Sonny & Cher's third album, and their last success for four years, lacked the unity of their earlier work. By the beginning of 1967, psychedelia was taking hold, but Sonny Bono was at a loss to write or produce music in that mode. Instead, he came up with "The Beat Goes On," a huge hit that sold the album.
Fifty songs spread among two CDs, various attributed to Cher, Sonny & Cher, and even "Caesar & Cleo," through which we trace the evolution of this duo from a doo wop-influenced pop team into folk-rock and protest mavens, to the media's reigning early-'70s pop/rock team. The sound is very good, and the range of music is almost dizzying, as the influence of Phil Spector wafts in and out over the recordings, and the duo turns its talents toward just about every sound that was selling at the time. There's a huge amount of good music here, much of it familiar from other collections, including "Sunny," "I Feel Something in the Air," and "All I Really Want to Do"…
Released in the spring of 1999, Bang Bang: The Early Years arrived at the perfect time. After years in exile – she hadn't had a hit single or movie in over five years – Cher returned to the spotlight in early 1998 under tragic circumstances, delivering a moving eulogy at Sonny Bono's funeral. It served as a reminder to a mass audience that she was alive and well, and within a year, she had a huge hit single with "Believe" and a hit movie with Tea with Mussolini. All in all, it was the perfect opportunity for a collection that spotlighted her recordings for Imperial from the mid-'60s.
It's difficult to complain about the contents of this double-disc set, including 38 songs drawn from Sonny & Cher's second era of success (1971-1974 on Kapp Records), nicely remastered and assembled in impeccably logical fashion. The duo's (and Cher's solo) studio cuts make up the first disc, while the second is comprised of songs from the duo's two live recordings done two years apart in Las Vegas.
Mama Was a Rock and Roll Singer, Papa Used to Write All Her Songs is the fifth and final studio album by American pop duo Sonny & Cher, released in 1973 by MCA Records. The album was released in 1973 and reached #132 on the Billboard album chart. The title track was the only single from the album to enter the US charts, reaching #77 (in a much shorter form) on the Billboard Hot 100.