Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
While the rise of folk-rock acts like the Byrds and the Lovin' Spoonful brought 12-string guitars and autoharps into the rock & roll vocabulary, and the Beatles' "Yesterday" and "Eleanor Rigby" opened the door for a more artful use of strings in pop music, the Left Banke pioneered something new with their debut single, 1967's "Walk Away Renee," which incorporated a small string section, harpsichord, and woodwinds to give the song a light yet dramatic Baroque flavor that was unique in rock at the time, and a perfect complement to the song's bittersweet tale of unrequited love. The Left Banke's follow-up, "Pretty Ballerina," was even more striking, and while the group ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
While the rise of folk-rock acts like the Byrds and the Lovin' Spoonful brought 12-string guitars and autoharps into the rock & roll vocabulary, and the Beatles' "Yesterday" and "Eleanor Rigby" opened the door for a more artful use of strings in pop music, the Left Banke pioneered something new with their debut single, 1967's "Walk Away Renee," which incorporated a small string section, harpsichord, and woodwinds to give the song a light yet dramatic Baroque flavor that was unique in rock at the time, and a perfect complement to the song's bittersweet tale of unrequited love. The Left Banke's follow-up, "Pretty Ballerina," was even more striking, and while the group started to fall apart almost as soon as they achieved success, their debut album, named for the two hit singles, was one of the best LPs released in a year full of innovation in pop music. Michael Brown, the group's keyboard player, wrote most of the songs, and with producer and arranger Henry Lookofsky (who was also Brown's father) he helped brainstorm the unusual sound of the Left Banke's material, but vocalist Steve Martin-Caro also played a major role in these sessions; his vocals, which could go from the wistful "Barterers and Their Wives" to the full-on rock shouting of "Lazy Day" at the drop of a hat, are impressive, and he helped write three of the album's best songs, "She May Call You Up Tonight" and "I Haven't Got the Nerve," and "Shadows Breaking Over My Head." Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina is hardly unusual for a rock album of the era in that most of the tracks were dominated by session musicians rather than actual bandmembers, and in many respects, this album was a triumph for the producers and arrangers (among them Steve Jerome and John Abbott, along with Lookofsky) as much as the band, but they also gave this LP a remarkably diverse feel, from the Baroque sound of the hit singles and the formal-dress psychedelia of "Shadows Breaking Over My Head," to the country-rock accents of "What Do You Know," and the straightforward rock of "Lazy Day" and "Evening Down." If the Left Banke's moment of stardom was fleeting, Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina reveals, for a brief and exciting moment, they were one of the best and most innovative American bands in rock & roll.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/28/2011
  • Label: Sundazed Music Inc.
  • UPC: 090771627629
  • Catalog Number: 6276
  • Sales rank: 24,758

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Left Banke Primary Artist
Michael Brown Piano, Harpsichord, Electric Piano, Vocals, Clavinet, Electric Harpsichord
Seymour Barab Bass, Cello
Rick Brand Guitar
George Cameron Percussion, Drums, Tambourine, Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Tom Finn Bass, Vocal Harmony
Al Gorgoni Guitar, Guitar (12 String Acoustic)
Harry Lookofsky Strings
Joe Mack Bass
George Marge Oboe
Hugh McCracken Guitar
Al Rogers Drums
Buddy Saltzman Drums
Jeff Winfield Guitar
Steve Martin-Caro Vocals, Vocal Harmony
George Hirsh Guitar
John Abbott Bass, Guitar
Warren David-Schierhorst Drums
Technical Credits
Bert Sommer Composer
Michael Brown Composer
George Cameron Composer, Photo Courtesy
Harry Lookofsky Producer
Bill Jerome Producer
Steve Jerome Producer, Engineer
Al Quaglieri Photo Courtesy
Bob Irwin Mastering
Steve Martin Composer
Michael Lookofsky Composer
Tony Sansone Composer
Clark Besch Photo Courtesy
Scott Schinder Liner Notes
Jere Real Liner Notes
Bob Calilli Composer
Cookie Dakes Wrublewski Photo Courtesy
Steve Martin-Caro Composer
John Abbott Arranger
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