Brenda & the Tabulations

Dry Your Eyes

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As was the custom of the day, Brenda & the Tabulations' debut album was overstuffed with familiar cover versions, which were done respectably; actually, the sultry, drawn-out reading of "Summertime" is really good, as is the calypso-ish take of the Marvelettes' "Forever." There are also a few more originals by the Brenda Payton-Maurice Coates team responsible for "Dry Your Eyes," including the low-charting single "Just Once in a Lifetime"; this has a similar marriage of doo wop-type vocals with the lush orchestration for which Philadelphia soul was famous. The album had yet two more small soul hits in "Stay Together Young Lovers" and Smokey Robinson's "Who's Loving You?" The CD reissue adds two bonus tracks, including "When You're Gone," a minor 1968 hit in which the vibes and trembling violins brought the group closer to the mainstream of symphonic Philly soul production.

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