Walk Away Renée/Pretty Ballerina

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Walk Away Renée / Pretty Ballerina
LeftBankeOne.jpg
Studio album by The Left Banke
Released February 1967 (1967-02)
Recorded
Genre Baroque pop
Length 27:59
Label Smash
Producer Harry Lookofsky
The Left Banke chronology
Walk Away Renée/Pretty Ballerina
(1967)
The Left Banke Too
(1968)The Left Banke Too1968
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]

Walk Away Renée/Pretty Ballerina is the debut studio album by the American baroque pop band the Left Banke, released in February 1967. Named after its two hit singles, "Walk Away Renée" and "Pretty Ballerina", it peaked at number 67 on the Billboard Albums chart.[3] Although the album was not widely popular upon its initial release, and fell into relative obscurity for a time,[4] it is now viewed as a definitive example of baroque pop music.[5]

Background[edit]

During 1966, The Left Banke released the singles "Walk Away Renée" and "Pretty Ballerina", which peaked at number 5 and number 15 respectively on the Billboard Hot 100. Written by keyboardist Michael Brown, the son of producer and jazz violinist Harry Lookofsky, both singles and their b-sides were incorporated into the album.

Early recording sessions for Walk Away Renée/Pretty Ballerina started in December 1965 in the small World United Studio at 48th and Broadway in Manhattan, with sessions for the singles taking place in March and then November 1966. The remaining album sessions took place in January 1967 at Mercury Studios in New York.[1] During the course of 1966, Michael Brown's father and the band's manager/producer, Harry Lookofsky, fired both original drummer Warren David-Schierhorst and guitarist Jeff Winfield, replacing them with George Cameron and Rick Brand.[6]

Most tracks on the album feature lead singer Steve Martin Caro, with harmony vocals by bassist Tom Finn and drummer Cameron; most tracks are also augmented by session musicians, with keyboardist Brown being the only band instrumentalist to appear on every song.[6] However, the band itself does play on the tracks "Let Go of You Girl" and "Lazy Day".[6] "What Do You Know", featuring lead vocals by Brown, is an early example of country rock, contemporary to similar efforts by The Byrds, the International Submarine Band, and Buffalo Springfield.

Release history[edit]

After its initial release, the album remained out of print for decades. It was, however, available in its entirety on the 1992 compilation There's Gonna Be a Storm: The Complete Recordings 1966–1969. On June 28, 2011, Walk Away Renée/Pretty Ballerina was reissued on Sundazed Records, remastered by Bob Irwin.

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Pretty Ballerina" (Smash single 2074) Michael Brown 2:32
2. "She May Call You Up Tonight" (Smash single 2097) Michael Brown, Steve Martin Caro 2:18
3. "Barterers and Their Wives" (Smash single 2097b) Michael Brown, Tom Feher 2:56
4. "I've Got Something on My Mind" (Smash single 2119b) Brown, Martin-Caro, Cameron 2:46
5. "Let Go of You Girl" Brown, Martin-Caro, Cameron 2:53
6. "Evening Gown" Michael Brown, Tom Feher 1:46

Side two[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Walk Away Renée" (Smash single 2041) Brown, Tony Sansone, Bob Calilli 2:40
2. "What Do You Know" Michael Brown, Tom Feher 2:57
3. "Shadows Breaking Over My Head" Michael Brown, Steve Martin-Caro 2:34
4. "I Haven't Got the Nerve" (Smash single 2041b) George Cameron, Steve Martin-Caro 2:13
5. "Lazy Day" (Smash single 2074b) Michael Brown, Steve Martin-Caro 2:24

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Album

Year Chart Peak Position
1967 Billboard 200 67
1967 Cashbox 59

Singles

Year Single Chart Peak Position
1966 "Walk Away Renée" Billboard Hot 100 5
1966 "Walk Away Renée" Cashbox 2
1966 "Walk Away Renée" RPM magazine 3
1966 "Pretty Ballerina" Billboard Hot 100 15
1966 "Pretty Ballerina" Cashbox 12
1966 "Pretty Ballerina" RPM magazine 4
1967 "She May Call You Up Tonight" Billboard Hot 100 120

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hyde, Bob. (1985). History of The Left Bank (1985 LP liner notes - discography and sessionography). 
  2. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/walk-away-ren%C3%A9e-pretty-ballerina-mw0000845255
  3. ^ "The Left Banke - Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-09-07. 
  4. ^ The album, and indeed the band, does not even rate a mention in two early rock music encyclopedias - The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock (New York: Harmony Books, 1977) and The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll (New York: Random House, 1980 ISBN 0-394-73938-8).
  5. ^ Steve Smith: Wyman and Taylor join the Rolling Stones onstage; Coldplay takes a break at the Wayback Machine (archived 3 December 2012). Pasadena Star-News. 29 November 2012.
  6. ^ a b c Schinder, Scott (2011). Walk Away Renée/Pretty Ballerina (CD booklet). The Left Banke. Sundazed Records. 

External links[edit]