By Emily Carney
American singer Timi Yuro was described as “the little girl with the big voice,” lending her legacy nicely to future blue-eyed soul singers such as the late Amy Winehouse, Duffy, and Adele. However, Yuro’s influence spread like tree roots on both sides of the ocean; artists as disparate as Elvis and Morrissey considered themselves Timi Yuro fans. Her voice was also heard all over Northern Soul dance floors during the 1970s. Her career ended in the late 1960s with her marriage, but she had some impressive celebrity fans. Excellence never goes away, though.
The Complete Liberty Singles starts with “Hurt,” which was later released as a single covered by Elvis just prior to his death. “Hurt” remains one of the iconic vocal performances of Yuro’s; you can legitimately feel the heartbreak denoted in the song’s lyrics in her deep, husky voice. Elvis’ rendition of it is heartbreaking and really foreshadows his death, but that’s a whole other story.
Other standouts include the more uptempo “It Will Never Be Over For Me,” “What’s A Matter Baby,” “The Love Of A Boy,” and the creepily-titled WTF anthem “Satan Never Sleeps.” The whole collection of singles is a revelation to those accustomed to other 1960s girl singers, such as Ronnie Spector and Dusty Springfield.
In the 1980s, Yuro was diagnosed with throat cancer; in 2004, she was silenced forever by the illness. However, her artistic legacy continues (one can hear shades of Yuro in Winehouse’s Back to Black album). Morrissey feted her as his favorite singer, which I guess is a nice tribute (I have lukewarm feelings towards Morrissey). At any rate, The Complete Liberty Singles is a wonderful collection of the Yuro’s great vocal stylings and is essential for fans of 1960s soulful girl-pop.
Timi Yuro: The Complete Liberty Singles was released on June 26 through Real Gone Music and is available to order from their website.