Artist: Peggy Lee Title Of Album: Then Was Then, Now Is Now/Bridge over Troubled Water Year Of Release: 2008 Label: Collectors' Choice Music Genre: Vocal Jazz Quality: FLAC (tracks+.cue) Bitrate: Lossless Total Time: 67:36 Total Size: 411 mb
Tracklist: Then Was Then, Now Is Now (1965): 01. Trapped (In the Web of Love) (2:10) 02. Losers Weepers (2:33) 03. Free Spirits (1:55) 04. I Go to Sleep (2:02) 05. Leave It to Love (2:07) 06. Love Theme from "The Sandpiper" (The Shadow of Your Smile) (2:25) 07. They Say (2:31) 08. Seventh Son (2:23) 09. Then Was Then (And Now Is Now) (2:26) 10. Ev'rybody Has the Right to Be Wrong (At Least Once) (1:56) 11. (I'm Afraid) The Masquerade Is Over (4:04) Bonus tracks (from the "Then Was Then, Now Is Now" sessions): 12. Stop Living in the Past (2:29) 13. Maybe This Summer (1:57) 14. This Could Be the Start of Something Big (2:02) Bridge over Troubled Water (1970): 15. You'll Remember Me (3:16) 16. Bridge over Troubled Water (5:05) 17. The Thrill Is Gone (From Yesterday's Kiss) (3:34) 18. Something Strange (3:25) 19. Have You Seen My Baby (2:44) 20. He Used Me (3:50) 21. (There's) Always Something There to Remind Me (2:45) 22. I See Your Face Before Me (3:58) 23. Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head (2:53) 24. What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life (3:06) In the Peggy Lee discography, half a dozen LPs intervene between Then Was Then, Now Is Now!, originally released in the fall of 1965, and Bridge Over Troubled Water, which appeared four and a half years later in April 1970. The obvious question, then, is why mail-order reissue label Collectors' Choice Music decided in 2008 to license the albums from Capitol Records and reissue them, with a few extra tracks, together on a single CD. The answer, as revealed in the company's marketing materials, turns out to be equally obvious: these happen to be two LPs that somehow never got reissued on CD before. That's not an artistic reason, of course, and in fact the albums don't quite flow together. Then Was Then, Now Is Now! wasn't actually recorded as an album per se. It was really one of those grab-bag LPs assembled by the record company from recently issued singles ("The Shadow of Your Smile," "I Go to Sleep," and "Free Spirits," the last a Top Five easy listening hit) and stray tracks from recording sessions dating back more than two years (though never previously released, "Leave It to Love" had been recorded on May 31, 1963), probably just to have something new by Lee in the record stores during the 1965 fall buying season. That said, it had a point to make about the singer as an artist. At a time when she was being marginalized -- along with nearly all traditional pop singers of a certain age -- by the British Invasion and the resurgence of rock, she broke from her peers by accommodating herself to contemporary trends. "I Go to Sleep" was written by Ray Davies of the Kinks, a prominent British Invasion act, and Lee also felt free to cover the Willie Dixon blues standard "Seventh Son." Her own lyrics to a Cy Coleman melody constituted a statement of purpose in the title song, as did "Stop Living in the Past," the B-side to the single release of "I Go to Sleep," included here as a bonus. By 1970, record companies were encouraging all the traditional pop singers on their rosters to record contemporary material, if only the contemporary pop of songwriters like Paul Simon, Randy Newman, and the team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Nobody had to convince Lee, however, and Bridge Over Troubled Water, her follow-up to her 1969 comeback hit, "Is That All There Is," found her covering all those songwriters in art pop arrangements by Mike Melvoin. Unfortunately, Melvoin doesn't seem to have had time to come up with anything new and interesting on such songs as Bacharach and David's "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head," which had just gone to number one for B.J. Thomas, or Simon's "Bridge Over Troubled Water," which was still at the top of the charts for Simon & Garfunkel as the recording sessions were held. And Lee just followed along, turning in competent but unremarkable readings. She and Melvoin were better at the uptempo material, such as covering B.B. King's "The Thrill Is Gone" and the Newman composition "Have You Seen My Baby." Among the ballads, "You'll Remember Me" (an entry on the Easy Listening chart) sounded like an attempt to follow "Is That All There Is" with another world-weary performance, and the version of the Michel Legrand movie song "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life" made a strong album closer. But Bridge Over Troubled Water was not a great Lee album (or a big seller), which may help explain why it went out of print and was not reissued for almost 40 years. It would have made more sense paired with its immediate predecessor, Is That All There Is, but even in this package it will be welcome to Lee fans, even if it doesn't rank with her best work.
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