Saturday, January 16, 2016

72. Natalie Cole - Unforgettable

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As a young boy growing  up in the country in the early 60s my musical preferences were formed by the few people  who played the standards  and  who owned the even fewer battery-operated turntables
around town.  The natural offshot was that we or I really had to  memorize the song lyrics if there was one I liked.  And yet there were even  fewer records than turntables that were really worth playing
again and again. And there were even fewer songs worth remembering.

And then I learned to play guitar. The people who owned those turntables and records and guitar were of course very much older than me, and I was very much aware of our age gaps. Very few boys my
age had the same inclination as I had. I learned to love rock and roll but I was different.

Three decades later I would be  sitting in my work place  listening to FM radio in the office.  There was Nat "King" Cole  singing a duet with her daughter.  The time came when I have  to leave for three
months in order to go to head office and train for a promotion.

I stayed in a hotel. I was far from my wife and daughter now. I bought the compact disc. I played it in my loneliness. 

It was this album.

Art direction and album design by Drentel Doyle Partners. Photo by George Hurrell. album produced by Andre Fisher, David Foster, Tommy LiPuma and Natalie Cole. Elektra 1991.

A major change of direction for Natalie Cole, Unforgettable found the singer abandoning the type of R&B/pop she'd been recording since 1975 in favor of jazz-influenced pre-rock pop along the lines of
Nat King Cole's music.  It was a surprising risk that paid off handsomely - both commercially and artistically.  Naysayers who thought  that so radical a change would be commercial  suicide were proven
wrong when  the outstanding Unforgettable sold a shocking five million units.  Quite clearly, this  was an album Cole was dying to make.  Paying  tribute to her late father on "Mona Lisa," "Nature Boy,"
"Route 66," and other gems that  had been major hits for him in the 1940s and early '50s, the 41-year-old Cole  sounds more inspired than she had in  well over a decade. On the title song, overdubbing
was used to make it sound as though she were singing a  duet with her father - dishonest perhaps, but certainly enjoyable.  Thankfully, standards and pre-rock pop turned out to be a primary direction
for Cole, who was a baby when the title song became a hit for her father in 1951. AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson

(A) The Very Thought of You - Paper Moon - Route 66 - Mona Lisa - L-O-V-E - This Can't Be Love

(B) Smile - Lush Life - That Sunday That Summer - Orange-Colored Sky - For Sentimental Reasons/Tenderly/Autumn Leaves

(C) Straighten Up and Fly Right - Avalon - Don't Get Around Much Anymore - Too Young - Nature Boy - Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup 

(D) Almost Like Being In Love - Thou Swel - Non Dimenticar - Our Love is Here to Stay - Unforgettable

"Unforgettable" live from car2929 on YouTube.



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