The Springfields

Silver Threads & Golden Needles

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Leading off with their sole American hit (the title track), Silver Threads & Golden Needles presented a talented vocal group that was rather too eclectic for its own good. Often it seemed as if they couldn't make up their mind up whether to be a commercial folk revival group, or a conventional mainstream show biz act with folksy flavorings. Lee Hays' "Lonesome Traveler," for instance, is given an over-the-top galloping, orchestrated arrangement more suggestive of show-stopping stage musical climaxes than folk ballads. The nice harmonies, Dusty Springfield's already-bold vocals, and the accomplished pop production make this approach more attractive than it might sound on paper. It's an uneasy and intriguingly dated mixture. All dozen of the tracks are available on the two-CD anthology Over the Hills and Far Away.

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