Nicolette Larson – All Dressed Up & No Place To Go (1982)

Nicolette Larson (July 17, 1952 – December 16, 1997) was an American pop singer. She is perhaps best known for her work in the late 1970s with Neil Young and her 1978 hit single of Young’s “Lotta Love“.

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Nicolette Larson‘s final album for Warner Bros., All Dressed Up & No Place to Go, got her a fair amount of airplay and TV exposure, thanks to her hit version of “I Only Want to Be With You” — a fairly daring move, considering that the Bay City Rollers had also charted with it as a single not too many years before. Larson‘s version is sparked by some pleasing guitar ornamentation by Andrew Gold and some achingly beautiful backing vocal flourishes on the fade, and only the ’80s drumming sound dates it today. She attempted to make the jump from country singer to pop diva here, especially on “Just Say I Love You” and “I’ll Fly Away (Without You),” and somehow it didn’t take. The album isn’t as strong as it might’ve been, and part of the problem involves the production, which mixes ’80s-style electric drumming with country-pop sounds. Another, albeit minor weakness, involves Larson‘s own songwriting on “I Want You So Bad,” which comes off as filler next to numbers like Lowell George‘s “Two Trains” — a true highlight of this record.

If “All Dressed Up and No Place to Go” suffers from anything, it’s a kind of dated sound, instrumentation and backing vocals that sound too much alike from track to track [Templeman as producer can be faulted for deviating too much from Nicolette’s first effort, but he cannot be faulted for his better, fuller, lusher instrumentations that accompanied Nicolette on her three earlier LPs]. But make no mistake: Nicolette returned to fine form with this LP, and some of her finest work is here. Andrew Gold finally gave Nicolette fans what they had been waiting for, and didn’t get with the second and third LPs: a few different musical genres and strong song selections for Nicolette’s gorgeous vocals, including even some reggae-flavored pop here [Leon Russell’s “Say You Will”]. Rock [“Two Trains”], pop [“I’ll Fly Away”], country-fused jazz [the takes-a-couple-of-listens-to-really-like “Love, Sweet, Love”], blue-eyed soul [the remake of “Nathan Jones”] are all given great representation here, and the LP overall is excellent, classy, demanding repeated plays. As was usual for Nicolette’s Warner LPs, the album closes with a ballad, one of Nicolette’s most haunting recordings, “Still You Linger On.” Weak tracks on the LP, which are responsible for making this LP second only to “Nicolette” in my book [which had no weak tracks] are the rocking “I Want You So Bad” and bubble-gummish “Talk to Me,” but on the latter track, anyway, Nicolette’s vocals are stunning.

Tracklist

1.  I’ll Fly Away (Without You)   (Jackson Browne, Craig Doerge & Rosemary Butler)  – 4:02
2.  I Only Want To Be With You   (Mike Hawker & Ivor Raymonde)  – 3:18
3.  Just Say I Love You   (Andrew Kastner & Jim Lang)  – 4:04
4.  Nathan Jones   (Leonard Caston & Kathy Wakefield)  – 3:07
5.  I Want You So Bad   (Nicolette Larson & Andrew Gold)  – 3:33
6.  Two Trains   (Lowell George)  – 4:14
7.  Love, Sweet, Love   (Paul Barrere)  – 3:53
8.  Say You Will   (Leon Russell & Gary Ogan)  – 3:32
9.  Talk To Me   (Patrick Henderson & Allee Willis)  – 3:14
10.  Still You Linger On   (Andrew Gold) –  2:54

Companies, etc.

Credits

Vocals – Nicolette Larson
Backing Vocals – Valerie Carter, Linda Ronstadt, Wendy Waldman, Julia Tillman, Maxine Willard, Nicolette Larson, Maureen McDonald
Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Percussion, Soloist [Solo], Mandolin, Synthesizer, Backing Vocals – Andrew Gold
Bass – Scott Chambers, Bob Glaub
Congas, Timbales, Tambourine – Arno Lucas
Drums – Rick Shlosser, Michael Botts
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Fred Tackett
Organ, Electric Piano, Keyboards – Mark Jordan
Congas – Bobby LaKind
Saxophone – Jim Horn
Electric Guitar – John McFee
Synthesizer, Piano – Billy Payne
Trumpet – Lee Thornberg
Electric Guitar – Richard Feldman
Electric Piano – Patrick Henderson

Production

  • Artwork By [Design] – Jimmy Wachtel
  • EngineerJim Isaacson
  • Engineer [Second]Steve McManus
  • Executive Producer – Ted Templeman
  • Mastered ByBobby Hata
  • Other [Management, Direction] – Derek Sutton
  • Other [Production Coordinator] – Jodie Lunine
  • Photography – Randee St. Nicholas
  • ProducerAndrew Gold

Notes

Recorded at:  Sunset Sound, L.A. October 1981 – January 1982.
Mastered at:  Warner Bros. Recording Studios, North Hollywood.
Genre:  Pop, Folk, World, & Country
Style:  Country Rock
Length:  35:56

Label – Warner Bros. Records

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