Label: Pure Pleasure / Capitol – PPAN T1131 – 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl 3
Pressed at Pallas Germany – Limited Edition
Mastered by Steve Hoffmann & Kevin Gray
If you’re bemused by the current obsession with ‘the American Songbook’ – even the BBC got in on the act with a week of specials devoted to it – this is an ideal time to hear one of the finest practitioners of the genre, before it became retro-cool. Ms Lee, arguably one of the half-dozen or so finest female popular music vocalists of the 20th Century, sexily slides through a dozen lesser-known gems, including her politically-incorrect composition which provides this LP with its utterly non-contemporary title. But stuff that: this is an album to play after you’ve run out of Mad Men DVDs, when you long for a time when men were men and women didn’t mind it. Sound Quality: 85% Ken Kessler Hifi News
Great songs and intimate moments are to be found with Peggy Lee in this extremely enjoyable album. Released in 1959, “I Like Men” is one of Peggy Lee’s most fun albums with hits from Gus Kahn, Eubie Blake and Cole Porter. Peggy Lee at her best!
Peggy Lee and arranger/conductor Jack Marshall’s concept for the album I Like Men! is embodied in the title and in the title song that the two wrote together. The songs, from the annals of Tin Pan Alley and Broadway, specify several particular men: “Charley, My Boy,” “Good for Nothing Joe,” “I’m Just Wild About Harry,” “Bill,” “Jim,” and “Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh!” But sometimes Lee objectifies the object of her affection as simply male: “When a Woman Loves a Man,” “My Man,” “It’s So Nice to Have a Man Around the House.” And sometimes she generalizes even further by simply paying tribute to romance: “I Love to Love,” “So in Love.”
The sentiments, if ever faithful, vary from friskiness to attachment and even outright slavery (“My Man,” popularized in the U.S. by Fanny Brice, may be the ultimate torch song, though somehow it remains light in Lee’s rendition). Sometimes, the man is not particularly accomplished (“Good-for-Nothin’ Joe”) or attractive (“Bill,” “Oh Johnny! Oh Johnny! Oh!”). It doesn’t seem to matter. Lee, as stated up-front, likes men.
Marshall seems to like musicians, and he employs a lot of them, giving each song a different setting and instrumentation, from lush strings to small jazz ensembles. Lee is her usual buoyant self throughout, and even if the concept is really just another excuse to put together an album of standards, it gives her fans the opportunity to hear her sing them.
“Based upon the diversity of music, quality of product and their extraordinary rate of progress, Pure Pleasure Records is our re-issue record company of the year.” – hi-fi+ Mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray. Great songs and intimate moments with Peggy Lee in this extremely enjoyable album. Recorded and released in 1959, I Like Men is one of Peggy Lee’s most fun albums. With hits from Gus Kahn, Eubie Blake and Cole Porter, Peggy Lee is at her best.