February 28, 2012
Bear Family Records

Album Review

In the early 1960s, Bonnie Guitar was briefly signed to RCA, though not much resulted from the association aside from a couple of singles. Both of those singles are included on this 14-track compilation, which has everything she recorded for the label at the time over the course of two separate sessions in Hollywood on July 18, 1961 and January 24, 1962. Combining the four tracks from the two singles with ten previously unreleased cuts (though two of those are alternate takes), it adds up to something of a missing album in Guitar's discography. While it's useful in filling in a gap in her recording career, it's not hard to see why RCA might not have been too excited by the material at the time. It's a little bit pop, a little bit country, and an even littler bit of rock & roll, with a very early-'60s pop sound to the production, using violins on the 1961 songs and choral backing vocals on the 1962 session. Some of the numbers tread slightly on the Nashville country-pop territory that Patsy Cline was working at the time, despite having been done in Hollywood. But though there's backup by some Wrecking Crew stalwarts like guitarist Billy Strange, arrangements by Perry Botkin, Jr., and little known compositions by Harlan Howard, Jeff Barry, and Hal David (who co-wrote "If My Tears Could Talk" with Sherman Edwards), the songs just aren't that interesting. It's early-'60s sentimental crossover pop that doesn't rise above a mild temperature, due as much to Guitar's average vocals as the adequate compositions, a couple of which she wrote or co-wrote. "An Old Fashioned Love" slips in some odd criticism of consumer culture ("television with its magic eye tells where to go and what to buy"), but it's actually one of the more contrived and less impressive efforts.
Richie Unterberger, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. I'll Step Down
  2. Maybe
  3. Where Was I (When We Became Strangers)
  4. Three on a Match
  5. Broken Hearted Girl
  6. Crocodile Tears
  7. If My Tears Could Talk
  8. Who Is She?
  9. An Old Fashioned Love
  10. The Fool
  11. I'm Tired of Pride [Overdub] [Version]
  12. Tell Her Bye
  13. I'll Step Down [Alternate Take] [Alternate Take]
  14. I'm Tired of Pride [Overdub] [Version]