Petula Clark

Portrait of a Song Stylist

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An interesting if not exactly essential collection of 14 covers by Petula Clark, drawn from across the pop and rock spectrum, from George Gershwin to Curtis Mayfield. Opening with "A Foggy Day" done to an arrangement worthy of Phil Spector, she does dignified if not always spirited renditions of such late-'60s pop as "At the Crossroads" (from Doctor Dolittle) and period hits like "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair)." You sort of have to give Clark credit for trying to cover "People Get Ready," but that is a lost cause, despite the care and feeling with which she tries to imbue her phrasing of some of the lyrics. "Elusive Butterfly" is much more Clark's milieu and works a lot better, but not well enough for anyone but dedicated Clark fans to buy.