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Genya Ravan
"Genya Ravan<"

© Muskrat

October 18 - 24, 2020

Year of Release: 1972
  • What Kind Of Man Are You
  • Sit Yourself Down
  • I Hate Myself
  • I'm In The Mood For Love
  • Takuta Kalaba/
    Turn On Your Love Lights
  • Lonely Lonely
  • Flying
  • Every Little Bit Hurts
  • Bird On The Wire
  • I Can't Stand It

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    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
    Genya Ravan is not a househould name in music. One of ther songs, "What Kind Of Man Are You" was included on the Columbia 3-LP The Music People. A great compilation from new released albums (1970 - 1972) at the time. Many familiar artists were on that album, and some not. Genya Ravan was one of those "not-so-famous" names. "What Kind Of Man Are You" is a great soulful tune, in the styles of early Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin. Listening to her self-titled album, her voice is distinctive to that of Aretha's.

    The album kicks off with this song, and it leads into songs with Soul, Rock, and Blues. Even Jazz. "Sit Yourself Down" is another Aretha-inspired tune. "I Hate Myself" is a bit more of the Blues, with Rock and Soul, and it sounds like what could be an anthem song, despite it's nature of it's title of the song. "I'm In The Mood For Love" is the classic remake from the pre-Rock era. This song has been covered by many of Jazz greats. Genya brings her own touch and style to this classic. "Takuta Kalaba/Turn On Your Love Lights" is a tropical/African music track. (With a title such as "Takuta Kalaba," it definitely would sound like an African-styled tune. It is, and is recorded quite well, with its African beats and rhythms. It blends into the rock-inspired "Turn On Your Love Lights" -- a very-well crafted song, into another genre of music -- African; it could even be labeled as Latino/Spanish music.
    "Lonely, Lonely" is the next track, a slow-driving soulful track. But don't let the term "slow-driving" fool you, it has high-powered choruses of a true rock song, as if Tina Turner could have recorded it. The introduction of "Flying" reminds me of Queen's opening of "Fat Bottomed Girls," yet "Flying" turns into another soulful sounding track. Aretha-bound "Every Little Bit Hurts" hits the highest, with it's soulful and almost gospel'ish styles. The late, great Leonard Cohen wrote one of the best songs in Rock history -- "Bird On A Wire." I remember Joe Cocker's version the most, and Ravan's version is just as beautiful as how Joe sang it too. Ending the album is the jumpin' upbeat "I Can't Stand It." It's gospel'ish, as other tracks sounding on this album. And it leaves the listener feeling inspired, despite there are songs on this album, with less-than-happy titles and lyrics.

    But that doesn't make the self-titled Genya Ravan a bad album. It's quite a discoverable album of a singer who has had a great talent. She can rock, she can sing the blues, and even takes a hit at jazz. Genya Ravan's real name is Genyusha Zelkovicz, and she took the name "Ravan" from the Raven. She began in music in 1962, singing at the Brooklyn club The Lollipop Lounge. She joined the group The Escorts, with Richard Perry. In 1963 she joined Goldie and the Gingerbreads, an all-girl rock group, from Greenwich Village. By 1969, her stage name was "Goldie," as she released a single, and would later join Ten Wheel Drive, for three years. Despite recording three albums, the band never took off. She signed with Columbia Records, and in 1972 released her self-titled album.

    Genya Ravan released more albums throughout the 1970s, and the Muskrat label released three of them: Genya Ravan (1972), They Love Me, They Love Me Not (1973) and Goldie Zelkovicz (1974) (her first three solo albums). More albums followed, including her music with Ten Wheel Drive, and live recordings. Genya Ravan is an undiscovered talent, and her self-titled album is a Rock gem. Fans of the rocking early Tina Turner, and Aretha Franklin fans will enjoy her music. Her other two albums mentioned from Muskrat will be reviewed at later dates. Enjoy the music of Genya Ravan. You'll be glad you did.

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