Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie, aka Lulu, has been a fixture in British pop music for nearly 60 years now. From her beginnings as something of a Soul shouter with her band the Luvvers, through her record companies attempts to turn her into a supper club singer, dalliances with Bowie and a Bee Gee and on to the (best forgotten) Take That years one thing is undeniable, the girl has one helluva set o’ pipes on her, she can sing.
This, her second album, was released in 1967 and in some countries was titled “Lulu Sings To Sir With Love” to cash in on her appearance in the film “To Sir With Love” alongside Sidney Poitier, a film for which she also sang the theme tune. Now, as great as that theme tune is and the fact this album also contains what I regard as one of the great pop singles of the 1960’s, “The Boat That I Row”, neither of those are the reason I own this album. The reason I own “Love Loves To Love Lulu” is for a song that otherwise appeared as the B-side of the US single of “To Sir With Love”, that being Lulu’s version of “Morning Dew”.
We will talk about “Morning Dew” again in the course of this task I have set myself. It was written by Canadian folk singer Bonnie Dobson around 1962 and via covers by Tim Rose (who rather cheekily asked Dobson if he could re-write some of the lyrics, changed something like 3 words that someone else had written (!) and has received a writing credit on it ever since !) and the Grateful Dead the song has entered into the cannon of songs that keep being covered and covered by almost everyone (I own versions by Lulu, Tim Rose, Episode Six, The Move, Procol Harum and Jeff Beck).
Of all the different versions I own this one by Lulu is definitely my favourite (run a close second by Episode Six). The song is a conversation between the last man and woman left on Earth after a nuclear holocaust (cheery huh ?). It starts out quietly with an acoustic guitar and what sounds like a xylophone accompanying a subdued Lulu for a couple of verses before the drums and horns kick in and Lulu let’s rip and it turns into quite the groovy dance tune. One day I’ll find a 7” of it that doesn’t have to be imported from the US with the attendant extortionate shipping costs, until then this album will keep me happy.
Morning Dew - https://youtu.be/OA-uoXKSlsc?si=Ow0yH6DyqY40yORI