Jonathan and Darlenes Greatest Hits Vol 1
Jonathan and Darlene Edwards
(Corinthian – 1994)
by Matthew Robinson
Somewhere between Tiny Tim and Marty and Elayne lies the cult cabaret faves Jonathan and Darlene Edwards. For the uninitited, this album of “hits” may represent nothing more than a misdirected melange of melodic misses. For those who are in on the joke that was created in 1957 by the highly accomplished husband and wife team of Jo Stafford and Paul Weston, this is a riotous and even somewhat harmonious selection from the dynamic duo’s five albums.
Though home studios may allow nearly anyone to put sound to vinyl (er- plastic) today, when the songs that make up this collection first came out, you had to be really good to be this bad and get away with it. Taking sheet music as suggestion and tempo as a limitation to be overcome, Jonathan and Darlene rip (and I do mean “rip”) through standards like “I Love Paris” and more contemporary choices such as “I Am Woman,” giving their own special flavor and lack of taste to each and every unfortunate note.
Jo (er- Darlene’s) vocal massacre of Duke Ellington’s “Take the A’ Train” may send a locomotive down a dirt road and the duo’s dip into the “Now” (or is it “Then”?) with the Bee Gee’s “Stayin’ Alive” maybe better off dead, However, if you can drown out the missed notes (read “the entire album”) with a sympathetic laugh (which is, in fact, the true intent of the album), it is quite enjoyable. These songs may not be the greatest, but they are in fact actual “hits,” at least compared to other possible selections.
© 2001, M. S. Robinson, ARR