Linda Lewis is a very underrated singer and this is a very underrated debut album.
She has a 5 octave range, but does not appear to need use it entirely on this record. She instead opts to stay within her normal to high range throughout and it is perfectly fine for the songs included here. Linda Lewis was able to integrate a host of different musical elements into her recordings. Say No More was Linda’s first solo album from Reprise, produced by Ian Samwell. Later albums would show just how high and deep she could indeed sing! This is a very laid back, relaxing album which is a joy to curl up on the sofa to…with a nice hot chocolate.
Balanced between the love songs that lined Lewis up alongside a host of other early-decade singer/songwriters, and the more personal observations of people and places that would quickly see her step to the front of the line, Say No More’s greatest strength is its refusal to allow its naiveté to hinder Lewis’ performance. “Hampstead Way” and “Peter’s Garden” are both lovely ruminations, while “Funky Kitchen” overcomes the disadvantages of a frankly dreadful title (and chorus) to illustrate her refusal to be tied to one sound. It would be another year or so before Lark, her second album, truly led Lewis out of the shadows. But the best of Say No More at least sent her on her way.
A1 For Mama 0:45
A2 Come Along People 3:06
A3 The Same Song 3:51
A4 Hampstead Way 3:42
A5 Peter’s Garden 2:50
A6 We Can Win 2:49
B1 Funky Kitchen 1:03
B2 Follow the Piper 2:38
B3 Donkey’s Years 2:50
B4 I Dunno 2:31
B5 Magic in the Music 2:46
B6 Hymn 2:51
By Leonard James
I can’t believe no one has reviewed this album yet, but then, it is a pretty old one. I am so glad that this one has finally been released on CD since my vinyl copy has not weathered some forty-odd years well. I hope this review brings some new fans to Linda’s music. There is one word to describe it:”Sweet.”
Way back when, Linda had been with a band called Ferris Wheel. She had done a solo piece called, ” A Song For Alice,’ in which she sings as the heroine of Wonderland, chasing after the rabbit. This first album on her own, she picks up that whimsical spirit and sings many songs of imaginary lives, sometimes giving inanimate objects life, e.g. “Tambourine, around the fires I have seen you, dancing with a gypsy queen, jungle tambourine.” That is from the piece, “Follow The Piper“, in which she exhorts various instruments to leave behind complicated compositions,join in a simple melody and follow the piper. Her high voice is so well-suited to these wonderful, magical songs that I have never been able to let go of them and, despite accumulating thousands of albums, thisone has become dear to my heart.
She writes and sings a beautiful hymn to the wonders of nature God has granted humanity. Not that his is a religious album, by any means, but there is a running feeling of magic and gratitude for imagination and places as well as people in her past. Do not miss the beautiful, “We Can Win“. From the start with a song of gratefulness to her mother for being her, “first home,first love and first food”. To the ending with the hymn, this album is simple magic. Again, I hope this review gets new fans and gets old ones who have never heard this album that preceeded the more readily popular, “Lark.”
Don’t miss her masterpiece “Lark” in our back pages here