Lots of pop vocalists have tackled the vaunted Lennon-McCartney songbook, but this 1964 release from the late, great Keely Smith was the first album by an artist of her ilk devoted to the lads from Liverpool. And perhaps the best one, too... with sparkling arrangements by Ernie Freeman and Benny Carter, and production from Keely's soon-to-be husband Jimmy Bowen, the record alternately seduces and swings, and Keely's voice-with it's bluesy phrasing and lilt patented on The Strip-is the perfect instrument to interpret these Fab tunes.
But there's more to the story here. Sure, "groups" like The Chipmunks and The Hollyridge Strings released Beatles cover albums in 1964, but a pop singer? Of Keely's stature and pedigree? Not a chance. Keely risked ridicule from both the traditionalist and rock and roll camps by crossing over the great pop music divide to record these songs.
Many of her peers were still openly dismissive of the Mop Tops; and the new generation digging the Merseybeat sound were likely to see her as square. It was just another courageous, nervy move in a career full of 'em; and Keely's reward was a smash album in the U.K. For the first-ever reissue of this classic record, we've added liner notes by Steve Hochman along with rare photos. Remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision... truly a Fabulous release!
|Brand||Real Gone Music|
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