Laughter & Tears [Reissue] CD
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Top Customer Reviews
I've long had a sneaking affection for Sedaka, even though he teeters on the verge of mawkishness. Betty Grable has some toecurling lyrics (by longtime collaborator Howard Greenfield) - "I'd eat some jam and bread / And watch her overhead" - and a bit of a gear-crunching key change, but the poignancy of that insistent, childlike melody is everything. (Love to hear Philip Goodhand-Tate or Joe Cocker wrap their gravelly tonsils around that.)
Other songs, like Laughter in the Rain, can be simply charming in capturing a moment though Queen of 1964, outrageous rhymes and all ("conquer" with "Bianca"), is as cheerfully heartless about the fate of its protagonist as Manilow's Copacabana - though funnier. It's entirely fitting that Our Last Song Together, Sedaka and Howard Greenfield's tender farewell to a collaboration which began in the 50s, closes the set.
Now if only there were a decent 50s CD which did more than recycle the hits - for the moment the expensive Bear Family box set seems the only way to go ...
Laughter in the rain is perhaps the most famous song here and it is typical of the kind of song that Neil was so good at – a bouncy pop song that seems lightweight but has something enduring about it. Another famous song here is Solitaire, which provided a hit for both the Carpenters and Andy Williams. It has also been covered by a lot of other singers and is surely the most-covered song of those here. Love will keep us together and Lonely night were both superbly covered by Captain and Tennille who took them both to number one in America, though they didn't do much in Britain. Breaking up is hard to do is a re-recording of one of Neil's sixties classics, taken at a much slower pace than his earlier version. Bad blood was an American number one hit for Neil.
Of the other songs, The other side of me, A little loving, Sing me, The hungry years, That's when the music takes me and Our last song together are all wonderful songs, some of which you've probably heard via covers even if you haven't heard the originals.
Special mention must be made of the song Betty Grable, a tribute to one of Hollywood's all-time greats written soon after she died, and The queen of 1964, a song with a story to tell. They may be among the more obscure songs here, but they are worth hearing.
There are many Neil Sedaka compilations on the market. Some cover his whole career while others focus on particular periods. As a collection of his seventies music, this is as good as you are likely to find.
Only on playing this cd did I discover that 2 tracks - "Solitaire" and "That's When The Music Takes Me" - are not the original 1972 studio recordings. Both tracks are recorded "live" from, I believe, the 1974 London Festival Hall concert. There is no indication of this on the cd insert.
I was hoping the cd would be accompanied by a booklet containing, among other things, some detailed information about the recordings; but there is only an insert listing the track titles and composers.
The 18 tracks are unfortunately not in recording date order.
For these 3 reasons I have given 2 stars only.
Neil Sedaka wrote 4 and co-wrote the other 14 songs.
Other stand out tracks are Brighton, Betty Grable and The Other Side of Me and Laughter In The Rain.
Buy it, you won't regret it
Again I have to mention about damaged CD casings the CD itself is fine, but the casing is cracked and scratched, also the CD was not cellophane wrapped, I thought all new CD's were wrapped in cellophane?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a good cd and I would recommend it to fans of Neil Sedaka. He is always worth listening to and this does not disappoint.Published 4 months ago by susan temple
Very good selection of many of Sedaka's hits - I previously owned this collection on CD.Published 7 months ago by Malcolm Smith
love this CD have been wanting a copy of our last song together for ages.Published 11 months ago by Mrs S D James
Have always been a Sedaka fan and this album is a great addition to my collection. Great songs with good lyrics and that unique Sedaka voice.Published 11 months ago by Wheelbrace