Whatever Julie Wants - 1961

 
 

Julie London was equally famous for her cool vocal style and her rather cold beauty. She normally specialized in torch songs, singing bleak songs of lost love, but on Whatever Julie Wants, London plays the part of a vampish sexpot who treats love as a commodity to trade with wealthy men. Sure, it's a sexist album that's more famous for its cheesecake sleeve photo of London naked under fur, diamonds, money, and a strategically placed champagne bottle, but it is a fun album and one that can be enjoyed for its individual songs or its narrative thrust. While most concept albums featuring popular standards don't really follow a strict story line, Whatever Julie Wants does. It begins with the protagonist uttering an innocent lover's plea before mistreatment turns her into a jaded gold digger ("Daddy" and a host of other tracks), then a prostitute ("Love for Sale"), and a step up to kept woman ("Always True to You in My Fashion"). Just as things are looking bad, London finally realizes that you can live without a man and his money with "There'll Be Some Changes Made," because the onetime temptress is just too darn "Tired." This may not be Julie London's finest musical hour, but the album is undeniably entertaining and it offers a Technicolor sex comedy break from her usual world of shadowy film noir. ~ Nick Dedina


Track Listing:


1. Why Don't You Do Right?

2. My Heart Belongs to Daddy

3. Hard Hearted Hannah

4. Do It Again

5. Take Back Your Mink

6. Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend

7. Daddy

8. An Occasional Man

9. Love for Sale

10. Always True to You in My Fashion

11. There'll Be Some Changes Made

12. Tired

 

Album Review -

Why Don't You Do Right

My Heart Belongs To Daddy

Hard Hearted Hannah

Do It Again

Take Back Your Mink

Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend

Daddy

An Occasional Man

Love For Sale

Always True to You in My Fashion

There'll Be Some Changes Made

Tired

Whatever Julie Wants

Liner Notes - ©The Decca Record Company Limited, 1962

London Records, London, England

Lots of people - Julie London included - are photogenic. But Julie is also AUDIOgenic - her vivid vocal personality comes through with such power on record that we can almost SEE her warm, emotional voice seeping out of our speakers and twining itself seductively about our ears. Julie pours her soul into every performance she gives, she sinks herself deep into the story of each song, she wraps her whole heart around her lyrics and we can believe in her work just as sincerely as Julie Does herself.

Lots of people  - Julie London included - know how to sing songs. But Julie also knows how to LIVE them - she infuses an urgency and a magnetism so often missing when artists of inferior caliber tackle the same material. Whether she is breathing her lyrics into the microphone in a passionate whisper or attacking them with full-blooded, full-volume vigour, she can melt down the most icy critic and persuade the most determined stoic from his indifference.

There seems to be nothing whatever that Julie wants when we come to weigh up her capabilities and make an appraisal of her successes. Her artistic ingenuity has never been showcased more brilliantly than by the recordings collected in this present album. Julie never oversells her songs - she never underplays them either. Here, in complete harmony with the generously scored orchestral background, Julie London roams through a worthy batch of timeless standards offering the type of programme which will stand up to endless repeat plays. What more can we ask of an artiste than she delivers her songs so engagingly as Julie London!


Producer: Felix Slatkin

Cover Design: Pete/Francis & Associates

Photography: Garrett-Howard, Inc.

Diamonds Designed by Marvin Hime, Beverly Hills

Champagne by the Popular Wine Growers of California

Furs by Harry Rosoft, Los Angeles

Recorded by LIBERTY, Hollywood

Webmaster’s Note: When the above album cover photo was taken, there were reportedly two armed security guards on hand to keep an eye on the jewels, furs, cash and stock certificates used as props for the picture. As the story goes, they were valued at $750,000 in 1961 dollars. That was a fortune at the time and is considered a princely sum even today. As we all know, the priceless treasure in the photo is, without question, Julie London.