A few weeks ago I posted about Women & Songs: Beginnings (you can read my review here) and now I’ve listened to the sequel: Women & Songs: Beginnings 2. Like the first collection of songs, the choices include several musical eras. It’s not often that I hear “Johnny Angel” by Shelly Fabares (who I had a crush on back in 1961). I want to get up and dance whenever I hear “The Loco-Motion” by Little Eva. And who can resist “Your Precious Love” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell!

Women & Songs: Beginnings 2 presents several hit songs like Carly Simon’s “Anticipation” which was the theme song for Heinz Ketchup commercials from the 1970s to the 1980s. “You Made Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” was one of Aretha Franklin’s biggest hits. And Dionne Warwick’s version of “Walk On By” has always been one of my favorites.

On the minus side, I was never an Edith Piaf fan. Do you remember these songs? Any favorites here? GRADE: B+


Disc 1

  1. You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman
  2. Walk On By
  3. You’ve Changed
  4. I’m Sorry
  5. You Don’t Own Me
  6. You Don’t Know How Glad I Am
  7. End Of The World
  8. Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue
  9. Private Dancer
  10. MacArthur Park
  11. Love Is Like A Heatwave
  12. Release Me
  13. Who’s Sorry Now
  14. It That All There Is
  15. Whatever Will Be Will Be
  16. Mister Sandman

Disc 2

  1. Anticipation
  2. Rose Garden
  3. Baby Don’t Go
  4. What The World Needs Now Is Love
  5. Goldfinger
  6. Mangos
  7. Johnny Get Angry
  8. I Cried A Tear
  9. The Loco-Motion
  10. Easier Said Than Done
  11. Johnny Angel
  12. Your Precious Love (with Tammi Terrell)
  13. What’s New
  14. Cry Me A River
  15. Love Me Or Leave Me
  16. La Vie En Rose

31 thoughts on “WOMEN & SONGS: BEGINNINGS 2 [2-CD Set]

  1. Deb

    What a weird combination! Edith Piaf to Lynn Anderson to Lena Horne to Skeeter Davis. Some songs from the fifties, some from the sixties, some from the seventies, even from the eighties. I don’t see how a four-decade span of music gets to label itself “The Beginnings” of anything…but I guess the label came up with the packaging idea and they were going to use it regardless of the music they could get the rights to. I like quite a few of the songs here including “Natural Women,” “Walk On By,” “Anticipation,” and “Cry Me A River.”

    1. george Post author

      Deb, I’m with you on the marketing concept. The song choices in this collection extend all over the musical map. But, like you, I like many of these women singers and their songs. And, these songs will take your attention away from the Drew Brees kerfuffle.

  2. wolf

    Calling this the beginnings is strange – but the songs are great!

    Fond memories:
    My first wife and I enjoyed a performance by Tina Turner in Frankfurt (Germany) – i think it was her Private Dancer tour.
    Funny fact:
    Every few songs there was a short intermittance when the band continued and Tina disappeared – returning after a short time in new clothes …
    Just found the date – the tour has its own wiki: May 2 1985
    But I don’t remember whether it was Bryan Adams or David Bowie who accompanied her then at this date – she worked together with both of them.
    Great music!

    1. george Post author

      Wolf, I have to look around for my Tina Turner live in Europe CD. I think it was recorded after the PRIVATE DANCER tour.

  3. Michael Padgett

    This may be the best compilation you’ve featured here, with nearly half of them being either classics or at least songs I loved. A few I just haven’t heard, like “MacArthur Park” covered by Donna Summer–love the song but can’t imagine Summer singing it. “I’m Sorry” by Brenda Lee–a good song by a terrific singer who’s been mostly forgotten except for a couple of godawful Christmas songs. Two more that I love, “You Don’t Own Me” and “The End of the World” by two more nearly forgotten singers, Lesley Gore and Skeeter Davis respectively. And though I didn’t care for “Johnny Angel”, I most definitely remember Shelly Fabares.

    1. george Post author

      Michael, back around 1961 I was falling in love almost every day. Shelly Fabares sent my heart a-flutter whenever I saw her on TV (in black-and-white!). Later, I had a crush on Lesley Gore. And who could forget Skeeter Davis! There’s a lot of good music in this box set.

  4. Jeff Meyerson

    What a weird collection, but mostly good this time. I have never liked Donna Summers’ version of “MacArthur Park” but most of the others are better. We have many of these (even though they are solo singers) on one of our three or four GIRL GROUPS collections (you should do that next) – one that Jackie always makes fun of is “Johnny Get Angry,” whose theme seems to be that she wants her boyfriend to get possessive, act like “a caveman” and, presumably, beat the crap out of her! “You Don’t Own Me” was the only one of Lesley Gore’s hits where she wasn’t a doormat. Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger” was probably the best James Bond theme song ever. Michael mentioned Brenda Lee. We saw her do a free concert (opening for Neil Sedaka) maybe 15-20 years ago, outdoors in Brighton Beach. Former State Senator turned Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz put on free summer concerts every year for decades, and we saw many stars there, including Dion, Dionne Warwick, George Thorogood & the Destroyers (they were the ones who prompted the end of the shows, as neighbors complained they were too loud), Jay & the Americans, Little Anthony, and a show for Deb – Disco Divas.

    Favorites – Natural Woman, Walk on By, Heat Wave.

    Deb, I’m sure you are like me in that whenever I hear “Who’s Sorry Now” I immediately picture Greg and Babs in her pink bedroom, making the call to set up Otter.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, I like your suggestion of GIRL GROUPS. I’ll have to root around in the basement and find a couple of those compilation CDs.

