BTW Désiree is pronounced Dez-a-RAY as in GAY
Ralph Bruno | San Francisco, CA | 03/04/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thanks to denkee's alert, I learned of the Rev-Ola CD and the Amazon.com release. I agree the sound quality surpasses the Sony CD. I enjoyed the graphics. I like the respect shown "Désiree" by noting the belief that "Désiree" was Laura's paean to her soul mate, Maria Desiderio. The liner notes, written by Duglas T Stewart, were good. Even better would have been if he had noted the difference in pronunciation of both the Charts versions, "Deserie" & "Desiree" as Dez-ä-ree like key, and Laura's attribution "Désiree" pronounced Dez-ä-ree as in ray. I believe my complaint is valid as Stewart took the time to elaborately note both of the Charts 1957 and 1967 releases while describing Laura's title change as slight.
I was disappointed in the missed opportunity re: "Spanish Harlem" in failing to note Laura's uniquely personalized covers in the albums Gonna Take a Miracle (GTAM) and Spread Your Wings And Fly (SYWAF). Laura gender shifted the lyrics of "Spanish Harlem." Laura sang, "I'm goin' to pick that rose and watch him as he grows in my garden." (Originally, "watch her as she grows"). Laura added an original gender reference, i.e. "With eyes as black as coal he looks down in my soul." (Originally, "with eyes as black as coal that look down in my soul")
Stewart in discussing both the "Wind" and "Désiree" misses the raw, sultry, corporeal passion of these songs. For me these songs are anything, but ethereal. The "Wind" is an earthy post coital reverie, e.g. "as he lay warm and tender in my arms." In "Désiree," Laura surrenders completely to a woman. In GTAM, ELI, as well as "American Dove" (SYWAF) vis-à-vis "Désiree," Laura sang of her intense love for both a man and a woman. "American Dove" and "Désiree" were recorded within sixty days of each other. These songs and their juxtaposition attest to her bisexuality.
But my criticisms are trivial against the overall excellence of this CD. The bonus ditties, the live tracks from SYWAF, were such a thrill for me. "Up on the Roof" takes me back to my teenage years, the nights in the Bronx. Four of rock's great Divas singing about love, how can you miss? Buy this CD. Rabdrake"