Lenny Welch will be remembered by most for one song, but what a song it was. His 1964 single "Since I Fell For You" topped the pop and soul charts and became one that the most loved songs of the decade. It has since been remade by countless artists but none have matched Welch's plaintive reading, arguably one of the great pop performances of all time.
Born in New York City and raised in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Welch was signed by Cadence Records at age nineteen. He recorded several minor singles for Cadence, but his 1963 release of "Since I Fell For You" seemed to signal the start of a memorable career as a purveyor of romantic pop/soul music. Unfortunately, after Welch scored another chart hit with his cover of "Ebb Tide," Cadence folded. Welch recording career never fully recovered, though he did score another moderate hit in 1965 with "Two Different Worlds."
Despite the last of recording success, Welch continued to perform successfully around the world as well as on the casino circuit in the U.S. He also found a niche performing voice-overs on television commercials. More recently he began acting, appearing frequently on ABC's General Hospital.
In a major surprise, more than three decades after his last record, Welch has now released It's All About Love on Figskee Records. The disc shows that Welch's first tenor voice is still intact and appealing, as he runs through ten songs aimed at the urban adult contemporary market. The backing band is also solid, especially saxophonist Michael Lington, who is highlighted on much of the disc. Unfortunately the material on the album is not as compelling. It's a bit unnerving to hear the 68 year old Welch singing overtly sexual, rather trite songs like "Dancing Naked In the Dark" and "Wait'll I Get My Hands On You," but things come together pretty well on "Heaven Next to Me" and especially on the album's closer, the wedding song "We Thing." It's All About Love is not necessarily the strongest vehicle, but it is certainly nice to hear Lenny Welch's voice again.
By Chris Rizik