Gary Puckett

Young Girl

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After the Union Gap Featuring Gary Puckett (as the band was billed initially) scored a Top Five hit with "Woman, Woman" in early 1968, Columbia Records rushed out a Woman, Woman LP by having the group cover other people's hits and tossing in a few other minor songs. When "Young Girl" became the outfit's second hit soon after, the record label did exactly the same thing, issuing the Young Girl LP only a few months after Woman, Woman. This disc, the first billed to Gary Puckett & the Union Gap, surveyed more recent hits for other artists. There were Puckett renditions of the Beatles' "Lady Madonna," Petula Clark's "Kiss Me Goodbye," Bobby Goldsboro's "Honey" (which was one of the records that had held "Young Girl" out of the number one position), Manfred Mann's "The Mighty Quinn," and Aretha Franklin's "(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone," all of them fresh from the upper reaches of the pop chart. It seemed as if producer Jerry Fuller had picked songs for the album by turning on his car radio on the way to the studio. And once he got there, he assembled arrangements that sounded a lot like the hit versions. (In one case, "Dreams of the Everyday Housewife," he actually anticipated a hit, releasing the Puckett version before Glen Campbell's recording reached the singles charts.) While Puckett's elastic tenor rendered the familiar material adequately, the song choices emphasized his status as a pop singles act. And his ascension in the billing certainly made sense, since, among the strings and horns and backup singers, it was hard to think of this music as having been made by a self-contained five-member group.