July 25, 1970: Carpenters, Three Dog Night, Anthony Quinn, Andy Williams, Delfonics

CARPENTERS: (They Long To Be) Close To You (A & M AMS 800).
Think of all Bacharach & David’s old songs prior to and including “What The World Needs Now”, mix in a hook that reminds me, at least, of Jack Keller & Gerry Goffin’s “Run To Her” (on Little Eva’s LP, oldies freaks), then imagine the result sung by Dionne Warwick, Jackie de Shannon and Carole King all rolled into one, beautifully backed (the girlie group . . . wah!) and recorded with as much of a 1964 sound as possible – and all the nostalgicats among you will have a pretty good mental picture of this, B & D’s latest affectionate look backwards. In fact produced by Jack Daugherty, the lovely retrospective slowie is earning plenty of coin Stateside for newcomers Karen and Richard Carpenter (sister and brother, she sings and he arranges). What luck, getting this as their first single! Can’t stop playing it, Oh yes – it might just manage to scrape into the upper reaches of our chart, too!

THREE DOG NIGHT: Mama Told Me (Not To Come) (Stateside SS 8052).
Number One in America, a complex Randy Newman song, much more subtle than the boys’ past work (good though that was), and a must to be heard for yourselves. Great words and music. For hip dancers initially. Give it time.

ANTHONY QUINN: I Love You And You Love Me (Capitol CL 15649).
Lee Marvin, Mark II (recordwise, that is)? In a resonant, artificially enhanced deep voice, the fiery Latin (moviewise) repeats the song’s simple lines after the Harold Spina Singers have Ray Conniffed them, to a Spina-penned tune that sounds kinda like “Spanish Eyes”. (Spina produced, too.) It’s a hit with me, and I’ll certainly be playing it at dances – great slushy romantic programming material for those tender moments! Continue reading “July 25, 1970: Carpenters, Three Dog Night, Anthony Quinn, Andy Williams, Delfonics”

July 18, 1970: Toomorrow, Cissy Houston, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, 5th Dimension, Tommy Roe

TOOMORROW: You’re My Baby Now; Goin’ Back (RCA 1978).
Mark my words, you will be hearing more about this group.

CISSY HOUSTON: The Long and Winding Road; Be My Baby (Major Minor MM 716). Forget all other pronouncements: THIS is THE hit – hit – HIT! To a light “Always Something There to Remind Me” bossa nova-ish tempo, Cissy glides and emotes through the Paul McCartney song as though it was her own exclusively. It will be. Pure artistry. Dig too the slowed right up and quietened down totally different treatment of the classic Spector flip.

SMOKEY ROBINSON AND THE MIRACLES: The Tears of a Clown; You Must Be Love (Tamla Motown TMG 745).
Instead of with some of the Miracles’ recent unreleased material, Motown has chosen to belatedly follow ‘Tracks of My Tears’ up with this similarly titled stomping 1967 album track. Slow flip, from the same ‘Make it Happen’ elpee. They’re both good if old hat, but then British Motown has proved often enough that it knows its market here. Continue reading “July 18, 1970: Toomorrow, Cissy Houston, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, 5th Dimension, Tommy Roe”