Band members Related acts
- Angeline Butler -- vocals
- none known
Rating: 3 stars ***
Country/State: Eastover, South Carolina
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: dj sticker on back cover; while inner label
Catalog ID: 6301
It's rare that you can't find a single review for an album on the internet, but that appears to be the case for this 1970 obscurity. Other than autobiographical information Angeline Butler has post on her MySpace entry (see below), I know virtually nothing about her - certainly nothing about her early musical career. Among the little bits I can piece together, she somehow managed to attract the attention of songwriter/producer Tommy Cogbill who signed on to produce her 1970 debut LP "Impressions". The album was in turn released by the MGM affiliated CoBurt imprint which Mike Curb had established as a vehicle for his personal interests. In fact, Butler's album was the first release on CoBurt. Butler certainly had a nice enough voice - on the title track, 'Many Ways To Love a Man' and 'Lady Like' she somehow managed to blend Memphis soul with a more pop and at times almost classical feel that I found unique and very attractive. The big problem with this one was that producer Cogbill seemingly couldn't decided what he wanted to do with Butler. The soul-tinged numbers were simply great, but far too much of the album (particularly side two), were given over to a mixture of bland cocktail jazz and cabaret-ish ballads. Yes, it may have been intended to showcase Butler's sophisticated image, but ifar too often the results just weren't all that exciting.
"Impressions" track listing:
1.) Let Me Be Yours Until Tomorrow (Gerry Goffin - Carole King) - 2:45 rating: **** stars
'Let Me Be Yours Until Tomorrow' served as a showcase for what a great voice Butler had. A pretty ballad hat just dripped desperation, musically the song was a great example of how she managed to blend soul and a more pop oriented song. Very catchy and commercial, it would have made a dandy single.
2.) Keep On Keeping a Man (Bobby Emmons - Dan Penn) - 3:05 rating: **** stars
'Keep On Keeping a Man' surrounded Butler with a more mainstream soul feel and may have been an even better performance. The horn arrangement was first rate and rather than drowning Butler, actually served to highlight her voice. That may be the reason the song was tapped as an instantly obscure 45. I think it was also featured on the soundtrack to the flick "The Magic Garden of Stanley Sweetheart".
- 1970's 'Keep On Keeping a Man' b/w 'The Sound of Love' (CoBurt catalog number CB 100)
3.) The Sound of Love (Barry Gibb - Robin Gibb - Maurice Gibb) - 2:32. rating: ** stars
Unlike the previous song, parts of 'The Sound of Love' found Butler coming painfully close to MOR schlock. Swamped in one of those massive arrangements that you'd associated with a Jacque Brel composition, the song was simply way too sleek and sophisticated for soul and R&B audiences, the results sounding like something off of one of those albums Motown packaged for MOR audiences. Wonder what was up with the abrupt fade out ..
4.) Many Ways To Love a Man (Billy Sheriill - Tammy Wynette) - 2:52 rating: **** stars
With a slinky, almost funky rhythm section (fantastic bass line), 'Many Ways To Love a Man' has always reminded me of something the Staples Singers might have recorded. The song also showcased how dynamic Butler's voice was. Great performance. (For some reason the inner label showed the song title as 'The Ways To Love a Man'.) This one was also tapped as a single.
5.) What's a Matter Baby (Is It Hurting You) (Clydie Otis - Joy Byers) - 2:40 rating: **** stars
Side one's most mainstream soul number, 'What's a Matter Baby' was also my choice for standout side one performance. This one had everything necessary to have been a chart hit - a great guitar riff that I couldn't shake out of my head for weeks, an instantly catchy melody, mesmerizing hook, great old school you-had-if-coming--fool lyrics, and a dazzling vocal performance.
'Different Worlds' started side two off with a an instantly forgettable slice of cocktail jazz. Probably the album's least impression number ...
2.) Reaching for a Rainbow (Larry Wiess) - 2:54 rating: *** stars
'Reaching for a Rainbow' was another MOR-ish ballad that probably wouldn't have made a lasting impression were it not for the fact it brought out Butler's strange, almost classical voice. Hard to adequately describe, there was just something very unusual and attractive in her odd delivery.
3.) Lady Like (W.C. Thompson)- 2:42 rating: **** stars
The track listing showed it as 'Ladylike' while the inner label had it as 'Lady Like' ... Pretty ballad with a beautiful arrangement that simply oozed class ... another one that easy to picture as a chart single.
4.) When You Wish On a Star (Ned Washington - Leigh Harline) - 2:19
Personally I wouldn't have expected much from a cover of an old chestnut like 'When You Wish On a Star'. To her credit, Butler turned in a surprisingly impressive cover, injecting the song with a nice, bluesy vibe , though for some odd reason, the song abruptly faded out just as it was starting to really cook. rating: *** stars
5.) Until It's Time for You To Go (Buffy Sainte Marie) - 3:18. rating: ** stars
I never liked the Buffy Saint Marie original and can't say I enjoyed Butler's cover of 'Until It's Time for You To Go' any better. Another slice of over-emotive pseudo-cabaret. Yech.
Interesting to imagine what this might have been like had Cogbill and Butler decided to push the set in a more soul-oriented direction. In spite of the lame second side, this one was still worth checking out (and you can still find it at reasonable prices).
I'm aware of one non-LP single:
- 1970's 'The Ways To Love a Man' b/w 'What's the Matter Baby' (CoBurt catalog number CB 105)
Hopefully Butler won't mind me giving her a bit of publicity via a link to her MySpace site:
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