Saturday, 28 December 2013

"Karla Bonoff / Restless Nights /Wild Heart Of The Young" by KARLA BONOFF (November 2013 Beat Goes On Reissue - 3LPs Remastered onto 2CDs) - A Review by Mark Barry...

This review and hundreds more like it can also be found in my 
SOUNDS GOOD Music Book: 
1960s and 1970s MUSIC Volume 2 
- Exceptional CD Remasters 
It contains over 210 in-depth reviews (a whopping 2400+ e-Pages) 
And is available to buy/download at Amazon at the following link...

--> "...Sings Me Sweet Things..."

Like most people I came to Karla Bonoff and her affecting songs via Linda Ronstadt. I'd loved both "Someone To Lay Down Beside Me" and "If He's Ever Near" - Bonoff originals issued as singles by Linda in the USA. This excellent 2CD set is a great place to look for more...

UK released November 2013 – "Karla Bonoff/Restless Nights/Wild Heart Of The Young" by KARLA BONOFF on Beat Goes On BGOCD 1126 (Barcode 5017261211262) features 3 albums Remastered onto 2CDs and plays out as follows:

Disc 1 (74:20 minutes):
1. Someone To Lay Down Beside Me
2. I Can’t Hold On
3. Lose Again
4. Home
5. Faces In The Wind
6. Isn’t It Always Love [Side 2]
7. If He’s Ever Near
8. Flying High
9. Falling Star
10. Rose In The Garden
Tracks 1 to 10 are her debut solo LP "Karla Bonoff" released in September 1977 on Columbia PC 34672 in the USA and January 1978 in the UK on CBS S 82455.

11. Trouble Again
12. Restless Nights
13. The Letter
14. When You Walk In The Room
15. Only A Fool
16. Baby Don’t Go
17. Never Stop Her Heart
18. Loving You
19. The Water Is Wide
Tracks 11 to 19 are her 2nd album "Restless Nights" released in September 1979 on Columbia JC 35799 in the USA and January 1980 on CBS S 83587 in the UK

Disc 2 (37:56 minutes):
1. Personally
2. Please Be The One
3. I Don’t Want To Miss You
4. Even If
5. Just Walk Away
6. Gonna Be Mine
7. Wild Heart Of The Young
8. It Just Takes One
9. Dream
Tracks 1 to 9 are her 3rd album "Wild Heart Of The Young" released in April 1982 on Columbia FC 37444

The card wrap pictures all 3 albums and the detailed 16-page booklet outlines session details and a history of her career and associations (John Tobler liner notes). Quite apart from Ronstadt, the albums are littered with the West Coast session mafia - Russ Kunkle, Waddy Watchel, the Eagles, Andrew Gold, Steve Forman, Leland Sklar, Joe Walsh, and long-time producer and friend Kenny Edwards. ANDREW THOMPSON at Sound Performances in London did the remastering and they're beautifully clear and full of presence - reflecting the superb original production values.

The debut album is probably the best with gems like "Home" (lyrics above), "Faces In The Wind" and "Falling Star" as well as the fabulous "Someone To Lay Down Beside Me". In fact as the tunes and ace musicianship go softly by - you're hit over and over by her affecting song writing - rather like a female Jackson Browne on a good day. You could just imagine the Eagles recording an entire album of her songs and making them sound like their own compositions. Bonnie Raitt covered "Home" on her April 1977 LP "Sweet Forgiveness" and Warners even released it as a UK 7" single on K 16953 in May 1977 to promote the album. In the meantime Linda Ronstadt arguably took "Someone To Lay Down Beside Me" to even greater heights. She featured it on her April 1976 album "Hasten Down The Wind" (a top 3 record in the USA) and the song turned up as a US and UK 45 in late 1976 and early 1977 (it was also featured on her May 1980 "Greatest Hits Vol.2"). Bonoff is like this – a songsmith – picked up on by others who know a winning melody when they hear one. Her self-titled debut rose to No. 52 on the US Pop LP charts and had a 40-week run – but it's unfairly forgotten now and shouldn't be.

The second and third albums saw the tunes drop too many times into terrible late-Seventies Neil Diamond schlock territory. Jackie De Shannon provides backing vocals on her own song "When He Walked Into The Room" and another winner is her beautiful cover of the Traditional "The Water Is Wide" (James Taylor does a gorgeous version of it on his "New Moon Shine" album from 1991). The polished "Wild Heart..." from 1982 is unfortunately all production and too few actual tunes ("Just Takes One" is a lovely exception with nice slide guitar from Joe Walsh). And Kenny Edwards and Andrew Gold (long-time collaborators with Bonoff) have their talent and presence on almost every track (both are now sadly passed on).

It might not be everyone's idea of heaven - but those languid melodies I've mentioned will affect you. If you're a Karla Bonoff fan - this superlative sounding and well-presented reissue is a must own...especially for that lovely debut...

No comments:

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

INDEX - Artists, Albums, Record Labels, CD Remaster Engineers, Liner Notes Authors, Links etc