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Prime Time

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Album Review

Prime Time was the highest charting album for Tony Orlando & Dawn, which is a little surprising since it doesn't contain any of the group's best-known hits. "Look in My Eyes Pretty Woman" didn't quite make the Top Ten, and its chorus melody is very similar to the Bay City Rollers' "Summer Love Sensation," released only a few months earlier. The album is surprisingly substantial for a group generally regarded as insipid AM popsters — the sentimental "Little Heads in Bunkbeds" is disarmingly sincere, and the piano-based "She Can't Hold a Candle to You" sounds like something Randy Newman could have written for one of the Toy Story films. On the other hand, what is one to make of a racially-mixed ensemble performing a song like "Gimmie a Good Old Mammy Song" that invokes memories of vaudeville and blackface minstrelsy? A cover of Dee Clark's "Raindrops" reflects Orlando's roots in doo wop and R&B, and the inspirational "Dreamboat" anticipates his later (short-lived) retirement from music for religious reasons. Orlando steals the show on Prime Time with his fine, soulful vocals, but the ladies of Dawn are given a showcase on the album's closer, "Here Comes the Spring." The production is not as synthetic and dated as might be expected, and the album is definitely worth hearing for anyone whose interest in Tony Orlando & Dawn goes deeper than their greatest hits.


Born: 03 April 1944 in New York, NY

Genre: Pop

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

In conjunction with his backing duo Dawn, singer Tony Orlando was one of the biggest pop stars of the early '70s, best remembered for the mammoth hit "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Ole Oak Tree." Born Michael Anthony Orlando Cassavitis in New York City on April 3, 1944, he entered the music business at the age of 16 following a successful audition for producer Don Kirshner. Orlando's first hit, 1961's "Halfway to Paradise," was written for him by Carole King, who also authored the Top 20 follow-up,...
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Prime Time, Tony Orlando & Dawn
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