Petula Clark

The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener

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With the main production by Sonny Burke, this orchestrated album, arranged and conducted by Ernie Freeman, produced two hits, but here's the catch: the hits were generated separate from Burke's focus for this project. The title track is another Hatch/Trent collaboration, a production of Tony Hatch, going Top 40 at the end of 1967. "The Cat in the Window" went a little higher -- Top 30 in the autumn of that year -- featuring arrangements by the late Jack Nitzsche, and produced by Charles Koppelman and Don Rubin, Koppelman, of course, going on to form SBK and ruling much of the record industry in the '80s. It's a brazen mix of the pop hits with the kind of music Linda Ronstadt brought the world with her Nelson Riddle collaborations. The tacky Stan Cornyn liner notes, as on the Claude Wolff orchestrated album which would followed some time after (Portrait of Petula), try to convince us that these sophisticated musical outings make "Pet", a "woman." Lerner/Loewe's "I Could Have Danced All Night" from My Fair Lady and the Leslie/Bricusse title "At the Crossroads," from Dr. Dolittle, are fun, and, as Pia Zadora's husband hired Frank Sinatra's band to tour with the actress in the '80s, there is a certain cache that comes with mixing classy and so-called sophisticated music with artists who found their initial fame in the world of pop. In retrospect, it all blurs into catalog, and an artist either makes good records or records that aren't so good. All records by Petula Clark are consistent and have their own touch of class, though Sonny Burke seems to understand how to utilize her voice a little better on The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener than Claude Wolff did with Portrait of Petula, allowing the singer to blend in with the surroundings and not trying to overpower her with big music. "Isle de France" shows Clark is able to sing in French with remarkable ease while "The Cat in the Window" fits in nicely, though, like the title track, it is a substantially different sound. This use of four different producers is something that Tina Turner and other artists would employ in the 80's, but it wasn't as much a common practice when this project was issued. Petula Clark on The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener is no different from the Pet Clark we met when "Downtown" hit number one in 1965. The same "sophistication" the liner notes try to push on us was evident on the Tony Hatch-produced Color My World album. What The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener proves is that Petula Clark is a class act, no matter who she works with. She's a superb entertainer, and this is another great chapter.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:37
2 2:43
3 3:17
4 2:32
5 2:52
6 3:26
7 2:10
8 3:08
9 2:48
10 1:57
11 2:25
12 3:12
13 3:06
14 3:02
15 2:36
16 2:45
17 3:23
18 3:28
19 3:54
20 2:53
21 2:55
22 2:48
23 2:58
24 3:10
blue highlight denotes track pick