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A step in the wrong direction for Sandie
on 28 June 2005
By 1967, the beat boom had more or less run its course in England and the Britgirls were all being nudged by their management towards making albums for a more adult or mature audience. Dusty Springfield came up with the consummate "Where Am I Going". Sandie Shaw responded with "Love Me, Please Love Me".
Big mistake, for this bunch of mainly old school pop/ jazz standards exposed Sandie's vocal limitations without allowing her to exhibit any of her strengths the way her glorious run of Chris Andrews-penned hit singles did before this. The title track, for instance, is a lovely song but Sandie doesn't do justice to it. It's much the same elsewhere. Her performances are either outside of her range (eg, Every Time We Say Goodbye, Yes My Darling Daughter), suffers from wobbly pitch (eg, I Get A Kick Out Of You, Time After Time) or are plain dull because they are unsuitable material for her (eg, By Myself and Smile).
"One Note Samba" is just about decent, while her French take of "If You Go Away" (Ne Me Quitte Pas) benefits from a novel foreign accented approach. It would have helped matters if the normally reliable Chris Andrews had come up with a couple of goodies but sadly, all he managed was the horribly grotesque "Hold Him Down", which Sandie sings in her irritating fake accent, and the mediocre "That's Why", which is definitely not up to his usual standard like most of the late-60s B sides he gave her. Something straightforwardly pop like "The Way That I Remember Him" is what works for Sandie. Pity there aren't more of these.
Thankfully Sandie realised this was a wrong direction for her to take and started exploring more contemporary pop/rock material which suited her better. Although she went on to make two more immeasurably superior albums before the end of the decade, it wasn't until she collaborated with the Smiths in the 80s that she found her own voice in music.
Rpm's retro releases usually come replete with period memorabilia, detailed and carefully annoted sleevenotes using original pics, reviews, etc. This is no different. You even get four post-Puppet singles as bonus, the best of which are "You've Not Changed" and double A-sider "Don't Run Away/Stop", sadly Sandie's first career singles flop after it all began for her in 1964.
"Love Me, Please Love Me" is strictly for fans and completists only.