of these six original albums has been remastered, and the sound
quality is outstanding. Better than the long out of print Japanese
cds from the early 90s. They have corrected a few of the sonic
blips, such as the the 'chck' on the last note of 'Love on a
Shoestring' (from "Make Your Move"). Sadly there are
no bonus tracks.
The sonic clarity on "Love Will Keep Us Together"
(1975) is especially noticeable, I'm hearing bits of vocal and
music that I've never heard in my thirty years of intense listening
to it. That album has always sounded a touch muffled to me,
but no longer, and no tape hiss. The acapella opening on "I
Write the Songs" is chilling. The piano sounds alone are
worth the price of admission. There are several Beach Boys tracks
and references, including a cover of "God Only Knows,"
and Bruce Johnston's brilliant "Disney Girls."
"Song of Joy" (1976) has been mastered again since
the 2004 Hip-O release. Every song on this album is killer,
from the epic title track, through the hit singles ('Lonely
Night', written by Neil Sedaka, the infamous 'Muskrat Love'
and the shining jewel of pop perfection, their cover of The
Miracles' 'Shop Around') and the powerhouse album cuts "Mind
Your Love" and "1954 Boogie Blues." Toni says
she loves to sing the blues, and she really cuts loose on these
two tracks. The ten piece brass section doesn't hurt, either.
"Come in From the Rain" (1977) also benefits from
the remastering. The clarity and subtlety of the rain on the
title track made me check to see if I'd left the windows down
on my truck. My two favorites from the album are "Easy
Evil" which has remarkable percussion, a rare excursion
into "dark pop", and their cover of Stevie Wonder's
"Happier Than the Morning Sun," which has new life
breathed into the Toni's piano performance. Again, nearly every
instrument on this album is performed by Daryl Dragon. How can
one person be so brilliant?
"Dream" (1978) is my favorite album of theirs. I love
their early pop sound, particularly "Song of Joy",
but "Dream" has a forward sophistication that still
manages to retain the innocence of their early work. It's their
first album after they stopped making their tv show, and you
can tell they have regained their focus. Toni's smoky, honey
velvet voice is at her ultimate peak. "You Never Done it
Like That" is brilliant. With the remastering, I'm hearing
a snap on the drums I've never heard in over 25 years of listening
to it. The echo on Toni's voice gives me chills. The last couple
tracks on the album ('Back to the Island' and 'Dream') are simply
gorgeous. And the orchestra on 'If There Were Time' is breathtaking.
You can feel the strings vibrate. What's even more amazing is
that Daryl (the Captain) plays almost every instrument on the
album, in addition to producing it. Plus the photos from the
Yucca Valley desert are my favorites. Ever.
'How Can You Be So Cold' on "Make Your Move" (1979)
has a remarkable depth and power. Amazing drumming, amazing
keyboards, amazing vocals. Astounding sound separation on the
entire album. Pure pop disco rock that could give Donna Summer
a run for her money. They should release this as a single now,
with different dance mixes. And throw in an extra extended version
of their Arabic flavored cover of the Turtles hit "Happy
Together." I can hear it now. Awesome. This album also
includes their second biggest hit, "Do That To Me One More
Time," the meaning of which Toni finally reveals in the
This is the first ever cd release of "Keeping Our Love
Warm" (1980), and it's great to hear the strong notes of
the classic 'Since I Fell For You' without the distortion of
the vinyl. The title track is a great warm pop tune, one of
several of Toni's originals on the album, as well as another
Stevie Wonder cover, "Until You Come Back to Me" (also
recorded by Aretha Franklin). And the remastering has removed
the muffle at the halfway point in their new version of "Gentle
Stranger," a track that first appeared on their debut album,
and in the liner notes, Toni explains why they wanted to remake
Each disc has exclusive liner notes written by Toni Tennille,
and KOLW has additional track annotation from the original lp's
press release. Each cd comes in a slipcase with the original
artwork plus rare photos on the back and on the inside, in addition
to copies of ads and other memorabilia. When the slipcase is
removed, the booklet covers do not represent the original artwork,
though. The inside cover of "Keeping Our Love Warm"
is a grainy black and white shot (from inside the sauna). The
inside cover for "Song of Joy" is the single sleeve
for 'Lonely Night', for example
There are a few minor typographical glitches and the scanning
and photoshopping is occasionally errant, but these are small
complaints, considering for the last twenty years we fans have
been begging, in turn A&M, Polygram and Universal to release
these amazing albums on cd. Well, better late than never, and
well worth the wait.
Each of these albums is filled with amazing music. Thank you
to R2 for finally getting them out on cd.
© 2005 The Art Dept Los Angeles