Wednesday, 1 February 2017

"Love's Been Good To Me: The Songs Of Rod McKuen" by VARIOUS (2017 Ace CD Compilation - Duncan Cowell Remasters)



"...If You Go Away..." 

Despite the beautiful annotation (a 20-page booklet with wads of rare 45 label repros, period magazine covers, in-studio photos of McKuen with Petula Clark and Frank Sinatra) and properly immaculate remastered sound from Duncan Cowell - you're faced with 25 songs of such mind-blowing saccharine that this well-intentioned CD compilation is like licking a spoon of stale honey – 25 times - across 80-minutes.

Here are the details...

"Love's Been Good To Me: The Songs Of Rod McKuen" by VARIOUS ARTISTS on Ace CDTOP 1481 (Barcode 029667076920) is a 25-track CD compilation and for collectors has Three Previously Unreleased Songs - Tracks 7, 20 and 23 (79:51 minutes).

1. Doesn't Anybody Know My Name - Waylon Jennings
2. The World I Used To Know - Glen Campbell
3. Love's Been Good To Me - Tom Jones
4. Lonesome Cities - Frank Sinatra
5. A Single Woman - Nina Simone
6. Les Amants De Coeur - Jacques Brel
7. Children One And All - Mary Travers and Rod McKuen
8. The Wind Of Change - Petula Clark
9. Jean - Oliver
10. A Boy Named Charlie Brown - Rod McKuen
11. If You Go Away - Dusty Springfield
12. The Sea - The San Sebastian Strings
13. I Think Of You - Perry Como
14. Hello Heartaches - Barbara Kay
15. Ally Ally Oxen Free - The Kingston Trio
16. Soldiers Who Want To Be Heroes - The Gateway Trio
17. The Importance Of The Rose - The Limeliters
18. Ain't You Glad You're Living Joe - Michael Sarne
19. This Is Our House - Shelby Flint
20. Kaleidoscope - Nancy Sinatra & Rod McKuen
21. One By One - Barry McGuire
22. I've Been To Town - Glenn Yarbrough
23. Because We Love - Rod McKuen
24. I'll Say Goodbye - Jimmie Rodgers
25. Seasons In The Sun - Terry Jacks

The gorgeous Audio quality aside - McKuen just didn't have the melody or lyrical magic of Bacharach and David - so tunes like "Jean" by Oliver, the awful croaking of a clearly ill Nina Simone on "A Single Woman" (unreleased for a reason) and the truly cringe-making cack that is "Seasons In The Sun" by Terry Jacks and "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" is enough to make you want to scream - please stop - have mercy for pity's sake!

But if you want an inkling of this compilation's true awfulness - try "The Sea" by The San Sebastian Singers where someone speaks lovey-dovey bilge to a backdrop of an ocean wave lapping onto some shore somewhere (and it does this with strings!). Why use water boarding on ISIS terrorists when you can play them this twice or three times and do some real damage.

Love may well have been good for you Rod - but for us it was horrifying. Unless you're an uber-fan - I'd advise a listen first - or perhaps try something easier - like immigrating into the Donster's USA...

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