This 2013 RPM two-fer reissues two Gene Pitney concept albums from the '60s originally released as a two-fer from Sequel in the late '90s. The titles here are fairly self-explanatory. Blue Gene isn't exactly a blues album but it is moody, and so dramatic it can sometimes seem cinematic, particularly when the sharp, tremeloed guitars are vying for space with horns, strings, backing vocals, and pianos. At times, things may be a tad overcooked but that's part of the appeal, as the grand-scale arrangements fit Pitney's keen, melodramatic voice. Meets the Fair Young Ladies of Folkland is the opposite of Blue Gene; the modernistic melodrama has been stripped away, and in its place are robust folk arrangements. Each one of these songs is grounded on acoustic guitars but these aren't quite barebones; Pitney is too much a creature of show biz for that, so there is echo and splash to these folk tunes, which are appropriate and appealing. These two 1963 albums are opposite sides of the same coin and they show just how versatile a pop singer Pitney could be.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine