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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful anthology of lost classics, 21 May 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: You Gotta Believe It's... (Audio CD)
Sharon Tandy had a smoky, bluesy kind of voice, more Julie Driscoll than Dusty Springfield, and backed mostly by psychedelic rock band Fleur de Lys, cut some wonderful sides that sadly escaped chart recognition in the 60s. In 1967/68, she must have been challenging to market. In her own words, she wasn't a typical 60s girl singer. Neither was she the precursor to progressive acts like Maggie Bell. Julie Driscoll was the closest comparison and even she had only a brief brush with the charts.
The round-up on this largely comprehensive and much awaited anthology in fact consists of Sharon's recordings with Pye in 1965 (4 songs), Stax in 1966 (7 tracks including 5 from the vault) and the rest with Atlantic UK in 1967-69 (including one released on Atco in the US). Given that the sound and production values on these sessions are so distinctively different, I found it a little odd that Big Beat chose not to go with chronology but with a more subjective if not arbitrary track sequencing.
That aside, there are some terrific gems in here that we should be grateful to have at last on CD. "Perhaps Not Forever" is my top pick from the Pye years. The way she uses her smoky voice makes this a stand out. The brassily-produced "Now That You've Gone" is however a disappointment and doesn't do justice to this Petula Clark original.
Tracks from the Stax sessions featuring Booker T & the MG and produced by Tom Dowd (Tks 3,6,9,12,15,18 & 21) should be heard together for maximum audio coherence. The trademark musicianship of Booker T including the famous cooking bass are all evident on these excellent tracks. A-side "Toe Hold" and "I Wanna Be Your Baby" are highlights.
From Sharon's central body of work with the Fluer de Lys comes some of the hardest driving rock numbers by any 60s girl singer, like the mindblowing classic "Hold On", and the terrific "Daughter Of The Sun" and "Gotta Get Enough Time". Then there is the stunning opener, "You've Gotta Believe It", an enormous 60s beat ballad sung with an emotional intensity rivalling Lorraine Ellison's on her original standard "Stay With Me". Ironically, Sharon's unbridled wail on her cover of this same song here is more reminiscent of P P Arnold than Ellison. Mingled among these opuses are some fun late 60s bubblegummy numbers like "The Way She Looks At You" and the closing number, "Two Can Make It Together" that sound like they don't belong. Then again, it reflects as much Sharon's versatility as it does her record company's confusion in trying to land her a hit. Her dismally half-hearted reworking of "Our Day Will Come" aside, this is a pretty awesome set for a 60s singer who seemingly had all the breaks but never quite cracked the mainstream market.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have 60s C.D., 14 Feb 2004
By 
D.L.EDWARDS (LEEDS, YORKSHIRE United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: You Gotta Believe It's... (Audio CD)
Sharon Tandy and The Fleur De Lys both individually and collectively added up to a big fat zero chartwise in the 60s.
Listen to this c.d. and WONDER WHY! Whether it's blue eyed soul,
freakbeat,pop or ballads-Sharon's voice,powerful,pleading,soulful and ever so sexy handles it all easily. Most of the singles and b-sides are here as well as the STAX sessions. It cost me over £100 to acquire them and now they're all here in excellent sound quality. I don,t mind one bit. I only hope it opens the vaults to more from this fabulous singer.
Shame on the 60's public for not buying her records and shame on me because I was one of them.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fulsome CD testament, 7 April 2006
By 
Lozarithm (Wilts, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: You Gotta Believe It's... (Audio CD)
Sharon Tandy was on the legendary 1967 Hit The Road Stax tour and did a particularly blistering version of Hold On at Birmingham Town Hall, where she depped for Carla Thomas on her night off. Backed by Booker T and the MGs, they recreating the magnificent recorded version on which she was backed by Les Fleur-de-Lys down to the guitar break. She also performed a version of Eddie Floyd's Things Get Better. Her version, recorded with the MGs at Stax Studios in 1966, was unreleased until now.
Unavailable until 2001 when it was included on a Fleur-de-Lys compilation, Hold On is track 2 on this long-awaited CD. A mod classic now filed under "freakbeat" it was a much-loved B-side in our house when it came out, going on to become a hit in Europe and being re-released here the following year as an A-side. This meant unfortunately burying their other potential smash, the Julie Driscoll-ish Daughter Of The Sun as its flip, and to no avail as Hold On continued to uninspire the record-buying masses.
Although there are other recordings with the Fleur-de-Lys here, their reputed live onstage power and intensity is really only captured on those two tracks, though the other original side of Hold On, a version of Lorraine Ellison's smouldering Stay With Me (Baby) becomes her own through a distinctive arrangement and performance, unlike the original or its myriad covers, and actually "bubbled under" in the charts. There is also a sizzling version of Our Day Will Come, slowed down in Vanilla Fudge style, but too often the band were subverted into creating "commercial" ballads.
When Sharon Tandy came over to England from her home town of Johannesburg, she was initially signed to Pye, who teamed her up with musical directors such as Charles Blackwell and pointed her towards the mainstream, the Brit girl pop department ruled at the time by Dusty, Sandie, Cilla and Lulu. Both sides of two singles from 1965 are included, and show her giving first class renditions of second class songs in the idiom of the time. One, Now That You've Gone, was a translation of a French power ballad written and originally recorded by Petula Clark.
In 1966 she became the first European to record at the Stax Studios, with producer Tom Dowd. She was signed to Stax in the States and spent 11 days in Memphis with Booker T and the MGs and the Memphis Horns, and with Isaac Hayes and Dave Porter on hand to write songs for her. The results were sensational judging from the seven tracks included here, but only one British single resulted, a cover of Johnnie Taylor's Toe Hold, backed with a Steve Cropper song called I Can't Get Over It, although it did lead to her touring on the Stax-Volt tours.
This long overdue retrospective updates her career to 1969, after which she returned to South Africa, although sadly it omits her single of Beatle songs, A Fool On The Hill/For No One.
The tracks are presented non-chronological order which makes following the story a little difficult and adds to the confusion of the several styles she tackled throughout the sixties. I would suggest re-programming your CD player so that all the Stax material is heard together. Ultimately, it seems a story of bad luck and opportunities missed or not fully capitalised on, but at least we have this fulsome CD testament.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 2 Nov 2011
By 
Ian Armstrong "Raroman" (Brisbane, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: You Gotta Believe It's... (Audio CD)
What an outstanding artist. Sharon Tandy never had the success her talent deserved. There are so many tracks that were worthy of chart success. The CD stands the test of time too. As good today as when they were recorded.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars anouther fantastic 60s gem this is fab!!, 27 Dec 2008
By 
Mr. S. L. Smith "musicman" (england carlisle cumbria) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: You Gotta Believe It's... (Audio CD)
anouther chrimbo gift and oh boy is this good highly recommended if you love your sixties music a lot of gems here buy it!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 Oct 2014
This review is from: You Gotta Believe It's... (Audio CD)
Excellent
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You Gotta Believe It's...
You Gotta Believe It's... by Sharon Tandy (Audio CD - 2004)
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