Helen Shapiro

Helen in Nashville

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This album (reissued by C5 Records on CD) is the equivalent in Shapiro's career to what Dusty in Memphis was to Dusty Springfield's career -- the single most important, mature, concise, and direct statement of who she was as an artist. The sound, surprisingly, isn't really terribly country in nature. Indeed, parts of it, like "I Cried Myself to Sleep," could almost qualify as pop-soul. "It's My Party" in its original version is less whiny and mannered than the Lesley Gore version. The rest runs the gamut from vintage pop to Dixieland influences, all well sung and extremely well played. A masterpiece, and a most unexpected one, from this underrated talent.

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