We've Only Just Begun/Let's Spend the Night Together

We've Only Just Begun/Let's Spend the Night Together

by Claudine Longet
     
 
French pop singer Claudine Longet was never known for her strong vocals. A pretty face, Andy Williams' wife, and later a marksman of deadly skill, but never a great singer. These two albums serve as proof of that. We've Only Just Begun (1969) features Longet's fragile wisp of a voice trailing gently through some of the biggest

Overview

French pop singer Claudine Longet was never known for her strong vocals. A pretty face, Andy Williams' wife, and later a marksman of deadly skill, but never a great singer. These two albums serve as proof of that. We've Only Just Begun (1969) features Longet's fragile wisp of a voice trailing gently through some of the biggest soft pop hits of then-recent vintage as well as a few obscure tracks. The musical backing is cotton-candy sweet, overflowing with strings, gently strummed guitars, and waves of backing vocals in order to give listeners something other than her voice to focus all their attention on. Strangely, it all adds up into a pleasurable listening experience -- a little ironic but still better than it has any right to be. Longet's stilted phrasing and inability to emote even a little give the record an otherworldly feel that elevates the proceedings a notch above the easy listening norm. For some reason, she sounds best on uptempo tracks like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Make It With You," and Donovan's obscure "Electric Moon" -- her take on Bobby Goldsboro's "Broomstick Cowboy" is almost exciting. The ballads are decent enough, though she proves herself to be no Karen Carpenter on "(They Long to Be) Close to You" and "We've Only Just Begun." Where the album falls apart is on tracks like "Cry Me a River" and "What Have They Done to My Song, Ma," where they take an overly cutesy novelty approach. Nobody really needs to hear a riverboat jazz version of "Cry Me a River." Ever. Still, if you skip that song the record is quite enjoyable. So is the album it is paired with on this 2005 release from Collectables. On Let's Spend the Night Together (1972), she takes a slightly hipper approach both in the song selections (the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows," Neil Young's "Birds," Leonard Cohen's "Hey That's No Way to Say Goodbye") and in the arrangements, which are heavy on the acoustic guitars and light on the strings and backing vocals. Longet still sings like a French mannequin, but the surroundings give her more of a chance to show a touch of emotion -- and she does here and there, especially on "God Only Knows" and Kris Kristofferson's "When I Loved Him." Her relaxed bongos-and-slide-guitar version of "Let's Spend the Night Together" is a real easy pop gem; it's hard to believe it hasn't shown up on more compilations and it's also hard to believe anyone could resist her request. No one is going to mistake her for an important artist, but this record and We've Only Just Begun show that she really is no joke, either.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/26/2005
Label:
Collectables
UPC:
0090431769027
catalogNumber:
7690
Rank:
58019

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. (They Long to Be) Close to You
  2. Peace Will Come According to Plan
  3. Broomstick Cowboy
  4. Long Long Time
  5. We've Only Just Begun
  6. I'll Be There
  7. Ain't No Mountain High Enough
  8. What Have They Done to My Song, Ma
  9. Cry Me a River
  10. Make It With You
  11. Electric Moon
  12. Prologue/While You're Sleeping
  13. God Only Knows
  14. Every Night
  15. Hey That's No Way to Say Goodbye
  16. Wake Up to Me Gentle
  17. Jealous Guy/Don't Let Me Down
  18. When I Loved Him
  19. Birds
  20. Remember the Good
  21. Sleep Song
  22. Let's Spend the Night Together
  23. Epilogue/While You're Sleeping

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Claudine Longet   Primary Artist
Larry Carlton   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Tom Scott   Bass Flute,Recorder
Paul Parrish   Piano
Steve La Fever   Bass
Dann Lottermoser   Acoustic Guitar,Marxophone
Larry Muhoberac   Melodica,ARP
Bill Perry   Bass
Dick Rosmini   Acoustic Guitar
Joe Osborn   Bass
Larry Brown   Drums

Technical Credits

Mickey Newbury   Composer
Leonard Cohen   Composer
Bobby Goldsboro   Composer
Mick Jagger   Composer
John Lennon   Composer
Paul McCartney   Composer
Graham Nash   Composer
Brian Wilson   Composer
Neil Young   Composer
Burt Bacharach   Composer
David Gates   Composer
Claudine Longet   Composer
Ed Abner   Engineer
Nick Ashford   Composer
Hal David   Composer
Hal Davis   Composer
Nick DeCaro   Arranger,Producer
Berry Gordy   Composer
Arthur Hamilton   Composer
Willie Hutch   Composer
Dann Lottermoser   Arranger,Composer
Ken Mansfield   Composer,Producer
Keith Richards   Composer
Valerie Simpson   Composer
G. White   Composer
Paul Williams   Composer
Gary Kellgren   Engineer
Dean Torrence   Illustrations
Roger Nichols   Composer
Bill Conrad   Engineer
Tony Asher   Composer
Bob West   Composer

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