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LARK
 
A musical child, Linda Lewis sang in the St Angela's Ursuline Convent school choir in her native London. At nine, she joined John Lee Hooker on stage during a concert. Her first single ("You Turned My Bitter Into Sweet") was recorded in her school days.

Years later, her group White Rabbit followed a short stint with Herbie Goins and The Nightimers. Her five-octave range led to success as a session singer for David Bowie, Al Kooper and others. Linda was featured in several groups, notably as lead singer of Ferris Wheel for two years, before going solo.

Her first LP, Say No More, was released in 1971. Two publications voted it "Best Album of the Year by a Newcomer." Linda wrote all the songs, played guitar, piano and sang harmony on Lark in 1972. The next year, "Rock A Doodle Do" was a top-twenty single (#12) in Britain. Linda toured America and continued her session work with British artists including Manfred Mann, David Bowie and Rod Stewart. Her third album, Fathoms Deep, was released in 1974 and promoted on a world tour with Cat Stevens.
 

 

review of
Heart Strings

  Fathoms Deep
cover

 
Island isolated from the excitement, I happened upon a copy of Heart Strings, her last Reprise album, around 1974. And fell in love with Linda Lewis.

Not A Little Girl Anymore was recorded in London and New York for Arista in 1975, making her the first English artist to sign with the nascent label. The album yielded a top-ten hit cover of Betty Everett's classic "Shoop Shoop Song," sometimes called "It's In His Kiss."

I heard nothing until 1979, when I found an import copy of her 1977 album, Woman Overboard on Sparty. In the late seventies, she worked with such greats as Allen Toussaint, the Meters and the Tower of Power horns. [Please see my review of The Best of Linda Lewis .] She also worked with director Ken Russell on "Listzomania," continuing an interest in films that may have begun with her brief appearance in "Help."

As I was discovering Overboard, Linda was releasing Hacienda View , another exceptional album that never made it to the United States. Believe me. I looked.

Linda's 1983 album, A Tear and A Smile, included a hit called "Why Can't I Be The Other Woman" with Luther Vandross, Gwen Guthrie and Brenda Russell singing backup. (Linda recorded Brenda's "So Good, So Right," living up to the title, making me wish I could see them together.) I mentioned learning of this album's existence on the Web and a great Linda fan taped it for me in the UK.

Why have Americans been deprived of her great music? The words cultural wasteland come to mind.
 

whatever review  
Linda's first British top-twenty hit was "Rock A Doodle Doo" (#12). Her highest charting UK single was "It's In His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song), at number six." Not A Little Girl Anymore was a top-forty album. "Baby I'm Yours" and "I'd Be Surprisingly Good For You" were minor British hits. 
 

 
In 1984, Linda put her career on hold, settling in California, of all places, until 1989, when she returned to England to resume making great music.

I spent years searching for compact disc versions of Linda's albums, thankfully now available sporadically as imports. Imagine a fan's delight at discovering brand new recordings in the nineties. There was a concert album with fresh and classic compositions — Born Performer. I unearthed the 1995 studio album, Second Nature, which hit number one in Japan and was successful in England, as well. Then came 1996's amazing whatever.... Click on the album cover for a review.

Linda may have started in a convent, but there's nothing conventional about her music, as her latest release, Kiss of Life, demonstrates. What can I say? Linda is wonderful. She moves everyone who hears her music.
 

 
We're often asked what albums we would take when planning a trip to a deserted desert island. I'd be happy with a copy of every Linda Lewis recording. And maybe a few boxes of cherry cheesecake.   gts  
 

 


2002 gt slade
 

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linda lewis
Sony Japan
head dudes

   
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