Vikki Carr

Love Again: The Lost Columbia Masters

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Vikki Carr moved from Liberty to Columbia in 1971, a transition that happened to coincide with her slide down the pop charts. It's possible to blame this on the switch in label, but a greater truth is that tastes were changing and her brand of adult contemporary pop simply wasn't selling as much in the '70s as it was in the '60s. Columbia and Carr tried several things to turn the tide, including recording a bunch of songs that remained in the vaults until this Real Gone reissue from 2014. In his liner notes, David St. Mark chronicles the many fights between the singer and the label -- these weren't secret, Carr alluded to them on the back covers of released LPs -- and this provides context for a collection that largely comprises an unreleased LP from 1975 representing Carr's stab at soft country-pop. Surrounded by strings, electric sitars, and a host of countrypolitan accouterments, Carr acquits herself perfectly well; the first 11 songs here are state-of-the-art Nashville adult pop from 1975, music that was aimed at the AC charts as much as the country. The remaining seven songs round up tracks cut between 1970 and 1972, all aiming for the adult contemporary middle of the road and some containing more than a splash of Vegas pizzazz (a gaudy rendition of "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" is a prime offender of the latter). Although all 17 tracks are artifacts of another time -- they're textbook examples of overheated adult contemporary pop of the early '70s -- they're as good as much of what Carr released at the time and the Nashville record is a pleasant surprise.

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