It’s incredible to think that, in 2008, the unique and wonderful Darlene Love is celebrating her 50th anniversary as a recording artist. Since 1958, the extraordinarily talented Ms Love has provided the voice behind some of the most enduring songs ever to grace the AM radio band, and has been the featured vocalist on more than a few of rock’n’roll’s defining moments – most notably, as far as many would be concerned, ‘Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)’ and her other seminal selections on Phil Spector’s “A Christmas Gift For You” album. Sadly, and although she’s also been a Crystal, a Blossom, a Rebelette, a Wildcat, a Young Cougar, a Pelican, a Blue Jean, a K-C-Ette and many other things to varying degrees of success, Darlene has never scored the kind of solo hit that an artist of her magnitude always deserves. But here at Ace we ‘Love’ Darlene to pieces, and we feel that it would be wrong to let half a century’s worth of contributions to the annals of rock’n’roll go by without a justified and deserved salute to such an important contributor.
“So Much Love” virtually spans Darlene’s entire recording career, from her first solo lead vocal on the Blossoms’ ‘No Other Love’ to a fairly recent rendition of ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’. In between, you’ll hear examples of her sessioneering in many of the previously mentioned ‘groups’, choice cuts from her lengthy career as, first, one fourth and then one third of the Blossoms, several of the many selections that she has recorded for soundtracks to hit films like Home Alone and Dick Tracy and – most excitingly for long time devotees – a previously unissued and, until very recently, virtually unheard example of her work as a demo singer, via her stunning performance of Jack Nitzsche and Jackie DeShannon’s ‘Let Him Walk Away’ – one of three tracks featured that have never been released until now, another being the drop dead gorgeous rendition of Goffin & King’s title track from the Blossoms’ Bill Medley produced sessions of the late 1960s.
Asssembled by Mick Patrick and myself with the approval and endorsement of Ms Love, it’s a tribute that no Darlene fan will be disappointed with. It was hard for Mick and me to settle on these 24 tracks, but we are sure that all fans will be as pleased with it as she is.
By Tony Rounce