Parrot PAS 71020, 1968

Parrot PAS 71034, 1969

In the very first Chaz Reviews, Jennifer Warnes' third album, Jennifer, was examined, and reference was made therein to two previous albums produced and abandoned under the auspices of London Records. (They were reissued by Polygram on a single CD in 1992 in Europe, as Just Jennifer, Deram 820 989-2, though the label has yet to see fit to bring it out here.) A number of subsequent queries have persuaded your reviewer that it's time to look at those two LPs in their own right.

1st LP sleeveIn 1969, the artist previously known as Jennifer Warren had joined up with West Coast producer/songwriter Marty Cooper, perhaps best-known as one-third of the Shacklefords, who had a 1963 folk/pop hit with "A Stranger in Your Town." (The other two-thirds were Lee Hazlewood and his wife.) Cooper evidently felt that Jennifer's versatility demanded a certain eclectism in the song selection; while there are three pretty decent Cooper compositions on the program, "...I Can Remember Everything" ranges all over the place, opening with the quirky early Bee Gees number "Close Another Door", and picking up gems from the Beatles, the Stones and Joni Mitchell along the way. "Here, There and Everywhere" might have been considered an obvious choice, but "I Am Waiting" definitely wasn't, and Jennifer's "Chelsea Morning" is at least as evocative as Joni's. Or, for that matter, Judy's.

2nd LP sleeveWhen sales inexplicably failed to soar, it was decreed that an effort would be made to make things look trendier for the second album, which may explain the Tommy-esque title. The songs, however, still refuse to fall into any handy pigeonhole. Two songs from Hair are given a respectful treatment. Jennifer's old friend from The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Mason Williams, shows up with his guitar and his song "Saturday Night at the World", and they duet on Ernesto and Norina's "Tornami a dir che m'ami" from Donizetti's Don Pasquale. "We're Not Gonna Take It", source of the title, mutates into something resembling a soul ballad, with churchy piano giving way to exultant brass. There's another Stones song ("Back Street Girl", of all things); Jacques Brel and Bob Dylan are covered. London, faced with all this bounty, picked "Easy to Be Hard" as the single; as Parrot 336, it bubbled under at #128, but never quite broke through to the surface. Three Dog Night, of course, would get a huge hit with the same song three months later.

With sales somewhere on the wrong side of the vanishing point, London opted not to pick up Jennifer's option, and she wouldn't be heard from again on vinyl until 1972. But that, as they say, is another story. Three of these tracks ("Here, There and Everywhere," "Chelsea Morning," "Easy to Be Hard") turned up on a Raven (Australia) compilation called Love Lifts Us Up 1968-1983 (RVCD 185).

"...I Can Remember Everything"

Track listing:

  • Close Another Door (B. Gibb-M. Gibb-R. Gibb)
  • Sunny Day Blue (Martin Cooper)
  • Here, There and Everywhere (Lennon-McCartney)
  • Chelsea Morning (Joni Mitchell)
  • I Want to Meander in the Meadow (Tobias-Woods)
  • I Am Waiting (Jagger-Richard)
  • Places Everyone (Tony Decker)
  • Tree-House of Gold (Bunch-Annis)
  • It's Hard to Love a Poet (Martin Cooper)
  • The Leaves (Martin Cooper)
  • The Park (Lane-Pulley-Cooper)

Produced by Martin Cooper
Some arrangements by Perry Botkin, Jr.
Mixed by Stan Ross
"Close Another Door" and "Places Everyone" mixed by Ted Brinson

See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal Me

Track listing:

  • Let the Sunshine In (Rado-Ragni-MacDermot)
  • Easy to Be Hard (Rado-Ragni-MacDermot)
  • Saturday Night at the World (Mason Williams)
  • Time Is on the Run (James Elmer Smith)
  • Old Folks (Les Vieux) (Brel-Jouannest-Corti-Shuman)
  • We're Not Gonna Take It (Pete Townshend)
  • Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (Bob Dylan)
  • Back Street Girl (Jagger-Richard)
  • Weather's Better (Vince Donofrio)
  • Tell Me Again I Love Thee (Tornami a dir che m'ami) (Donizetti-Accursi)
  • Cajun Train (Rick Cunha)

Produced by Al Capps for Marty Cooper Productions
"Let the Sunshine In", "Easy to Be Hard", "Back Street Girl" produced by Marty Cooper
Brass and strings arranged by Al Capps

Updated 4 July 2004

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Copyright © 2001-04 by Charles G. Hill
Cover art © 1968-69 by London Records, Inc.
Thanks to Robrt Pela.