In the late 1990s I took a chance on a CD at Marshalls (from the cheap-o bins they use to keep near the register) by Astrud Gilberto – the 60s singer who helped popularize bossa nova. The title of the disc, Gold, was not only misleading but annoying, since these ten songs had already been sequenced (differently) and released in 1977 as an album entitled, That Girl From Ipanema.
The standout track for me is “Meu Piao” – sounds like a club hit from the original disco era, and yet it appears never to have been released as a single:
“Meu Piao” Astrud Gilberto 1977
I particularly enjoy the elegant disco stylings of the session bass player toward the end of the song. I find it funny, though slightly maddening, that these extensive musician & production credits for this album list two different session bassists – and yet still fail to name the artist responsible for the nice fretwork on the bass guitar for “Meu Piao.”
Joan Baez – with the very able assistance of Nashville’s finest sidemen – produces a soulful and tastefully understated cover of a classic Rolling Stones tune from their Beggars Banquet album:
Joan’s version was included on her 1969 Vanguard album, One Day at a Time, and was the A-side of a single for both the U.S. and German markets.
Grady Martin: Electric guitar & sitar, dobro
Hal Rugg: Steel guitar, dobro
Pete Drake: Steel guitar
Harold Bradley: Bass guitar
Norbert Putnam: Electric bass
Junior Huskey: String bass
Jerry Reed: Fingerpicking & rhythm guitar
Pete Wade: High rhythm guitar
Jerry Shook: Rhythm guitar
Tommy Jackson: Fiddle & viola
Buddy Spicher: Fiddle & viola
Hargus Robbins: Piano
Kenny Buttrey: Drums
Charlie McCoy: Organ, harmonica & vibes
David Briggs: Piano & harpsichord
Teresa Brewer‘s extensive recording career (which encompassed nearly 600 song titles) ran the gamut – from pop and novelty to rhythm & blues to country, musicals and, in the latter part of her career, jazz. And yes, you can even add rock to that list – as evidenced by “Mama Sure Could Swing a Deal,” a song from her 1973 album, In London with Oily Rags, on the Flying Dutchman label.
“Mama Sure Could Swing a Deal” Teresa Brewer 1973
Oily Rags is the stage name for musical duo, Chas Hodges and Dave Peacock, who are joined by a bassist and drummer, two percussionists, three guitarists (including Pete Frampton), an electric keyboardist, and a 6-piece horn section on this track.
Curious to note that in 1973 Teresa Brewer also released 3 singles on the Flying Dutchman label – however, none of those sides duplicated any tracks from her album with Oily Rags.
“Mama Could Swing a Deal” written by Albert Hammond & Mike (not Lee) Hazlewood
Lynn Anderson’s ‘hard country’ take on “Wave Bye Bye to the Man” – a mother and child’s declaration of independence from a bad dad – provides a musical punch that perfectly matches the lyric:
Interesting to hear Lawanda Lindsey’s version of the song from the previous year (1968) and notice how the flute part takes some of the edge off the song. As lovely as it sounds, the flute, unfortunately, is no match for the twin guitars that kick off Lynn Anderson’s driving version. Oddly, “Wave Bye Bye to the Man” ended up as a B-side to “Our House is Not a Home” (unless, inspired by The Beatles’ example, this was intended as a double-A side).
Anderson recorded for the Chart label for four years beginning in 1966, until she got a record deal with almighty Columbia in 1970. “Wave Bye Bye to the Man,” however, is notable for its renegade sound and darkly humorous sensibility that is very much in keeping with what Shelby Singleton and Plantation Records were putting out at the same time. Song included on 1970’s Uptown Country Girl (Lynn would go on to release two more albums that year, having also released three albums the previous year).
“Wave Bye Bye to the Man” – Music and lyrics by Betty Jo Gibson and Buck Lindsay.
Discovered a great song – “It Could Have Been Better”- from Joan Armatrading’s debut album that was included on a 1973 sampler album of A&M artists (in partnership with Altec sound equipment) entitled, Odyssey:
According to the Wikipedia entry for Joan’s 1972 debut album, Whatever’s for Us – the song ‘It Could Have Been Better’ is said to have been one of Elton John’s favorite songs at that time. Surprisingly, this song did not enjoy single release – even as a B-side:
Whatever’s for Us was the only album recorded by Joan Armatrading and Pam Nestor, who together wrote over 100 songs in the space of three years. Cube records released the album as a Joan Armatrading work and attributed little credit to Nestor – a situation that ultimately sewed discord between the two writers.