A pair of great albums from singer Dana Gillespie
– and a huge amount of bonus material too, including some rare promo and demo tracks that have never been available to the public! The set kicks off with the Weren't Born A Man album – a real turning point in the career of Dana Gillespie
– a singer who started out as a British folkie in the 60s, but who really transformed through a host of different modes as the 70s moved in – including a key role in the long-running Catch My Soul stage show, and an intimate friendship with David Bowie! Gillespie
's not exactly like Bowie, but on the record she does find a very special, intimate space of her own – helped partly by the production and arrangements of Mick Ronson, who also works with some of the Spiders Of Mars in the backing – and also in part by Bowie, who lets Dana sing his great tune "Andy Warhol" here in a version that's maybe even better than his own! Yet Gillespie
is definitely at the helm throughout – a superb songwriter, and a great singer too – intimate one minute, bold the next, and quite far from her roots in folk. Titles include "Andy Warhol", "Weren't Born A Man", "Mother Don't Be Frightened", "All Gone", "Eternal Showman", "Dizzy
Heights", and "Stardom Road (parts 1 & 2)". Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle is the second album that Dana Gillespie
recorded for the Mainman productions label – and one that really has her stepping out and finding a voice that's all her own! Dana's a bit hard to peg stylistically – somewhat rock, but with occasional gentleness that's borrowed from her folk roots – often given a slight glam twist in the production, but not really a glam singer at all – in part because she's often got some deeper currents in her lyrics! Gillespie
's got this strength in the lead that should have made her a much bigger star – an ability to step sideways to different modes from track to track, yet make you feel like the whole thing is very much part of her own master plan. Titles include "Get My Rocks Off", "Really Love The Man", "Hold Me Gently", "Pack Your Bags", "Getting Through To Me", and "Wanderlust". 2CD set features a huge amount of interesting material – including 5 tracks from Dana's 1971 promo record that she shared with David Bowie, 5 more demos from October of 1974, after her second album – but never issued – the original demo for "Andy Warhol", an outtake of "Man Size Job", different Mick Ronson arrangements for "Lavender Hill" and "Never Knew", and the Libido single tracks "Hold On To Your Fire" and "Weren't Born A Man".