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Gold - Sweethearts (LP)

Gold - Sweethearts (LP)

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Condition: Used
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Genre: pop
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title:  Sweethearts
Company: Granya
Catalog: AW 14087
Year: 1977
Country/State: US
Grade (cover/record): VG / VG+
Comments: minor ring wear
Available: 1
Catalog ID: 6217
Price: $50.00

Another obscurity on the mysterious Album World family of labels ... Gold was actually singer/songwriter Richard Goldman (makes you wonder why they just didn't release it under his name - not like anyone looking at the album cover was thinking 'oh wonder who's in this band ...)

Produced by Sam Weatherly, 1977's "Sweethearts" featured a collection of eleven Goldman originals. Musically about two thirds of this was country-rock tinged singer/songwriter material, though Goldman occasionally livened things up by revealed a sly sense of humor that his contemporaries would never even dream of ('Sweethearts'). Imagine Dan Fogelberg hanging around with The Flying Burrito Brothers and Harry Nilsson (adding the humor). Goldman had a pleasant, if unexceptional voice, which actually served as a pretty good description for most of these songs - pleasant, but at least initially unexceptional. Exemplified by tracks like 'Don't Cry Christine', 'Natasha' and 'Virgin Girl' many of these songs were pretty good on their own, though the sensitive singer/songwriter feel quickly became irritating, and when piled up one after the other they quickly began to blend together giving much of the album an undistinguished, background music sheen. That said, there were a couple of exceptions to the rule. Simply because they sported full band arrangements 'All Dressed Up To Go', '004 Dog', and the blissful slice of top-40 pop Blow Windy Blow'' stood out from the rest of the album and made you wonder what Goldman might have done surrounded by a real band. I'll also admit that this was one of those rare albums that got better the more time you spent with it.

- 'Don't Cry Christine' was a pretty good indicator of what to expect from this set. A pretty acoustic ballad, the song showcased Goldman's decent voice and knack for a catchy refrain. Still, it probably sounded way more impressive in small folk club after a couple of beers. rating: ** stars
- Sporting a breezy honky tonk flavor complete with loads of barrelhouse piano, and 'lonely artist 101' lyrics, 'Saturday Nighttime' was harmless fun. rating: ** stars
- The closest Goldman came to an outright rock song, 'All Dressed Up To Go' was also one of the album highlights. With a full band arrangement, a catchy melody, and some surprisingly funny lyrics, I have to admit to humming along with this one. rating: ** stars
- 'Memory Lane' found Goldman diving into straightforward pop - imagine something Andrew Gold might have released in the mid-1970s and you'll have a good basis for comparison. Very top-40 oriented. rating: ** stars
- Another pretty country-tinged pop number, 'Sweethearts' also benefited from a cute and clever lyric. Call this one a guilty pleasure. rating: *** stars
- A spare acoustic ballad, 'Natasha' actually served to show how good Goldman could be. Super pretty melody that climbed into your head and wouldn't leave. rating: *** stars
- Another atypical rocker, '004 Dog' (no idea what the song was about), sported an Emmit Rhodes-styled second generation Beatles vibe. I'm simply a sucker for this kind of stuff. rating: *** stars
- Based on the title I was expecting to hear a country hoe-down, but 'Everyone was Dancing with You' was actually a smooth, adult contemporary pop ballad that included the album's best electric guitar solo. rating: *** stars
- Easily the album's most commercial track, 'Blow Windy Blow' has everything you needed for a mid-1970s radio hit - great melody; smooth vocal, and enthusiastic performance. The only downside was the song faced out way too earlier. rating: **** stars
- It took awhile for the song to kick into gear, but once it actually got going, 'Virgin Girl' was another catchy country-rocker. rating: *** stars
- 'Don't Spoil It Now' was a perfect example of how Goldman's work became better the more time you spent with it. The first couple of times I heard the track, it struck me as little more than a throwaway country-tinged effort. Slowly the song's charms including a beautiful, laidback lyric, a pretty melody, a great bass line, and some nifty keyboards revealed themselves, making this another standout performance. rating: **** stars

A modest pleasure. I'd love to know more about this guy.

"Sweethearts" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Don't Cry Christine (Richard Goldman) - 2:48
2.) Saturday Nighttime (Richard Goldman) - 2:35
3.) All Dressed Up To Go (Richard Goldman) - 2:30
4.) Memory Lane (Richard Goldman) - 2:44
5.) Sweethearts (Richard Goldman) - 3:55
6.) Natasha (Richard Goldman) - 3:13

(side 2)
1.) 004 Dog (Richard Goldman) - 2:26
2.) Everyone was Dancing with You (Richard Goldman) - 4:50
3.) Blow Windy Blow (Richard Goldman) - 2:44
4.) Virgin Girl (Richard Goldman) - 3:05
5.) Don't Spoil It Now (Richard Goldman) - 5:20
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