Friday, 24 February 2017

Allee Willis's 2 LP Sampler / Compilation from 1979









Again, thanks to the anonymous requester earlier who brought this artist to my attention.  And while I'm at it, thanks to all those who requested some pretty fabulous artists in the lifetime of this blog, most especially the recent finds of Simon and Bard, a totally neglected band indeed.

After the first record from Allee (that song Childstar should've been a megahit!) I was intent on collecting more if more there was.  This particular album with the plain black cover I presumed was privately pressed, since it mostly consisted of demos, but it turns out it was produced by Irving as can be seen on this page.  And that label was responsible for some pretty big blockbusters.

As usual, from the blurb on the back:

"Allee had three top 10 singles in 1979.  EW&F's September, M. Nightingale's Lead me On, and EW&F with the Emotions'  Boogie Wonderland...  [all of which appear here save the latter in a different version.]

"The songs in this two record set include a sampling of successful recordings as well as an extensive group of new songs, which appear as demos and await commercial recording. They represent some of Allee's finest work and give credence to her reputation as a songwriter adept in all areas of popular music."

Of course we are dealing with ordinary songwriting here, and in particular the pop style of the late seventies.  Not necessarily the inventiveness and quirky Laura Nyro edge to the Childstar record.  But that's OK, right?

Or is it? After listening to an hour and a half of this AM radio material I think I am convinced as always of the huge gulf that separates our taste here evident on this blog from popular music (here I invariably picture Celine Dion 'belting out' the smash hit "My heart must go on" and my own heart, of course, automatically having yet another instantaneous & fullstop cardiac arrest even while sitting hooked up to the crash cart as it drops 100,000 leagues downwards in the direction of the core of the earth...)  Anyways, when I woke up and changed those sweaty sheets I came to realize there is a song sample worth posting here, namely this one, called Come What May:





Some quick research shows this song was on a late 70s Patti LaBelle album.  In this case without a doubt the producer went overboard with the AM radio soul dreck on Patti's version and the simplicity of the demo makes it clearly superior.  I like that in the lyrics instead of the conventional type of trite Hallmark / Valentines commentary, the chorus states, somewhat defiantly

"--but I'll never be afraid of who I am, 
who I'm not, 
come what may."

Great track.

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