Foxy Lady

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Sonny Bono's tight facial cover photo of his wife is an extension of the imagery from the previous Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves album jacket, as much as the music inside is a continuation of the moods this team created the year previous. The hit single, "Living in a House Divided," stalled in the Top 25, and without the distraction of the two major hits that the previous album had (certainly a luxury and not a bad thing), Snuff Garrett, Sonny Bono, Al Capps, and crew come back with a wonderful collection of songs from the pens of Al Stillman, Neil Sedaka, and Howard Greenfield, Hoyt Axton, Leon Russell, and others. Axton's "Never Been to Spain" hit the Top Five for Three Dog Night right before "The Way of Love" crested from Cher's previous album. She puts her stamp on this rendition, a production which should have had Chuck Negron and the Three Dog Night boys looking over their shoulders as Barbara Streisand had to when Gladys Knight remade "The Way We Were" and charted so quickly after Streisand hit with the same tune. It's interesting how Leon Russell's songs were showing up on albums by Helen Reddy and other female vocalists. Perhaps "Superstar" climbing the charts for the Carpenters got the veteran session man's catalog attention. His "Song for You" works well for the former Mrs. Bono. Neil Sedaka's "Don't Hide Your Love" almost makes the mark -- Cher answering herself on the record is a bit of a drawback -- it's too bad she didn't duet with Sedaka on this -- two years before "Laughter in the Rain" would bring him back to the public eye, the move for his career is obvious, and if you imagine him singing here, you realize it could have been a huge hit. Without a counterpoint, the song misses the target. Foxy Lady is an impressive collection of ten songs which holds up years later with more staying power than when it was first released. Initially it appeared as glitzy Vegas-style bubblegum for adults. Standing the test of time, "Living in a House Divided"; "It Might As Well Stay Monday (From Now On)"; "Down, Down, Down"; and the other titles here display Cher's rich expression and the superb production work of Sonny Bono and Snuff Garrett. Twenty-two years after this recording was released, Ru Paul would pen a tune called "Foxy Lady" and title his album as Cher did. Both acts should have given Jimi Hendrix his due with a champagne version of his classic -- a rendition as soulful as what Cher brings to Leon Russell's "Song for You" would have turned some heads.

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