Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Mary Wells: Fancy Free and Oh So Soulful
C. A. Moore | Memphis, TN USA | 01/29/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Mary Wells was an R&B legend by the time she recorded many of the songs that make up "Dear Lover: The Atco Sessions."
She had been one of Motown Records first major stars, racking up a string of pop and R&B hits for the independent record label, based in Detroit and founded by Berry Gordy Jr. Working with the gifted songwriter/producer Smokey Robinson, Wells turned such tunes as "Two Lovers," "You Beat Me To the Punch," and "My Guy" into teen and soul classics. before she turned 21 years old.
Gordy and his team of musical experts at Motown had primed and prepared Wells to become a major crossover performer, but then she decided to leave the label in 1964 for what she thought was a better, and more financially lucratve contract at 20th Century Fox Records.
But success was minor and often elusive for Wells at 20th Century Fox, which in all honesty, did not know how to properly market and promote an R&B/soul singer back in 1964-65. After two albums and a handful of good, but not spectacular selling singles for 2oth, Wells departed the label and eventually landed at Atco/Atlantic Records.
Eager to try and recapture some of the magic and success she had at Motown, Wells and Atlantic execs hired former Motown insiders like Sonny Sanders, Barrett Strong and Chicago-based producer Carl Davis to compose and supervise some of her initial recordings for her new label. The results were a return to a soft and sophisticated soul style that made Wells so popular. She wasn't a blues or sanctified shouter like Aretha or tina turner. In fact, Wells never really raised her voice to a shouting level. She didn't have to. She was a gifted vocalist and a master of understated subtlety. She could get the same results as many soul belters by simply employing more subtle phrasing and a sultrier tone.
Wells' sessions with Sanders and Davis yielded a hit in "Dear Lover," a sultry pop tune with strains of the Motown Sound and "Uptown Soul" all over it. The song reached the R&B Top 10 in 1966. It's B-side, "Can't You See You're Losing Me," was a dance floor stomper that was penned by Barrett Strong, one of Well's former Motown label-mates. Over the years, this tune has become popular with England's Northern Soul crowd because of its pounding dance rhythms.
Both "Dear Lover" and "Can't You See..." are featured on this excellent and rare disc on the Soul Classics label. The collection also gathers some of Wells' other recorded output for Atlantic. In fact, this disc features the entire first side of Wells' sole album for Atco Records "The Two Sides of Mary Wells," a pseudo-concept album that featured Wells covering pop/soul classics like "Good Lovin'" "My World Is Empty Without You," "Satisfaction," and "In the Midnight Hour" on one side, while the flip featured her interpreting show tunes and standards.(Note: The entire "Two Sides of Mary Wells" album has been reissued recently.)
This set also includes two previously unreleased tracks "Love Letter," and "Hands Off My Baby."
"Dear Lover: the Atco Sessions" is worthwhile because it highlights the talents of one of soul music's true pioneers and shows Wells working in a smooth soul style, which she would alter when she left Atlantic for Jubilee Records."
Michael Gatson | Shreveport, Louisiana | 01/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I thoroughly enjoyed Mary Wells' C.D. entitled "Dear Lover" The Atco Sessions. I love Mary Wells' smooth voice and the music is great. The music has that mid-1960's sound and it sounds just great!"
MARY WELLS SOPHISICATED & SOULFUL CLASSIC!!!
Bradly Briggs | TOLUCA LAKE, CALIFORNIA | 02/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mary Wells was the Queen Of Sophiscated Soul by the time she recorded this wonderful collection!! Barrett Strong's "Can't You See, Your Losing Me" is a foot-stomping solid soulful classic that I completely wore out on an old 45rpm!!! Get this satisfying collection if you can as Mary Wells is one of the leading legendary smooth silk and soul diva's of all time and is at her peak having a great time throughout this fine collection!!! Do not hesitate ordering as Mary's sight is now full of "out of stocks" and greatness like this one will never happen again and this will become a collector item highly sought after. Thank you MARY WELLS for all of the wonderful musical treasures that you left behind for us to savor and enjoy and we miss you Mary Wells..."