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Sylvia | Second Bloom: The Hits Re-Imagined

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Second Bloom: The Hits Re-Imagined

by Sylvia

The artist breathes new life into her biggest country/pop hits with exquisite, timeless productions that give a respectful nod to the originals while bringing the songs fully into the contemporary music scene.
Genre: Country: Country Pop
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Drifter
2:43 $1.29
2. Nobody
3:15 $1.29
3. Tumbleweed
3:28 $1.29
4. Fallin' in Love
3:13 $1.29
5. Cry Just a Little Bit
2:37 $1.29
6. Sweet Yesterday
4:04 $1.29
7. Like Nothing Ever Happened
3:50 $1.29
8. Snapshot
3:43 $1.29
9. I Love You by Heart
3:36 $1.29
10. You Can't Go Back Home
4:57 $1.29
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
During her tenure as a solo artist with RCA Records between 1979 and 1987, Sylvia became one of the most celebrated women in country music. She released five albums with a dozen #1 and Top Ten hits, sold over four million records, and won multiple awards including the Academy of Country Music’s Female Vocalist of the Year and Billboard’s #1 Country Female Artist. In the 1990s, Sylvia began sharing new facets of her voice and perspective as an artist through her work on her own record label, Red Pony Records. Last year, she released the critically acclaimed It’s All in the Family, her most personal album to date and the first ever on which she is a co-writer on the majority of songs. Sylvia’s talents and interests also extend beyond music; she has worked as a certified life and career coach to executives and artists of all genres and served on the board of a non-profit organization that serves and supports people who have mental illness and substance use disorders. Yet she has never stopped singing – even while on hiatus from performing, she kept a weekly appointment with her voice teacher and continued to hone her craft as a vocalist.

Sylvia is quick to point out that her path hasn’t been a straight one, but she likes it that way. What is most important to Sylvia is continuous growth – personal, professional, and artistic – and gratitude for the choices, challenges, and turns in the road that have brought her to where she stands today. Sylvia’s unique ability to honor the past while standing firmly in the present is what makes her new release, Second Bloom, so striking. On this album, she re-imagines some of her greatest hits, using the life experiences and skills she’s gained as a musician over the last three decades to imbue them with new life and let them bloom again. Sylvia’s not trying to relive the past, but neither is she running from it – the album functions as a kind of bridge from her early career to the present, and she makes navigating the bridge look effortless.

While the sound of much of Sylvia’s formative music is iconic of a certain era and genre, she notes that the songs themselves are not bound to a specific time and place. The creative process of making Second Bloom therefore involved listening deeply to what each song had to say at its core and translating that message into a more contemporary musical dialect. In some cases, this meant working with co-producer John Mock to simply modernize a song’s instrumentation and voicings; in other cases, it meant a more sweeping departure from the original production, while keeping the signature licks fans will recognize. But throughout Second Bloom, listeners will hear in Sylvia’s voice genuine reverence and affection for each song as part of her artistic lineage. The result is an album that is by turns introspective and carefree, evocative and joyful, and that will remind fans why they first fell in love with her music while allowing them to experience it anew.

1. Drifter (Archie Jordan and Don Pfrimmer)
Second Bloom opens with “Drifter,” the title track from Sylvia’s debut album and her first number one hit. The original recording, with its disco beat and dramatic strings, epitomized what came to be known as ‘prairie music.’ On this production, Sylvia nods to this sound but brings it up to date with a modern string chart and drums. One of the original song’s most recognizable elements, backing vocals by The Jordanaires, are recreated by Jim Glaser (who sang on the original recording with the Jordanaires), Keith Sewell, and Harry Stinson.

2. Nobody (Kye Fleming and Dennis Morgan)
Perhaps the song for which she is best known, “Nobody” was Sylvia’s second number one country hit. When an L.A. pop radio station started playing the record, pop and A/C stations across the country also jumped onboard. Soon it crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earned widespread success, ultimately selling more than two million copies. “Nobody” was also awarded BMI’s Song of the Year for most radio airplay. On this version, electric guitars replace the synthesizers from the original, giving it a more grounded sound, and vocalists Lisa Silver (who sang on the original recording), Vicki Hampton, and Robert Bailey sing the backing vocals fans will remember.

