Saturday, July 30, 2005

Lulu and the Luvvers: Shout/Forget Me Baby (Parrot 45 Par 9676)

We all know Lulu from repeated overexposure to her 1967 number one smash "To Sir With Love." But let's go back to 1964, when the British Invasion was just getting underway. At that time, she and her then band The Luvvers were making a little noise on the lower rungs of the Top 100 with this 2-sider of Isley Brothers covers. "Shout" is, of course, that song everyone knows and loves and Lulu's is a pretty much by-the-numbers cover, except there's not enough time for the "little bit softer now" portion, so they just go on to "Hey-hey-hey-hey!" and end the record. "Forget Me Baby" is much better. What's notable is Lulu's gruff, growling vocals on both sides, a far cry from the later smoothness of her big hits (including "Oh Me Oh My (I'm A Fool For You Baby"), but it really works well on this one in which Lulu's telling her man to forget her, sounding like a tough chick with a raspy voice. Of course, the man won't do it because he says "How can I forget you when I love only you?" The band gives a sharp, tough backing that ices the cake quite well. So, there you have it, today's "Before they were stars" lesson.

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