The tune I bring you today is part of one of those glacially slow realizations that come naturally when attempting to soak up as more music than your ears can handle.
I’ve know of Claudine Longet for a long time, but mainly as the co-star of ‘The Party’, as Andy Williams (ex) wife, and via her mid 70s scandal.
It was only much later on, when I started to take an interest in soft/sunshine pop stuff that I began to be intrigued by her music.
Longet was stunning, with the kind of breathy, heavily accented voice that seems engineered for light pop.
She recorded a string of albums for A&M in the 60s, then a few for Barnaby in the 70s (I featured tracks here a few years ago), managing to score a couple of minor pop hits along the way.
The tune I bring you today is a great example of the kind of interesting material that she was recording.
I knew ‘Think of Rain’ via the original version by Margo Guryan, which I first heard in the 2000 reissue of her ‘Take a Picture’ album.
Guryan is an especially interesting figure, both as a songwriter (‘Sunday Morning’) and performer.
Longet’s version of the song (which originally appeared on her 1967 ‘Look of Love’ LP, then issued here as the b-side to 1968’s ‘Love Is Blue’ 45) hews very closely to Guryan’s original arrangement, up to and including the fairground organ that opens the tune. If anything – and this is saying a lot – Longet’s cover is a little ‘heavier’ than the original.
Though I doubt anyone would classify her as a major stylist, Longet had excellent taste in material. On the ‘Love Is Blue’ LP she does songs by Sopwith Camel, Randy Newman, Harpers Bizarre and Paul Williams, all arranged to perfection by Nick DeCaro.
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll see you all next week.