Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent were married at the time of their 1967 album The Two of Us. While Hatch had released some instrumental easy listening albums under his own name, this was the first time he'd sung anything but background vocals on record. Understandably, however, his singing was somewhat subservient to Trent's, who had already scored hits in the U.K. with Hatch as producer. They actually weren't intending to make a whole album together, but their lightly swinging jazz-pop single "The Two of Us" -- written by Hatch and Trent, and not even intended by Hatch for release -- became a big Australian hit, leading Pye Records to ask for an entire album. Like its title track, much of the LP was very white-bread showbizzy jazz-pop, sung from an imaginary universe where ebullient happy-go-lucky romance was not only the dominant tone, but virtually the only one. No doubt it was fun to make for the principals involved, but it's certainly not as good as the best records produced by Hatch (who also handled Petula Clark and the Searchers) and/or sung by Trent. There were feel-good pop tracks that were less cabaret-oriented and could have passed for Trent or Clark LP cuts (though Clark would have sung them better), "Play It Again" being about the best of those. Elsewhere "Don't Stop Now"'s arrangement owed a slight debt to Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billie Joe" and slightly recalled the duets done by Nino Tempo & April Stevens in the same era; "Country Girl and City Man," co-written by Chip Taylor, was unconvincing pop-soul; and "Morning Dew" was decorated by thin, cheesy sitar riffs.
Share this page