July 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Curio Corner

Compilation: Eartha Kitt:
I want to be evil; Mountain Valley, Valley Low; Just an old-fashoned girl; Long Gone (from Bowlin' Green); Jonny; The Heel; Dinner for one please, James; Beale Street Blues; Do you remember?; The Memphis Blues; Smoke gets in your eyes; Le Danseur de Charleston; Santa Baby; The Day that the circus left town  
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Eartha Kitt

Sex-kitten Eartha Kitt, draped seductively across a chaise-longue, clad in skin-tight cat suit, and dragging on an enormously long cigarette holder is an image cherished by picture-goers. Looking at her film career in Halliwell's Who's Who in the Movies, I was surprised to discover that it spanned 1956 through to 1998 for she is best remembered for her early films of the 1950s especially New Faces, Thursday's Child and St Louis Blues. Known also as a brilliant cabaret singer she was equally at home singing expressively in German and French and indeed the sultry Jonny is sung in the former while the swinging, strident 'Le Danseur de Charleston' is delivered in the latter language. She also purred and spat out her sardonic lyrics in Spanish and even Turkish.

But Eartha is best remembered for her bad-girl songs. Notable amongst these and included here:-

'I want to be evil': "I'm tired of being pure and not chased…I want to be evil see some dissipation in my face…whatever I've got I want to loose…"

'Just an old-fashioned girl': "…wanting an old fashioned millionaire…I want an old-fashioned car long enough to have a bowling alley in the back"

'Santa Baby': "Just slip a sable under the tree, just for me…so hurry down the chimney tonight. Come and trim my Christmas tree with trinkets bought at Tiffany "

Her vitriol boils over in 'The Heel' – "my eyes are jealous green…she'll find him out when it's too late…all she'll get will be the gate – the heel. I'll slip a powder in…why don't I just pack up and leave…" In Dinner for One (please James) she is more accepting of her fate for "…the master will not be dining at home tonight…love plays such funny games." In a more pure and innocent vein, she sings of her constancy in a chinoise 'Mountain High, Valley Low'. She jazzes it up dangerously, purring and quivering through 'Beale Street Blues'.

An album of 14 gems – a collection to savour and treasure.

Ian Lace


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