ARTIST: Helen Reddy
TITLE: Helen Reddy’s Greatest Hits
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: #5 US, #5 UK
SINGLES: The ones you know: I Am Woman (#1), Delta Dawn (#1), Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress) (#3), You and Me Against the World (#9), Angie Baby (#1), Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady (#8), I Don’t Know How to Love Him (#13)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: See above. If you know more, seek help.
LINEUP: Helen Reddy and session players.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Record company senses that the hits will dry up and issues a greatest hits album to maximize sales.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Helen Reddy was all over the AM radio dial from 1972-75. She also had a summer replacement series on NBC, was on countless other variety TV shows, and was host (no laughing please) of the Midnight Special for three years.
And then the long, and in this case, fairly quick, decline. By 1978, she had nothing else in the Top 40. So this collection was well timed by Capitol. Strike while the iron is hot. Since I cannot imagine listening to Helen Reddy deep cuts, I decided to go with this.
I’d like to say “I Am Woman” is a great song for feminists, but its cheery production tempers its effectiveness. To me, it reminds me of a Virginia Slims commercial. A couple other hits I remember fondly, but a lot of this stuff is grade “A” schlock nicely sung. Schlock nicely sung is still schlock.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: She got to record in the US because her manager (and husband) bugged a Capitol exec to the point of exhaustion – so he gave her “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” to record..
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: The original LP version had 10 songs. This one has 15. Five more to exile I guess.
GRADE: C-: Give this to yer ma; she’d appreciate it. Because I’m that way, I’m keeping five for nostalgia. I know it’s all schlock though.