Michael Franks: The Lady Wants to Know
The Lady Wants to Know
Michael Franks (vocals)
Sleeping Gypsy (Warner Bros. 3004-2)
Michael Franks (vocals),
Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Joe Sample (piano), Wilton Felder (bass), Larry Carlton (guitar), John Guerin (drums), Ray Armando (percussion).
Composed by Michael Franks.
Recorded: Hollywood, Fall 1976
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
A year before Sleeping Gypsy, Michael Franks had a minor hit with "Popsicle Toes," a sickeningly sweet ditty that had many jazz fans running for the hills. Over the years, Franks has had a lot of those types of songs. But there was no denying that Franks was a fine composer who had a unique vocal style and an appreciation of the jazz world. His tunes were almost always accompanied by some of the finest jazz musicians of the day. Franks and fellow vocalist Kenny Rankin ended up as standard bearers of the jazz-tinged ballad. Many of their tunes would nowadays be considered Smooth Jazz. (Pardon me while I gag.) But, back then, they were quality performances that successfully fought through the dominant fusion fusillades to be heard.
"The Lady Wants to Know" is an engaging bossa nova. Franks's breathless affectations tell the story of having to leave his wife and new baby to hit the road for a while. There is a soft sadness in his voice. He will miss his family terribly, but the muse of the artist calls him to perform. In the end, he lives for both his family and his muse, and both must understand. The lady may want to know the reason why. But the man doesn't know himself.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky