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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Audio Beaverhausen: Lesley Gore, Someplace Else Now

Hard to believe but by 1972, at the young age of 31, Lesley Gore -- one of the great pop music hitmakers of the 1960s -- was considered a has-been by the recording industry. She returned that year with this blue-eyed soul/folk album but, at the time, Someplace Else Now was not a hit by any means. It was released by Motown on vinyl.

The rare existing records now sell for hundreds of dollars on-line. In mid-August of this year, Real Gone Music released Someplace Else Now for the first time on cd and MP3.

Ms Gore wrote or co-wrote all the tracks on this album. Her co-writers were her brother Michael (with whom she'd later write an Oscar-nominated song for the movie Fame, "Out Here on My Own") and, mostly,  Ellen Weston).

When Ms Gore left us this past February, a great talent was lost. She was a trailblazer. "You Don't Own Me" was a revolutionary proto-feminist anthem that is still covered to this day. She was a major influence on the '60s girl-group sound and a major recording, radio and stage star. She later became an "out" icon, supporting LGBT rights.

In the wonderful Allison Anders film, Grace of My Heart (1996), Bridget Fonda plays a closeted '60s pop star based on Lesley who actually co-wrote this song:

I saw her twice, the last time at the Girl Power concert at Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park. I met her once, almost ten years earlier after a show at Joe's Pub in NYC. She was extremely gracious and charming, and we chatted briefly about her career.

Someplace Else Now is a very good album and I recommend this to fans of the singer. It showcases a very different side to Ms Gore, as the title might suggest. This was the single that was released in '72:

After the brief introductory song "For Me," Lesley launches into the power ballad "The Road I Walk" and follows that with the Shirley Bassey-like "Out of Love."

"Don't Want to Be One" is a gentle throwback to her '60s work with a slight samba beat added. "What Did I Do Wrong?" is another great ballad but it might have benefitted by a more uptempo arrangement in her '60s style.

The title track, with an opening, simple guitar accompaniment that grows with orchestra and chorus is a beauty and perhaps my favorite. "Mine" is another gorgeous number with a burgeoning orchestral and choral development.

Overall. a compositional beauty and a good album. But, listening to this, I miss the Lesley from her more pop Sixties days. A little more pizzazz would have been the icing on the cake.

1 comment:

  1. Lesley Gore turned 26 in 1972, not 31.