In September 2014, this blog featured the 10 disc Philadelphia International Records: The 40th Anniversary Box Set. My most pleasant "new" discovery during that journey was the fantastic voice of Jean Carn, with whom I was previously unfamiliar. Further reading would indicate that I'm not the only one that missed Carn 35+ years ago, unfortunately. Carn enjoyed moderate success on the dance & R&B charts, but inexplicably never cracked the pop top 40. In any case, the aforementioned box set quickly led to the purchase of two Jean Carn discs, neither of which disappoints.
This import two-fer CD includes Carn's final two albums from her contract with Philadelphia International. This 2005 reissue on the Edsel label sounds great, bringing Carn's strong, soulful voice to the fore and includes thorough liner notes (which I usually don't expect in a budget two-fer reissue). The 1979 album has the characteristic disco sound of the time with just a touch of Philly soul thrown in. Which means it's right up my alley. It was also jazzy enough to spend 9 weeks on the Billboard Jazz LP charts, peaking at #28. The 1981 album is indicative of PIR's transition from disco to a timely, more modern R&B sound, so I don't like it is a much as its predecessor, but Carn's voice still makes this music a notch above her contemporaries.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: When I Find You Love did not chart. Sweet And Wonderful #176
Peak on Billboard's Jazz LPs chart: When I Find You Love #28
Peak on Billboard's R&B albums chart: When I Find You Love #42, Sweet And Wonderful #38
Tracks: The first 8 tracks of this CD are the When I Find Love album. My favorites from that one are My Love Don't Come Easy, Lonely Girl In A Cold Cold World, and What's On Your Mind. My top track is the I-just-can't-help-but-dance closer, Was That All There Was, which is finished all too soon (do yourself a favor find a copy of the 6½ minute 12" version).
The final 8 tracks make up 1981's Sweet and Wonderful album. Top tracks are the beautifully arranged title track (a duet with Glenn Jones) and a choice cover of the Spinners' 7 minute slow jam, Love Don't Love Nobody. The remainder of the album is just okay - good, but not great; the generic material is simply too weak for a voice as good as Carn's.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None