The LP as history book
If you have the will to search for fresh new ideas away from the mainstream, to delve into tradition’s treasure, all the while remaining independent from commercialism and yet enjoying artistic success, it surely toughens up the dauntless to perform well on a long-term basis. In the front row of such stalwart characters are the Roche sisters who undertook measures in their early years to train their voices. They began by singing Christmas carols in the neighbourhood, and then went on to sing in clubs in New York’s bohemian area Greenwich Village, where so many artists started off in a small way before they became famous. The great singer-songwriter Paul Simon gave them a break and later assisted in the production of their first album as a duo (Suzzy, sister number three, joined them somewhat later), and it was an excellent recording session. Artistically, however, the Roches’ music remained totally independent of external influences. Their voices were very different from one another: with Maggie’s almost baritonal voice at the centre mixing with Terre’s soprano, the duo performed their own songs that really have something special.
The title of the LP alone, Seductive Reasoning,indicates that behind the promised seductive train of thoughts there is certainly more than just lyrics written by adolescent girls. Maggie’s texts, often with an ironic undertone, tell of the difficulties of growing up, sexuality, and tender feelings – but also of an awareness of life’s pitfalls that can drag you down and from which there is no escape without money in your pocket. The music, a blend of ballad and folk guitar, is highly varied and conjures up a roadmovie-like feeling. It’s a sound which will haunt you – never trivial, totally satisfying, highly emotional and quite unique – a balladesque folk revival.“ What is a record? In a way it’s like a history book. It tells about a time”, commented a now older and wiser Suzzy Roche recently on her sisters’ debut LP.