PEGGY LIPTON – The Complete Ode Recordings

Album: The Complete Ode Recordings

Artist: Peggy Lipton

Label: Real Gone Music

Release Date: November 04, 2014

Peggy Lipton CD


Peggy Lipton — we knew her as Julie Barnes from the 1968-73 TV Series The Mod Squad; decades later, she played Norma Jennings on Twin Peaks — recorded an album in 1968, which I was totally unaware of until I saw this album staring me in the face. I’m not surprised though; back then lots of Hollywood stars did it, so it wouldn’t have been a total shock or anything (22 at the time of the record, Lipton had been writing songs since the age of 15).

The front cover of Julie Lipton was great, this close-up pic of her face staring straight out at the camera with some bushes behind her. This record, however, wasn’t a scenario of “quick let’s get this rising star into a recording studio and see if she can be a star on two fronts,” though. Lipton was an aspiring singer, a self-described “tormented hippie-pop torch singer”—but based on the liner quotes in The Complete Ode Recordings (Real Gone Music) from Billboard magazine, they were really banking on her to be a big star.

With help from the Wrecking Crew and Carole King (and of course producer Lou Adler), Lipton recorded 11 songs. Four of were Lipton originals. Among the others are some Goffin/King numbers (“A Natural Woman,” “It Might As Well Rain Until September,” etc.), a few by Laura Nyro (“Stoney End,” ‘Hands Off the Man (Flim Flam Man)” and “Lu”) and even an old Beach Boys (Brian Wilson) tune, “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times.” Also included here are eight bonus tracks (one of which Lipton also penned), most notably the non-album B-side Donovan cover “Wear Your Love Like Heaven.”

Of those Lipton originals, the lush opener “Let Me Pass By” is a strong cut, as is the twinkling “San Francisco Glide” and the album closer (before the bonus material kicks in) “Honey Won’t Let me.”

In the end, despite the help of bigwig Adler (who Lipton was dating at the time; she would later marry, then divorce, another producing legend, Quincy Jones, and their two daughters Rashida and Kidada would become noted actresses), the record didn’t sell well and sank without a trace.

Listening to it, however, it’s a good record. It’s very of the times, very pleasant California soft-pop, and despite the fact that Lipton herself stated that she “sang the whole record off-key and Lou couldn’t fix it,” she’s probably just being hard on herself: the vocals sound fine to me.

Not just an odd, California, late ‘60s artifact, this record will appeal to soft pop fans the world over. Maybe even the stray Mike, Link and Julie obsessive out there, too.

DOWNLOAD: “Let Me Pass By,” “A Natural Woman,” “San Francisco Glide,” “Honey Won’t Let Me”




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