HELEN SCHNEIDER / Let It Be Now (1978) MP3/Flac

A while back I found a CD by Helen Schneider title Right As Rain in the CD used-CD bin at WhereHouse Records (r.i.p.). Schneider was unknown to me at the time but the CD had several familiar standards so I took a chance. I was treated to a very slow 9 minute version of "I Had Myself A True Love" and perhaps the most theatrical reading of "Send In The Clowns" ever. Naturally, I was impressed. Brooklyn-born Schneider started out singing in clubs before graduating to small rooms and cabarets. Musically, she was squarely in the cabaret-pop mode. Schneider has the very dramatic, belt-y delivery of a stage performer. Schneider moved to Germany, morphed in a Pat Benatar-esque rock chick and fronted a successful rock group called The Kick. One of my favorite Pat Benatar songs, the bombastic "Shadows Of The Night", was originated by Schneider and The Kick. In the Third Act of her career, Schneider transitioned to musical theater, and is one of the most celebrated musical theater nactresses of the European stage, starring in German productions of "Evita", "Sunset Boulevard" and "Cabaret." It was in this phase of her career that Schneider began recording the songs of Kurt Weill, Sondheim and other musical theater masters. Let It Be Now came about 20 years before Schneider became the Patti Lupone of Germany. Alas, everyone must start somewhere and Schneider started with this frothy 70s pop record that has disco ("Every Step Of The Way"), lite rock ("Rock Me and Caress Me") and earnest MOR balladry ("Am I Too Late"). The standouts here are "Loneliness", a sad song also recorded by Lena Horne in the 70s, and "Someday" a dramatic ballad that foretells Schneider's success in later years.

Side A
Let It Be Now
Every Step Of The Way
Until Now

Side B
Love Me
Am I Too Late
The Valentino Tango
Rock Me And Caress Me

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