Roberta Flack - First Take (1969 )

Release Date: June 20, 1969
Original recording remastered
Here is one of those albums so pure in its artistry that it stands as one of the finest examples of what "less is more" truly means. But it wasn't until I saw Roberta in person that I understood the power of her connection with an audience. And visa versa. It was 1972, still early in her trajectory, and she had sold out what was one of her biggest concerts to date at the H.I.C arena in Honolulu. At the last minute, she fell ill and everyone had the option of getting their money back or keeping their ticket till she rescheduled several months later. No one was surprised that everyone held on to their ticket, but no one was prepared for what happened when she finally appeared.
So enraptured was the audience that the second her foot hit the stage she received a standing ovation that simply would not stop. Not when she finally gave up bowing and sat down at her piano, and not when she finally buried her face in her hands and simply wept. It was the most profoundly moving concert moment I have ever seen - and she hadn't even sung a note! Such was, and is, the power of Roberta Flack and "First Take." Everything that has been written here is accurate; but, strangely, no one mentioned the one track that, for my money, is the most powerful, "Ballad of the Sad Young Men," which has only become more poignant with the added tragedy of AIDS. If ever there was an album that defines musical excellence, it would have to be the one that got its name when it was recorded on its "First Take." But when you do it right the first time, one take is all you need, isn't it?

1. Compared to What
2. Angelitos Negros
3. Our Ages or Our Hearts
4. I Told Jesus
5. Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye
6. First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
7. Tryin' Times
8. Ballad of the Sad Young Men

1 comment:

LeCh said...

Amazing, thanks.