10 Songs, 29 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In her tenure with The Mamas & The Papas, “Mama” Cass Elliot proved she could sing tax information brochures and still have people from around the world lining up to hear her. By her sixth solo album, 1972’s The Road Is No Place for a Lady, Elliot had already left behind what she called “bubblegum music.” This album found her in London with producer Lewis Merenstein (Van Morrison) and a handful of top players (including guitarist Chris Spedding) and first-rate tunes. The results go from transcendent (Hurricane Smith’s novelty throwback “Oh Babe, What Would You Say”) to great (Paul Williams’ ever-optimistic “Say Hello”) to stunning (Jimmy Webb’s getaway anthem “Saturday Suit” and Albert Hammond’s despairing “[If You’re Gonna] Break Another Heart”). The whole album sways gently on the type of beautiful strings common to great songs in the early ’70s; it’s no surprise that the arrangements were done by Larry Fallon (Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks) and Del Newman (Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road), two of the era’s best.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In her tenure with The Mamas & The Papas, “Mama” Cass Elliot proved she could sing tax information brochures and still have people from around the world lining up to hear her. By her sixth solo album, 1972’s The Road Is No Place for a Lady, Elliot had already left behind what she called “bubblegum music.” This album found her in London with producer Lewis Merenstein (Van Morrison) and a handful of top players (including guitarist Chris Spedding) and first-rate tunes. The results go from transcendent (Hurricane Smith’s novelty throwback “Oh Babe, What Would You Say”) to great (Paul Williams’ ever-optimistic “Say Hello”) to stunning (Jimmy Webb’s getaway anthem “Saturday Suit” and Albert Hammond’s despairing “[If You’re Gonna] Break Another Heart”). The whole album sways gently on the type of beautiful strings common to great songs in the early ’70s; it’s no surprise that the arrangements were done by Larry Fallon (Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks) and Del Newman (Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road), two of the era’s best.

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