So Much Love: A Darlene Love Anthology 1958-1998

So Much Love: A Darlene Love Anthology 1958-1998

by Darlene LoveDarlene Love


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The 24 tracks on this nearly career-spanning anthology -- the great majority taken from between the late 1950s and early '70s -- collect many of Darlene Love's most notable recordings. It has not only some of her efforts as a solo artist, but also a few she did as part of the Blossoms, as well as numerous cuts on which her contributions as a session vocalist are prominent. The reason it's "nearly" career-spanning, however, with "many" rather than "most" of her notable recordings, is that it's missing the most crucial Love tracks of all -- those being the ones she sang on, as featured artist or session vocalist (particularly with the Crystals), with Phil Spector as a producer. Due to that very important factor, this can't actually be called a Darlene Love best-of, and to its credit Ace avoids using that phrase in its title. If you can swallow that disappointment, however (and at least Love's Spector recordings have been collected elsewhere), this is an interesting overview of her other (and usually less celebrated) efforts, including many hard-to-find singles and a few previously unissued cuts. Yet a problem that can't go unmentioned is that while Love has a first-rate impassioned, distinctive pop-soul voice and almost always sings her heart out, the average quality of the material simply isn't on the level of her vocal talents. Though personal differences between her and Spector apparently kept their collaborations from being extensive, he nonetheless was the one figure to give her the material and production she deserved; there's nothing here on the order of, for example, the Crystals' "He's a Rebel" (a song here represented by an inferior 1971 single credited to Moose & the Pelicans) or her small 1963 solo hit "Wait Till My Bobby Gets Home." Adjusting your expectations accordingly, there are some average-to-slightly-above average songs here (some written by top songwriters like Van McCoy, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Gerry Goffin, Carole King, David Gates, and Lee Hazlewood) with very above-average vocals. There are also some pretty forgettable tunes, as well as some almost novelty-like items on which Love and others provided singing for tracks by performers who were essentially instrumental artists (Dick Dale, Hal Blaine, Barney Kessel, and Duane Eddy). One of the best songs here, interestingly, is one that was previously unreleased: a 1963 demo of "Let Him Walk Away," produced by Jack Nitzsche and co-written by Nitzsche with Jackie DeShannon, that credibly approximates the ambience of her Spector recordings. The extensive liner notes feature track-by-track annotation and quotes from Love herself.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/16/2008
Label: Ace Records Uk
UPC: 0029667030021
catalogNumber: 1169
Rank: 41819

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Darlene Love   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Johnny Otis   Composer
Sam Cooke   Composer
Duane Eddy   Composer
Gene Pitney   Composer
Barney Kessel   Composer
Bill Medley   Composer
Lee Hazlewood   Composer
Barry Mann   Composer
Van McCoy   Composer
Jack Nitzsche   Composer
Angelo Bond   Composer
Jeff Barry   Composer
Jackie DeShannon   Composer
Lamont Dozier   Composer
Brian Henderson   Composer
Brian Holland   Composer
Andy Paley   Composer
Joe Reed   Composer
Steven Van Zandt   Composer
Cynthia Weil   Composer
Fred Lowery   Composer
Mike Anthony   Composer
Fred Stryker   Composer
Alonzo Willis   Composer
Elroy Peace   Composer

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