Peggy Lee's Bio-Discography:
The Atlantic Contract (1974)
by Iván Santiago-Mercado

Page generated on Dec 18, 2016

Peggy Lee's Recording Career, 1974

After recording exclusively on 2 record labels for nearly 30 consecutive years (1944-1972), Peggy Lee signed a short-term contract with Atlantic Records in 1974. The contract generated one album, released that same year, and a few singles-oriented sessions, whose resulting masters were left unissued, for the most part, until the CD era. Additional comments about Lee's stay at Atlantic can be found in the note at the end of this page. For details about any release of Peggy Lee's original Atlantic album Let's Love outside of the United States, consult this discography's foreign issues page. (Side note: In search of recommendations? For the material listed on this page, the best option is the Rhino Handmade CD Let's Love. A secondary option -- satisfactory to a lesser degree - is the Collectors' Choice that bears the same title.)

Date: April 23, 1974
Location: The Record Plant, Los Angeles

Peggy Lee (ldr), Dave Grusin (pdr, p), Peggy Lee (pdr, v), Phil Schier (eng), Other Individuals Unknown (acc)

a. 35321Master Take (Atlantic) I Wanna Be Seduced - 2:31(Gary Tigerman) / arr: Dave Grusin
b. 35322Master Take (Atlantic) I Am His Lady - 4:00(Morgan Ames) / arr: Dave Grusin
c. 00000Master Take (Atlantic) Let's Love - 3:57(Paul McCartney, Linda Louise McCartney) / arr: Dave Grusin
All titles on: Warner's Rhino Handmade Licensed CDRhm2 7853 — LET'S LOVE   (2003)

The Recording Session

The apparent purpose of this session was the production of a single. However, no single was ever issued. Atlantic was probably more interested in releasing the number that Paul McCartney would be producing for the singer (see session dated first week of June 1974).

Lee's versions of "I Wanna Be Seduced" and "I Am His Lady" were not released until the CD era. The songs, both new at the time that Lee recorded them, became known instead through versions by other singers. (In 1975, "I Am His Lady" became a minor, #82 Billboard chart hit for r&b singer Melba Moore, who recorded the song for Buddha Records. The song made another appearance in 1976, as a track from Ernestine Anderson's first Concord Jazz album. "I Wanna Be Seduced" was recorded by Leon Redbone for the soundtrack of Richard Dreyfuss' 1978 movie The Big Fix, then sung live by Dreyfuss himself in a televised Saturday Night Live appearance. Redbone re-recorded it for his 1981 album From Branch To Branch. In more recent times, singer Mary Coughlan has also recorded and performed it.)


1. "I Am His Lady"
2. "Runnin' Like A River"
Atlantic's record files incorrectly list "I Am His Lady" under the title "Runnin' Like A River," which is actually the first line of the song's lyric.


1. Who Composed "I Wanna Be Seduced"?
Various sources mistakenly credit Peggy Lee as the songwriter of "I Wanna Be Seduced." Gary Tigerman, the actual songwriter, was a staff writer for Warner at the time of this session. The error has made its way into the otherwise excellent CD Rhino Handmade #7853.


1. David T. Walker
The guitar work in the above-listed master of "Let's Love" strongly suggests the presence of David T. Walker, whose presence is confirmed for the sessions listed immediately below. My thanks to fellow discographer James Accardi for pointing out the similarity to me.

Masters, Dating And Cross-references

1. "Let's Love"
This master of "Let's Love" (the earliest of three) is not listed in Michel Ruppli's catalogue of Atlantic masters, which is one of my main sources for Lee's Atlantic sessions. Information about the master comes only from Paul Grein's liner notes for Rhino Handmade CD #7853: "Lee and Grusin also produced a version of Let's Love that is slower and more languid than the one that [Paul] McCartney oversaw. They recorded it in April, before they were sure that McCartney would be able to find time to produce the song."

Notice that Grein's quote gives the month, but does not give the exact day on which the song was recorded. Until more specific information comes along, and thus as a temporary measure, I have incorporated this Lee-Grusin version of "Let's Love" in this April 23 session. For the other two versions of "Let's Love," see session dated first week of June 1, 1974.


Preserved in Peggy Lee's sheet music library are the arrangements for the three above-entered numbers. In all of them, Dave Grusin is identified as the arranger.

