Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
It's My Party
Genres: Pop, Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
An Astounding Homage to the Great Underrated Diva
James Bunnelle | 04/29/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For those unfamiliar with Bear Family Records' way of doing things, one should understand that they go about their work like possessed archivists, turning out products that are worth twice the often high price tag attached to them. To be canonized by Bear Family is more prestigious than being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That being said, obviously don't buy this if you aren't already an admirer of Gore's talents. But for those who are left hungry for more after obtaining the Mercury double-disk greatest hits package, this box set is for you. The pop aesthetic created by singer Gore, producer Quincy Jones, and arranger Claus Ogermann, is rivaled only by Spector's "wall of sound" and Motown's Funk Brothers. The sounds they achieved in the studio amaze me, and their selection of songs is even better. The Greenwich/Barry compositions, such as "Maybe I Know", "Look of Love" (not to be confused with Dusty's), and "What's a Girl Supposed to Do" surpass anything that this great duo did with Phil Spector, for the Crystals and the Ronettes. There are a good number of Goffin/King songs as well, along with many other songwriters who were part of the Brill Building/Screen Gems crew. Also of note are the sessions that took place after Quincy's departure, when Gore was coming more into her own as a singer and songwriter. These sessions with the Nashville musicians (way before Dusty did it), which were virtually ignored on Mercury's Best-of, are essential listening for Gore fans. "Any Other Girl", a song Lesley penned with her brother Michael, and "Only Last Night" particularly stand out as a brilliant pieces of pop songwriting, on par with anything produced earlier by the Jones/Ogermann team. And, of course, there's a book with lots of pictures, some of which Gore has interesting stories for. Trust me, I was skeptical about forking out the cash for what I feared might be endless second-rate outtakes, but that's not the case here. And besides, where else are you going to hear her singing "You Don't Own Me", "Run Bobby Run", "It's My Party", "Judy's Turn to Cry" and "If That's the Way You Want It" in German, French, and Italian?"
James Bunnelle | 05/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Who'd suspect Lesley Gore, beyond all those hit singles, had recorded for Mercury intriguing unknown song after intriguing unknown song, all produced intriguingly with intriguing orchestrations, intriguing production and in some cases intriguing alternate versions? I plunked down the money for the 5-C Bear set (and then didn't eat for a while so I could afford it) when I friend tipped me off about it. This has got to be the biggest hidden treasure in the history of American pop. There's even an entire unreleased album tucked in her and even sessions for a jazz album of standard tunes. Gore does EVERYTHING with intelligence and panache. This goes WAY beyond lollipops and roses; it's musical champagne."
Party time for Lesley Gore fans everywhere
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 09/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This box contains everything that Lesley recorded for Mercury except for a few untraceable tracks. The hits are here, of course, even including versions in foreign languages. If you are even thinking of buying this, you already know about the hits so, having reviewed the double CD Mercury Anthology already, I will focus on the music unique to this box.I long ago realized that Lesley's album tracks, B-sides and failed A-sides are far more interesting than one would expect from such a singer, partly because (unlike so many sixties singers), Lesley recorded very few covers and partly because of the high quality of the original songs.Reading the liner notes, it is clear that Lesley wanted to record more covers than she actually did. Her producers decided what songs Lesley was to record. Lesley didn't always like them, but recorded them anyway in return for being allowed to record covers of classic songs like Secret love - a song that is not ideal for Lesley because it stretches her vocal range, but she sings it much better than I expected and it actually works quite well. Of course, very few of these covers were released at the time, but they are included in this set for us to enjoy. Because Lesley wanted to record these songs against her producer's wishes, they are often sparsely backed but Lesley was in great form vocally. Just listen to her covers of Let it be me and To sir with love - truly inspiring. Despite the covers chosen by Lesley, the vast majority of songs here are originals. They cover a range of styles from the early rock'n'roll to more sophisticated music, changing as the sixties progressed. Lesley was able to adapt to all the changes but radio stations and the public didn't appreciate it at the time. About fifty original songs were released on the double-CD Mercury Anthology, but plenty of great songs were left out, especially from the less successful but still interesting late sixties period. As with so many Bear Family boxed sets, a few alternate takes are included, but not many.After listening to this set, it is easy to understand why Lesley's music is so well appreciated now. The mystery is why it wasn't in the sixties. Even so, you have to be very enthusiastic about Lesley's music (as I am) to want this. If you are, you will find much to entertain you."