Petula Clark

The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener/Kiss Me Goodbye

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Part of a not-quite-comprehensive reissue project covering Petula Clark's classic string of '60s LPs from her tenure on Pye Records, the two-fer of 1968's The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener and Kiss Me Goodbye, neatly summarizes the point at which Petula Clark left the pop charts behind for the realm of adult contemporary. (Not that she didn't still have hits: "Kiss Me Goodbye" was one of her biggest.) Truth is, it's not that much of a shift; only the relative proportions of ballads and upbeat tunes changed. Both of these albums are heavy on the torch songs and the dramatic ballads, from the over-the-top pathos of "Ballad of a Sad Young Man" and "The Cat in the Window" to restrained and really quite smashing renditions of the Kinks' "Days" and Burt Bacharach's "This Girl's in Love With You." Other highlights include an impressively early cover of Caetano Veloso's "Today, Tomorrow" (Veloso would not become a star outside of his native Brazil for a couple more years) and a smattering of good to great Tony Hatch/Jackie Trent tunes, including the odd but wonderful "The Sun Shines Out of Your Shoes." This is not the place to start with Petula Clark's albums for those who only know "Downtown" and "Don't Sleep in the Subway," but it's essential for fans.

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