Date: Late April, 1974
Location: The Record Plant & Westlake Audio, Los Angeles

Peggy Lee (ldr), Dave Grusin (pdr, con, p, fen, snt, per), Peggy Lee (pdr, v), Phil Schier (eng), Erno Neufeld (ccm), Pete Christlieb (f, ts), Jerome Richardson (ss, as, bar), Charles "Chuck" Findley (t), Frank Rosolino (tb), Vincent DeRosa (frh), Gene Cipriano (o), Dennis Budimir, Dan Ferguson, Lee Ritenour, David T. Walker (g), Chuck Rainey (b), Unknown (str), George Gaffney (p), Dick Borden (d), Harvey Mason (d, per), Bobbye Hall (cng), Jim Gilstrap, Joe Green, Marti McCall, Jackie Ward, Edna Wright (bkv)

a. 29426Master Take (Atlantic) He Is The One - 4:24(Melissa Manchester) / arr: Dave Grusin
Armed Forces Radio Service 12" TranscriptionP 14933 - P 14934 — Basic Music Library [5 songs from LP Let's Love]   (1974)
b. 29427Master Take (Atlantic) Easy Evil - 4:36(Alan O'Day) / arr: Dave Grusin
Armed Forces Radio Service 12" TranscriptionP 14933 - P 14934 — Basic Music Library [5 songs from LP Let's Love]   (1974)
c. 29428Master Take (Atlantic) Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight - 4:04(James Taylor) / arr: Artie Butler, Dave Grusin, Peggy Lee
Armed Forces Radio Service 12" TranscriptionP 14933 - P 14934 — Basic Music Library [5 songs from LP Let's Love]   (1974)
ATLANTIC CS/LP/CD81706 / Box 81712 [released in 1990] — [Various Artists] Singers ("Atlantic Jazz" Series)    (1986)
d. 29429Master Take (Atlantic) Always - 3:51(Irving Berlin) / arr: Dave Grusin
Armed Forces Radio Service 12" TranscriptionP 14933 - P 14934 — Basic Music Library [5 songs from LP Let's Love]   (1974)
ATLANTIC 453215 — {Let's Love / Always}   (1974)
e. 29430Master Take (Atlantic) You Make Me Feel Brand New - 5:55(Thom Bell, Linda Creed) / arr: Dave Grusin
f. 29431Master Take (Atlantic) Sweet Lov'liness - 3:53(Max R. Bennett) / arr: Dave Grusin
g. 29432Master Take (Atlantic) The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter - 3:04(Dave Grusin, Peggy Lee) / arr: Dave Grusin
ATLANTIC 45(France) 10545 — {Let's Love / The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter [not released in USA singles]}   (1974)
h. 29433Master Take (Atlantic) Sweet Talk - 3:24(Don Sebesky) / arr: Dave Grusin
i. 29434Master Take (Atlantic) Sometimes - 2:25(Henry Mancini, Felice Mancini) / arr: Dave Grusin
Armed Forces Radio Service 12" TranscriptionP 14933 - P 14934 — Basic Music Library [5 songs from LP Let's Love]   (1974)
All titles on: ATLANTIC 8-track/LPAtl Cs 18108 & Tp 18108 & Sd 18108 — Let's Love   (1974)
Warner's Rhino Handmade Licensed CDRhm2 7853 — LET'S LOVE   (2003)
Collectors' Choice Licensed CD2077 — Let's Love ("Hepcat" Series)    (2009)

The Let's Love Album Sessions (Cross-references)

Dates: Late April and early June 1974.


The sources at my reach give different dates to the nine songs listed in this session:

July 17, 1974
This is the one date assigned to all twelve album masters in Atlantic's masters file. My source for the date is not the file itself but Michel Ruppli's book Atlantic Records: A Discography (Greenwood Press, 1979). Lee's recording of so many songs on the same day is highly unlikely. Instead, the 17th may have been the day on which all performances were assigned a master, and/or were sequenced for the album. Another possibility, albeit an unlikelier one: July 17 could have been the first of various consecutive days during which the sessions took place.

April 1974
This is the date given in the booklet of Rhino Handmade CD #7853. Both the discographical notes and the essay in the booklet identify April 1974 as the recording period. I assume that the creators of Rhino Handmade CD #7853 retrieved this dating from an Atlantic file different from the one consulted by Ruppli.

In the absence of any further specifics or additional sources, I have chosen April over July. My choice is a tentative one.

Location And Masters

1. Remixes
This session's performances were recorded at the Record Plant Studio, then remixed at Westlake Studio.


1. Erno Neufeld
Erno Neufeld arranged and conducted the of strings only.

2. Dick Borden
3. George Gaffney
The two above-listed musicians played only on "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" and "Always."

