FREDA PAYNE / In Stockholm (1971) MP3/Flac

The lovely Freda Payne started her career as a pop/jazz singer in the mold of a Nancy Wilson or Shirley Bassey -- big arrangements, tart phrasing, lots of belting, etc. I don't know much about In Stockholm. It was released the same year as Payne's breakout hit on Invictus "Band Of Gold" but it sounds like it was recorded years earlier. From the album notes and the title, I gather it was a live session with an orchestra recorded in Stockholm. Payne is a very competent singer but there is nothing here to distinguish her from the many -- and some more obviously gifted -- pop/jazz stylists of the time. Of course precious few possessed the ravishing beauty and sex appeal of Miss Payne, so by the time she reached Invictus Records and began modelling her bathing suit collection she was in a class all by herself. However, on In Stockholm, Payne is still the demure girl singer whose innocent "The Friendliest Thing" hardly sounds like the same type of invitation Barbara McNair offers on her sultry take of the same song. Elsewhere though Payne is perfectly pleasant. The bouncy "Bluesette" and the strident "Nobody Wants You When You're Down And Out" are just two examples. I don't know how they coaxed that cover photo out of her but I'm sure it didn't hurt album sales.

Side A
Let It Be Me
False Love
Who Can I Turn To
Once Upon A Summertime
The Friendliest Thing

Side B
Nobody Wants You When You're Down And Out
C C Rider
On Broadway
A Lovely Was To Spend An Evening
It's Time