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I'm Gonna Make You Mine

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Album Review

Three years after Lou Christie's Lightnin' Strikes project on MGM, he garnered a Top Ten hit with "I'm Gonna Make You Mine" and an album titled after the Tony Romeo song that climbed the charts for the pop singer. Is it bubblegum? Being on Buddah lends itself to tagging artists with that term/genre, and album tracks like "Down When It's Up—-Up When It's Down" could be The Partridge Family or Tony Orlando & Dawn, further confusing the artist's place in the music world. Stan Vincent does admirable arrangements and co-production, the finesse that brought the Five Stairsteps up the charts for him a year later with "O-o-h Child" makes this recording more solid than Charles Calello's work on Lightnin' Strikes. The problem with both discs is that the hit singles are far and away better than anything else in the grooves. Holland-Dozier-Holland's "Mickey's Monkey" is odd and interesting, but the cover of the Crystal Mansion's near-hit "The Thought of Loving You" is, well, schlocky. Heck, the Manhattan Transfer gave that title extra legitimacy — and Christie fails to put his extraordinary voice to the wall and score a hit with this. Instead of taking it the Vegas route, it needed the same love and attention they gave the title track, serious intensity missing from a much-covered song that never became a hit. Stan Vincent's "Generation" sounds like a '60s TV commercial, while Herbert Twyla and Lou Christie conclude the disc with the maudlin "I'm Gonna Get Married," one of three titles the songwriting team penned for this album. All of it fades when compared to the splendid production and punch of the hit single. It's got horns, percussion, dramatic vocals, and keyboards, plus an explosive chorus. Carrying the sentiment of the Beatles' "All I Gotta Do" or "Anytime at All" and Madeline Bell's "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me," that determination that declares all is fair in love pushes "I'm Gonna Make You Mine" over the top. Christie's own "Are You Getting Any Sunshine" is a snappy singalong tune full of bubblegummy sounds. The book Bubble Gum Music Is the Naked Truth barely lists Lou Christie, a mere two mentions putting him in the "general rock" category. But despite "Wonderful Dream"'s doo wop, "It'll Take Time" is pure sugar-coated pop music written by Stan Vincent. It's also the second most memorable track on the disc leading up to the hit.


Born: 19 February 1943 in Glen Willard, PA

Genre: Pop

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

While Lou Christie's shrieking falsetto was among the most distinctive voices in all of pop music, he was also one of the first solo performers of the rock era to compose his own material, generating some of the biggest and most memorable hits of the mid-'60s. Born Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco in Glen Willard, PA on February 19, 1943, he won a scholarship to Moon Township High School as a teen; there he studied music and vocal technique, later joining a group dubbed the Classics. Between 1959 and...
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