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Friday, September 18, 2015

Audio Beaverhausen: Introducing Darlene Love

Darlene Love is smokin' hot at 74. We should all look this good at her age. Her powerful alto puts today's divas who require auto-tuning to shame.

The irony of Introducing Darlene Love's very title is that she should require no introduction at this stage of her career. Working for Phil Spector in the '60s, she was anonymously presented as The Crystals, Bob B Sox & the Bluejeans, etc.

But, after her large focus in the Oscar-winning documentary, 20 Feet from Stardom, she achieved the public attention she deserves.

I grew up listening to Darlene's voice. I learned who she was when I was a teen. She's been one of my top idols ever since.

With songs written by Bruce Springsteen, Steve van Zandt, Elvis Costello and more, Love is in great company. The album launches with the gospel rouser "Among the Believers" before the album's first proposed single, the Spector-influenced "Forbidden Nights." "Night Closing In" by Bruce Springsteen is another strong contender as a single,

But Love doesn't stay within that comfort zone as she successfully tackles hard rock, sings a duet, power ballads, blues, spirituals. songs of world peace, all with much drama and full-throttle orchestra and back-up vocals.throughout.

Darlene's one cover is of "River Deep, Mountain High" and she makes it her own, knocking it out of the park. Spector originally wrote the song with Darlene in mind but replaced her vocals with Tina Turner's at the last minute.

Beautifully produced, executed, sung. Kudos all around. Very highly recommended. The cd version has a great pamphlet of liner notes, credits and pictures. Available on on both MP3 and cd formats.

By the way, Rolling Stone did a piss-poor job reviewing this album. Most responders to that review felt its author had dismissed this without even listening to it and I have to agree.

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