The Complete Ode Recordings
RCA/Real Gone Music 2014
Review by David Bowling
Real Gone Music has issued well over a hundred titles featuring music from by-gone eras. There have been releases by well-known and unknown artists, complete recordings an artist made for a label, long out of print albums, and a plethora of previously unreleased material. One of their latest releases falls into a couple of these of categories but it is first and foremost a niche release as its appeal will be to fans of a person, a TV show, or an era.
Peggy Lipton is a name that may ring a bell for people from a certain era. She was one of the stars of the highly popular television series, Mod Squad, 1968-1973. Just as the series was debuting, she released the only album of her career. That self-titled album has now been re-released along with several singles and previously unreleased tracks under the title The Complete Ode Recordings.
Lipton has what can be described as a pretty voice but not a strong one. Producer Lou Adler made it presentable but there are places where she appears off key. It is also an album of pop material that is right out of the west coast hippie/ flower power movement of the late 1960’s.
The original album included four original compositions, five by Carole King who also sat in on piano, and two by Laura Nyro.
Lipton was actually a fairly good songwriter. Tunes such as “Let Me Pass By,” “San Francisco Glide,” and “Honey Won’t Let Me” are nice pieces of pop fluff. The Nyro and King covers do not have the gritty nature of the originals as they are moved in a lighter direction. “It Might As Well Rain Until September,” “A Natural Woman,” “Hands Off The Man,” and “Stoney End” just drift by the senses.
The eight bonus tracks are an eclectic group. Donovan’s “Wear Your Hair Like Heaven” makes her stretch vocally. Brian Wilson’s “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times” may seem like an odd song choice but is one of her better performances as she places the focus on the lyrics. Laura Nyro’s “Lu” was released as a single and Lipton’s voice rises above the background.
Peggy Lipton’s music is rooted in the era in which it was created. Today, it may sound a bit dated and lightweight but if you are a fan on one of its niche’s, then this will be a fun trip back in time.