Lulu, New Routes, Atco SD33-310, 1970
I really almost didn’t buy this record. Lulu is close to one hit wonder status in the US, and this record came out three years after the hit. The bottom seam is shot, and the record didn’t appear to be in great shape. But as a blog writer, I was looking for a great example of ring wear to highlight for my reader(s), and this record has some of the most perfect ring wear I’ve ever seen! So, yes fan(s), when you lay albums flat on their back instead of standing them up on their sides, the weight of the upper records presses their round shape into the covers of the lower records. Usually the artwork presents a perfect circle from forming, but here, even the slightly raised center label ring was pressed into this cover! I therefore present perfect ring wear for your enjoyment.
I didn’t expect much, but I LOVED THIS RECORD! I grabbed it in haste, so I missed the back’s liner notes telling me that not only was this the same Lulu who sang “To Sir With Love”-Duh!- but that it was recorded at the same Muscle Shoals record studio that turned out some of America’s best records of the late 1960-70s-Whoa! Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and Lynyrd Skynyrd all made their hits there using the same backing band as Lulu did. A guy named Dwayne Allman was the guitar player.
Arco is short for Atlantc Record Company, and the label was founded for records recorded for Atlantic that strayed from the R&B and Jazz that the parent company released. In the 1950s, the label you were on reflected the kind of act you were. Bobby Darin was Atco’s first major star, while Ray Charles released records on Atlantic. The back liner notes add that Lulu had just become Mrs. Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees, Atco’s leading act of 1969. Perhaps getting signed to the label was no coincidence.
The album contains songs that went on to become hits for others, namely Mr. Bojangles, and Feelin’ Alright, and there are two pretty cool Gibb Brothers originals included.
True to my suspicions, the record was in bad shape. But at $1, I’m not really upset financially, and I’ll begin a search for a nicer copy online or at a shop. This is a record I plan to really listen to. I look forward to putting it one and having people say they really like it but have no idea who it’s by.
It came with a nice period sleeve from Warner Brothers too. I had no idea they had Don Rickles and Van Dyke Parks signed to them at the same time! Still, this sleeve will probably end up one a later Perer, Paul & Mary record…
Cost $1, $974 Remaining