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Julie London – Julie - Love On The Rocks (2006)

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Julie London – Julie - Love On The Rocks (2006)

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01. Somebody Loves Me (3:01)
02. Dream Of You (2:42)
03. Daddy (2:17)
04. Bye Bye Blackbird (2:33) play
05. Free And Easy (2:18)
06. All My Life (3:06)
07. When The Red Red Robin Comes A Bob Bobobbin’ Along (1:43)
08. Midnight Sun (2:29)
09. You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me (2:29)
10. Don’cha Go ‘Way Mad (2:38)
11. (Back Home) In Indiana (2:54)
12. For You (2:42)
13. Love On The Rocks (2:39) play
14. Guess Who I Saw Today (3:07)
15. Where Are You (2:34)
16. How Did He Look (2:36)
17. What’s New (2:36)
18. A Cottage For Sale (2:33)
19. The End Of A Love Affair (2:17)
20. I’ll Be Seeing You (2:08)
21. Where Did The Gentleman Go (2:56)
22. Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me (2:37)
23. The Man That Got Away (3:36)
24. Willow Weep For Me (3:21)

Tracks 1 to 12 from the 1958 Liberty/EMI Records release “Julie” (LRP-3096).
Tracks 13 to 24 from the 1963 Liberty/EMI Records release “Love On The Rocks” (SLBY-1113).

 

Julie London had her critics and plenty of them, not only among those who didn’t like her style of music, but also among those who think that plenty of other people could do better. Sure, Julie’s voice had its limitations, but Julie knew that and invariably recorded material that showed her voice to best advantage. As a consequence, her album were filled with romantic ballads and those presented in this twofer are no exception. Julie’s music changed through the years, with the very sparse backing of her early albums giving way to a more substantial orchestral backing, but Julie’s sultry voice was always the dominant instrument throughout. The contrast in musical backing is illustrated here, with the first album, Julie, dating from 1957 and the second, Love on the rocks, dating from 1963. There’s a further contrast provided by the moods of the respective album, with the first album being mainly upbeat and the second album being all about heartbreak. Although some of the songs will be very familiar to fans of the Great American Songbook, there are plenty of less famous songs including at least one original song on each album from the pen of Julie’s husband and record producer, Bobby Troup.

The first album opens with Somebody loves me, from a 1924 Broadway musical. Two instrumental versions (Paul Whiteman, Ray Miller) were enormously popular that year, while two vocal versions (Marion Harris, Cliff Edwards) were successful in 1925. Another popular song from the twenties featured here is Bye bye blackbird., which was originally successful for Gene Austin in 1926. (It is worth noting that Gene Austin was the most popular singer in America during the late twenties and his other successes included Yes sir that’s my baby, Five feet two eyes of blue, Tonight you belong to me, My blue heaven and Carolina moon, all of which have stood the test of time well even though Gene Austin himself is largely forgotten.) Completing a trio of twenties classics is When the red red robin comes a bob bobbin’ along. Several singers were successful with this song in 1926, none more so than Al Jolson. Doris Day had a minor hit when reviving it in 1953. From the thirties, there’s the classic You’re getting to be a habit with me. Diana Krall fans know this song from her album, Love scenes, but Bing Crosby was the original artist in 1933, it being one his early successes that laid the foundation for a great career. There are many other great, if less famous, songs, on this album.

The second album is a concept album based on the title track. As you can imagine, all the songs are very sad, exploring the different emotions and events in the life of a spurned woman. I don’t know what inspired Julie to record this album. Perhaps it was about her first husband (Bobby Troup was her second), but whatever the reason, Julie was, as ever, in top form when recording it. Among the great songs here are What’s new?, I’ll be seeing you, Don’t worry ’bout me and Willow weep for me, but there are many other wonderful songs including my favorite here, A cottage for sale, which was originally successful for Guy Lombardo in 1930.

Julie recorded many excellent albums and the two presented here are among the best. Most of her albums have now appeared on CD, showing that her music remains popular despite the critics. ---Peter Durward Harris

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Last Updated (Monday, 29 December 2014 16:25)

 

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