Thursday, 21 December 2017

Ann-Margret - The Definitive Collection


(This review first appeared in issue #67 of Shindig! magazine.)

Real Gone Music 2CD

Swedish-born Ann-Margret Olsson must have been a record producer's dream after signing to RCA Victor in 1961. Having honed her vocal skills on the live circuit she could switch between sultry and coquettish as required. The label envisaged her as a female Elvis, unsurprising given her interpretive abilities and photogenic looks.

This compilation centres on her 1961-1966 recordings for the label. The supper-club jazz, pop standards and light entertainment may be too sweet for some, but Olsson's voice still charms. Her simultaneous movie career took off with Bye Bye Birdie and she went on to star alongside Presley in Viva Las Vegas (the pair's two duets from the film are included). Also of interest here is 'I Just Don't Understand' complete with fuzz guitar and wailing harmonica, later covered by The Beatles for a BBC session. Olsson would go on to play the mother in The Who's Tommy, but that's one for another time.