Lesley Gore, (1946-2015), passed away several months ago at the age of 68. She is best remembered for a series of shiny 1960’s pop hits, including the number one “It’s My Party,” “Judy’s Turn To Cry,” “She’s A Fool,” “You Don’t Own Me,” and “Sunshine Rainbows And Lollipops,” all issued before the age of 20. The hits ran out during the late 1960’s but her career lasted until her death.
During the early 1970’s she recorded one album for the Motown subsidiary MoWest Label. Someplace Else Now received little commercial attention and quickly faded away. Now it has been released on CD for the first time and fills in a huge hole in the Lesley Gore legacy.
The album may not be as bright and catchy as her early hits; but it did show growth as an artist. She also wrote or co-wrote all 12 tracks, which gives it a very personal and reflective feel.
“For Me” is an apt song title for the album opener as the pensive lyrics and strings signal a new phase of her career. “Be My Life” and “The Road I Walk” both have gospel influences and find Gore moving away from her pop roots.
Lesley Gore always had a smooth and effortless vocal approach but “What I Did Wrong” forces her to stretch a bit. She sings with passion and seems connected to the lyrics.
“She Said That” tells a dark story and is very different from just about everything she ever produced.
As with all the Real Gone re-issue releases, the liner notes are excellent as they give a complete history of the music. The sound is also crisp and clean and was taken from the original masters. It helps that Motown usually had very good production values.
Someplace Else Now may not be Lesley Gore’s crowning achievement or most listenable album but it was a creative leap for her at the time and remains interesting when compared to the rest of her musical output.