“Born To Be With You” by Dion - album review

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TJR says

The all-time favourite album of The Who's Pete Townshend. Celebrated by Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream. Cited as an influence by the Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev and Spiritualized. Quite the acclaim for an LP that was pulled from a scheduled '75 release in the States, megolomaniac producer Phil Spector taking umbrage at criticisms labelling the work as funereal, amongst other squabbles. The LP saw released in the UK and created very little impact at the time, although it's status has risen considerably as the decades have passed. Beefing up the sound in his own inimitable style, Spector poured three drummers, five pianists, umpteen guitarists, three bass players and a host of horns and strings into the work. Many think it was worth it. Dion himself would later remark: “I don't think we ever really finished that”. Seems a shame that all that work went to waste.

The album opens decently with a cover of “Born To Be With You” (The Chordettes, 1956), clearly a Spectorful booming ballad, which immediately gives a sense of the richness about to unfold. The nice feeling is immediately betrayed by the Elton-John-like pop-ballad-hell of “Make The Woman Love Me”. Bouncing back off the ropes, they include their anti-drug song from 1970, “Your Own Back Yard”, delivered knowingly and confidently from the reformed heroin addict who's been there, wrote the book and bought the t-shirt: “I can quit, Let me finish what I got, After all this stuff sure costs a lot… Still as crazy as a loon, Even though I don't run out and cop a spoon”. Immediately, Dion seeks redemption via the spiritual traditional “(He’s Got) The Whole World In His Hands”, which sounds very awkward and has me turning my nose up. Again, the bounce-back is fairly strong with the sweeping mid-tempo ballad “Only You Know”, which gets closest to matching the grandiose ambitions with my tastebuds, an epic pop song without delving into the AOR territories which plague the set from thereon. Good luck to Townshend et al but I, for one, will not be trusting their opinion in a hurry.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [06:51] 5.1.png Dion - Born To Be With You (Don Robertson) Pop Ballad
A2 [04:33] 1.8.png Dion - Make The Woman Love Me (Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil) Pop Ballad
A3 [03:50] 5.6.png Dion - Your Own Back Yard (Dion DiMucci, Tony Fasce) Folk Rock / Americana
A4 [03:21] 3.2.png Dion - (He’s Got) The Whole World In His Hands (Traditional) Soul Ballad
B1 [04:45] 5.8.png Dion - Only You Know (Gerry Goffin, Phil Spector) Pop Ballad
B2 [03:45] 3.3.png Dion - New York City Song (Dion DiMucci, Bill Tuohy) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
B3 [04:18] 3.5.png Dion - In And Out Of The Shadows (Gerry Goffin, Phil Spector) Pop Ballad
B4 [03:47] 4.1.png Dion - Good Lovin’ Man (Phil Spector, Dion DiMucci, A.J. Bernstein) Soft Rock / A.O.R.

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