Born Marie Lawrie in 1948, Lulu first shot to stardom with her band The Luvvers in the mid-’60s with the joyfully perky Shout and she has not looked back since, her career going from strength to strength.
Or so her record company would probably tell you. The truth is Lulu managed to hit a paltry Number 7 with an old Isley Brothers cover that everyone remembers for the first four wailed seconds, moved on to the nonsensical Eurovision inanity of Boom Bang-A-Bang and only finally managed to hit the elusive number 1 spot in 1993 by borrowing the huge fanbase from boyband of the moment Take That. She is now using her cholesterol to promote this, her latest album, via a series of TV adverts.
Okay, so perhaps this is an overly harsh assessment. Nobody spends over 40 years in showbiz without hard work or talent. But sit through A Little Soul In Your Heart and try to find something balanced, objective and, well, positive to say about the album or the people responsible for it. Elton John‘s last album Peachtree Road was a return to form in many respects, so how as Executive Producer he can allow this collection of tiresome covers to leave the studio is staggering. Simon Climie may have enjoyed an ’80s hit or two but as producer, he is just as guilty as Sir Elton – this is excruciatingly cack-handed musical homicide.
Imagine Put A Little Love In Your Heart without any heart or Try A Little Tenderness with Otis Redding‘s raw, heartfelt soul replaced with faux emotion and an empty squawk and you can begin to imagine just how horrific this album really is. Add to this similarly vapid covers of Baby I Need Your Loving and You’re No Good, or Your No Good as the cover mis-spells it (similar levels of attention to detail were obviously paid to both music and packaging), and you may be forgiven for thinking things can surely get no worse. But then the coup de grâce comes in the form of a cover of The Shoop Shoop Song. Now there is surely no need in the world for that. How could anyone stoop so low? Lulu does triumph in one respect, however – it somehow manages to be even worse than Cher‘s sugar-choked version.
When The Moody Blues‘ Go Now is carelessly crucified, you find yourself wishing the Scottish star will do just that, but, alas, we are ‘treated’ to a reggae touched version of The Hollies‘ Just One Look and a debatably termed ‘Bonus Track’ in the form of Gateway To Heaven.
This is music designed for those whose sense of excitement over music has long flown the nest and would ideally suit out-of-time clapping from a heavily tranquillised, Saturday night TV show studio audience. If you would like to have the word ‘bland’ redefined for you, then give this collection a listen. But if you have a little soul in your heart, or anywhere else in your body for that matter, please, please do not buy this flat, uninspired album.