As a dedicated fan who once had the pleasure of seeing Steve & Eydie at the London Palladium, I rate the talented pair as the most gifted and entertaining US duo ever. Over the past fifty years they have hostel their own television shows, headlined the Broadway stage and Vegas cabaret whilst grabbing a few Grammys along the way as they hit the high spots with their own brand of genuine togetherness. Even so, they also managed to balance solo careers via some wonderful albums and a few hit singles which overall attest to their ability in meeting new challenges as they continued to appear on stage until Eydie's recent retirement.
During their long career they recorded for a number of record labels and when things got tough for established singers during the Sixties, they initiated their own album projects which were either licensed to and released by major record companies or issued on their own label - GL Music. However this delightful pair of albums, recorded for the now defunct United Artists label, predates such need and together they showcase the Great American Songbook with some emphasis on songs which emanated from the Broadway stage. COZY, recorded in 1961, opens with that suitably romantic number before selecting MY FAIR LADY's WOULDN'T IT BE LOVERLY. From then on there's A FINE ROMANCE, SHE DIDN'T SAY YES, BLUE ROOM, PERSONALITY and TWO SLEEPY PEOPLE which represent those songs from the Golden Age which make perfect duet material for the tuneful two-some who always managed to make them musically cute rather than cheesy.
Recorded the following year, TWO ON THE AISLE (written by the singers along with their conductor/arranger Don Costa) naturally introduces Broadway showstoppers from then-current Broadway musicals with Eydie having solo choice for THE PARTY'S OVER, OUR LANGUAGE OF LOVE and JUST MY LUCK whilst Steve smoothly croons his way through top-of-the-range ballads TILL THERE WAS YOU and IF EVER I WOULD LEAVE YOU with the addition of the more up-tempo IT'S LOVE. Together, they handle MAKE SOMEONE HAPPY, NAMELY YOU, PUT ON A HAPPY FACE and A LOT OF LIVIN' TO DO leaving me pondering the fact these songs still remain classics from that period.
Five bonus songs include Johnny Mercer's THE FACTS OF LIFE which Steve and Eydie sang over the credits of the 1960 Bob Hope/Lucille Ball movie; Steve's - major and minor hits GO AWAY LITTLE GIRL (US#1) and MY CLARE DE LUNE (US#68) adapted from the classics by Leiber/Stoller plus Eydie's catchy BLAME IT ON THE BOSSA NOVA (US#7 UK#32).
Sepia's usual excellent sound remastering, presentation, photographs, original album graphics and notes match the gravitas of these excellent albums.
This twofer, released by reputable reissue label Sepia Records from UK in 2013, contains two albums on United Artists: Cozy and Two On The Aisle, both music arranged and conducted by Don Costa. There are an amazing 29 songs in this CD, with 5 bonus tracks. I have compiled a detailed song listing (album & single label & number, chart position, debut date, plus personal comments)(BB Pop=Billboard Hot 100; BB AC=Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart; BB R&B=Billboard Rhythm & Blues Chart; CB Pop=Cash Box Singles Chart; RW Pop=Record World Singles Chart; UK=British Singles chart):
LP “COZY” (United Artists 3509)(1961):
02 Wouldn’t It Be Lovely
03 Like In Love
04 It’s So Nice To Have A Man Around The House
05 Would You Like To Take A Walk
06 A Fine Romance
07 I Like The Likes Of You
08 Without You I’m Nothing
09 She Didn’t Say Yes
10 Blue Room
12 Two Sleepy People
LP “TWO ON THE AISLE” (United Artists 1011)(1963):
13 Two On The Aisle
14 Till There Was You – Steve Lawrence
15 Make Someone Happy
16 The Party’s Over – Eydie Gorme
17 If Ever I Would Leave You – Steve Lawrence
18 Namely You
19 A Lot Of Livin’ To Do
20 Our Language Of Love – Eydie Gorme
21 It’s Love
22 ‘Til Tomorrow – Steve Lawrence
23 Just My Luck – Eydie Gorme
24 Put On A Happy Face
BONUS TRACKS (SINGLES):
25 The Facts Of Life (Steve & Eydie)(United Artists UA-282)(uncharted a-side, February 1961)
26 I’m A Girl – You’re A Boy (Steve & Eydie)(United Artists UA 282)(b-side, February 1961)
27 My Claire de Lune – Steve Lawrence (United Artists UA-335)(a-side)(BB Pop 68/1961; BB AC 13/1961; CB Pop 88/1961; RW Pop 89/1961)(June 1961)*rare gem.
28 Go Away Little Girl – Steve Lawrence (Columbia 4-42601)(a-side)(BB Pop 1(2)/1962; BB AC 1(6)/1962; BB R&B 14/1963; CB Pop 1(2)/1962; RW Pop 1(3)/1962)(October 1962)
29 Blame It On The Bossa Nova – Eydie Gorme (Columbia 4-42661)(a-side)(BB Pop 7/1963; CB Pop 8/1963; RW Pop 6/1963; UK 32/1963)(December 1962)
1 This is a wonderful collection of two popular Steve & Eydie albums at reasonable price (finally). The above two albums are available at other configuration at higher prices.
2 The five bonus tracks are all popular and sometimes rare hit singles.
3 As per the high standards at Sepia Records, the sound was wonderfully remastered using 24 bit Cedar System. The result was clean and warm sound. All the songs from this CD have become my new reference standards.
4 There is also a 12-page booklet, containing very informative liner notes. The original front covers for both albums were displayed on the entire page of the front and back covers. I was hoping that in the future, the back covers of the albums are included too instead of advertisement for other releases.
This is a wonderful collection of two popular Steve & Eydie albums, with crystal clean sound. The bonus singles tracks are also precious. Those twofers from GL Music Co. (Steve & Eydie’s own label) are usually more expensive. This set has top-rated sound and great booklet, and is a welcome addition to my library to complete my Steve & Eydie collection, and is highly recommended.