3. Tumbleweed (Kye Fleming and Dennis Morgan)
One of Sylvia’s very first singles and her first top ten record, “Tumbleweed” is another hit whose production and Western imagery helped establish the ‘prairie music’ sound. In crafting this updated version, Sylvia wanted to honor the lyric with a more scaled-down treatment with acoustic guitar, pedal steel, the backing trio of Glaser/Sewell/Stinson, and strings. The result is more exposed than the original, both musically and emotionally, and infused with a sense of longing.

4. Fallin’ in Love (Randy Goodrum and Brent Maher)
“Fallin’ in Love” was the first single and first top ten hit (peaking at #2) from Sylvia’s fifth album, One Step Closer. The original track was characterized by its striking vocal harmonies and up-tempo feel, but at its core Sylvia felt the song always wanted to be bluegrass, which is the treatment she gives it on Second Bloom. This version swings joyfully along, with Sylvia’s voice and Andy Leftwich’s fiddle taking turns in the spotlight.

5. Cry Just A Little Bit (Bob Heatlie)
“Cry Just A Little Bit” is another top ten hit from One Step Closer. This new version both honors and updates the original, with strings replacing synth lines, tin whistles exchanged for the saxophone solo, and master drummer John Gardner doubling down on the shuffle feel. The song’s lyric still evokes young love and yearning, but Sylvia is able to have fun with it without making light of it.

6. Sweet Yesterday (Kye Fleming and Dennis Morgan)
“Sweet Yesterday” was the first single from Sylvia’s second album, Just Sylvia. The original version ached with longing, but on Second Bloom, Sylvia brings her life experience to bear on the song and produces an even more authentic and affecting meditation on lost love. The result is a track that is both orchestral and intimate, featuring only classical guitar, strings, and Sylvia’s skilled vocals.

7. Like Nothing Ever Happened (Kye Fleming and Dennis Morgan)
A number two hit from Just Sylvia, “Like Nothing Ever Happened” is a story song that will resonate with anyone who has experienced a break-up. As with “Sweet Yesterday,” Sylvia’s new interpretation of the lyric feels even more lived-in and conversational than the original. John and Sylvia also chose to give the song a treatment reminiscent of the Byrds, highlighting 12-string electric guitar.

8. Snapshot (Kye Fleming and Dennis Morgan)
From the moment the camera click starts off the track, fans will easily recognize “Snapshot,” which was the title track of Sylvia’s third album and featured production and themes similar to “Nobody.” On this version, background vocalists Bailey/Hampton/Silver reprise the song’s original background parts, while the synthesizers are replaced by electric guitar, mandolin, and tin whistle.

9. I Love You By Heart (Jerry Gillespie and Stan Webb)
“I Love You By Heart” was a top ten hit from One Step Closer and a duet with the great Michael Johnson, who sadly passed away in July 2017. Sylvia wanted to include the song but couldn’t imagine singing it with anyone else, so on Second Bloom she sings it alone. The new version fully embraces the reggae feel of the original, adds ukulele, and includes a lyrical tweak that astute fans will notice and love.

10. You Can’t Go Back Home (Kye Fleming and Dennis Morgan)
Although never released as a single, Sylvia chose to include “You Can’t Go Back Home” because she likes to imagine it might have been a hit. An allegory for her whole approach to Second Bloom, this song is a tender reminder of the inevitability of change. The new version features a moving intro with strings and tin whistle, and gives way to Sylvia’s voice inviting us to join her in reflecting lovingly on the past. Although we can’t go back, there’s no reason to wish we could when Sylvia is giving us so much to appreciate in the present.



to write a review

Greg Wade

Brilliant 'Second Blooms' of Sylvia's Classics!
This wonderful singer/songwriter's been in the music business nearly 39 years as a recording artist (even more than that if you count the songs she recorded when she was 16 years of age) and to think she had only released 9 studio albums!! How could that be? It's sad for someone like me who's craved new music from her and waited a very long time in between albums throughout the years.

