Sunday, 8 February 2009

“Go Away Little Boy – The Sass & Soul Of…” by MARLENA SHAW. A Review of the 1999 Columbia/Legacy CD Compilation.

“…Oh Baby…This Time I’m Gonna Be Sweeter…”

Here’s the breakdown (64:10 minutes):

1. Yu-Ma/Go Away Little Boy [co-written with Gerry Goffin and Carole King]
2. I Think I’ll Tell Him
3. Rhythm Of Love
4. Moonrise
5. I Wonder
6. Shaw Biz/Suddenly It’s How I’d Like To Feel/Shaw Biz (Reprise)
7. I’m Back For More
8. Sweet Beginnings [Leon Ware cover]
9. More [Marlena Shaw song]
10. Walk Softly [Van McCoy cover]
11. No One Yet [Marlena Shaw song]
12. Pictures And Memories
13. Love Dancin’ [Linda Clifford/Gladys Knight cover]
14. Touch Me In The Morning [Diana Ross cover]

Tracks 1, 2, 8, 10 and 12 are from the album “Sweet Beginnings”, 1977 on US Columbia 34458
Tracks 3, 4, 5, 7 and 9 are from the album “Acting Up”, 1978 on US Columbia 35073
Tracks 6, 11, 13 and 14 are from the album “Take A Bite”, 1979 US Columbia 35632

This April 1999 Columbia/Legacy CD was compiled by LEO SACHS and has detailed liner notes by BARRY WALTERS. The original master tapes were remastered by TOM RUFF at the Sony Music Studios in the USA and the sound is sweet – really clear – very little hiss on any of the songs - punchy when it needs to be - subtle and soft too when the strings kick in. In fact, it's typical of the high standard across most of the LEGACY range.

Musically this is very Studio 56/Philadelphia International territory – and despite the “sass” in the subtitle - this compilation is often very mellow. There are funky floor filling tunes on here like “Sweet Beginnings”, “More”, “Pictures And Memories” and “No One Yet” which late Seventies Three Degrees, Isaac Hayes, Gladys Knight and Ronn Matlock fans will love. Highlights also include the witty and perceptive “get out of my life – oh no – come back” lyrics of the opener “Yu-Ma/Go Away Little Boy”, while the lovely bedroom ballad “Moonrise” features sweet Alto Sax fills by SELDON POWELL. It should also be noted that “Touch Me In The Morning” is the ultra-rare full-length 12” disco mix at 7:19 minutes. And although it doesn’t state it on the rear sleeve either, the Linda Clifford cover of “Love Dancin’” is the rare 12”extended version at 7:56 minutes also – two big draws for those who like their club classics.

Part disco, part soul diva, part jazz-vocal and very Seventies – there’s a lot on here to enjoy – and Shaw’s vocals are a discovery worth making.

“Go Away Little Boy” is a really good compilation culled from 3 hard-to-find albums (pictured above).

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