My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Album Review: The Forester Sisters – ‘Perfume, Ribbon & Pearls’

The girls’ second album was released in 1986, recorded at Muscle Shoals with Terry Skinner and J L Wallace producing. It was not quite as successful as their debut, with only one hit single, but it is a strong effort overall.

The sole single, ‘Lonely Alone’, is a nice regretful ballad written by J D Martin and John Jarrard with a pretty melody, featuring Kim Forester on lead vocals and her sisters relegated to the chorus. The production now sounds a bit dated with synthesizer and strings, but it did well at the time, peaking at #2.

Kim also took the lead on three other songs, including ‘Heartache Headed My Way’, the mid-paced song which provides the album’s title. Written by Bob and Barbara Morrison, this should have been a single as it has an intriguing mix of youthful confidence and the willingness to take a few risks rather than mom’s good advice:

Mama get out those shiny black shoes and the dress you cut too low
Get out the perfume and ribbons and pearls and tell this girl what she should know
I’ m tired of wasting my youth and my time
On men going nowhere fast
The ones with neatly combed hair and striped ties
Their future’s as dull as their past

Yes, I’m looking for a hard time of romance and fun
And I’m hoping to find it tonight with someone
I’m looking for trouble and blues on the run
And a heartache’s headed my way
I’ll say
A heartache’s headed my way

I know I’ve got years yet to settle for less
For a home and a dog and a white picket fence
Roast in the oven and clothes on the line
And a life that’s full of good common sense
Forget everything you advised me to do
I need some excitement not a lesson or two
After it’s over I’ll listen to you
Mama please listen to me

‘Somebody’s Breakin’ A Heart’, written by the album’s producers, is well sung by Kim and has an interesting lyric about overhearing a couple breaking up, but the heavy beat of the arrangement makes it sound like filler. The up-tempo ‘Drawn To The Fire’ was written by a pre-fame Pam Tillis and Stan Webb; Pam actually released the song herself as the B-side of several of her Warner Bros singles in 1986-7.

June and Christy got one lead vocal each. June sings ‘Heartless Night’, a fine song by Craig Bickhardt and Michael Brook which was later covered by Baillie & The Boys. Christy takes on the Supremes’ Motown classic ‘Back In My Arms Again’; it is pleasant enough filler although with little country about it.

The sisters’ strongest vocalist, Kathy, took lead on the remaining four tracks, including the best track. ‘That’s Easy For You To Say’ is a beautiful measured ballad written by Bob McDill and Paul Harrison, a gentle reproach to the man breaking her heart:

You say “sit down” and you reach for my hand
You’re trying your best to be kind
You say “it’s goodbye but it’s all for the best
These things just happen sometimes”
You tell me that life will go on
And we’ll both forget before long

Well that’s easy for you to say
With the lonely nights that I’m gonna face
It’s so hard to see it that way
You tell me that we’ll both be okay
That’s easy for you to say

‘Blame It On The Moon’ is quite nice and opener ‘100 % Chance Of Blue’ is okay. The Randy Albright song ‘You Were The One’ is pretty sounding with a pointed message to an ex.

The album as a whole makes for very pleasant listening.

Grade: B+

2 responses to “Album Review: The Forester Sisters – ‘Perfume, Ribbon & Pearls’

  1. Ken June 7, 2019 at 9:49 am

    Unless an act is firmly established with a history of strong album sales it’s rather unusual to release just one single from an LP. The Forester Sisters debut album far exceeded Warner Brothers expectations with their first single hitting the top 10 and three subsequent releases reaching #1. Most acts generally release one album per year. But their first LP provided charted singles for all of 1985 and the first half of 1986.

    “Lonely Alone” was released in June 1986 just as “Mama’s Never Seen Those Eyes” was peaking at #1. But a side project derailed any plans for another single from that second LP. The girls had met The Bellamy Brothers at Fan Fair who requested that they sing backing vocals for one of their songs. That idea morphed into recording an actual duet by the two acts with a song co-written by David Bellamy. It initially ran into legal problems because the Foresters were signed to Warner Brothers Records and the Bellamy’s recorded for Curb/MCA. But a deal was worked out and “Too Much Is Not Enough” was released as a single in September 1986 just as “Lonely Alone” was peaking at #2. That collaboration became a #1 hit in December and led to their successful “Brothers And Sisters” concert tour. The song was included on the Bellamy Brothers Greatest Hits Volume 2 album in 1986 and the Foresters Sisters Greatest Hits album in 1989.

    The timing of that duet release and the lack of another strong single candidate led to Warner Brothers moving on to a song from an upcoming Forester Sisters album. “Too Many Rivers” was issued as their first single for 1987 as was later released on their subsequent album “You Again” that spring.

  2. THE_TROUBLE_WITH_THE_TRURH June 7, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    Thanks for putting in the review who sings the lead vocal on each song. Other than Kathy its hard for me to tell the others apart!

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