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Reach for the Truth: Best of the Reprise Years 1971-1974

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Album Review

Although one of her later albums was titled Woman Overboard, singer/songwriter Linda Lewis never made much of a splash in the States. Maybe she was just a little ahead of, or behind, the times with her jazz/pop/soul/folk. Or, more likely, her squeaky little girlish voice just wasn't taken seriously enough in the pre-Cyndi Lauper era. Heavily influenced by Stevie Wonder, she released three very good albums plus the Heartstrings compilation during the titular years, all of which are represented in the anthology Reach for the Truth: Best of the Reprise Years 1971-74. Generously packed with 23 tracks including one previously unreleased selection (a closing acoustic demo version of "Red Light Ladies," the tune that also opens the album), rare photos, extensive liner notes, and track-by-track descriptions from Lewis in the 24-page book, it's hard to imagine a more perfect single-disc representation of her material from these years. Those who caught up with the singer later in her career when she gravitated to her slicker disco/pop mode (exemplified by her version of Betty Everett's "The Shoop Shoop Song"), might find this more organic approach too self-conscious, but the material holds up surprisingly well nearly 30 years after it was recorded. In fact, a more extensive collection that might include her less substantial work for Arista would weaken the impact of this disc. Unlike many collections that are compiled by the artist, this delivers a near-perfect overview of the period's highlights, seen through the filter of the decades. Dated slightly by the piano-heavy production, the sound remains crisp with Lewis' remarkable voice and shimmering tunes commanding the spotlight. The non-chronological sequencing is particularly effective, and only the lack of individual musician credits by song keeps this from being a definitive package from this short but productive period.


Born: London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s

Born in London, Linda Lewis made her stage debut as a child, performing alongside her mother and father in the clubs near her East End home. In 1961, again encouraged by her parents, Lewis landed a bit part in the swinging film A Taste of Honey; another small role found her playing a star struck fan in the Beatles' 1965 film Help. Acting, however, was never her first ambition. Rapidly building a reputation as a singer, she performed alongside bluesman John Lee Hooker and R&B band Herbie Goins...
Full bio
Reach for the Truth: Best of the Reprise Years 1971-1974, Linda Lewis
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  • 18,99 €
  • Genres: R&B/Soul, Music, Pop
  • Released: 29 October 2002

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