Monday, April 9, 2018


One of the saddest, and oddest stories in music has to be the superstardom of Cassidy, who first came to fame 20 years ago with this landmark album. Sad because she was recently deceased, discovered only when she was succumbing to cancer. Cassidy was just another singer doing what she loved, singing jazz and blues in clubs in Washington, D.C., recording when she pieced together enough cash and offers. She had some local respect, but nobody outside her hometown had paid any attention.

After her death in 1996, people started people her music a bit more, and eventually tracks got to England, where BBC Radio got tremendous response playing her material. A compilation of sessions called Songbird was released, featuring her versions of classics and covers such as Over The Rainbow, Sting's Fields of Gold, and the Fleetwood Mac favourite as the title track. One of the few stars who had heard of her before was Mick Fleetwood, when she had played his Washington-area restaurant. He wrote a piece in a British magazine about her wonderful voice and collection, which was selling hundreds of thousands of copies in the U.K., making the Top 10. Eventually word spread to North America, and it became a massive seller for the recent Amazon chain, as well as a PBS favourite and coffee shop standard, marking a new kind of retail hit. It eventually sold a staggering five million copies,
The success of the album led to a great demand for more, and live tapes, demo sessions, collaborations and more were mined for subsequent albums, both family-approved (all good) or not (not much Eva involvement). Since everything has been repackaged already, there wasn't much to left to supplement this anniversary edition. What the label has done is taken acoustic versions of versions of four of the favourite tracks here that have already been out on the Simply Eva set, and appended them here. My guess is only the bigger fans will have that other album, so if you're knew to Cassidy or looking for another copy of this classic, it's worthwhile.

How good was she? Songbird will make you forget it was ever a Christine McVie song. Oh, Had I A Golden Thread will turn you religious, and Over The Rainbow will reduce you to tears. The acoustics versions are, if anything, better.

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