You know, I've recently been giving a lot of play to a near-pristine pressing of Hollywood Town that found me in the
Zurich flea market last summer.
There's a convoluted background to this serendipitous rediscovery: how could I not instantly recognize that front-cover portrait looking me in the eye from atop a dusty stack of LPs - a face I'd glimpsed some 20 years ago on an album I couldn't then afford. And what originally caught my interest was
recognizing your name as the writer of Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady, a song I'd fallen in love with in the Helen Reddy version when it was released during my teens.
That was then. The other week I took along both albums to some music-loving friends. We played two versions of Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady back to back, starting with Helen Reddy - and unanimously
preferred yours for its plain, pure directness. The rest of side 2 had these first-time listeners entranced, like me, with the sheer - to use your word integrity of the songwriting, coupled with brilliant musicianship and production.
Songs about love, penned at the intersection of emotion and intellect, without a trace of love-song mawkishness. Commercial, yet original.
Feminine, with universal appeal. In fact, an expression of just about all the songwriting ideals you describe on your web site. And utterly plausible as the creative work of that strong, intelligent character on the album cover. (Not sure about the back portrait, it's so Charlene.) Oh, my! From
decades and a continent away, your voice continues to sing out timeless, plain and crystal clear from those obsolescent grooves.
I trust you will take artistic pride and joy from learning that your early work still touches hearts all these years later. Hereby know that people you may never meet are wishing you Godspeed on your journey, and please - just keep on Being Remarkable.
I now have You don't know what you're in for on yummy vinyl, which makes the '70s triptych complete. Did I mention that that album, flawed sequencing, lavish production and all, has also left me in tears?
The way it presents one tantalising vignette after another, culminating in that devastatingly sly closing title track with its simultaneous come-on, admonishment and implicit farewell messages. Against increasing odds, you successfully subverted the strictures of commercialism to leave something of enduring human value. For expression of insight, I place you firmly in my personal pantheon alongside Jean
Rhys, Ana´s Nin and Elizabeth Smart.
Guess you could call me a fan!