This Is a Girl's Life: Complete Wand Recordings 1964-1965

This Is a Girl's Life: Complete Wand Recordings 1964-1965

by Nella DoddsNella Dodds


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Both sides of all six singles Nella Dodds released on Wand in the mid-'60s are on this compilation, along with three outtakes from the same era. When you add in the thorough liner notes (with quotes from Dodds herself), it amounts to a definitive job on what's likely to be the only Nella Dodds album ever issued, as she didn't record again, though she was only in her teens at the time. Though all of this material was cut in Philadelphia, more often than not it's uncannily similar to the mid-'60s Motown sound, and particularly similar to Mary Wells and the Supremes. Such similarities aren't coincidental; Dodds covered some of the same Eddie Holland-Lamont Dozier-Brian Holland compositions Wells and the Supremes did, including "Come See About Me," which made it up to number 74 in the charts (though the Supremes' version was far more successful, going all the way to number one). While Dodds might have fit in well on the Motown roster, many of these tracks suffer the fate common to music of all sorts whose inspiration is blatantly obvious: it's not as good as hearing the best Motown records by Wells and the Supremes themselves. In hindsight, she should have been allowed to explore less derivative territory, as she did in what's by far the best cut here, the moody ballad "You Don't Love Me Anymore." That 1964 single -- sadly wasted on the B-side of "Come See About Me" -- sounds like a cross between Dionne Warwick and mid-'60s girl groups, and is one of three songs here written by a young Kenny Gamble. The CD is reasonably decent period pop-soul overall, but Motown just casts too much of a shadow over the songwriting and production to mark it as significant overlooked music. Note that while some sonically imperfect distortion seems evident on this disc, it's not the fault of Ace's customarily conscientious mastering, but the original sources, almost all of which (according to a note in the booklet) have "considerable (and sometimes noticeable) distortion on Nella Dodds' vocal microphone."

Product Details

Release Date: 09/18/2007
Label: Kent Records Uk
UPC: 0029667228220
catalogNumber: 282
Rank: 96141

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