4. Background vocals
Background vocals are heard on "He Is The One," "You Make Me Feel Brand New," and "Sweet Lov'liness" only.

5. Vocal Overdub
On "Sweet Talk," and in the main, titular line of "Easy Evil," the female serving as background vocalist seems to be Peggy Lee herself, her voice overdubbed.


1. "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight"
"Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" was adapted by Peggy Lee and Dave Grusin from an arrangement by Artie Butler.

2. Dave Grusin
The back cover of the LP Let's Love identifies Dave Grusin as the arranger (or, in the case of "Don't Let Me Be Lonely," co-arranger) of all the performances in the album, except for "Let's Love." Furthermore, the album's scores are extant in Peggy Lee's sheet music library; all of them indeed credit Grusin as the arranger.

Collectors' Notes

1. Amemos [LP]
A Peggy Lee album by the title of Amemos is actually a Spanish pressing of the LP Let's Love. Although I myself have not come across physical copies of this Spanish pressing, I have seen photos of its cover online. Except for the title in Spanish, the cover is identical to the American original. The catalogue number that I have seen for it online (Gemma Gx 01 750) is probably erroneous; perhaps it points to an auction at the music website Gemm.

2. Atlantic #3215 [45]
A collectible photo of Peggy Lee graces the front cover of Atlantic single #3215. Although it is the same photo featured in the cover of the album Let's Love, this shot is at a closer range, and thus offers viewers a better look at the singer's face and at the microphone that she is holding.

3. Atlantic #10545 [45]
4. Atlantic #105727 [45]
Generally, this sessionography omits foreign singles which have an identical American original counterpart. (I have listed all such 'omissions' under the Miscellanea section of this discography.) In the case of French Atlantic single #10545, I have entered it in this sessionography for two reasons. The main one is that, although it does feature the same song ("Let's Love") as its American counterpart on one side, on the flip side it features a different number.

The second reason pertains to its sleeve: it is different from the American one, and thus collectible. The front features no photo; it is just a blue background, blank except for the singer's name in white and the words "let's love" in pink. The back includes, on the other hand, the same photo used on the front cover of the LP, though reprinted in very small size. (For a look at a reproduction of this French sleeve, front and back, see the booklet of Rhino Handmade CD #7853.)

I have also seen online photos of German Atlantic single #105727. It shows no significant variations from the American counterpart.

5. Atlantic P 1347A [45]
Another collectible of potential interest to fans of both Lee and McCartney is the Japanese Atlantic single P 1347A: its back cover shows a photo of Peggy Lee and Paul McCartney at the piano. That photo is not found in the American and French counterparts of the single. Otherwise, aside from the photo on the back and the language on the sleeve, the Japanese single shows no major differences with the American original.

Date: June 3-5, 1974
Location: The Record Plant, Los Angeles

Paul McCartney (pdr, p), Alan Parsons, Pat Stapley (eng), Other Individuals Unknown (acc), Unknown (str, wds), Peggy Lee (v)

a. 29425Master Take (Atlantic) Let's Love - 2:58(Paul McCartney, Linda Louise McCartney) / arr: Paul McCartney
ATLANTIC 453215 [Pro] — {Let's Love}   (1974)
ATLANTIC 45(France) 10545 — {Let's Love / The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter [not released in USA singles]}   (1974)
ATLANTIC 453215 — {Let's Love / Always}   (1974)
ATLANTIC©WEA LP(Germany) 48 008 — [Various Artists] 20 United Stars Of America   (1976)
b. 29435[EditOf29425]Master Take (Atlantic) Let's Love (Reprise) - 1:20(Paul McCartney, Linda Louise McCartney) / arr: Paul McCartney
Both titles on: ATLANTIC 8-track/LPAtl Cs 18108 & Tp 18108 & Sd 18108 — Let's Love   (1974)
Warner's Rhino Handmade Licensed CDRhm2 7853 — LET'S LOVE   (2003)
Collectors' Choice Licensed CD2077 — Let's Love ("Hepcat" Series)    (2009)

The Let's Love Album Sessions (Cross-references)

Dates: Late April and early June 1974.

The Recording Session (And Its Dating)

The sources available to me offer two possible dates for this session's masters (and also for all masters on Atlantic LP #18108): early June 1974 (according to Rhino Handmade CD #7853) or July 17, 1974 (according to Michel Ruppli's Atlantic Records: A Discography). I have chosen the date offered by the Rhino Handmade CD, in which liner annotator Paul Grein states: [Paul] McCartney produced the backing track for "Let's Love" at Abbey Road studios in London on May 18. The first week of June, he recorded Lee's vocal at the Record Plant. Atlantic invited some press people to a photo and playback session.. The CD's discographical notes give the early June dating as well.

