Dee Dee Warwick ‘I want to be with you’ (BBR) 5/5

Dee Dee WarwickBeing the sister of Dionne Warwick when you are also a singer is no easy task, but in the case of Dee Dee Warwick, the lesser known sister has a whole lot of talent and this superlative album shows why. Originally on the Mercury label in 1965, the album featured classy big arrangements with punchy brass, soaring strings and classic songs that immediately makes one think of the Cadet recordings that Marlena Shaw made in the late 1960s and there is a definite Chicago feel to the music with hints of the then emerging Motown beat as well. An irresistibly catchy ‘Do it with all your heart’ sets the pace and Dee dee’s vocals are simply gorgeous. This deserves to be a soul anthem as does the heart-wrenching ballad ‘Another lonely Saturday (Baby I’m yours)’ with a vocal performance that is not overstated and enveloping strings. If ‘I’m gonna make you love me’ sounds familiar, then this is actually the original, though the far better known version was recorded firstly by Madeline Bell with background vocals by Dusty Springfield and then a second cover which was an even bigger hit by the Supremes co-produced incidentally by Nick Ashford who sang on the original version. Several bonus cuts from the B-sides of the 7″ released at the time are well up to standard and the gospel-infused ‘Lover’s chant’ is possibly the pick of the bunch and is taken as a fast waltz. Soul expert David Nathan does a terrific job of providing informative notes on Dee Dee’s career. A later album recorded for Atco in 1970 is richly deserving of a re-issue at some point. Tim Stenhouse