Petula Clark

Spirit of Today

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The Castle reissue label presents an augmented edition of Petula Clark's very last album for Pye Records, Today which was originally released after she'd moved on to Polydor in 1972. This package, which includes alternate takes and previously scattered material recorded during and after her last sessions with Pye, bears evidence of desperate maneuverings in the A&R department; Clark is made to paddle around within arrangements that might have been suitable for Diana Ross, Carole King or maybe Marlo Thomas. Redeeming social value exists in the form of "Marie de Vere" and "Marie Desir," which is the same song sung in French. There's also a thrilling 1976 disco remake of "Downtown"; "Wind of Change," which is a poem by Rod McKuen set to music by Joaquin Rodrigo (pilfered from Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain), and a previously unissued version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" in the form of a breathily intimate duet by Rod McKuen and Petula Clark. This was probably held back because they sound like they're in bed and Clark makes a reference to "funny cigarettes."

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