11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
David Gates' four Elektra solo albums: One classic, one very good, one good, one bad,
This review is from: First & Never Let Her Go & Goodbye Girl & Falling In Love Again (Audio CD)
This is a straight reissue of David Gates' four solo albums for Elektra: First, Never Let Her Go, Goodbye Girl and Falling in Love Again.
Gates, the songwriter, singer and arranger of all of Bread's most famous songs, started out very strongly with his debut solo album, First. Great songs, great arrangements, excellent singing. The songs on his followup, Never Let Her Go, are somewhat weaker, but this is still a generally strong entry. The third album, Goodbye Girl, features his only actual hit as a solo artist (the title track), and mixes it with a combination of decent new material and some songs recycled from earlier releases. At this point, Gates seemed to be running out of steam somewhat, which was probably due in part to using some of his material for the Bread reunion album (Lost Without Your Love) around the same period. The recycled songs that originally appeared on Goodbye Girl are not presented again in this collection. Finally, Gates closed out his Elektra tenure with Falling in Love Again. This album is appreciably weaker than any that appeared before. Gates sounds tired and uninspired here, and in interviews years later has admitted that he had lost the muse when it came time to record this record. To my ears, there's only one really good song on this album, Where Does the Loving Go.
After the Elektra period, Gates would record one more solo album, for Arista, and then go into a more than decade long retirement. (The Arista album is better than Falling in Love Again, but it's not great).
I'm giving this collection four stars on the basis of how I'd rate the individual albums:
Never Let Her Go: 3.5*
Goodbye Girl: 3*
Falling in Love Again: 2*
and rounding up the result to reflect the discount one-stop-shopping available here. In truth, this collection is about a 3.5* set, if Amazon allowed partial rankings.