Monday, 25 June 2012

Mono Monday: Try To Understand By Lulu

Lulu - 1960s style
I've always loved Lulu's Try To Undertand.I say always because as far as my mind stretches back to the early 1970s it seemed to be a record that regularly got played by my parents.

Later inspection showed they had the track on two Lulu albums and an original 1965 45RPM single. However it isn't necessarily Lulu's best remembered hit. Lulu was born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie in 1949 and broke the British charts in 1964 with her cover version of The Isley Brother's Shout! on the Decca label.

Over the next three years she continued to record with Decca releasing a bevvy of popular hits including Can't Hear You No More, Leave A Little Love and Here Comes The Night.

Try To Understand - Decca Records
Several of these hits were arranged by Mike Leander who started his career with Decca Records and working on some memorable recordings by Marianne Faithful and Billy Fury before arranging numbers by Cliff Richard in the late 60s and perhaps most famously She's Leaving Home by The Beatles on Sgt Pepper.

Try To Understand has everything I love about a perfect 60s record, pop piano, an instrumental break, girly backing vocals and a soulful delivery from Lulu herself. Lulu belts out a reassuring vocal to a loved one who is obviously feeling a little threatened in the relationship as a "harmless flirtation" comes on the scene. The piano introduction still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end 40-odd years from originally hearing it and I have to say I love this far more than Shout! as good as that is!

Lulu of course went on to record for EMI in the late 60s scoring even greater hits with producer Mickie Most including The Boat That I Row, Lets Pretend and To Sir With Love, but for me Try To Understand represents the Scottish songstress at her very best!

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