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- Dion DiMucci -- vocals, guitar


- Dion and the Belmonts



Genre: folk-rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Sit Down Old Friend

Company: Warner Brothers

Catalog: 1826

Year: 1970

Country/State: New York, NY

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: minor ring wear

Available: 1

GEMM Catalog ID:

Price: $10.00


S'okay, if James Taylor could take over the world with his MOR sensitive singer/songwriter sound, why not someone like Dion? Signed by Warner Brothers (coincidently Taylor's label), 1969's "Sit Down Old Friend" was an obvious effort to capitalize on the genre's sudden popularity. Produced by Phil Gernhard, material such as "Natural Man", "I Don't Believe My Race Is Run" and "If We Only Have Love" found Dion apparently trying to out-Taylor Taylor. Essentially Dion and acoustic guitar, the results were pretty stark. To his credit, Dion's voice remained in fine form and he came off as an accomplished acoustic guitar player (check out the bluesy "Sweet Pea"). Unfortunately, stretched over 11 tracks, the raw acoustic material (complete with a steady supply of tales of personal and societal woe), quickly began to wear on your nerves (try listening to the scat segments of "Jammed Up Blues" or "Little Pink Pony" more than once). While it was certainly a courageous move in an artistic sense (kudos for being willing to shift creative gears), imagine being stuck in a small coffee house on a Saturday night and you'll get a feel for the album. Can anyone spare a fuzz guitar solo ??? Sales were understandably non-existent.

"Sit Down Old Friend" track listing:

(side 1)
1.) Natural Man (Dick Holler) - 3:34
2.) I Don't Believe My Race Is Run (Dion DiMucci - Fasce)- 2:35
3.) Jammed Up Blues (Dion DiMucci) - 4:21
4.) Little Pink Pony (Dion DiMucci) - 4:36
5.) You Can't Judge a Book By the Cover (Willie Dixon) - 3:39
6.) If We Only Have Love (Shuman - Blau - Jacques Brel) - 4:07


(side 2)
1.) Sweet Pea (Dion DiMucci - T. Fasce - J. Fasce) - 2:40
2.) Just a Little Girl (Dion DiMucci - Renz) - 3:03
3.) Let Go, Let God (Dion DiMucci) - 3:29
4.) King Con Man (Dion DiMucci) - 3:17
5.) Sit Down Old Friend (Dion DiMucci - Fasce) - 3:22



Genre: folk-rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Suite for Late Summer

Company: Warner Brothers

Catalog: BS-2642

Year: 1972

Country/State: New York, NY

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM Catalog ID:

Price: $20.00


"Suite for Late Summer" track listing:

(side 1)
1.) Soft Parade of Years - 3:00

2.) Running Close behind You - 3:06

3.) Traveller In the Rain - 3:33

4.) Tennessee Madonna - 3:36

5.) Sea Gull - 4:08


(side 2)
1.) Wedding Song - 3:12

2.) Jennifer Knew - 3:51

3.) Didn't You Change - 4:32

4.) It All Fits Together - 3:07

5.) To Dream tomorrow - 2:35



Dion had settled into being a pretty average-'70s singer/songwriter by 1972 when Suite for Late Summer appeared, albeit a singer/songwriter with a very above-average voice. The songs (mostly original) were average, though, and Russ Titelman's production was on the lush side. There's a sluggish introspection to most of the tracks, and the occasional injection of melodic melancholy — as on "Soft Parade of Years," or the classical string arrangement embroidering on "It All Fits Together" — does it quite a bit of good. "Jennifer Knew," though, has to count as one of the highlights of his post-'60s work, with strings that just about manage to enhance the drama, rather than deaden it, and memorably haunting passages. The album was paired with his 1972 LP Sanctuary on a 2001 Ace CD reissue, which adds three additional tracks from the late '70s.

The re-examination of Dion Dimucci's 70's oeuvre continues twofer set combining 1971's part live part studio Sanctuary with the wistful elegiac Suite for late summer LP from the following year. Sanctuary's live portion , revisiting old faves like the wanderer , ruby baby and AMJ finds Dion in muscular bluesy form ,instilling new life into old grooves . But the studio material is a revelation with the small band combining to produce a set of majestic mellow grooves like Sunshine Lady ,whose easy charms are worthy of Fred Neil . Russ Titlemans under stated production on the soaring Seagull and the delicate Soft Parade of Years bears comparison with Neil Youngs finest acoustic work . There are also several rare 45's which rap up Dions Warner Years .

