After recording two excellent blues albums with disappointing sales figures, Long John Baldry was desperate for a hit. He changed labels and started to record a `poppier' repertoire. This had the desired effect, with the smash hit `let the heartaches begin'. He stayed with the label for three years, before returning to his first love the blues, with 1970's critically acclaimed `It Ain't Easy'.
Baldry's voice was a magnificent instrument. Suited for blues, soul, gospel and crooning, he could turn it to almost anything, and does so to magnificent effect here. As well as the marvellous `Heartaches', he works his way through a set of hits of the day, such as Cream's `Sunshine Of our Love', Ike and Tina Turner's `River Deep' and Richard Harris' `McArthur Park'. Each is given his distinctive treatment. There is also a series of originals, and a few offbeat fun tracks (such as `Henry Hannah's 42nd street parking lot'). This is an excellent collection of great pop tunes from the late sixties, and a great addition to any music lover's collection.
The sound quality here is pretty decent, with a nice clear sound. The collection collects all the trackes recorded for Pye between '67 and '70, including a few interesting unreleased odds and ends. Liner notes are extensive and interesting.
If you like this then check out `Looking At Long John Baldry, The UA Years', which collects together his earlier blues recordings, and `It Ain't Easy', his 1970 amazing return to the blues.
An excellent collection of some excellent music, 5 stars.