British pop-jazz-blues crooner Elkie Brooks (born Elaine Bookbinder) dominated U.K. radio in the late'70s with a series of hit singles that established her as "the biggest-selling female album artist in the history of the British pop charts." The Manchester native, who grew up in an extremely musical family, left school at the age of 15 to join a dance band in London…
This double CD is the most comprehensive collection of Elkie's music yet released. The first CD is similar to previous compilations, focusing on hits and covers of other songs. The second CD showcases Elkie's blues roots. It also includes covers, but of bluesy songs such as Hello Stranger (Barbara Lewis), The Way You Do The Things You Do (Temptations), Rescue Me (Fontella Bass), He's A Rebel (Crystals) and Do Right Woman Do Right Man.
Trouble in Mind, is a brilliant collaboration with Elkies original mentor, big-band performer and internationally celebrated Jazz legend Humphrey Lyttelton. This album demonstrates their mutual desire to pay tribute and respect to particular artists and songs that they have been inspired by over the years.
Vinegar Joe's second album was workmanlike, early-'70s mainstream British rock, though with more of a soul and rock & roll influence than the usual such band of the era, due to the one-two punch of lead vocalists Robert Palmer and Elkie Brooks. It's fair but not astounding stuff, Palmer and Brooks both singing together and taking individual leads of their own. The original material tends toward the commonplace good-time rock & roll vibe, though it gets a bit more interesting on Palmer's two original compositions, "Falling" (which clearly points toward the reggae-funk of his early solo career) and "Forgive Us" (which is a decent facsimile of rootsy southern Californian country-folk-rock).