Title - 'Girl In A Million: The Complete Recordings'
Artist - Twinkle
For those not in the know, Lynn Annette Ripley (15 July 1948 – 21 May 2015), better known by the stage name Twinkle, was an English singer-songwriter.
Indeed, she had chart successes in the 1960s with her best known songs such as 'Terry' and 'Golden Lights'.
Housed in a plush-looking Digipak, and being released this April 26th, 2019 via RPM / Cherry Red Records, Girl In A Million: The Complete Recordings contains all of Twinkle’s Decca sides (with two stereo mixes, belatedly issued in the 1970s, making their CD debut).
Likewise, this beautifully presented 2-CD set boasts everything which followed on subsequent labels, which is definitely what all her fans have wanted for the longest of times.
CD 1: The Sixties - The Decca Recordings / The Instant Recordings / Live Recording
2. 'The Boy of My Dreams'
3. 'Golden Lights'
4. 'Ain't Nobody Home But Me'
6. 'So Sad'
7. 'A Lonely Singing Doll'
8. 'Unhappy Boy'
9. 'Poor Old Johnny'
10. 'I Need Your Hand in Mine'
11. 'The End of the World'
12. 'Take Me to the Dance'
13. 'What Am I Doing Here with You'
14. 'Now I Have You'
15. 'Tommy (German Language Version)'
16. 'Terry (Stereo Version)'
17. 'The Boy of My Dreams (Stereo Version)'
19. 'Darby and Joan'
20. 'Soldier's Dream'
21. 'Micky (Long Version)'
22. 'Sha-La-La-La-Lee (Live)'
Twinkle shot to fame in 1964 with her self-penned “death disc” Terry, which reached #4 in the UK charts and catapulted the singer to instant fame. Of course, that's the very same cut that kicks this trip down memory lane off (I wonder if "Terry" met her at the gates?), and then that's backed by the bouncy pop of 'The Boy of My Dreams' and a track that was even covered by The Smiths, 'Golden Lights.'
One of my all-time favorite Twinkle tracks is also the B-side to 'Golden Lights,' the fun and vibrantly swingin' 'Ain't Nobody Home But Me' and that's backed by both a cover of the Reparata and the Delrons' 'Tommy' and the emotive 'So Sad.'
Next up is her English version of France Gall's 'Poupée de cire, poupée de son' entitled 'Lonely Singing Doll' and that's backed by 'Unhappy Boy,' the gentle hipsway of 'Poor Old Johnny,' 'I Need Your Hand In Mine' (which was also covered in French by Agnès Loti - 'Aujourd'hui c'est ta fête'), and both the Skeeter Davis cover 'The End Of The World' and the fun 'Take Me To The Dance.'
The Decca Recordings round out with another of my favorites, the Bev Harrell classic 'What Am I Doing Here With You' and that's followed by the mid-tempo 'Now I Have You', and then some wondrous bonus tracks in 'Tommy (German Language Version), 'Terry (Galaxy Mix)', and 'The Boy Of My Dreams (Galaxy Mix)'.
Added as a great bonus assortment are four cuts from her Instant Recordings, which include the vibrant and uplifting melodies of her one-off single from that period 'Micky,' the brilliant commentary on a common British expression 'Darby And Joan,' the harmonica-driven 'Soldier's Song,' and then 'Micky (Long Version).'
The first disc then ends with a brilliant (and previously unissued) live recording of the Small Faces' 'Sha La La La Lee' that aside from being a wee bit "fuzzy" at times, still sounds as warranted today in our society as it obviously was back then.
CD 2: The President Recordings / The Bradley's Recordings & Michael Hannah LP / Later Recordings
1. 'Take the Trouble'
2. 'Michael Hannah'
5. 'Radio Station Lady'
6. 'Zefferelli' (aka 'Little Piece of Heaven')
7. 'I Am A Woman'
8. 'Michael Hannah'
9. 'Bowden House'
14. 'Smoochie' (By Bill & Coo)
15. 'Always I Love You' (By Bill & Coo)
16. 'I'm a Believer'
17. 'For Sale'
18. 'Holiday Romance (Demo)'
19. 'Summer Holiday (Demo)'
20. 'Little Piece of Heaven (Demo)'
21. 'A Song for My Son (Demo)'
The second disc opens with 'Take The Trouble' and its original B-side 'Michael Hannah,' both previously unissued tracks by Twinkle. In 1971, she recorded the former as a single for President Records, whilst the latter was written about the love of her life (and was later re-recorded during her time at Bradley’s, but remained in the can until an archive release in 2003).
Her stunning, truly stunning vocal expression on the French-inspired 'Days' is a joy to behold and that's backed seamlessly by the glam rock stompers 'Caroline,' 'Radio Station Lady,' the earnest 'Zeffirelli,' and then both 'I Am A Woman' and her re-released version of 'Michael Hannah.'
The funky bounce of 'Bowden House' is another delight and then comes 'Joanna' which is backed by the near six minute long acoustic guitar and trumpet-enhanced jazz / pop piano beauty 'Ladyfriend.' Man, if this song doesn't lay bare the her vocals to the most luxurious extreme.
Produced by Mike d'Abo, the quietly subtle, and highly poignant 'Jane' is next and then 'Soldier,' with the Bill & Coo single 'Smoochie' and it's B-side 'Always I Love You' along thereafter.
The second disc then begins to come to a close with some later recordings in the form of the Neil Diamond-written but made famous by The Monkees' cover 'I'm A Believer' (although Twinkle's version here is way more pumped up than either of their versions!) and the yearningly raw love song 'For Sale.'
Rounding out the second disc we get a quartet of demos in the form of 'Holiday Romance,' a rousing 'Summer Holiday' (a Cliff Richard and The Shadows cover), and then both 'Little Piece Of Heaven' and a truly touching 'A Song For My Son.'
The package is fully endorsed by Twinkle’s family, including elder sister Dawn, who was a music journalist in the 1960s and helped secure a recording contract for her sibling.
Dawn has written a very personal account of Twinkle’s career, offering a fresh and unique insight into her life and her music.
Official CD Purchase Link