Sunday, July 15, 2007

It's a Happening World: Some of Sammy Davis Jr.'s 'Sammy Steps Out' LP, circa 1970

Though it seemed like he was always busy, always working, Sammy Davis, Jr. experienced many ups and downs over the course of his long career.

These songs are from a period when his popularity had dipped slightly - -

- - Slightly out of step with the sound of youth culture, past the hey-day of The Rat Pack and his Broadway appearances, and before 'Candy Man' and 'Mr. Bojangles' would put him back on top in the seventies.

It looks as though this 1970 LP might have been something of a 'leftovers' album, with some tracks perhaps culled from various sessions that weren't used on previous releases, while a couple of others were re-cycled from his previous Reprise album, 'The Goin's Great'.

Not sure, but with a bit of 'schizophonia' to the overall sound, and several different arrangers on the different cuts, the signs are there.

It's fairly standard procedure when an artist leaves a record label, as Sammy did that same year, releasing an all-new record on the Motown label after departing Reprise.

Much of 'Sammy Steps Out' seems a sadly concerted effort to appear contemporary, to be 'with it and hip' to the groovy sounds that the kids were digging.

Regardless of whether it's despite or because of that vibe, I'm particularly fond of many of the tracks on this album.

From Sammy Davis, Jr.'s 'Sammy Steps Out' LP (Reprise Records, 1970), Listen to:

She Is Today
Please Don't Go
I Have But One Life To Live
Break My Mind
It's a Happening World
Bein' Natural Bein' Me

(click for audio)

- - OR download all 7 tracks in one 18.8 Mb zipfile.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are right, quite good tracks!
Thanx for them!

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