First, great thanks to Light In The Attic Records for being true to the spirit of this disc and giving it a new life that is true to the original intention of the work. They updated the liner notes and added some more recent comments about the effect of this disc on a few more contemporary musicians; then got Harvey Brooks, who produced the original recording, to return and make sure it stayed true to the original intention. When this record was originally released in 1971 it didn't garner great sales numbers, however there was a buzz that increased by geometric ratios to become substantially more widespread by those who realized the rare beauty in the fragile strength of Dalton's voice.
Like Billie Holiday Dalton didn't write her own material (this was held against the record, consider the times; Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, etc.), but she interpreted or translated other peoples words as she injected her emotions into a song and completely made it her own. Listen to what she does with the opening track, Dino Valenti's, Something On Your Mind, and the raw wounds leading to a collapse, she exposes a situation that we have all faced at one time. Followed up by When A Man Loves A Woman, and we all thought Percy Sledge did the definitive soulful version, and perhaps it was until Ms Dalton added her own stripped naked in a freezing rain take on the song.
Harvey Brooks and Karen Dalton did all of the arrangements, and they show off that fragile strength that is evident in her voice. The rest of the disc keeps up the high standard established by these opening cuts, crossing boundaries and genres with ease and fluidity that is breathtaking. The musicians that Mr. Brooks assembled for the album reads like a who's who - Richard Bell on Piano, Bill Keith on Steel Guitar, Amos Garrett on Guitar and of course Harvey Brooks on Bass to name but a few of the leading lights.
This is one of those discs that grows with you as you realize how much there is contained in that haunting voice that gains more with each listening. It is a shame that the brilliance exposed here had to flicker and be snuffed out before it could spread more of its delicate intensity and beauty for us, we should be happy these rare moments were crystallized for us.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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