VELVET FELINE VOICE WRAPS ITSELF AROUND DONOVAN SONGS
EARTHA KITT – “Not So Old-Fashioned” (MFP 50075) 1973
This year marked the first time that I have ever bought an Eartha Kitt record. Sure, I knew about the Donovan cover versions on this LP from a psychedelic compilation in my archives.
“Not So Old-Fashioned” was a recent find in a local charity shop and for £1 it was always coming home with me! The album on Music For Pleasure is a budget re-issue of her 1970 LP titled “Sentimental Eartha” on which she sings mostly slushy love ballads powered heavily by orchestration.
There are four tracks of interest to me though. Three Donovan covers are given the seductive Eartha interpretation. There is insidious psychedelic lead guitar on “Hurdy Gurdy Man” and it’s this track that’s the winner here. But then her “Wear Your Love Like Heaven” is also very good.
Eartha transforms Herman’s Hermits “My Sentimental Friend” with her distinctive vocal style and it sits happily with the original.
“Not So Old-Fashioned” shows how Eartha Kitt can handle a modern song with exactly the same skill and appeal that she has given to all her work over the years.
The songs are by today’s writers, backed by sounds that are very much of the seventies, and Miss Kitt brings them all her subtlety and style.
Listen as that velvet feline voice, with its distinctive, seductive vibrato, gently wraps itself round “My Sentimental Friend” and “Hurdy Gurdy Man”.
Listen to the sincerity of emotion which is instilled into “Catch The Wind” and “I Remember The Rhymes”.
“Paint Me Black Angels” was recorded in Spanish as Angelitos Negros on a very successful album in 1956 – here, in 1973 it appears in its English version and the words are given an urgency and passion which seem to reveal all the experience and fullness of living which have made Eartha Kitt the fascinating and exciting artist she is.
Original 1970 pressing on Spark (SRLP 105) was titled “Sentimental Eartha” but for reasons unknown the re-issue on MFP was re-named “Not So Old-Fashioned” and given a less seductive cover
“Catch The Wind” / “Hurdy Gurdy Man” was released as a Spark single in 1970 but missed any chart action and probably went by unnoticed.
In Sweden the single was released housed in a black and white sleeve.