Brenda Lee - All The Way + Sincerely (1961+1962) [2LP on 1CD, 2005]
EAC Rip | FLAC(tracks)+CUE +LOG - 412 MB | Complete Scans | MP3 CBR 320 Kbps - 151 MB
Country / Pop-Rock / Rockabilly | 61:29 mins | Label: Ace Records, Ltd. | Catalog # CDCHD 1060
One of the biggest pop stars of the early '60s, Brenda Lee hasn't attracted as much critical respect as she deserves. She is sometimes inaccurately characterized as one of the few female teen idols. More crucially, the credit for achieving success with pop-country crossovers usually goes to Patsy Cline, although Lee's efforts in this era were arguably of equal importance. While she made few recordings of note after the mid-'60s, the best of her first decade is fine indeed, encompassing not just the pop ballads that were her biggest hits, but straight country & some surprisingly fierce rockabilly.
The stereo versions of Brenda Lee's fifth & sixth albums are combined onto one CD on this reissue, with the addition of historical liner notes. Both of them were commercially successful, yet both, like many albums of their time, were a little thin on outst&ing non-45 material. On the earlier of the pair, All the Way, a number of covers of recent rock & pop songs ("Kansas City," "Tragedy," & Ray Charles' "Talkin' Bout You") filled out an album spearheaded by a big hit single, the organ-grinding groover "Dum Dum." Within its limitations, however, it was a pretty good record, & certainly very well produced & well sung. Ronnie Self, who'd written or co-written a couple of her big earlier hits, co-penned what was probably the most outst&ing cut other than "Dum Dum," the arching orchestrated ballad "Eventually" -- one of several dramatic orchestrated ballads here, actually. Lee also showed some good tough rock chops on "Talkin' Bout You," & while (again like many albums of the period) the LP seemed programmed to showcase versatility, she sang each & every number -- even the less imaginative selections, like "On the Sunny Side of the Street" -- with nothing less than utter panache. It seems a little strange to apply the adjective "overlooked" to a singer as popular as Lee was at this time, but the album, like so much of her early-'60s work, is further evidence of her underrated skills as a rock & pop singer. & it was appreciated by listeners at the time, the album making the Top 20, even if most of the songs are unfamiliar today even to many Brenda Lee fans.
Lee's 1962 album (known both as Sincerely & Sincerely, Brenda Lee), however, did not so much add to her versatility as tilt the LP away from the strengths that had made her so popular in the first place. She had made popular st&ards a part of her recorded repertoire almost from the time she started making records, & it wasn't unknown for rock singers to make albums dominated by adult-oriented material in an attempt to broaden their appeal. But while Lee could sing this kind of stuff well, the problem was that the record featured almost nothing but these kind of songs, most of them taken at a slow tempo, & none of them rock & rollers (or hit singles, for that matter). As a result, it's one of the more forgettable albums from her prime, of value only to big fans & completists. All that stated, it's not a terrible record, benefiting from Owen Bradley's typically lush-yet-tasteful orchestral production & characteristically committed Lee vocal performances. None of the tracks are outst&ing, however, though none are embarrassing & a few are decent, particularly the one up-tempo number, "Fools Rush In." "Hold Me" is also of note, as it's the same song that P.J. Proby would make into a huge British rock hit in 1964, though it's done in a much more conventional slower romantic fashion here.
01. Lover, Come Back To Me
02. All The Way
03. Dum Dum
04. On The Sunny Side Of The Street
05. Talkin' Bout You
06. Someone To Love Me (The Prisoner's Song)
07. Do I Worry (Yes I Do)
09. Kansas City
11. Speak To Me Pretty
12. The Big Chance
13. You Always Hurt The One You Love
14. Lazy River
15. You've Got Me Crying Again
16. It's The Talk Of The Town
17. Send Me Some Lovin'
18. How Deep Is The Ocean
19. I'll Always Be In Love With You
20. I Miss You So
21. Fools Rush In
22. Only You
23. Hold Me
24. I'll Be Seeing You
Tracks 1-12 is "All The Way" Album (Decca LP DL 74176) 
Tracks 13-24 is "Sincerely" Album (Decca LP DL 74216) 
Decca Stereo Recordings originally Produced by Owen Bradley.
Mastered by Adam Skeaping at Sound Mastering Ltd.