In the U.S., Petula Clark's legend rests primarily on these two albums, from 1964 and 1965. (In her native U.K., she's a national treasure revered only slightly less than the queen.) Besides the two magnificent title tracks, two of Clark's biggest U.S. hits, the albums include a smattering of Burt Bacharach/Hal David songs alongside tracks by the U.K.'s equivalent, Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway. Most important for true Clark fans, though, 12 of the 31 songs were written at least in part by her producer and arranger, the often-underrated Tony Hatch. Hatch is a canny songwriter with a brilliant melodic sense, and the best tracks here are his work, often in tandem with Clark herself, as on the glorious "You're the One," which was later also a hit for Philadelphia's Vogues. As always, not all of the covers work (as a cringe-inducing "Dancing in the Street" shows, Clark was never quite able to, shall you say, get down), but the albums are among Clark's most consistently enjoyable, making them a fine start for casual fans who want to move beyond the hits.
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