    2. Deb

      “Do you know the Rainbow Motel on Old Mill Road? Well, I’m sure I don’t know, Otter. Mandy just asked me to tell you to meet her there.” And then Greg tries to strangle her teddy bear until she rips it out of his hand with a cry of “Teddy!”

      /This is what happens when you’ve watched Animal House about, oh, a thousand times.

      1. Jeff Meyerson


        Exactly. In 1983, we went to our one and only PulpCon in Dayton, Ohio. I spent much of the first evening there quoting the entire ANIMAL HOUSE start to finish (“Greg, what is the worst fraternity on this campus?”), to the amazement of all (except Jackie, already subjected to it before).

        “See if you can guess what I am now. I’m a zit. Get it?”

  5. Patti Abbott

    I like a lot of these and the lyrics are embedded in my brain. Funny how words put to music last longer.

    1. george Post author

      Patti, I listened to many of these songs hundreds of times in the Sixties when radio was much more popular than it is today. The lyrics were drilled into my brain through repetition.

  6. maggie mason

    I like most of these songs, but I really prefer “fast” songs, so Heat Wave is my favorite from this collection. I like “bouncy” music

    While waiting for my library to open for holds, I’ve been listening to the 2 disc cd of the Country Music PBS show. Disc 2 is my favorite with Why Not Me by the Judds my former favorite. I’ve just converted to Pancho & Lefty (or Lefty & Pancho) by Willie & Merle as the fav (followed by you aint going nowhere by the Byrds, Bobby McGee by Kris Kristoffersen, and Above your station by Ricky Skaggs.

    1. george Post author

      Maggie, I’m going to visit our Library today. I’ve heard rumors it’s open on a limited basis. I need to investigate.

  7. Jeff Meyerson

    In 2004, we took my mother in law to see Linda Ronstadt do a free concert of her ‘big band’ stuff in Seaside Park (Brighton Beach). Later that summer we saw Frankie Valli, Dion, and Kenny Vance. Great concert.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, Diane and I only saw Linda Ronstadt in concert once when she came to Buffalo in the 1980s. She played Toronto many times and I regret we didn’t travel north to see her. Like the concert you attended, our concert was great, too!

  8. Steve Lewis

    George, I wouldn’t need to buy this CD compilation if I saw it anywhere. For most of these songs, as soon as I see their titles, I hear them in my head.

    1. george Post author

      Steve, you’re right about the iconic nature of some of these songs. I feel I listened to them so many times during my youth that they’re part of my DNA!

  9. Fred Blosser

    I agree with the tribe, a good if weirdly varied collection. “La Vie en Rose” and “Johnny Angel” on the same playlist. I’d advise people not to listen to the uber-depressing “Is That All There Is” this week, a stone downer in the best of times.

    1. george Post author

      Fred, I share your opinion of “Is That All There Is.” Ultimate downer of a song. By the way, in a couple of weeks, you’ll see a book reviewed here that you indirectly suggested.

  10. Steve Oerkfitz

    Very weird compilation. A lot of good stuff like Dionne and Aretha. A lot of stuff I can’t stand like Shelley Fabares (sorry George), Joannie Summers, Rosemary Clooney, Connie Francis and Doris Day. The Peggy Lee track remains on my top ten all time unlistenable list (with such goodies as Having My Baby and Feelings). I find the Donna Summer and Linda Ronstadt tracks to be odd choices. Also never liked Lesley Gore who couldn’t sing a lick in real life. She was a rich kid whose daddy bought her a record deal. (He was the Gore of Gore-Tex and made his money in swimwear). I must admit a dislike of teenage oriented songs (Fabrares, Gore, Jeannie Summers). I never liked them when I was a kid and don’t like them any better now. A very odd collection. If it was pruned down to one cd of the best stuff it would be a great cd but way too many tracks I find unlistenable.
    And George, while I’m writing this I am listening to Buffalo’s own Willie Nile’s newest The Streets of New York.

    1. george Post author

      Steve, we love Willie Nile here in Buffalo! You’re right about the odd mix of songs. I confess my crush on Shelley Fabares may have clouded my judgement of “Johnny Angel.” Hormones swayed a lot of my behavior when I was a teenager. I think Leslie Gore’s success was due to Quincy Jones who produced many of her songs.

      1. Steve Oerkfitz

        My High School memories are of Motown, Stax, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Dylan, The Kinks, The Animals, The Who, Beach Boys. I never liked the teen stuff of the early 60’s like Fabian, James Darren, Four Seasons, Frankie Avalon, Lesley Gore. My first records were Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Duane Eddy, Sandy Nelson, Everly Brothers, Brenda Lee (before she went country).

      2. george Post author

        Steve, one of my Birthday presents when I was 10 years old was a transistor radio. I listened to it constantly. That’s when I discovered Rock & Roll in 1959. I listened to songs all day long so Frankie Avalon, Fabian, the Everly Brothers, Elvis, and the Drifters were imprinted on my brain. I loved Brenda Lee’s “Coming on Strong.”

  11. Jeff Meyerson

    Steve, I would consider Fabian and Frankie Avalon and the rest of the white wannabes as very late ’50s, after Chuck Berry got arrested, Little Richard “retired” for the first time, Jerry Lee Lewis married his cousin, and Buddy Holly died. Early ’60s to me was more dance music like Chubby Checker and the like – Twist, Mashed Potatoes, Hully Gully, etc. Not that I was ever a good dancer.

    Otherwise I agree with you (we’re pretty much the same age) on the music of high school days – Motown, Beach Boys, British Invasion. But I always had eclectic taste and enjoyed a lot of the teen music of the age.


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