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The First Songs

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Editors’ Notes

Laura Nyro was only 19 when she recorded her remarkable 1966 debut album. She displayed a maturity far beyond her years as a singer and (especially) a songwriter, paving the way for even bolder advances to come. The First Songs documents the earliest blossoming of her signature style, fusing R&B, Broadway and gospel elements with a quirky lyric sensibility. “Wedding Bell Blues,” “Stoney End” and “Goodbye Joe” are at once soulful and exalted, filled with dreamy poetic nuance. Nyro is unafraid to tackle serious themes, embracing decadence in “Buy And Sell” and laughing at mortality in “And When I Die.” Her sultry vocals show the command of a budding pop diva, particularly on smoldering ballads like “I Never Meant To Hurt You.” The First Songs makes the case that Nyro could’ve been a successful mainstream singer if her muse had led her that way. The likes of the Fifth Dimension and Barbra Streisand went on to score hits with many of these tunes – but Nyro’s versions are the definitive ones, and they remain a revelation.

Customer Reviews

The Finest Songs

I discovered this album in my local library when I was a teenager. I didn't know anything about Laura Nyro. I thought the cover was pretty, so I checked it out. That day was the beginning of a lifetime love affair with her songs. This woman had a talent that was so vast that it's hard to describe the poetry and soulfulness that she was capable of. The recording artists of today would do themselves all a favor and listen to this work of art by this teen titan of talent. Every song on this album is a winner. Unlike other major singer-songwriter talents, like Carole King, Laura did not seem to be consciously commercial. She just wrote these songs and they came spilling out, full of energy, spice, joy, love, deep sadness, colors -- her songs are life. It seems that she became disenchanted with the music business after a few years and her later work is sometimes meandering and sadly reminiscent (but not as brilliant) of her early work. So, if you haven't yet had the pleasure, I strongly recommend this entire album as a treasure trove of fine songwriting, soulful singing, and the type of talent that we could truly call an "artist" -- as opposed to the manufactured haircuts of today.

The First Songs

One of the great albums of the 60's. Poetry and melody with unbelievable soul. This is an album not to be missed.

Maybe The Best Album Ever

Billy's Blues, Lazy Susan and Good By Joe paved the way for Laura Nyro. The greatest female singer songwriter of her generation and a few generations after. I love this album.


Born: October 18, 1947 in New York, NY [The Bronx]

Genre: Rock

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

Laura Nyro was one of pop music's true originals: A brilliant and innovative composer, her songs found greater commercial success in the hands of other performers, but her own records -- intricate, haunting works highlighting her singularly powerful vocal phrasing, evocative lyrics, and alchemical fusion of gospel, soul, folk, and jazz structures -- remain her definitive artistic legacy. The daughter of a jazz trumpeter, she was born Laura Nigro on October 18, 1947, and composed her first songs...
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