Helen Reddy

No Way to Treat a Lady/Music, Music

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Helen Reddy's No Way to Treat a Lady/Music, Music is the fourth installment of Raven's admirably packaged two-fer releases, and contains those 1975 and 1976 albums, in their entirety, plus one rare bonus track ("One Way Ticket" from 1968). No Way to Treat a Lady contains the titular Top Ten hit and a host of other, primarily piano-driven, ballads (like the Neil Sedaka-penned "Don't Let It Mess Your Mind" and the Paul Williams/Kenny Ascher gem "You Know Me"), as well as some forays into country-pop, bossa nova, and blues. Music, Music is a decidedly more eclectic and upbeat affair, pulling in stylistic cues from all over the place. There are breezy, Bacharach-ian excursions ("Gladiola," "You Make It So Easy"), bluesy numbers ("Get Off Me Baby," "Ladychain"), light country ("Mama"), jazzy ballads (Paul Williams' torchy contribution, "Nice to Be Around"), and even a little Philly soul ("I Can't Hear You No More"). Reddy tackles them all with admirable gusto and shows a grittier side than she had on her previous albums. Looking at the songwriting credits, it is obvious that there are some heavy hitters contributing here, but there are quite a few exceptional studio musicians in tow as well -- most notably, future Toto founders Jeff Porcaro, David Hungate, and David Paich. After a long string of streamlined, ultra-successful albums, No Way to Treat a Lady and (especially) Music, Music provide Reddy with a chance to move a bit outside of her strictly ballad-oriented repertoire and show her to be a commendably versatile vocalist.

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