Friday, 4 March 2016

"Thankful/I Love You So/Don’t Look Back" by NATALIE COLE (2014 Beat Goes On 2CD Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...

"…Right Back In Your Arms..."

Already 3 albums into a Capitol Records contract – this 2CD reissue picks up on Phase 2 of that successful association – giving us 3 expertly remastered Natalie Cole albums from 1977, 1979 and 1980. Here are the La Costa details…

UK released 30 June 2014 (July 2014 in the USA) – "Thankful/I Love You So/Don't Look Back" by NATALIE COLE on Beat Goes On BGOCD 1155 (Barcode 5017261211552) breaks downs as follows:

Disc 1 (74:55 minutes):
1. Lovers
2. Our Love
3. La Costa
4. Nothing Stronger Than Love
5. Be Thankful
6. I Can’t Stay Away
7. Annie Mae
8. Keeping A Light
Tracks 1 to 8 are the album “Thankful” released December 1977 in the USA on Capitol SW-11708 and February 1978 in the UK on Capitol E-ST 11708

9. I Love You So
10. You’re So Good
11. It’s Been You
12. Your Lonely Heart
13. The Winner
14. Oh, Daddy
15. Sorry
16. Stand By
17. Who Will Carry On
Tracks 9 to 17 are the album “I Love You So” released March 1979 in the USA on Capitol SO-11928

Disc 2 (41:52 minutes):
1. Don’t Look Back
2. (I’ve Seen) Paradise
3. Hold On
4. Stairway To The Stars
5. I’m Getting In To You
6. Someone That I Used To Love
7. Danger Up Ahead
8. Beautiful Dreamer
9. Cole-Blooded
Tracks 1 to 9 are the album “Don’t Look Back” released June 1980 in the USA on capitol ST-12709

The generic card wraps that Beat Goes On uses on their reissues are really lovely – giving the whole package a quality look and feel. The packed 24-page booklet inside features liner notes by noted musicologist CHARLES WARING with full recording details for each album (including liner notes), photos, internet references (no lyrics) as well as a collage of colour picture sleeves on the rear.

The 2014 Andrew Thompson remasters are beautiful - giving ballads like “Nothing Stronger Than Love” and “I Can’t Stay Away” (lyrics above) lovely clarity and power while dancers like “Be Thankful” and her own “Annie Mae” are filled with punchy brass and strings. The second album features yet more Marvin Yancey and Charles Jackson steppers and smoochers like “It’s Been You” and the title track – but the quality dips. There’s a noticeable Soul-By-Numbers feel to “Sorry” and “Who Will Carry On” and her funked-up cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh, Daddy” (from “Rumours”) sucks the life out of the song. The 3rd album is another uber-smooth production with slinky ballads like “(I’ve Seen) Paradise” and “Hold On” testing the patience of even the most liberal Soul fan. Too much schlock like “Beautiful Dreamer” and the cod-funk of “Cole-Blooded” never really convinces.

This is a quality re-issue from Beat Goes On – with superb presentation and top quality sound. I just wish more of the actual songs were worth it…

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