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27-08-2015, 12:26

Helen Reddy - Love Song For Jeffrey (1974) & Free & Easy (1974) [2004, Remastered Reissue]

Category: Music

Helen Reddy - Love Song For Jeffrey (1974) & Free & Easy (1974) [2004, Remastered Reissue]

Helen Reddy - Love Song For Jeffrey (1974) & Free & Easy (1974) [2004, Remastered Reissue]
Pop/Rock, Vocal | EAC Rip | FLAC, Tracks+CUE + LOG + Artwork-600dpi (JPEG) | 71:43 Min | 535,11 Mb
Label: Raven Records (AU) | Released: 2004, January, 27


Two of Helen Reddy's 1974 albums, Love Song for Jeffrey & Free & Easy, are combined onto one CD on this release, with the addition of historical liner notes & a couple of tracks from her 1978 album Live in London. Reddy was near the peak of her popularity in 1974, but although each album has a couple of hit singles, they're erratic works in which the singer flits uncomfortably between rock-influenced styles & more middle-of-the-road vocals.
~Love Song for Jeffrey~
The closest Helen Reddy came to a concept album. After losing her mother, her father & a cherished aunt in quick succession, she assembled nine songs & wrote one herself, & dedicated each to a particular family member (the title track was a musical love letter to her husb& & manager, Jeff Wald). While it would be churlish to sneer at such a commendable motive, it didn't make for a brilliant album or, surprisingly, even a tender one. "You & Me Against the World" was a Top 10 hit, & it's a pleasant enough piece of balladry, but not a patch on material Reddy had tackled before. Elsewhere, there's a very weak Carole Bayer Sager effort ("Ah, My Sister") & possibly the most treacly Mann/Weill song every committed to record. Only when Reddy speeds the proceedings up a bit, as on "Keep on Singing" & "That Old American Dream," is there any relief from the tedium.

~Free & Easy~
Reddy was definitely in a holding pattern - Free & Easy is indistinguishable from its predecessors. That said, there is a little more grit in the oyster on this outing. Her third US #1 single "Angie Baby" is quite memorable, if chiefly for its baffling lyric - an insane, music-obsessed child lures a man into her bedroom &, the song implies, murders him - or something. The rest is the usual mix of pop, sugary ballads & nostalgia, supplied by the same cast - Paul Williams, Peter Allen & Don McLean. All of it is merely pleasing rather than brilliant; only "Showbiz," a fluffed attempt at wit, is downright bad.
Review by Charles Donovan

Helen Reddy - Love Song For Jeffrey (1974) & Free & Easy (1974) [2004, Remastered Reissue]

Helen Reddy - Love Song For Jeffrey (1974) & Free & Easy (1974) [2004, Remastered Reissue]


Arranged By - Artie Butler (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 6 to 10), Michael Omartian (tracks: 2, 5), Nick DeCaro (tracks: 11 to 20)
Conductor - Artie Butler (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 6 to 10), Lenny Coltun (tracks: 21, 22), Michael Omartian (tracks: 2, 5), Nick DeCaro (tracks: 11 to 20)
Producer - Helen Reddy (tracks: 21, 22), Joe Wissert (tracks: 11 to 20), John Palladino (tracks: 21, 22), Tom Catalano (tracks: 1 to 10)
Reissue Producer [CD Reissue Conceived By], Compiled By - Glenn A. Baker, Ian McFarlane, Kevin Mueller, Peter Shillito


Tracklist:

Love Song For Jeffrey (1974):

01. That Old American Dream (02:30)
(Albert Hammond, Mike Hazlewood)
02. You're My Home (03:04)
(Billy Joel)
03. Songs (03:53)
(Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil)
04. I Got A Name (03:35)
(Charlie Fox, Norman Gimbel)
05. Keep On Singing (03:05)
(Bobby Hart, Danny Janssen)
06. You & Me Against The World (03:12)
(Kenny Ascher, Paul Williams)
07. Ah, My Sister (03:06)
(Carole Bayer Sager, Peter Allen)
08. Pretty, Pretty (03:26)
(Hal Hackady, Peter Allen)
09. Love Song For Jeffrey (02:44)
(Helen Reddy, Peter Allen)
10. Stella By Starlight (03:54)
(Ned Washington, Victor Young)

Free & Easy (1974):

11. Angie Baby (03:31)
(Alan O'Day)
12. Raised On Rock (03:06)
(Mark James)
13. I've Been Wanting You So Long (03:41)
(Peter Allen, Jeff Barry)
14. You Have Lived (03:51)
(Don McLean)
15. I'll Be Your Audience (03:21)
(Becky Hobbs, Lewis &erson)
16. Emotion (Amoreuse) (04:14)
(Patti Dahlstrom, Véronique Marie Sanson)
17. Free & Easy (02:47)
(Tom Jans)
18. Loneliness (03:35)
(Kenny Ascher, Paul Williams)
19. Think I'll Write A Song (02:25)
(Helen Reddy, Peter Allen)
20. Showbiz (feat. Pointer Sisters) (03:06)
(Dennis Tracy)

Bonus Tracks:

21. Angie Baby (Live In London, 1978) (03:20)
(Alan O'Day)
22. The Entertainer (Live In London, 1978) (02:16)
(Billy Joel)
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