The New Jersey vocalist’s girl-pop masterpiece of 1967, with 15 extra tracks from her Mercury catalogue.
Lesley Gore ruled – no doubt, no dispute. She may have embarked on her career as a potential pop princess in early 1963, but in less than a year, with four consecutive smash hits, she had transformed into the Queen. In the field of US girl-pop she had outrun, outsold and outclassed her rivals. Above all, what Gore achieved was staying power chart-wise, something only she managed. ‘California Nights’, sitting pretty in the Top 10 of Billboard’s singles chart in spring 1967, was proof of that.
The “California Nights” album is regarded as Gore’s masterpiece. The record comprised seven tracks recorded in New York with producer Bob Crewe and three titles cut with arranger Jack Nitzsche in Los Angeles. Our reissue includes an additional dozen highlights from Gore’s 1965 LPs “My Town, My Guy And Me” and “All About Love”, plus three mid-60s titles that first surfaced from Mercury Records’ vaults in the 1990s.
Interviewed by Sheila Burgel in 2014, Gore had this to say about Crewe: “He was just a bloody genius. I think of him with such fondness. He was one of the most brilliant people I have ever known. Working with him was one of the more thrilling experiences of my life.” Sadly, during the preparation of this release, Bob Crewe died at the age of 83 following a lengthy period of poor health. Then, just a few months later on 15 February 2015, we heard that Lesley Gore had died. Only 68 years old and a non-smoker, she had been felled by lung cancer. Let this expanded reissue of her great “California Nights” album be our tribute to them both.
Malcolm Baumgart and Mick Patrick