Cher

The Best of the Imperial Recordings 1965-1968

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In 1965, flush from the success of Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe," Cher earned her first major solo contract with Liberty/Imperial (she had previously recorded only a few singles under aliases). With Sonny Bono enlisted as producer, Cher lit up the pop charts with the smash "All I Really Want to Do," and its follow-up, "I Go to Sleep." Although the next three years saw only inconsistent chart entries, her recordings were interesting and frequently as good as the leading lights of folk-pop, the Mamas & the Papas. And she covered most of the best folk songwriters of the time -- Dylan, Tim Hardin, John Sebastian, Paul Simon, and Jackie DeShannon. Add points for a few interesting crossovers of pop songs like "Sunny" or "Alfie" (the latter a Top 40 hit), but subtract some for a few misguided covers ("It's Not Unusual" prime among them), and The Best of the Imperial Recordings 1965-1968 is revealed as a near-necessity for '60s folk-rock fans. It includes all of her album debut, All I Really Want to Do, as well as the vast majority of her four subsequent LPs for the label (The Sonny Side of Cher, Cher, With Love, Cher, Backstage).

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