Steve Rippon

Like Bobby Darin, Dion Di Mucci never stopped at the border posts between musical styles. After doo-wop, rock'n'roll and gritty R&B, he entered the 70s as a folkie - albeit one with an edge over his rivals, namely the fact that he possessed a voice that was the epitome of white soul. That's enough to give these patchy but undeniably enjoy-able early 70s albums a real touch of class (and more than a hint of the feel of Van Morrison's His Band And Street Choir).

Sanctuary is crisp, relaxed and (on a three-song live set from the Bitter End) exuberant; Suite For Late Summer is more homogeneous, but none the less convincing for that. Add in three rare B-sides (including 1977's 'Young Virgin Eyes', a blatant rewrite of his Spector classic, 'Baby Let's Stick Together'), and you have a quality package, completed by three bonus tracks, one of which, 'Young Virgin Eyes', delightfully anticipates Dion's Yo Frankie later period.

Peter Doggett

DION: Suite for Late Summer. Dion (vocals and guitar); orchestra. Soft Parade of Years; Seagull; Jennifer Knew; Wedding Song; Didn't You Change; and five others. WARNER BROS. BS

Performance: Good but strained

recording: Excellent

I continue to admire Dion He had the guts to see that there was something beyond teenybopper stardom (at a time when that term hadn't yet been coined) and set out to become a real musician.

This album proves that he has succeeded, but it also hints that his particular talent - applying high romanticism to every-day adolescent life-is about ten years out of date. Soft Parade of Years, for example, is a lovely song. But it is essentially a reminiscence, and an inaccurate try at describing the mood of today.

Of course, if the performances and songs were of a slightly higher quality it wouldn't matter whether or not they were "now."

But Dion still seems to draw from his late-Fifties teenage experience and values. Like others of his generation-Neil Sedaka, for instance - he is trying hard to reach new audiences, but he doesn't seem to be able to resist the occasional "commercial" fillip in his work.

It is a fatal temptation. for that sort of thing has long since gone. and only strikes today's audiences as hokey. P.R.

At last, a great romantic fulfils his incomparable promise. An exquisite, tender and highly original collection of all-new love songs. Suite for Late Summer is by far Dion's finest and most consistent album.


Suite for Late Summer triumphantly reaffirms the primacy of romantic music and heralds a new era by shaking off many of the love song's most tenacious clichés. Much of the credit for this breakthrough goes to lyricist Bill Tuohy, who collaborated with Dion on seven of the album's ten songs. Together with Mike Birzon's "Wedding Song," Stuart Mitchell's "it All Fits Together" and Dions,, "To Dream Tomorrow," the Tuohy lyrics form a unified experience, inspired and inspiring.


Dion's long and colourful career is really several careers. Back in the days when it seemed that everyone was a teenager, Dion was a teenager, too. Unlike the rest of us, he was lucky enough to have a hit with his first single ("I Wonder Why") and talented enough to follow up with many more. From 1958 to 1963 he had ten records in the Top Ten, with and without the Belmonts. That's career number one.

Career number two, equally accomplished musically but less fortunate commercially, was that of Dion the rock-blues singer. As the public proved indifferent to such ahead-of-their-time efforts as "Spoonful" and "Kickin' Child," Dion was forced into an early retirement. That retirement ended with a song that woke up America, "Abraham, Martin and John." America woke up in 1968 not only to the frightful timeliness of Dick Holler's song, but also to the newly mellowed, warm and tender voice of a very mature young man, no longer a teenager.

Career number three, so auspiciously started, progressed uncertainly as Dion, working for a single-oriented label, was unable to score a solid follow-up to "Abraham." In 1969, he signed with Warner Bros. and made an album called Sit Down, Old Friend with only his acoustic guitar for company. You're Not Alone and Sanctuary followed in 1971, to encouraging if not spectacular sales, while Dion toured the nation in a long, uphill struggle to convince the people that he had outgrown the Oldies but Goodies bin. (in pop music, past success can actually be a handicap; there is no clearer case of this than Dion's.)

Career Number Four

Suite for Late Summer is a work of such assured excellence as to make Dion's earlier efforts seem tentative by comparison. It would be hard to imagine a voice more pleasant or relaxing, or one more involved in its music. The lyrics hold one's attention throughout. "Soft Parade of Years" is about growing old, but mostly about staying young.

