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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.Read more ›
It is not possible to mention all the excellent tracks in a brief review. However, Lesley's album tracks such as Just Let Me Cry, The Old Crowd, What Am I Gonna Do With You (Hey Baby) A Girl in Love, Baby that's Me, Just Another Fool, etc, etc., are often better than the hit singles.
Lesley was not the one-hit-wonder that most people in Britain think. She had four top five American hits in a row (It's My Party, Judy's Turn to Cry, She's a Fool and You Don't Own Me) and nearly twenty hits in total. She had rare taste and intelligence. She worked with some of the top producers/arrangers of the day such as Claus Ogermann, Jack Nitzsche and Bob Crewe and the cream of Brill Building wrote songs for her.
These discs contain some of the best pop music from the early to mid sixties. Much of the material such as the "missing" album Magic Colors has never been released before.
The "book" is about the same size as a vinyl-lp-sleeve and contains numerous black and white illustrations and extensive notes.