Norma Tanega Walkin' My Cat Named Dog
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sku: COL 6317
- by Gene Clark ~ Here Tonight: The White Light Demos ~ $15.28
- Tracks 2, 3, 6, and 10 written by Norma Tanega. Tracks 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12 written by Norma Tanega/Norma Kutzer. Arranged, produced and conducted by Herb Bernstein for Bob Crewe Productions. Recorded at Stea-Phillips Studios, Engineer: Gordon Clark.
- Released: March 14, 2006
- Originally Released: 1999
- Label: Collectables Records
Description by OLDIES.com:
Norma Tanega had a Top 20 hit in 1966 with her jaunty folk song, "Walkin' My Cat Named Dog". Tanega studied classical piano for fifteen years and was a self-taught guitar player. Art was also an important part of her life and she has artfully blended both worlds throughout her career. This disc includes her big hit single (which went to #1 in England) plus the rest of her long-unavailable debut album.
- 1.You're Dead
- 2.Treat Me Right
- 5.Don't Touch
- 6.Walkin' My Cat Named Dog
- 7.A Street That Rhymes At 6 Am
- 8.I'm Dreamin' A Dream
- 9.What Are We Craving
- 10.No Stranger Am I
- 11.Hey Girl
- 12.I'm The Sky
Includes notes by Mark Marymont.
Arranger: Herb Bernstein.
Tanega's rare debut album, reissued in 1998 on CD, isn't bad, though it's not a major effort, and seems like it could have benefited from more polish in the vocal department especially. "Walkin' My Cat Named Dog" is here, of course, and the only track virtually any listener would know. Many of the cuts have a peculiar, if only in retrospect, blend of folky guitar and harmonica with full New York pop-rock-soul arrangements. Tanega's talents are moderate but appealing: decent melodies, even-tempered and slightly quirky folk-rock lyrics, and a low vocal range that's a bit out of the ordinary. Her vocals are erratic enough, however, to wonder if the album was recorded hastily, or at least if she had some serious trouble staying on pitch, particularly on the high notes. Some of the cuts are on or above the level of "Walkin' My Cat Named Dog" musically, if lacking the attention-getting lyrical hook of that song's title. "You're Dead," for instance, is fairly gutsy, moody folk-pop, while "A Street That Rhymes at 6 AM" is probably the cut that would have been most likely to follow up "Walkin' My Cat Named Dog" with its rather AM-savvy tune. (In fact, it was the follow-up, but was not a hit.) At its worst, especially "What Are We Craving?" with its Napoleon XIV-like percussion, this album can be grating, and somehow Tanega and Norma Kutzer end up with the songwriting credit for "Hey Girl," the song that was popularized by Leadbelly as "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" The liner notes mention a non-LP single Tanega did for New Voice, "Bread," and it's too bad that and any other non-LP New Voice cuts were not added to the CD edition. ~ Richie Unterberger
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