Lulu's early music (recorded on the Decca label) was strongly influenced by R+B but when she moved to Columbia, Mickey Most recorded her as a mainstream pop singer, not always giving her ideal material to record. The low point (for me) is Boom bang a bang, the song that Lulu took to second place in the Eurovision song contest of 1969. Not only is this song here in its standard version, its also here in French and Italian versions. Well, it made number two in the UK (where it was her biggest solo hit) and no doubt proved successful in other European countries, so a lot of people love that song.
This compilation includes all of Lulu's hits between 1967 and 1969. This includes an unusual type of international double-sided hit. In America, the A-side was To sir with love, which spent over a month at number one, while the B-side was The boat that I row. In Britain, the A-side was The boat that I row, which made the top ten, while To sir with love (which Mickey Most apparently didn't like) languished on the B-side. Both tracks were brilliant, unlike some of Lulu's other hits with Mickey Most.
Despite the phenomenal success of To sir with love, Lulu's other singles made only limited impact in America, but she had UK top ten hits with Me the peaceful heart and I'm a tiger, UK top twenty hits with Let's pretend and Boy and a minor UK hit with Love loves to love love.
This compilation includes all those hits as well as covers of Day tripper (Beatles), To love somebody, I started a joke (both Bee Gees), Mighty Quinn (written by Bob Dylan but a hit for Manfred Mann), Show me (Joe Tex), Gimmie some loving (Spencer Davis group) and Cry like a baby (Box tops) among others.
In many ways, this is a fine collection though it has some dodgy moments. While this period of Lulu's career was her most commercially successful, it doesn't represent her best music overall. It would be very easy to knock some stars off the rating but with thirty-nine tracks there is enough music here worth hearing to justify the price. Of course, if you actually enjoy the tracks I regard as dodgy, you'll get even greater pleasure from this collection.