If you’re a fan of Kiki Dee, rest assured that Edsel won’t be breaking your heart any time soon. The Demon Music Group label has recently followed its series of Kiki’s Rocket albums with a deluxe, expanded edition of her most recent release: 2013’s collaboration with singer/songwriter/guitarist Carmelo Luggeri, A Place Where I Can Go. The original 11-track album has been expanded with an entire second disc of previously unreleased bonus material.
Kiki Dee first joined in performance with British-born Carmelo Luggeri 20 years ago, in 1995, for the live album Almost Naked. Luggeri’s diverse credits included work with Julian Lennon, Bill Wyman, Paul Rodgers and Andy Williams; his eclectic C.V. made him a perfect match for Dee’s wide-ranging musical tastes. Reinventing some of her classic songs as well as new favorites in an acoustic, “unplugged” style, Almost Naked reminded listeners that the blue-eyed soul queen was still a vital recording artist. The collaboration between Dee and Luggeri was so fruitful that the pair has released three joint studio albums in the ensuing years, including 2013’s A Place Where I Can Go on their own Spellbound Recordings label. With Dee on lead and backing vocals, and Luggeri playing guitars, bass, keyboards, string pads, and Irish bouzouki (plus supplying additional vocals and programming!), A Place Where I Can Go featured ten original tracks penned by Dee and Luggeri, plus a rendition of Sheila Carabine, Amanda Walther and Michael Roth’s “Horses” as a duet between Kiki and Eddi Reader (Fairground Attraction). Luggeri produced and arranged the entire LP in a rootsy, bluesy and primarily acoustic style, with modern, electronic production flourishes subtly added into the soundscapes emphasizing Kiki’s recognizable voice and his delicate, stylish picking.
Edsel has expanded the 2013 album with a full complement of 13 bonus tracks on this edition’s second disc. A number of reinterpretations of familiar songs will make this disc a particular treat. Dee and Luggeri perform Paul McCartney’s “My Love,” which featured in their live shows circa 2001. Smokey Robinson’s “Ain’t That Peculiar” is heard in a 1994 home demo predating Almost Naked, and U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” is presented in the duo’s 2002 demo. A voice-and-guitar version of Kiki’s classic 1974 hit “I’ve Got the Music in Me” was recorded for this project. Among the many other previously unreleased treats here are a 2014 radio mix with augmented instrumentation of the nostalgia-minded A Place Where I Can Go single “Sidesteppin’ with a Soulman,” three outtakes from the 1998 Where Rivers Meet album, and more unheard demos recorded between 1996 and 2003 including “Ella,” written for a children’s television program that never aired.
The expanded edition of A Place Where I Can Go adds up to a treasure trove of songs from the vibrant blue-eyed soul voice of Kiki Dee and her most frequent collaborator. This 2-CD set is attractively housed in a slipcase and includes a 24-page full-color booklet with full lyrics to the original album, numerous photographs, and track-by-track notes by Kiki and Carmelo for the bonus disc’s selections. Phil Kinrade has mastered the bonus material while the original album is mastered by Dick Beatham. A Place Where I Can Go is available now from Edsel at the links below!
CD 1: The Original Album (released on Spellbound Recordings, 2013)
- Lay Your Wisdom Down
- Keep the Sun (On Everything I Do)
- She’s Smiling Now (A Mother’s Song)
- Sweeter Rain (Prelude)
- Sweeter Rain
- Sidesteppin’ (With a Soulman)
- Forward Motion
- Come to Your Heart
- A Place Where I Can Go
- In the Middle of This Sound (Reprise)
CD 2: Demos and Outtakes (previously unreleased)
- My Love (2001)
- Ain’t That Peculiar (1994)
- Ella (2002)
- SIdesteppin’ with a Soulman (Radio Mix) (2014)
- On the Way (1995)
- Here for All Time (1995)
- You Won’t See Me Crying (1995)
- Colour Me Blue (1996)
- Kiss Your World Goodbye (2003)
- I’ve Got the Music in Me (2015)
- I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (2002)
- This Town (1996)
- Wild As Can Be (1996)