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Foolish Seasons – Dana Gillespie

Foolish Seasons - Dana Gillespie Artist: Dana Gillespie
Album: Foolish Seasons
Release Date: 1968
Duration: 32:04
Genre: Pop/Rock
Styles: Baroque Pop, Psychedelic Pop, Psychedelic/Garage
Recording Location: Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, England

Although she would eventually become most known as a blues singer, at the outset of her recording career in the mid- to late ’60s, Dana Gillespie flirted with pop/rock, folk-rock, and mildly psychedelic baroque pop. All of those styles can be heard on her obscure 1968 debut album, Foolish Seasons, which was oddly issued in the U.S. but not in the U.K., despite the heavily British-European cast to the production and arrangements. The melange of approaches makes for an indecisive direction and uneven quality in certain respects. Yet at the same time, it makes the record an undeniably interesting, at times even exhilarating, slice of eclectic late-’60s Swinging London-tinged pop. Very roughly speaking, Gillespie echoed the material and vocals of fellow British woman pop/rock singers such as Marianne Faithfull and Dusty Springfield at points, though her voice was at once both huskier and smokier than the young Faithfull’s, and gentler and more whispery than Springfield’s. The styles tried on for size include the breezy psych-pop of “You Just Gotta Know My Mind,” a Donovan composition that Donovan himself never recorded; the very Faithfull-esque (in the good sense) wispy folk-pop of “Tears in My Eyes” and Gillespie’s own composition “Foolish Seasons”; the sunshine pop-influenced orchestral arrangements of “Life Is Short” and “London Social Degree,” both penned by cult British pop/rocker Billy Nicholls; the gothic Euro-pop of “Souvenirs of Stefan,” which vaguely recalls the likes of Françoise Hardy; and the downright catchy, sexy, mod pop of “No! No! No!” Further unexpected turns are taken with the almost pre-goth blues-pop death wish “Dead,” and the haunting, eccentric cover of Richard Fariña’s “Hard Lovin’ Loser.” Sure, there are a couple of icky-sweet pop clunkers along the way (including Gillespie’s sole other self-penned number on the album, “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not”). On the whole, though, it’s an extremely likable (if somewhat stylistically confused) album, with nonstop unpredictably luscious and imaginative production. The U.K.

2006 CD reissue on Rev-Ola has thorough historical liner notes, including many quotes from Gillespie herself.

Title/Composer Performer Time
You Just Gotta Know My Mind Dana Gillespie 2:09
Tears in My Eyes Dana Gillespie 2:28
Life Is Short / Billy Nicholls Dana Gillespie 2:32
Souvenirs of Stefan Dana Gillespie 3:40
Can’t You See I’m Dreaming Dana Gillespie 2:58
No! No! No! / Michel Polnareff Dana Gillespie 2:49
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not Dana Gillespie 2:01
London Social Degree / Billy Nicholls Dana Gillespie 2:06
Dead Dana Gillespie 3:09
Foolish Seasons Dana Gillespie 2:12
Where Will You Be Dana Gillespie 2:10
Hard Lovin’ Loser Dana Gillespie 3:50
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