"Seagull" paints a soaring romantic image for all the world to share; a similar image is the subject of a current best-selling novel. The poetic imagery of Bill Tuohy is at its peak in 'tennessee Madonna ,"while Mike Birzon's ' ' Weddind Song with the same fullness, tenderness ... (sorry missing section ) ...love gone 'astray, there is never any hint of sarcasm, bitterness or coldness in either the lyrics or in Dion's interpretation It is this quality, perhaps, that makes Dion unique among contemporary singers.

Side One


(Bill Tuohy and Dion DiMucci)


(Bill Tuohy and Dion DiMucci)


(Bill Tuohy and Dion DiMucci)


(Bill Tuohy and. Dion DiMucci)

5. SEAGULL 4:08

(Bill Tuohy and Dion DiMucci)

Side Two

1.---WEDDING SONG 3:12

(Mike Birzon)


(Bill Tuohy and.Dion DiMucci)


(Bill Tuohy and Dion DiMucci)


(Stuart Mitchell)


(Dion DiMucci)


(An album made for CD - is anybody listening out there??)

Where's Dions Zing

Dion Suite for late summer

I tried I really tried hard to find something to like about this album review, but by the end of it I just wanted to scream from Boredom. The longest songs on Mr Dimucci's newest LP is only four and a half minutes long but every song seemed to last forever. Perhaps its because they all sound alike and neither Dions voice nor the arrangements add any hint of life.

Where has the zing of Run around sue or the wanderer gone ? He now sounds like a tired blood case who could use a shot of rock'n'roll music to wake him up. His delivery is totally wooden . Maybe he thinks that's the way contemporary singing-song writing artist is supposed to sound but one need only listen to Paul Simon or Peter Yarrow or Tom Paxton to know that isn't so.. Most of the material on the album is written by Dion with lyrics provided by a man called Bill Tuohy who is taken with seagulls "born in the whirling womb of a spinning time" and watching "the caravan of time go by". He may be trying for romantic poetry but he gets bogged down in the pretentious and the trite. Ironically Dion himself wrote the best song on the album "to dream tomorrow" is a nice simple song about going home – and there's a lovely line in it "it makes me smile to dream tomorrow " but alas it's the albums final song and hope has long since vanished.

Lorrain Alterman - journal unknown.


Dion Suite for Late' Summer

Let it Rock March 73 by Stephen Barnard

Dions problems are identical to nelsons , but he has not surmounted them so easily . Rick after all went straight back to his first love country music when he finally decided he wanted to please himself , but dions gone for the Leonard Cohen bit by completely forsaking melody. He sings well dam it , for a former balladeer he should do and Russ Titelman the producer has seen fit to add strings to each and every track , but they don't hide the fact that these are nothing tunes .

The lyrics may be good but its impossible to tell with all that dirge for the listener to cope with. No one is credited on the sleeve for the arrangements but they sound like a poor mans Randy Newman or Nick De Caro although it may well be the songs that defeated the arranger and for that he can't be blamed .

The title tells the storey of passing years and the blooming of artistic maturity -"soft parade of years", "traveller in the rain"," DIDN'T YOU CHANGE ","IT ALL FITS TOGETHER ", "TO DREAM TOMORROW " – and I can only presume that that is what the songs are about. Trouble is that somewhere along the line he like many of his contemporaries has forgotten that the prime function of pop music is to entertain.


The relentless release schedule continued, but Dimucci had the sense to vary his direction. This album was not received well by the critics at the time, but that's not surprising, it is one that grows over a prolonged period of time. Like earlier albums this one is relaxed but it also has a dreamier side that sets it apart, largely contributed by the steel guitar heard throughout. Bill Tuohy makes a major contribution co-writing 7 of the 10 songs. The album is a set of autumnal love songs about relationships and growing up. In some ways its difficult to pick out individual tracks because each one contributes its bit, to the perfect whole, and that also counts for the yellowish pastel shading of cover. For the re-release the single version of "Running Close Behind you" could be added, said to be produce by Phil Spector, but I find that hard to believe. Ian Maunders in depth re-assessment of this album can be found in YF 4. (Rating 10)

Although 2 further albums would appear on Warners, neither could easily be described as folk. Had Dimucci ran out of ideas for that genre, or more likely was the company applying pressure for him to vary his style to generate greater sales.