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    Dion

    Born To Be With You( 1975 )
    Born to Be with You / Make the Woman Love Me / Your Own Back Yard / (He's Got) The Whole World in His Hands / Only You Know / New York City Song / In and Out of the Shadows / Good Lovin' Man

    Spector, Phil. Spector, Phil. Does whatever a Spector, Phil does. Can he cover a tune in echo and sludge? He certainly can! Yes, 'Runaround Sue' Dion met up with Phil Spector in 1974 and the result alarmed the record label who weren't quite expecting something so unremittingly bleak. Initial listens does indeed reveal a dirge, but further listens reveals something special. Spector gets Dion in fine voice, for a start. Compare and contrast the Spector Dion vocals to the two accomplished vocals ( yet lacking the same character ) that decorate the two non-spector productions, 'Your Own Back Yard' and 'New York City Song', presumably added to the album to round the thing out, but also to provide something resembling light relief. Anyhow, Phil Spector does indeed do what he does, wrapping everything in multiple guitars, bass, treated pianos and orchestras. Add in a healthy does of echo and a weirdly mid-tempo edge to everything, and there you are. I say weirdly, because the slow tempo of many of these tunes is akin to someone struggling through a field of mud.

    Nice sax to open up the title song. Sax and strings and a heavy bass drum, pacing out the song. Lovely sax and strings and a stunning vocal, born, born, born, born, born....... to be with.. you. Lasting nearly seven minutes, this should still have been a massive hit, it's one of the finest things Spector ever produced, and that's saying something.

    A funeral march opens up 'Make The Woman Love Me', another stunning song akin to the Spector Righteous Brothers ballads. Dion really soars, sailing through the massed instrumentation. How's this for an evocative line? Since that brand new pair of levi's, back when I was eight or nine. It's a strange experience emotionally, Dion sounding for all the world in anguished despair. Hmm, anguished despair. How low can we go? Well, how about a version of '(He's Got) The Whole World In His Hands' that sounds like it's produced and arranged by Satan himself, nicely subverting the entire message of the tune? Easy listening this is not, even with gospel backing vocals. 'Only You' is such a classic Spector sound, to the point you can easily imagine this sung by The Ronettes. It's a great song for Dion to sing, he really shows off his impressive range of vocals. You wanted rock n roll? They almost manage it for a rare uptempo excursion for 'Good Lovin' Man'.

    'In And Out Of The Shadows' is an appropriate song title for Spector at this time. The album edges in and out of the shadows, too. It'd be forgotten were it not a Spector production by all but the Dion faithfull. As it is, Dion himself isn't so fond of it, saying they needed it actually finish it properly, which I can understand. The two non-spector productions are of a different world to the Spector ones, although they don't actually jar that much. It's a fascinating album, all in all, perfect for an enjoyably miserable night when you've just been dumped. If that's happened to you, this is the ONLY music you should play.

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    top of page this page last updated 11/11/07


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