Personally, I think Rupert Holmes first four albums are genius. His 1974 debut ‘Widescreen’, ‘Rupert Holmes’, 1978’s ‘Pursuit Of Happiness’ and ‘Singles’ are some of the best American pop albums released during this era and should be in every collection.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: Rupert Holmes
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Rupert Holmes – lead vocals, keyboards, piano * Elliot Randall, Jay Berliner, Jeff Mirinov, Bob Rose, Dean Bailin – guitars * Wilbur Bascomb, Russell George, Johnny Miller, Martin Balk – bass * Jimmy Young, Alan Schwartzberg – drums * Skip Reed – percussion, backing vocals * Lewis Del Gatto – sax * George Opalisky – flute * Gene Orloff – violin * Alan Rubin, Peter Gordon, Lew Michael Soloff, Barry Rogers – horns * Martha Stewart, Patti Austin, Vivian Cherry, Hilda Harris, Tasha Thomas – backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Who, What, Where Why * 02 Weekend Lover * 03 I Don’t Want To Get Over You * 04 You Make Me Real * 05 Aw Shucks * 06 The Last Of The Romantics * 07 For Beginners Only * 08 Touch And Go * 09 Annabella * 10 Singles
WEBLINKS: Site Link
For his third album, British born David Goldenstein (aka Rupert Holmes) was looking for a hit single and so was his label – hence the tongue-in-cheek title. Wishful thinking on both sides perhaps since Holmes from the get go was pushed in the same quirky league as Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson playing up thoughtful lyrics with dry humor and pop smarts.
Not exactly the subject matter usually found on ‘American Top 40’, but as Holmes proved a couple years later with ‘The Pina Colada Song’, it could be done. Unfortunately in 1976 outside those in the know, including Barbara Streisand and the critics, ‘Singles’ like the previous two Holmes albums were largely ignored by the record buying public. The front cover showing Holmes sitting on a bathtub puffing a heater as if he just did a ‘line’ on the sink couldn’t have helped.
Personally, I think Holmes first four albums are genius. His 1974 debut ‘Widescreen’, ‘Rupert Holmes’, 1978’s ‘Pursuit Of Happiness’ and ‘Singles’ are some of the best American pop albums released during this era and should be in every collection.
In fact ‘Singles’ really was full of potential hits kicking off with a little blue-eyed soul on ‘Who, What, Where, Why’ which would later be covered by Dionne Warwick and Manhattan Transfer. ‘Weekend Lover’ is a typical 70’s ballad, the sort we heard BJ Thomas and Mac Davis sing on the radio so many times back then, but there’s two tracks on the first side that really stand out for this reviewer.
‘I Don’t Want To Get Over You’ hints at Holmes ‘bubblegum’ past (The Cuff Links) and is knock me over with a feather catchy reminding a lot of David Cassidy while the last cut with the terrible title ‘Aw Shucks’ is as AOR as Holmes gets on this LP and will appeal to those into the Donnie Iris sound – really!
The second side has its share of gems including the 50’s styled do-wop of ‘For Beginners Only’ and the all-too short ‘Annabella’; again both revert back to Holmes background as a bubblegum writer and performer earlier in the decade.
Recently reissued by Japan’s Air Mail Recordings, ‘Singles’ is a great record from start to finish and worth paying the extra change for the CD version. While good, Holmes later albums following his first four really didn’t move me as much and he seems to have given up on the pop world, choosing to write novels and plays for the stage – successfully.
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