Peter Sarstedt

Peter Sarstedt/As Though It Were a Movie

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Peter Sarstedt's debut album was torpedoed by its best track, the number one hit "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)," an exquisite piece of baroque pop that Sarstedt would never come close to equaling again. Led by a festive accordion and a dark acoustic guitar, the song blended the reserve of early British singer/songwriters with the sophistication of Continental pop -- name-checking everyone from Marlene Dietrich to Sacha Distel and the Boulevard Saint Michel. Sarstedt proved his songwriting talents elsewhere on the record, but the florid arrangements and varying productions never approach the level of its best song. Its successor, As Though It Were a Movie, which arrived shortly afterwards, features no good follow-up to the single, but it's actually a better full-length statement. Based around an imaginary movie (complete with overture, intermission, and closing national anthem), the record finds Sarstedt doing a better job of inhabiting his narrative songs (as on the leering "Take Off Your Clothes").

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