inflections can still be felt, especially on the similar sounding "Laying Back In The Arms of Someone." Others seem closer to country, in the case of "Break It To Me Gently," a slow-dancing number that peaked at #11 and topped the adult contemporary charts for two weeks.
Her real moment came from two singles from her Juice album. A cover of Merrilee Rush's tender "Angel In The Morning" bettered the original by three places, reaching #4 in 1981 as well as 3 weeks at #1 on the adult contemporary charts. Juice's version is punctuated by short bursts of guitar and accompanying drums and a strong rock guitar and wall of strings presence throughout. It's difficult to decide between the soft original and this one belonging to my pop culture home page. Her biggest hit was the #2 hit "Queen of Hearts" also from Juice, which is an upbeat perfect blend of country with pop sensibilities and minus steel guitar, and a memorable hit, as it is ranked 25th of 1981's singles.
Chartwise though, her ballad "The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known)", which she originally recorded in 1975, made it to #1 on the country and adult contemporary charts in 1981, as well as #7 on the pop charts. This is another number strings and rock guitar replacing steel guitar in what would've been a country ballad, but it also showcases her vibrant vocals, never better than here.
"So Many Ways" belongs squarely in late 70's style rock with a hint of 80's vixen rock, maybe because of the squealing Boston-like guitars at the opening, and the later hard-driving snarls, not surprising as it came from her Well Kept Secret (1978) album and others like Boston and Bob Seger were also making it big with that sound.
Her latter hits showed her going more in the hard-rocking Laura Branigan/Pat Benatar direction, with some notable synth pounding in her #7 hit "Love's Been A Little Hard On Me." A very 80's sounding song, as was the Journey-like "Heart of the Night," where her voice really resembled Branigan. Her cover of the Zombies' #6 hit "Tell Her No" was her last Top 40 hit, reaching #27, and sounded like something out of the Flashdance soundtrack with the Giorgio Moroder-like synths and some reggae keyboards thrown in for good measure. And the title track of her 1983 album "Dirty Looks," was Blondie's "Call Me" meets Laura Branigan. This should've been a Top Ten hit at least.
More pop (and later hard rock) than country, Juice Newton's 15 minutes was in 1981, and this collection serves up all her Top 40 hits and some that should've been.
A great collection!
Daniel J. Hamlow | 08/17/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here they are! Juice Newton's biggest hits of the late 70s and early 80s. Included is Juice's original version of "It's A Heartache," a hit later made famous by Bonnie Tyler. (This is the ONLY CD where you'll find Juice's version.) All Juice's best-loved pop hits are here: "Queen Of Hearts," "Tell Her No," "Angel Of The Morning" and "Heart Of The Night" as well as some great country singles, like "The Sweetest Thing" and "Shot Full Of Love." This is a fantastic CD for anyone interested in Juice's early years! Very satisfying and fun. For Juice's later hits, take a look at "Emotions" or "Anthology," also on CD."
A solid collection of classics!
Invisiboy2001 | Chicago, IL United States | 11/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While this CD doesn't come close to being a comprehensive "Greatest hits" collection, it does gather many of Newton's biggest hits from the late '70s and early '80s. These hits are combined with some non-hit material ("So Many Ways," "Low Down And Lonesome") rather than smaller, Top 40 hits (Like "Sunshine," "Let's Keep It That Way," and "Ride 'Em Cowboy"), making it more a "Best Of" collection.Of course, "Angel Of The Morning" and "Queen Of Hearts" are included, as are the Grammy-nominated "Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me" and the Grammy-winning "Break It To Me Gently." Other Top 40 pop hits (such as "Heart Of The Night" and "Tell Her No") are gratefully included, as well as Newton's #1 hit (and quite possibly her biggest) "The Sweetest Thing" also make the cut.The music contained on this disc is, for the most part, solid '80s pop/country performed by an OUTSTANDING vocalist...but the collection flakes out a little by including the minor 1983 hit "Dirty Looks" and some subpar material from Newton's pre-hit days...which is kind of annoying because several solid hits were excluded.Because Newton's hits are spread across two labels (Capitol and RCA), this collection is incomplete...but it is satisfying listening overall. Here's hoping that a label will someday combine ALL Newton's hits into a single collection. (Rennaissance Records tried a few years ago with "Anthology," but failed miserably.)"