Linda Lewis – 1975 – Not A Little Girl Anymore
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I came across a vinyl copy of this wonderful singer at my last visit to London and I couldn’t resist buying it, though I had the US version of it.Fabulous, absolutely fabulous. One of the greatest and most underestimated popular singers that this country’s produced.
A strong 70s set from Linda Lewis – her first for Arista, and a date that has her picking up a fuller style than before! The arrangements here are by Bert DeCoteaux, who brings in plenty of soul – and Linda’s working in modes that run from the simple, personal style of her Warner years to some of the more lush sounds you might expect at Arista – hints of club at points, but an even better dose of keyboards and strings that make the midtempo tracks especially great. The set was recorded in both London and New York.
This is a @320 vinyl rip of the original Arista LP including covers.
A1 (Remember the Days of) The Old Schoolyard 3:11
A2 It’s in His Kiss 3:18
A3 This Time I’ll Be Sweeter 3:50
A4 Rock and Roller Coaster 3:16
A5 Not a Little Girl Anymore 4:12
B1 Love Where Are You Now 3:27
B2 My Grandaddy Could Reggae 3:20
B3 I Do My Best Impress 3:33
B4 May You Never 3:58
B5 Love, Love, Love 3:42
Review by Amy Hanson
The title says it all. No matter how well-loved Linda Lewis was during her days at Reprise, still the focus of both marketing and material was on the sheer youthful glee with which she attacked every performance. Her debut at Arista, however, was built around her determination that, at last, she was going to be treated like an adult, a vow that proved to have been fulfilled long before you reached the sultry, resolute title track. Packing more covers than any of her earlier albums, Not a Little Girl Anymore nevertheless emerges as Lewis’ most well-rounded and, perhaps, personal album yet. Cat Stevens‘ “(Remember the Days Of) The Old Schoolyard” a somewhat forced exercise in nostalgia in its writer’s hands, is here imbibed with a genuine sense of emotion and regret. However, there is no time for maudlin reflection as “It’s in His Kiss (Shoop Shoop Song)” a wily cover of the Betty Everett classic, simply erupts out of the song’s closing notes with a rambunctious passion that suggests kissing is only the first thing on Lewis’ mind. From there on, and to paraphrase one of the album’s other prime cuts, Lewis rollercoasters through a succession of moods and styles, ranging from the emotive soul of Gwen Guthrie‘s “This Time I’ll Be Sweeter“to her own (stylistically, aptly titled) “My Grandaddy Could Reggae” a reminder of the versatility that past albums occasionally allowed to overwhelm content, but which here is balanced with delicate precision. And, as you approach the end, the gentle “I Do My Best to Impress” leaves the listener with one thought. You succeeded.
UK front LP cover
This British artist is one of the most unique vocalists to come out of the 1970s, but so many people don’t even know who she is. Probably since her music is not only soul or R&B. And at times it’s pretty funky, in a groove-oriented way. But it’s not funk. So what does Linda Lewis do? I can’t even describe it myself, but rare-groovers like myself scramble for her hard-to-find albums.
Linda’s music is great stuff, but it’s her voice that makes the tunes both weird and wonderful. At one moment, Linda might sing in a “normal” husky lower register with the conviction of a worldly-wise woman. In the next stanza, she may switch to the voice of a breathy, nasal, pre-pubescent lil’ bit. It’s her high, multi-octave voice that many people compare to Minnie Riperton’s. I would compare the two ladies’ poetic lovelorn lyrics before I’d compare their voices, but like Minnie, Linda’s effortless vocals seem to bring the listener back to a time of innocence.
UK back LP cover
Biography from Soulwalking
Buy the vinyl and cd from Ebay
Enjoy her masterpiece “Lark” in our back pages here.