Bill Medley

Audio CD (March 25, 2014)

Label: Fuel 2000


According to Bill Medley's 2014 memoir, The Time of My Life, his Your Heart to Mine was originally an album never intended for commercial release:

"I did it more for my own sake than for commercial success; it's a tribute to many of the black artists who influenced me—Ray Charles, Bobby Blue Bland, B.B. King, Sam Cooke, and the like. I never even let a record company hear it; I just needed to get it off my chest."

But after successful radio airplay in England, Medley said he sent the tapes to Fuel Records in LA and it became his first solo release since 2007. "If you really want to know what music inspires me you'll find it there. I included an original song, "This Will Be the Last Time" which I wrote especially for this project . . . It's my heartfelt thanks to the singers I love so much."

The collection turns out to be a beautiful package of 12 romantic songs suitable for your next party when there are only two of you in the room. Instead of the old Phil Spector wall-of-sound production of Medley's Righteous Brothers days, we hear luscious strings, Gospel-flavored backup singers, superb supporting musicianship—especially on guitar and dobro—and a low, graveling voice delivering lyrics that are what soul used to mean when these songs were first recorded by Medley's musical contemporaries.

Sometimes, Medley sounds like he's channeling his mentors, as in the opener, Ray Charles' "Drowning in My Own Tears." Medley is just as throaty as Bobby Blue Bland in the latter's "You're the One (that I Adore)." But Medley isn't presenting simple covers of his favorite songs from his favorite singers. The arrangement of Sam and Dave's "(Hold On) I'm Coming" is far more intimate than the original, and the acoustic "Rock Me Baby" (from B. B. King) is Medley supported only by guitar and dobro. "FOR YOUR PRECIOUS LOVE" is just one example of how Medley can be as much actor as singer, giving depth to the lyrics that clearly come from the heart.

Your Heart to Mine should more than please Righteous Brothers fans or lovers of '60s Stax/Atlantic sounds. It's not the sort of album to play just once; it's a collection that is one of Bill Medley's solo best.

Follow Here To Purchase Your Heart to Mine: Dedicated to the Blues