Quite famous this one. A lot has been made of the fact that its on vinyl, and particularly that its an all analogue recording on Studer 2 inch tape. To quote Shelby…
"My new album, "Just A Little Lovin'" was made on a 2-inch tape machine. I demanded it. I like working with engineers and producers who love and appreciate tape. I love the sound, smell, and feel of tape. That's why I enlisted legendary record producer, Phil Ramone, and the brilliant recording engineer, Al Schmitt. They didn't mind my insistence. They put up with my hardheadedness. Hardly anyone uses tape anymore because they claim it's so expensive and it's just easier to use a computer. Most engineers can operate any computer rig in studios these days. But if you ask them to run a Studer and put on a reel of tape, they run down the hallway screaming for Mommy. I'm sorry, but I can't get turned on looking at a computer screen. First of all, it's not more expensive. By the time digital users spend the time and money to buy the software needed to put that "tape sound" on their digital record, they have spent more time and money than I have. While their downloading "tape sound" software, I'm kicking back on the houseboat drinking beer with a fishing pole in my hand listening to Django."
So there you have it. Tape is marvellous and, well, actually it is. The sound off this LP IS warm, IS finely detailed and sounds well, beautiful. And full, and has excellent bass and treble and pretty much all you could ask for.
The album is itself a collection of songs made famous by Dusty Springfield, that wonderful songstress from the 60s with a husky voice to die for and a knack for putting every emotion into her songs. The songs are from a variety of writers but Dusty made them her own.
Shelby doesn't just try to replicate the Dusty originals for that would be futile but she puts her own spin on each one. This basically means stripping each song down to its barest elements, plucked guitar, brushed cymbals, solitary vocal and reducing the pace. She reduces the pace a LOT. We're in Norah Jones or Diana Krall territory here. Which is great if you're a fan. But I'm not. They're too slow, dare I say too boring for me. I'd have to be real tired or getting real romantic for this record to work. But as its on vinyl I'd have to get up every 20 minutes which, well defeats the point. I could of course buy it on CD, but then, well that defeats the whole Studer analogue 2 inch tape argument, doesn't it?
For the record, the songs are
1. Just A Little Lovin'
2. Anyone Who Had A Heart
3. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
4. I Only Want To Be With You
5. The Look Of Love
6. Breakfast In Bed
7. Willie And Laura Mae Jones
8. I Don't Want To Hear It Anymore
10. How Can I Be Sure
'Breakfast in Bed' jazzes things up a little in an electric fashion, while 'Willie and Laura Mae Jones' countrifies things a little.
I got the repressing which is meant to be an improvement on the problematic first pressing. I still notice a lot of noise and am getting some extra sibilance…well more than sibilance issues. So the original tape sounds like it was pretty good but the pressing could be way better. Pity. Packaging is minimal but then again this is a cheap record. Maybe they should have charged more and made it perfect.