Lesley Gore

A&M SP-4564, 1976

After her Motown comeback album, Someplace Else Now, stiffed, Lesley Gore went back into seclusion. She continued to write songs, mostly with lyricist Ellen Weston, but performance, live or on record, was out of the question. The world apparently had forgotten about Lesley Gore.

Cover art One who remembered was Quincy Jones, who had produced Gore's early hits for Mercury a decade before, and who was now firmly ensconced in a small-scale West Coast empire based at A&M Records. And Q decided it might be worth trying it again. Gore had misgivings, but she did have new material, and Jones had the clout to get a record out, so she agreed to come out of her shell, even taking on a couple of club appearances in 1975.

As usual, Quincy Jones delivered. A single, "Immortality", was issued; it made no significant chart noise, but Jones was encouraged, and he brought in the cream of Southern California's session musicians, along with some big-name guests like Dave Grusin and Herbie Hancock, for the album. In an act of faith, Q decided there would be no outside material; nine Gore-Weston songs would be sufficient. Jones protégés the Brothers Johnson were enlisted to add some funk to the opening track, "Sometimes", which was also issued as a single. (Curiously, both singles had the same B-side: album track "Give It to Me, Sweet Thing".)

But not even the massed might of the Quincy Jones machine could move copies of Love Me By Name off the racks, and Lesley Gore's comeback was short-lived. She continues to perform and to write — she contributed to a number of film soundtracks, most notably Fame, and, more recently, Grace of My Heart. Quincy Jones has recorded "Love Me By Name" for one of his own albums. Listening to "Paranoia", which dances awfully close to Alanis Morissette territory while remaining cheerfully, danceably upbeat in the process, I've got to figure there's always going to be a place for Lesley Gore.

Track listing:
(All songs: Lesley Gore, music; Ellen Weston, lyrics)

  • Sometimes (with The Brothers Johnson)
  • Paranoia
  • Love Me By Name (with The Herbie Hancock Orchestra)
  • Immortality
  • Can't Seem to Live Our Good Times Down
  • Don't Stop Me (ARP solo: Dave Grusin)
  • Other Lady
  • Along the Way (harp solo: Toots Thielemans)
  • Give It to Me, Sweet Thing (sax solo: Tom Scott)
  • Love Me By Name (reprise)

Personnel (solos indicated in track listing):
Keyboards: Herbie Hancock, Dave Grusin, David Paich, Clare Fischer, Quincy Jones, Leslie Drayton
Guitars: George Johnson, Dennis Budimir, Lee Ritenour, Larry Carlton, Greg Poreé
Drums: Harvey Mason, Jim Keltner, Jeff Porcaro
Percussion: Ralph McDonald, Harvey Mason, Eddie "Bongo" Brown
Steel Drums: Robert Greenridge
Bass Drum: Leslie Drayton
Handclaps: Chris Brunt, Larry Quinn, Quincy Jones, Ellen Weston, Lesley Gore, Leslie Drayton
Trumpets: Tony Terran, William Peterson, Leslie Drayton
Reeds: Pete Christlieb, Tom Scott, Gene Cipriano
French Horns: Allan Robinson, Marilyn Robinson
Singers: Lesley Gore, Johnny Bahler, Tommy Bahler, Marti McCall, Karin Patterson, Brenda Gordon Russell, Jean Sheffield, Jessica Smith, Patricia Hodges, Warren Ray, Jesse Kirkland, Carolyn Willis, Quincy Jones, Leslie Drayton, Jackie Ward, Myrna Matthews
Harmonica: Toots Thielemans
Violins: Gerald Vinci (Concert Master), Assa Drori, Stanley Plummer, Marvin Limonick
Violas: Allan Harshman, David Schwartz
Celli: Maria Fera, Raymond J. Kelley

Produced by Quincy Jones for Quincy Jones Productions
Engineers: Peter Chaiken & Chris Brunt (Mumbles, Inc.) and Phil Schier
Mixing engineer: Bruce Swedien
Mastering engineer: Wally Traugett
Mastered at Capitol Records, Hollywood, California

Posted 13 January 1997; cover art added 5 November 1997

Site Meter | Back to the Music Room | E-mail to Chaz

Copyright © 1997 by Charles G. Hill
Cover art © 1976 by A&M Records, Inc.