Lesley Rae Dowling

 

 

 

Split/When the night comes


The story of Lesley Rae Dowling`s meteoric rise to superstardom in the early 80`s,her struggles with the industry machine, her love/hate/love relationship with both the media and live performances and her incredible multiple award winning comeback in 1994 are well documented in the liner notes for the “Conspirare-Best of ” release. After the runaway commercial success of her first 2 albums ,(Lesley Rae Dowling and Unravished Brides), Lesley returned to the studio with producer Tully McCully to record that often difficult third album. In the interim contemporary pop music had taken yet another left turn with the introduction of both the New Wave and New Romantics movements, complete with extraordinarily big drum sounds ( who remembers the Linn drum ?) and synthesizers . Although retaining much of the Celtic/folk influence that permeated the previous albums on songs like the gorgeous “No time” and “1917” , her third album “Split” also dabbled in a more modern rock sound on tracks like the first single “I`m a woman” , “Armageddon” and “Decisions”.

Lesley`s fashion look too was changing…gone was the precocious doe eyed lace draped imagery of the previous years and in its place a warm cutting edge high fashion look as evidenced by the multiple personas in the album artwork.

Lesley then took an long overdue and no doubt welcome break from both recording and concerts and for the next three years concentrated on her family life. In the interim WEA Records released the first ` best of ` compilation “Myths and Legends”. In 1986 Lesley returned with the soul drenched “When the night comes” ,produced by superstar Jonathan Butler and Tully Mc Cully. It was clear that Lesley had undergone a radical writing change, the new songs like “Innocent Child”, “Headstrong” and I wanna dance with you” were slinky, funky and soulful pop grooves. The album also featured what is arguably her finest song “Living without conversation”, a song that Lesley noted “So many people have relationship problems because nobody talks. Even this country itself had so many problems because people cannot talk to each other. We all need to talk to each other more.”

Both albums were enormously successful, both commercially and critically. Once again Lesley was back on top. She went on to record several stunning albums over the next few years including the five time award winning “Unbounded Waters” (recorded after a self imposed six year hiatus).

Benjy Mudie

March 2010