March 6, 2014

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 50: Cher ~ Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves



 I have hundreds of reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes in addition to my 20,000 Vinyl LP collection I'm selling (see link below). Interested? Contact me by email please, not by a comment.

reel-to-reel tape cover front
cover photo by Richard Avedon
photo of album cover by Styrous®

This is the original issue of this album which was titled, Cher; the later issue was renamed, Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves, due to the success of the single of the same name. Both issues were released in 1971, by Kapp Records.

Cher debuted on the Billboard 200 at number one hundred ninety-four in late September. During 1972 sales reached 500,000 copies in North America, and it was certified gold by the RIAA. The album became was one of her biggest hits at the time and the lead single was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Pop Female Vocalist".

reel-to-reel tape box back
photo by Styrous®

Cher was born Cherilyn Sarkisian on May 20, 1946. She met Sonny Bono in November, 1962. In late 1964, they emerged as a duo called Caesar & Cleo. Their songs were cover versions of hits by other artists.

Their version of Love Is Strange (written by Bo Diddley under the name of his wife at the time, Ethel Smith) is a bouncey, easy rock rendition; not nearly as sensual as the original by Mickey & Sylvia (Mickey Baker and Sylvia Vanderpool) which sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc.

I remember when Love Is Strange by Mickey & Sylvia came out. The spoken section of the song is unforgettable (lyrics below). Love was recorded on October 17 and released in late November of 1956; I had just entered high school and I was excited about embarking on a new adventure. It was an exciting time in my life for me. It is interesting, two of my life's highlights were entering high school and leaving it. The first, I couldn't wait to get in and the second, I couldn't wait to get out. Values do have a way of changing.

Caesar & Cleo later became prominent as the folk rock husband–wife duo, Sonny & Cher.

reel-to-reel tape box back detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Sonny & Cher popularized a smooth sound that successfully competed with the dominant British Invasion and Motown sounds of the era. From 1965, Cher established herself as a solo artist with successful singles such as Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down), Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves, Half-Breed, and Dark Lady, songs about subjects rarely acknowledged in American popular music at that time.

photo by Styrous®

Cher went on to an impressive Broadway and film career and is an acomplished actress. I will never forget her in her dramatic films, Silkwood (1983), Mask (1985) and Tea With Mussolini (1999); and her comedic talents shown brightly in the films, The Witches of Eastwick and Moonstruck, my favorite of all her films (both 1987). Link to her filmology below.

reel-to-reel tape detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Love Is Strange spoken section:

"Yes, Mickey."
"How do you call your Lover Boy?"
"Come here, Lover Boy!"
"And if he doesn't answer?"
"Oh, Lover Boy!"
"And if he still doesn't answer?"
"I simply say..."
(Sung VERY sensually) "Baby/ Oh baby/ My sweet baby/ You're the one."
(The sung part is repeated with Mickey singing the harmony.)
(This is followed by a repeat of the instrumental section before the song's fade.)

reel-to-reel tape label detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Track list:

Side one:    
1. "The Way of Love" ( Al Stillman, Jacques Dieva) - 2:30
2. "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves" (Bob Stone) - 2:35
3. "He'll Never Know" (Harry Lloyd, Gloria Sklerov) - 3:27
4.  "Fire and Rain" (James Taylor) - 2:59
5. "When You Find Out Where You're Goin' Let Me Know" (Linda Laurie) - 2:18

Side two:    

1. "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" (Bob Russell, Bobby Scott) - 3:30
2. "I Hate to Sleep Alone" (Peggy Clinger) - 2:28
3. "I'm in the Middle" (Billy Gale) - 2:45
4. "Touch and Go" (Jerry Fuller) - 2:01
5. "One Honest Man" (Ginger Greco) - 2:24


MCA Kapp Records - KST 3649-B


reel-to-reel listings on eBay

Styrous® ~ Wednesday, March 6, 2014

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