Gladys Knight & the Pips

I Feel a Song

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Both commercially and artistically, switching from Motown to Buddah in the mid-'70s proved to be a very wise move for Gladys Knight & the Pips. Imagination and Claudine were gem-laden smashes, and their winning streak continued with their third Buddah date I Feel a Song. The dramatic "I Feel a Song (In My Heart)" and an unlikely remake of Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were" became major hits, as did the soaring ballad "Love Finds Its Own Way." Knight's monologue on "The Way We Were" is most ironic -- reflecting on the nostalgia that seems to be human nature, she noted that 1974 would someday become "the good old days." And when disco era-nostalgia took hold in the '90s, post-baby boomers seemed to be expressing a belief that the '70s were a simpler, less stressful time. Equally appealing are the gritty numbers "Better You Go Your Way" (written by Bill Withers) and "Don't Burn Down the Bridge." If one notices that "Seconds" sounds like something Dionne Warwick would have done early in her career, it's no coincidence -- Burt Bacharach (who also co-wrote many of Warwick's early hits) co-wrote the song. Thanks to Capitol-EMI's R&B-oriented reissue label The Right Stuff, I Feel a Song was finally heard on CD in 1997.

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