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Natalie Cole was riding the crest of a wave as a hitmaker by the time Capitol Records released NATALIE…LIVE! in 1978. The daughter of the legendary Nat King Cole had racked up four best-selling albums and scored four No. 1 R&Bhits in the U.S., two of which ( This Will Be and I’ve Got Love On My Mind) were also Top 5 pop hits in the U.S.
Recorded in two segments, one in August 1977 at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles, the other in March 1978 at the Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, NATALIE…LIVE! demonstrates Cole’s dynamic and powerful live presence. While she was not raised in gospel music, her marriage to producer and preacher Marvin Yancy had a direct influence on Cole s approach to music at the time. Tracks like her own I m Catching Hell and I ve Got Love On My Mind became stomp-down sanctified testimonies close in spirit to the recordings of Aretha Franklin, whom Cole identified as a major musical influence.
In addition to standouts from her own Capitol catalogue (including Mr. Melody, Inseparable, Sophisticated Lady and I Can t Say No ), Cole created her own distinctive versions of Doris Day’s Que Sera Sera, the Garnet Mimms/Janis Joplin classic Cry Baby and Etta James Something’s Got A Hold On Me. One of the highlight of this 2-CD set is Cole s rendition of The Beatles psychedelic Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, given an almost-eight minute soul-ified treatment by the singer
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