Patty Duke

Songs from Valley of the Dolls/Sings Folk Songs - Time to Move On

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Singing actress Patty Duke's first two albums (1965's Don't Just Stand There and 1966's Patty) fell firmly in the girl group/Brill Building arena, with her sweet and unschooled voice giving the covers of Beatles songs and melancholy originals a sense of teenage longing that worked rather better than one might expect. By the time the two albums collected here were recorded, Duke was growing up and her music took a turn toward a more adult sound. 1967's Sings Songs from Valley of the Dolls featured many songs from the soundtrack to Valley of the Dolls, her first grown-up role, and Duke sounds out of her element. The André and Dory Previn songs are a little much for her voice to handle, the arrangements verge on the cheesy, and the song selection leaves much to be desired. The album didn't click with the record-buying public, and Duke's career as a recording artist stalled. So much so that her next album never saw the light of day. Sings Folk Songs: Time to Move On is collection of folky pop songs that fit Duke's voice and sensibility much better. Most of the songs are whispered in a hush reminiscent of Claudine Longet and the arrangements are much calmer and less showy. It's still not to the level of her first two albums, but it's certainly much more fun to listen to than the Valley of the Dolls album. That being said, anyone who's a fan of celebrity albums and slightly silly musical artifacts will find that this collection delivers plenty of kitschy value.

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