So when I first heard she was recording a new album of her past hits, I was excited, but at the same time, thought that I'd really prefer brand NEW Sylvia songs. Or even songs that she co-wrote back in the 80's and 90's, some geared toward children that she'd sometimes perform on TNN's “Nashville Now” program. Songs like, “My Best Friend”, “Don't Be Afraid to Dream”, “Imagination”, “Language of the Heart”, to name a few, and “I Love You for Who You Are”, a song I've never heard, only heard about and have always been intrigued by it's nice title. I sure hope they will be on a new album someday.

This is Sylvia's 10th studio album release (not counting compilations) and a real treat for those who have been there with her right from the beginning, as well as people that may have recently discovered her music. I think the timing is perfect for it. Sylvia's voice is more clear and beautiful than ever and she shines so bright on the “Second Blooms” of these old classics, which are most certainly the soundtrack of my life.

The bright and colorful CD cover, all of the photos and information in the layout is such a nice bonus. The production and background vocals are brilliant. I think each song received a perfect touch of newness while still keeping that recognizable sound from yesteryear.

It's marvelous to have a brand new version of her singing “Tumbleweed”. It sounds so beautiful. My mom, family and I saw Sylvia sing this song countless times at Cactus Petes Casino in Jackpot, Nevada and it felt refreshed and new every time we heard her sing it. Sylvia sang it in every show she did. The first show that my mom saw in Jackpot touched her so deeply, that from then on she wanted to see every single show right along with me, which of course elated me to no end.

Mom loved the new songs Sylvia sang and loved hearing her sing the older hits as well. She especially loved hearing Sylvia sing “Tumbleweed”. She'd say she sings it more beautifully and better than ever!

Jim Glaser is one of my favorite singers and was one of mom's favorites, too. Hearing his incredible vocals on this song blending so nicely with Sylvia's gives me chills and I know it would do the same to mom. I KNOW she would absolutely love this album.

From her unreleased book, in a chapter she entitled “No Separation”, mom wrote about the first time seeing Sylvia sing in Jackpot, Nevada... She writes - “The power of her voice seemed to overtake the room”.

She goes on to write... “A strange thing happens when I hear Sylvia sing live. I reach that altered state of no separation. I can't describe it in mere words but I feel like I'm everywhere all at once. It feels so wonderful that I would like to stay there”.

Sylvia often performed 6 days in a row, two shows a day and we were there to see every performance that we could. What wonderful memories I have of those times and I could never thank Sylvia enough for brightening up our lives like she's done for so many, many years!

The new version of “You Can't Go Back Home” is breathtaking and conjures up so many emotions. I've always loved this
song from the “Just Sylvia” album. I'm so happy she decided to record it for this project even though it was never released as a single. It actually has even more meaning to me now because I haven't been back home to Moose Creek in close to 10 years.

I've been told the old house that my mom and siblings were brought up in has been torn down. It's the same house I lived in with my grandma when she took me in when I was 10 years old and had lived there off and on since I was a baby. The drive-in nearby (with the best food in town) that my grandma owned and ran for many years has also been torn down. I think about my mom and grandma and how much I miss them, especially while listening to this song. It's so true - It will never be the same without them to go home to.

Maybe someday I'll go back and take a look around there at all the changes, but I have no desire to do so at this time of my life. Although, the song does inspire me to at least think about going back there. I know it will be a very emotional experience if I ever do.

The last time I heard Sylvia sing “I Love You By Heart” live was in 1986 when she and Michael Johnson performed the song on “Hee Haw”. This new solo version is awesome! The original is one of my favorite's. I've always loved the lyrics, the beat and fantastic harmonies. This new recording is in memory of Michael Johnson. It's nice to see that included on the back cover.

Two words to describe “Sweet Yesterday” - Emotionally beauteous.

It's fun and exciting to hear her sing new versions of songs that weren't in her shows in Jackpot all those many times we went to see her. Songs such as, “Cry Just a Little Bit”, “Like Nothing Ever Happened”, “Fallin' In Love” and the aforementioned, “Sweet Yesterday”.

Other hits she did sing there in Jackpot included on this new album are “Drifter”, “Snapshot” (I especially love the sound of that instrument on the intro and throughout the song) and of course the cross-over smash, “Nobody”. It's so good to hear new and exciting renditions of those classics, too! I'm excited that "Nobody" is the first single released from "Second Bloom". I hope so much to see both the album and single hit the charts now in 2018.

