Inspired by our series of articles looking back at music released 30 years ago, Jimmy Hunter takes a step further back in time to give us a Song of the Day 1980. This week, he flies away with Randy Crawford ...
I always think of autumn when I hear or think of this record. I don’t know what you’re supposed to do with that information, but there you are. And the season is beginning to turn now so it’s fitting this slots in nicely here.
Randy Crawford’s One Day I’ll Fly Away is a lovely record and sung by someone with one of the most unique voices I’ve heard. Randy followed up on the huge success of her Street Life collaboration with The Crusaders (see my review here: https://www.albiemedia.com/2019/08/sotd79-crusaders.html ) with a solo album that set the R&B fans (and charts) alight.
This song is as smooth and as rich as warm honey. As the keyboard and guitar opening gives way to the tenor sax, there’s a melody, a melancholy that grabs you. Smooth, yes; easy listening, definitely not. And I mean that in terms of musical style. When she sings the opening line “I may get along, when love is gone”, you know what this song is (going to be) about. But it’s not a soppy ballad because the lyrics never quite tell you what’s going on behind the scene.
What you do get is four and a half minutes of a simple melody, strings lightly punctuating lines in the chorus and a crescendo towards the end stressing … well, unhappiness? This followed by the quietly repeated line “one day I’ll fly away”.
Crawford has the most amazing voice and I’ve always been charmed and soothed by this record and I really hope you’ll find it so too. The album from which it comes is a mixed and delightful bag that did well, as did the single.
Look out the original by all means, but enjoy this live performance from some 11 years ago:
Image - Amazon