Album #337 – Born To Be With You
I have to be honest, my expectations for this album were very low. I know Dion as that late 50’s superstar. Along with his group the Belmonts, Dion had three huge hits: Runaround Sue, Teenager In Love and The Wanderer. He career then fizzled out and he eventually had a big comeback in the late 60’s with the song Abraham, Martin & John. In my opinion, it is one of his best performances. I was expecting this album to be very depressing and dark. This was according to all the stuff I read about it online. After Born to be With You was finished, Dion dismissed it saying the music was too melancholy. Phil Spector expected this album to be his comeback and Dion decided to tag along for the ride. The sessions were fueled by Spector’s erratic, alcohol driven behavior. Born To Be with You was actually completed in 1974 but, Spector waited a year to release it. After it was all said and done, Born To Be With You was never released in North America. It is only available on CD as an import. But, in the 1990’s something interesting with this album happened. The 1990’s seemed to be, according to this list, the decade of CD reissues that allowed music fans to discover lost gems. Among these was this album. Artists from Pete Townshend of the Who to the Flaming Lips all love this album and are heavily influenced by it. This surprised Dion immensely. I am among those who found this album fascinating. Spector’s production on this album is just as strong as it had been up to this point. Dion sings beautifully. On some tracks, there is a strong gospel feel similar to tracks on George Harrison’s album All Things Must Pass (also produced by Spector). One of my favourite songs on Born To Be With You is He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands. This song was an important part of my childhood. I remember singing it in church every week. Dion’s version is the BEST version I have ever heard. He changes the melody of the song and sings those simple lines with such passion and conviction. That alone makes this album special. I really enjoyed Born To Be With You and I will be on the hunt for it and the local record stores. Other highlights include: Born To Be With You, Your Own Backyard, Only You Know, New York City Song, In and Out of the Shadows and Good Lovin’ Man. Overall, I give Born to Be With You, 4.5 out of 5.
Next: The Hissing of Summer Lawns by Joni Mitchell