First Take was the debut album from Roberta Flack released in 1969 and it’s one of my favourite albums.
It dips into jazz, soul, gospel and elements of pop and weaves a strange spell on the listener. Taking off with the jazzy ‘Compared To What‘ the album takes in songs written by such diverse names as Leonard Cohen, Donny Hathaway and Ewan MacColl. It was her version of ‘The First Time Ever I saw Your Face‘ by the folk singer which was used in the 1971 Clint Eastwood film ‘Play Misty For Me‘ which helped move the album to a broader audience.Cohens ‘Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye‘ kicks of the second side of the album which also includes ‘Our Ages or Our Hearts‘, ‘I Told Jesus‘ and the plaintive ‘Ballad of the Sad Young Men‘.
If you’ve never heard it then do check it out, here’s the album cover in the felt pen style.