Timi Yuro

Live at PJ's

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The April 1969 performance at PJ's club in Los Angeles was recorded for an album that almost saw release in August of that same year, but was withdrawn just before issue. Five of the eight tracks that would have comprised that set did show up on the 1976 LP The Timi Yuro Album, but the 2000 Live at PJ's release on RPM marks the first time the entire canceled album has been officially available. What's more, it adds three alternate takes recorded on different nights, as well as an instrumental version of "Comin' Home Baby" by the backup band. Yuro herself has said that she was not unhappy with the LP's failure to hit the marketplace, as she was not pleased with the recording equipment and resulting sound. Nevertheless, it's not a bad show, though one can hear why a perfectionist singer might have felt that it wasn't up to the optimum standards of a live recording. One cannot, certainly, fault Yuro's vocals, which are characteristically strong, beefy, and for the most part inspired. The material comprising the set is not as imaginative as one might hope for, built around her two big hits, "Hurt" and "What's a Matter Baby," the latter given a peppy soul arrangement. Other than that, it has covers of contemporary hits seemingly designed to cover the entire variety spectrum, from soul ("I've Been Loving You Too Long" and Stevie Wonder's "A Place in the Sun") and country ("Make the World Go Away" and "Stand By Your Man") to pop ("Bang Bang," "Yesterday"). It's supper-club soul, true, complete with between-song patter and medleys on half the tracks, though it's supper-club soul of the first order. You can't shake the feeling, though, that Yuro was deserving of more inspired material and production, as she indeed was on some of her studio sides of the '60s.

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