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This Is...Brenda

Brenda Lee

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Album Review

Brenda Lee's third album was significantly above the average for a pop/rock LP of the era. The orchestrated Nashville production was lush but tasteful, Lee's singing unfailingly committed, and the material pretty strong, even if there was nothing else on the album as strong as its big hit, "I Want to Be Wanted." The record did lean more toward pop than rock, but it was clearly not either Nashville country or straight adult pop, even if by this time in her career she was taking her shots at (and doing quite well with) standards like "Teach Me Tonight." The rock & roll side of her sound was represented by "Love and Learn" and covers of Ray Charles' "Hallelujah, I Love Her So" and Fats Domino's "Blueberry Hill" and "Walking to New Orleans," though she really did better with the ballads. And some of the ballads here are among her stronger material that you won't find on typical Lee greatest-hits collections, à la "If I Didn't Care," "Pretend," and "We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)." It was certainly among the most commercially successful of her albums, reaching number four in the LP charts.

Biography

Born: December 11, 1944 in Lithonia, GA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the biggest pop stars of the early '60s, Brenda Lee hasn't attracted as much critical respect as she deserves. She is sometimes inaccurately characterized as one of the few female teen idols. More crucially, the credit for achieving success with pop-country crossovers usually goes to Patsy Cline, although Lee's efforts in this era were arguably of equal importance. While she made few recordings of note after the mid-'60s, the best of her first...
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This Is...Brenda, Brenda Lee
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