I absolutely love this album! I want to listen to it again, again and again! It contains mostly up-tempo songs, which I love! I think that helps the three ballads stand out stronger and even more beautiful. The way they are sequenced on the album is perfect as well.

Sylvia's Studio Album Releases, so far:

1) “Drifter” (1981)
2) “Just Sylvia” (1982)
3) “Snapshot” (1983)
4) “Surprise” (1984)
5) “One Step Closer” (1985)
6) “The Real Story” (1996)
7) “Where in the World” (2002)
8) “A Cradle in Bethlehem” (2002)
9) “It's All in the Family” (2016)
10) “Second Bloom - The Hits Re-Imagined” (2018)

Five studio albums were released on RCA Records and five, so far, have been released on Sylvia's very own, Red Pony Records.

My hope is in the near future Sylvia will record and release new music. I'd be stoked for there to be a new Sylvia album with the nice harmonies and a full-production similar to this wonderful new album.

Speaking of the excellent production and harmony vocals that adds to the greatness of this collection of songs. Thank you Sylvia for recording and releasing a new album, and a big thanks to everyone who added their talents to this great project. I like reading about you all in the Credits - Outstanding job, everybody!!!

Robert Bernardo, San Francisco, California

Second Bloom is an instant classic!
This album’s new instrumentation and fresh vocals give it a timeless quality. You can probably listen to this album 20 years from now, and it won’t sound dated. The songs feel stripped-down to their very essence so that Sylvia’s vocals stand out more. After all, it’s all about Sylvia’s voice and how she draws us into her storytelling. Now, I’d like to examine each track:

Drifter – The 7-second orchestral opening is dramatic and effective in this song. It’s the perfect lead-in to Sylvia’s vocals. She packs much more emotion into this version than the original as she cries out in the first chorus, “No one ropes the wind!”

Nobody – This song is sung with greater intensity of a frustrated lover. The instrumental touches give the song a sarcasm that matches Sylvia’s vocals. Her inflections on this version are less playful than the 1982 version, and bolder than the 2002 “hidden track” version. By the time she sings the last chorus, “Oh the fact is what you say is true,” we feel her pain. I also love how the song ends cold with no fade out, as if she just literally hung up on nobody.

Tumbleweed – The vocals on this remake are more passionate and more nuanced than the original. The listener is able to hang onto every syllable right up to the ending with “you’re gonna end up lonely.”

Fallin’ In Love – With all due respect to Grammy winner Brent Maher, I’ve always felt that the entire One Step Closer album was a tad bit overproduced. The instruments tended to drown out Sylvia’s vocals. This new version’s bluegrass sound is lighter, and it enhances her voice. Plus, it makes me want to dance!

Cry Just A Little Bit –The new instrumentals bring out Sylvia’s playful vocals. Similar to Nobody, I love the cold ending.
Sweet Yesterday – I must admit, the original version never really resonated with me. I didn’t know why, but now I do. The original was a bit drowned in backing vocals. I love the new version because its sole focus is Sylvia’s voice. The anguish of lost love is much more amplified in the new version.

Like Nothing Ever Happened – The original is such a classic that I wondered how Sylvia could possibly improve it. But she did. The instrumentals on the original are iconic, so altering them dramatically was a pretty bold move. But it was effective in making her vocals stand out more.

Snapshot – Of all the songs on the album, Snapshot is the one that was altered the most. The entire song was overhauled with new instruments and vocals. Her inflective sarcasm in this version makes it absolutely delightful. By the time she sings, “I took ev-er-y-thing,” we are really rooting for the cheated lover in the song.

I Love You By Heart – This song was always such a cute love duet, but it works beautifully as a solo song too. It never sounded better.

You Can’t Go Back Home – This song has always been one of my favorite songs and the new version really captures the bittersweet nostalgia of one’s childhood memories. The orchestral introduction makes the listener feel like they’re going back in time, like entering a dream. I also like the idea of removing the last line from the original song because I’ve always felt it clashed with the message of the song. Smart move!