Angel Of The Morning – Juice Newton
“I always see singing as a painting project,” Juice Newton says. “It’s very visual for me ““ the story of the song unfolds before my eyes while I sing.”
Now this Grammy, CMA and Billboard award-winning artist, who has multiple platinum and gold albums, ten million records sold and 15 Top 10 hits under her belt, has a new set of paintings to display ““ only this time she’s invited some legendary vocalists to join her at the easel. The result is Duets: Friends & Memories (Fuel 2000), which finds her stellar voice paired with those of Willie Nelson, Glen Campbell, Frankie Valli, Randy Meisner, Melissa Manchester, Gary Morris and the late Dan Seals.
“I’d never done a duets project,” Newton says of the record’s origins. “I called various people I knew and asked them: Are there songs you’ve thought about recording? It could be your song or somebody else’s. The point was to let them pick songs they were interested in. I wanted it to be fun for them and take the pressure off. Though the pressure was on me to learn the tunes!”
She took that pressure in stride, as she has throughout her career, but the challenges were considerable: Working in multiple keys with singers known for wildly different styles, all while endeavoring to create distinctive versions of beloved material like “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” (which she sings with Manchester), “Still the One,” “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” (both with Morris), “Up Where We Belong,” “Without You” (both with Campbell), “These Dreams” (with Seals), “The Biggest Part of Me” (with Valli), “Take It to the Limit” (with Meisner, the song’s author) and two songs by and with Nelson, “Funny How Time Slips Away” and “Touch Me.”
“For me, it was like making three records,” she says of the collection’s musical and logistical difficulty level. “These singers are so wonderful and unique ““ I really wanted to be on my game. I lived with my headphones on, studying the songs and preparing my interpretations.” By the time she entered the studio, however, Newton was ready to wield her painter’s brush like a master, as evidenced by the emotional force of her vocal delivery ““ whether she’s punching the soaring high notes of “Without You” withCampbell, trading the silken phrases of “Funny How Time Slips Away” with Nelson, or putting an evocatively feminine spin on “Lovin’ Feelin’” with righteous sister Manchester.
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