Baby boomers embraced Love after her appearance in 2013’s 20 Feet from Stardom movie and her upbeat, catchy songs quickly became fan favorites. Since then she has become a staple on talk shows and tours alike; as well as being invited as a special guest singer on Bruce Springsteen albums.
Darlene Love’s debut album produced by Steve Van Zandt strikes a powerful blow against forces that marginalize older performers. Showcasing her rich voice among compositions by artists like Elvis Costello and Bruce Springsteen is truly remarkable.
He’s a Rebel
Love was not afraid to step outside her comfort zone and try new things, including rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, jazz and Broadway show tunes. She starred in a short-lived musical adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie as Motormouth Maybelle while recording solo albums as well.
She also made appearances in films and TV, such as Touch of Evil (film noir thriller) and The Girl Next Door (comedy), where she made cameo appearances as herself and Mrs. Claus respectively. Furthermore, she provided voiceover talent for animated feature The Santa Clause; appearing alongside Tom Hanks as Mrs. Claus herself during one scene from this animated feature film.
As Darlene Love rose to fame as one of the singers of He’s a Rebel during the classic 1960s girl group era, she also found considerable success as both solo artist and backup vocalist. She released several singles (including Submarine Race ) as well as her 1966 solo album entitled “The Many Sides of Darlene Love”. While subsequent solo recordings proved less successful, Love did record with Bobby Bland on Girl Groups of the ’60s compilation album in 1970.
In 1962, when people heard “rebel,” it immediately conjured up images of James Dean from Rebel Without a Cause; its movie depicting generational differences and moral decay among American youth. Rebel also connoted images of teenage rebels such as those seen in girl groups with their tough images.
The Crystals’ rendition of He’s a Rebel became a chart-topper on Billboard in November 1962 – marking Spector’s first chart-topper since Teddy Bears had done it five years earlier. Love’s powerful vocal delivery perfectly complements this production’s orchestral vastness;
Recorded for her 2007 holiday music album It’s Christmas of Course, the song has since become a fan favorite and performed annually at her shows in New York City. It is one of my favorite songs that I usually enjoy a lot while indulging on online casinos reviewed on yoakimbridge.com.
She’s Sure the Boy I Love
If you appreciate 1960s girl-group footsoldiers, Phil Spector’s Wall Of Sound or simply great vocalists, then Introducing Darlene Love will not disappoint. This album celebrates Darlene Love’s impressive career – her powerful, rich voice still sounds incredible on this big-sounding release filled with horns and Hammond B3 organs that reverberate like bells all the way up to St Peter’s Gates; not to mention an abundance of great songs which helped make Darlene famous!
The album opens with instrumentally stunning “Among The Believers” and the infectious lead single, “Forbidden Nights.” Both showcase her versatility, showing she could sing any genre from any era. Additionally, her powerful soulful ballad “Why Do Lovers Break Each Other’s Hearts” showcases her talent at conveying heartbreak’s pain with emotion-packed vocal performance that captures its timelessness as an iconic classic.
Love’s strong Christian background can be heard clearly on the Walter Hawkins praise ballad “Marvelous,” while her version of Phil Spector’s iconic hit, “River Deep, Mountain High,” shines. Both of her final tracks – both gospel influenced – also shine; “Last Time” stands out with its slow tempo soul ballad style and “Jesus Is the Rock (That Keeps Me Rollin’)” provides a powerful message.
Darlene Love may be best known these days for her annual appearances on David Letterman, but Introducing Darlene Love is an album that proves she could have been one of the biggest pop singers of her era and remains one today. Still one-of-a-kind vocalist Darlene brings magic into each performance she gives; an album to cherish. We give it four and half out of five stars. Sally O’Rourke writes music reviews at No Hard Chords as well as contributing articles at several other websites; she specializes in girl groups, soul pop and over-analyzing chord changes/lyrics like cracking secret codes! Currently living in Manhattan she can be found tweeting or following @SallyO’Rourke on social media accounts like Twitter/Facebook
I’m Just a Girl
Darlene Love, one of rock and roll’s iconic vocalists, now 75, has graced audiences around the world for nearly half a century with her dynamic performance on music recordings by Phil Spector (with her group the Blossoms) as well as uncredited lead vocals on many classic girl group hits like “He’s a Rebel.” In concert, Darlene can often be heard backing Marvin Gaye and Cher, in addition to performing backup for Frank Sinatra on “That’s Life” or on Halloween favorites like “Monster Mash.”
Her remarkable career reached its pinnacle when she appeared in Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom in 2014. This brought new appreciation for the singer, leading to Broadway roles and appearances as Danny Glover’s wife in Lethal Weapon movies. Since then she’s continued recording and performing, even releasing an album of holiday music in 2009.
Introducing Darlene Love is Darlene Love’s debut solo album and features songs written by A-Listers such as Bruce Springsteen, Joan Jett and Elvis Costello. The production is slick and Spectoresque with strings and horns filling each track while Love’s stunning voice remains at its center.
This disc opens with “Among the Believers,” an uptempo tune reminiscent of late 70s Donna Summer with Asbury Jukes-inspired horns. Next comes Walter Hawkins’ gospel number “Marvelous Thing,” before moving into Van Zandt original “Jesus Is the Rock That Keeps Me Rollin.”
Love’s powerful vocals shine throughout her album, which features an outstanding supporting band with whom she seems to have great fun playing these tunes. Additionally, this CD includes a live performance of “I’m Just a Girl” from an earlier Troubadour concert – giving fans an early look at her work before her comeback!
It’s Hard to Be a Man
Darlene Love’s career in show business can only be rivaled by few performers. She sang lead vocals on many of Phil Spector’s iconic girl group songs (such as He’s A Rebel and Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah), sang backup for countless artists including Dionne Warwick and Tom Jones; also hosted “Late Night with David Letterman”, appeared in 20 Feet From Stardom (2013) Academy Award winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom (2013); continued touring and performances including an unforgettable appearance with Bruce Springsteen and E-Street Band in fall 2009.
Love was close to seventy when she recorded this collection, yet still sounding vital and expressive. She sang with exquisite lover’s melancholy on “2000 Miles,” added churchy tone to “River Deep, Mountain High,” and made a strong swinging statement on “What Christmas Means to Me.”
Santos Silva has led an exceptional team in remastering and repackaging these recordings for ABKCO reissue series, creating an attractive packaging design and providing top-tier liner notes by Sheryl Farber on Ronettes; Lenny Kaye on Blossoms; Jim Bessman on Love; as well as full discographic information such as arrangers and studio locations.
This three-disc set provides the most comprehensive collection available of Love’s work. Including both studio sessions as a solo artist and with The Blossoms as well as live performances recorded at various locations, this collection showcases her most memorable recordings for fans to cherish forever. While most tracks hail from her Philles years, several tracks such as Capitol’s 1958 “No Other Love” as well as two Warner Bros. Sessions of 1965 (“That’s When Tears Start” and “Good Good Lovin,” written by frequent Spector collaborators Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil) add extra vintage flare. A true treasure for fans!