Essentially a 'live' performer - her grounding is in folk, but she made her name as the singer/pianist in the play "John, Paul, George, Ringo... & Bert" - and her experience comes over.
The album throws up a bunch of pleasant surprises, because, although Barbara doesn't slide easily into any category, she is into singing, and tackles a variety of material, from country rock through to whitewashed soul with equal ease and melody.
Exactly half the songs are her own interpretations of contemporary numbers - mostly adequate, sometimes beautiful, like her gentle and emotive version of the Eagles 'My Man', or the curiously Scots-tinged take of Bill Withers 'Lean On Me'. The remaining handful ('Boys From The Men', 'Goodbye Dreamer') are her own stage-flavoured style, self-penned and haunting, as melodic and flowing as the others.
I can't help wondering what will happen to Barbara Dickson when the euphoria of those first hits is over. One thing's for certain - she'll be working for a long time.
'THE SCOTMAN' - March 22, 1976 (Review by Alastair Clark)
The title song comes from the heyday of Frankie Laine. "End Of the World" is here, too, but Barbara is stylistically band up to date on this impressive album. The voice seems capable of taking on just about anything, and it takes on some nice things here - notably Bernie Leadon's sensitive "My Man" and several bright, self-penned songs.
'RECORD MIRROR - April 3, 1976 (Review by Rosalind Russell)
Barbara Dickson makes her album debut (in the new image) with the benefit of years of experience singing contemporary folk music and a long run in the musical 'John Paul George Ringo... And Bert'. All of this has provided a steady base for her present style.
She has also been produced by Junior Campbell who is something of a perfectionist. His work is faultless, as is Barbara's singing. Included on the album is her hit single 'Answer Me' and six songs she wrote herself. It is a credit to her and could see the beginning of a very big career.
With a little more time and experience in this field she could easily push aside the established singer/songwriter like Carole King et al.
ANSWER ME (1976)
'SOUNDS' - April 10, 1976 (Review by Susanne Garrett)
Like the lady said herself - if you're going to make a single, then you might as well make one that sells. And she has. Twice. After "sleeping" for a couple of months, her boppy up-tempo version of 'Answer Me' (the old Nat King Cole smasherooni) finally grabbed the pop charts by the balls, and her current get-up 'n dance version of the Curtis Mayfield classic 'People Get Ready' looks like making it even bigger. Unfortunately, both songs, reworked in cahoots with whizzo-kiddo producer Junior Campbell, are big enough to get her labelled forever as a here-today, gone-tomorrow singles artist.
But that's not really where she's at. While the hits are included, her debut album gives a surer indication of just what she can do, almost in spite of its slickly commercial self. For starters, this gal isn't immediately classifiable into any of the female vocalist stereotypes of rocker, straight folky or more than MOR chintzy cabaret performer.