One of Grein's sources is clearly an article entitled "The Generation Bridge," published by Zoo World magazine on July 18, 1974. Len Epand, the article's writer, mentions that Lee & McCartney were producing the song one day the first week of June. Epand adds that, after a day's work, they held a mini press conference/photo session around Studio C’s grand piano. In high spirits, they casually sang a couple of songs together, elaborated on their surprising collaboration and then took the small mob into the control room to hear the finished track.

Experts in McCartney's life and records have pinpointed the dating more specifically, circumscribing it to the third, fourth, and fifth of the month.

For further details about the date not chosen (July 17, 1974) see notes under session dated April 1974.


1. "Let's Love" In The Music Charts
The song "Let's Love" was Peggy Lee's 70th and last entry in Billboard's song charts. She had made her debut with "I Got It Bad" in 1941, when she was part of The Benny Goodman Orchestra. Her first entry as a solo artist was, according to Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories, 1890-1954, "Waitin' For The Train To Come In" in 1945.

"Let's Love" peaked at #22 in Billboard's Easy Listening chart during the week of November 2, 1974. (At number one was John Denver, with "Back Home Again.") "Let's Love" also charted in the Contemporary Adult chart of Canada's RPM Weekly, where it peaked at #41 in the December 21, 1974 issue.

2. "Let's Love (Reprise)"
This so-called reprise, actually an edit, consists of a couple of choruses plus the closing line from master #29425.

3. "Let's Love" (Cross-references)
For an earlier performance of the song "Let's Love," see session dated April 23, 1974, including notes.


1. Paul & Linda McCartney
All issues containing the song "Let's Love" list Paul McCartney as its sole author. However, ASCAP lists both Paul and his first wife, Linda McCartney.

The aforementioned article by Epand indicates that the song was originally brought to Lee by the couple as a dinner present while she was in London. In another article ("Peggy Lee: A Consummate Artist," published by Record World Magazine on December 27, 1975), Lee retells the story, but links the writing specifically to Paul: "When he got to the hotel he said that rather than bring champagne or roses, he was writing a song for me. And it was almost complete, maybe two bars left to write. Then they [i.e., Linda and Paul] came to California and they were at my house for dinner, so he played it for me."

Despite the fact that I have come across various errors previously in ASCAP's online database, I have chosen to trust it in this instance. Therefore, I have tentatively added Linda McCartney's name to the list of songwriters. (I'd rather err not on the side of omission, but on the side of addition. Corrections from anyone better informed on this matter would be appreciated.)

Date: June 7, 1974
Location: The Record Plant, Los Angeles

Peggy Lee (ldr), Dave Grusin (pdr, p), Peggy Lee (pdr, v, spk), Other Individuals Unknown (acc)

a. 35563Master Take (Atlantic) The Nickel Ride - 4:48(Dave Grusin, Peggy Lee) / arr: Dave Grusin
Warner's Rhino Handmade Licensed CDRhm2 7853 — LET'S LOVE   (2003)


1. "The Nickel Ride"
This song comes from the 1974 Twentieth Century-Fox movie The Nickel Ride, which was scored by Dave Grusin. However, Lee's lyrics are not heard in the movie soundtrack. Perhaps she wrote them after the movie had been already produced, or perhaps she did write them for inclusion in the movie, but they were not used.


As is the case with previously entered Atlantic sessions, two possible recording dates are in contention for this session: June 7, 1974 (the date found in Michel Ruppli's Atlantic Records: A Discography) and April 1974 (the month on which, according to Rhino Handmade CD #7853, Lee recorded all her Atlantic numbers, except for the McCartney-produced song "Let's Love").

Until further information becomes available, I am choosing the more specific date (June 7, 1974) over the collective one (April 1974). My choice relies chiefly on a presumed correlation between dates and master sequence: since the master number for "The Nickel Ride" is higher than the numbers assigned to Lee's other Atlantic masters, there is a good chance than this performance was recorded much later than the others. In any case, this session's dating should be deemed tentative.


1. Dave Grusin
Dave Grusin's arrangement of "The Nickel Ride" is extant, under his name, in Peggy Lee's sheet music library.

Sessions Reported: 4

Performances Reported: 15

Unique Songs Reported: 14

Unique Issues Reported: 9