Captain & Tennille


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Dream was Captain & Tennille's fourth album in as many years and with it the duo concluded their hit-filled association with A&M Records. The title track is a version of the Johnny Mercer classic covered by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, and even Ringo Starr on his Sentimental Journey disc. This LP is a sort of sentimental journey, with Mercer having passed on two years before this 1976 release. It's an interesting album, not only because it yielded yet another Neil Sedaka/Howard Greenfield hit in "You Never Done It Like That," but in the fact that there are two more Greenfield offerings -- a 1970 co-write with Sedaka, "Love Is Spreading Over the World," and a rare collaboration with Toni Tennille, "Love Me Like a Baby," copyright 1978. Howie Greenfield was only 39 at the time and had achieved status as one of the all-time great Brill Building lyricists. Within ten years he would be gone as well, making the Dream album a rather substantial one for that reason and more. Tennille sings "Love Me Like a Baby" with just her piano as accompaniment, an interesting journey deeper into the adult contemporary world that their Come in From the Rain album from the year before addressed so perfectly. Rod McKuen and Bruce Johnston's "If There Were Time" sounds as close to a '40s standard as Ron Miller's "For Once in My Life." Leon Russell's "Back to the Island" is more like what listeners would expect from Johnston, a nod to Captain & Tennille's Beach Boys past. With Johnston and Tennille on backing vocals, it is really a great lost Beach Boys track -- capturing "Kokomo" ten years before that song shot to number one. It is really an extraordinary find and why A&M didn't push it with all they had is the mystery. "You Never Done It Like That," originally recorded by Sedaka on his George Martin-produced A Song album from the year before, reached the Top Ten for the husband and wife in September of 1978, while Dana Merino's "You Need a Woman Tonight" was the weakest of all their nine Top 40 hits, only reaching number 40 in January of 1979. "Back to the Island" would have been the ticket back to chart supremacy, which they would achieve once they moved to Casablanca Records. "Dream" concludes the album with that show tune/'40s standard flavor Tennille

loves so much. Covering the husband-and-wife songwriting team from Orleans, John and Johanna Hall, with "Good Enough" brings a funky Delaney & Bonnie feel to the party, carried over to an arrangement of Ray Stevens' "Dixie Hummingbird." It's another album with more depth than the pair ever got credit for and one worth exploring again.

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