"By 1978 Natalie was riding a crest and her music career could seemto do no wrong. With a string of hit, well crafted albums from 1975 to 1977, and a hit double live album the year prior, she managed to develop a unigue style all her own that fused R & B, and Pop with tinges of Funk, Jazz and Gospel.
"I love You So", released in 1979 seemed to brake the chain, there are some strong tracks here, but the mix of Disco, Pop, and Countryesque songs seemed like a poor cousin to Donna Summer's 1979 blockbuster "Bad Girls" that also mixed these musical genres, but with a better flow.
The lead single "Stand By" failed to catch fire, and the followup "Your Lonely Heart" (the albums best track to me) took Natalie's core following by suprise. The same Natalie who a year earlier was packing them in to her concerts and taking her mega crossover hit "Our Love" to the top of the charts seemed to loose her way.
This album also got caught in the tabloid stories about Natalie's alleged Drug Abuse, and I remember when I first bought this album on vinyl at the Wiz in downtown Newark the week it first came out, a person on line behind me made a derogatory remark about her and that he would never buy another one of her albums. A superstars demons should not take the focus off of their artistry, but 1979 was turing out to be not Natalie's year.
Natalie Cole I Love You So
Nathaniel Marsaleno McGhee | Cleveland, Ohio United States | 06/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Natalie Cole's 6th Album and First 1979 Album I Love You So marks her Official Forray into Disco and Country.This Album fits perfectly into the late 1970's at the height of the Disco Era.The Disco Songs are I Love You So,You're So Good,The Winner,and Stand By,with The Country Songs bieng It's Been You,Your Lonely Heart,and Sorry,and Oh,Daddy,and Who Will Carry On? finish out the Song List.Finally Comparisons to her father the late Nat King Cole,Aretha Franklin,Diana Ross,Chaka Khan,Ella Fitzgerald,and Nancy Wilson are beginning to subside."
The Album Which Would Follow Her "Explosive" Live Album from
S. Sarabia | Portland, ME, USA | 05/03/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I absolutely LOVED "Stand By" the first time I heard it. It reminded me of a more Disco-ish version of "This Will Be." I only wish that Capitol might have released a separate and longer "Disco" version of it so that it might have picked up a little more heat a la the clubs. This song is what prompted me to buy the album in the first place because of its positive message and feel-good groove. The first two cuts, I'll admit, are Disco; yes. This is apparent. However, they're NOT the kind of Disco that Anita Ward, Donna Summer nor Thelma Houston were doing. It was the kind of Disco that wouldn't have fared well at Radio for the sheer reason that it didn't have much OOMPH to it; it was plain, ordinary R&B (for that day) with a Disco backbeat. Natalie quite possibly might have done better had she gotten with the likes of Pete Bellotte (as Summer had). Next, we move into more familiar Cole territory with the beautiful ballad, "It's Been You." Had this song been the first single, she might have known another huge hit a la "Our Love," but "Stand By" hit the Top Ten anyway; it just stalled out at #9. "Your Lonely Heart" perplexes me. We have yet another ballad, but this one features country slide guitar and the soul siren attempting yodeling. Hmmmm...a little weird, but completely palatable once you let go and really give it a few listens. Next up is "The Winner," which finds us in a more jazzy place (not quite the tropical jazz of "La Costa," but certainly jazz that would follow years later.) The weirdest song on this album is a creepy, dragged out R&B-styled remake of Fleetwood Mac's "Oh, Daddy." It's got electric guitar (in places) but doesn't really ever pick up an already poorly sequenced album. There might have been an uptempo (Disco) side and a downtempo (Chill) side, but this never happened unfortunately. Another beautiful ballad in "Sorry" follows. Again, a potential #1 single might have been apparent here had Capitol known what it was doing. "Stand By" comes in toward the end of the album (the 8th cut) and closes out with a final (and beautiful) ballad, "Who Will Carry On," which finds Miss Natalie in a place that is reminiscent of "Take A Look" from 1993; in so far as that it has a "societal" vibe about it. Mind you, she was pregnant with Robbie while recording this album and her vocals seem a bit tired, but still energized, but obviously lacking the vocal energy and height from her "LIVE" set only a year prior. I like to look at this album as the "last really good album" that she recorded before two duds ended her string of seven years on Capitol. "I Love You So" would end up being her last Gold album before she'd resurface in more hit-friendly territory after a bout with drug abuse and subsequent rehab around 1985. On the strength of the ballads and the hit single "Stand By," I give it four stars. It's essential if you're a fan. If you're new to her older stylings, this would not be the place to start. I would suggest beginning with either "Inseparable" or "Unpredictable;" "Thankful" even, if you can find it on CD for less than $300.00. I STILL play it fairly often and still think she looks absolutely beautiful on the cover with those pretty amber eyes and longer hair. :-)"
It's been you
Ruth Young | NYC | 10/20/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I had this record years ago,It was a special to me this one with her picture on it.Then someone stole it. When I heard this song " It's Been You" I was surprised because most of the songs on this album didn't grab my attention like this one. I had a song I could Identify with. Since then I've look every where till now and couldn't find it. I'm so happy!"