“Cover Plus” by Hazel O’Connor - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1981Album Chart of the Decade: 1980s

TJR says

The third album in thirteen months from the hard-working 26-year-old arrived in September, 1981, with Hazel delighted that her request to be paired again (as per “Breaking Glass”) with famed Bowie producer Tony Visconti on production duties was granted. She comes with a new image too, the grown up redhead as opposed to the punk blondie. “(Cover Plus) We’re All Grown Up”, the album's lead single from July, opens the set purposefully; I can't believe it stalled at #41 in the pop charts. It's the first of 9 Hazel originals in the set, which features 3 cover versions in all. The first of these, “Hanging Around” (The Stranglers, 1977) was a natural choice for her; not only had she supported The Stranglers on tour, she had been known to stand-in with lead vocals when Hugh Cornwell was poorly. Late on side two, the cover of “Do What You Gotta Do” (Johnny Rivers, 1967) raises the album from its ho-hum stretch, the selection making perfect sense as Hazel's first ever single was the Nina Simone version of '68; her passion for an old favourite shines. “Men Of Good Fortune” (Lou Reed, 1973) completes the tasteful digging of the musical archives, although the disco-pop of the studio band leaves me kinda cold. The intention of the closer “That’s Life” is for an Edith-Piaf-like cabaret bow, but I'm unmoved. I struggle to connect with this band.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [04:02] 8.8.png Hazel O’Connor - (Cover Plus) We’re All Grown Up (Hazel O’Connor) New Wave
A2 [04:14] 6.9.png Hazel O’Connor - Hanging Around (Hugh Cornwell, Brian Duffy, David Greenfield, Jean Jacques Burnel) New Wave
A3 [03:41] 5.4.png Hazel O’Connor - Ee-I-Addio (Hazel O’Connor) New Wave
A4 [02:46] 4.8.png Hazel O’Connor - Not For You (Hazel O’Connor) New Wave
A5 [04:28] 4.4.png Hazel O’Connor - Hold On (Hazel O’Connor) New Wave
A6 [03:17] 5.1.png Hazel O’Connor - So You’re Born (Hazel O’Connor) New Wave
B1 [04:03] 4.9.png Hazel O’Connor - Dawn Chorus (Hazel O’Connor) New Wave
B2 [04:07] 4.0.png Hazel O’Connor - Animal Farm (We Will Be Happy?) (Hazel O’Connor) Cerebral Pop
B3 [03:23] 5.2.png Hazel O’Connor - Runaway (Hazel O’Connor) New Wave
B4 [03:41] 6.2.png Hazel O’Connor - Do What You Gotta Do (Jim Webb) Songwriter
B5 [03:09] 4.4.png Hazel O’Connor - Men Of Good Fortune (Lou Reed) Songwriter
B6 [04:31] 3.7.png Hazel O’Connor - That’s Life (Hazel O’Connor) Songwriter

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