As iconic as their first album was, The Left Banke pretty much split up before “Walk Away Renee” was even a hit, coming back together and then breaking up again. Various iterations of the group put together various songs that became this album, “The Left Banke Too.” Having lost Michael Brown, the keyboardist and songwriter, for most of the tracks, the result is a somewhat wider range of styles than the first album, less reliance on the baroque sound (no harpsichord, no clavinet), but still with a lot of the same sensibility. Five songs were released as singles, and none of them made much of an impression on the charts.
Still, they made an impression on me. I listened to this right along with the first album, having bought it right around the same time in 1980, and enjoyed it nearly as much. Pretty, pretty music. Very atmospheric, very much of its time but still lovely. Very much a part of my traditional fall listening, and another album that goes well with rye toast. The rollicking “Bryant Hotel” is probably my favorite, but “Desiree,” “Goodbye Holly” and “There’s Gonna Be A Storm” are all great bits of baroque psychedelia.