With 3 kids to care for on schoolteacher salaries, my parents were only occasional, bargain bin record collectors. Thus, a random Elvis, Brenda Lee or Beach Boys album might, infrequently, be found floating throughout the family area as I grew up. I was fascinated most, though, by my dad’s copy of Roberta Flack’s Quiet Fire. The cover of this LP seemed to suggest maturity and strength, a wave of artistic expression that I would only begin to understand as I grew older. This youthfully imagined, hushed sophistication has rightfully defined much of Flack’s gorgeous output.
But anyone who has listened to her joyous take on Gwen Gutherie’s God Don’t Like Ugly knows that she also can embrace a joyful place of popishness. Other surprises loom due to the placement of her songs in such celluloid projects as Body Rock, Killer Condom and X-Men: Days of Future Past. Interestingly, on that same cinematic track, her classic recording Killing Me Softly was recently used to potent effect in the very popular neo-slasher offering Fear Street: Part One – 1994.
That song is a classic, tucked securely into the pantheon of top tunes via The Fugees’ incredibly popular 1996 cover, but Flack also brings immeasurably intense beauty to lesser-known tunes, such as Jimmy Webb’s I’ll See You Then, the closing song of QF’s first side.
More on this 84 year old genius can always, visually and sonically, be found at http://www.robertaflack.com, as well.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!