Label: Music On Vinyl MOVLP 1645
In 1977, Soul singer Marlena Shaw released Sweet Beginnings that contained, arguably, Shaw’s finest moment: “Yu Ma” and “Go Away Little Boy”, a medley containing the old Goffin and Carole King standard, originally recorded by Nancy Wilson. The album also contains the track “Look At Me, Look At You”, popular on the U.K. rare groove scene.
“The album’s biggest hit was Shaw’s tasteful jazz take on Gerry Goffin and Carole King’s ‘Go Away Little Boy.’ Although her strength is well known, on that track, Shaw’s sweetness keeps the assertiveness from being tedious. On the song after giving ultimatums, she finally says, ‘Do you think you can get a job by Thursday?’…Perhaps the best part of Sweet Beginnings is how Shaw’s charisma takes over and the lyrics were almost secondary. Both ‘Look at Me, Look at You’ and ‘Johnny’ have Shaw taking on a lighter touch, as each line she sings is emotive and affecting. The album’s last track, the brassy, big-band styled ‘ Think I’ll Tell Him’ written by Thom Bell and Linda Creed has Shaw almost thrilled to tell her husband that she had been cheating as she sings, ‘I couldn’t help myself sweet baby.’ Sweet Beginnings benefits from a sympathetic production job from Bert DeCoteaux and is one of Shaw’s most enduring efforts.” – Jason Elias, allmusic.com