Gonna Take a Miracle by Laura Nyro and Labelle (1971)
Laura Nyro is on the Mount Rushmore of female singer/songwriters to emerge from the mid-/late-60’s folk era. While she may remain lesser known than fellow contemporaries Joni Mitchell or Carole King, Nyro actually released nine albums over a strong twenty year career, influencing artists of her time like King, Todd Rundgren, and Elton John, who have all name-checked her in Interviews.
Her songs were hits for artists like Blood, Sweat, & Tears and The 5th Dimension, who covered her song “Stoned Soul Picnic”. On her 1971 album “Gonna Take a Miracle” she teamed up with Labelle (Patti Labelle’s first group) to record and perform covers of the 60’s do-wop and R&B songs that inspired her as a young girl growing up in New York City. The group takes these songs and makes them their own, providing a warmth and approachability that leaves the listener feeling as though Nyro and Labelle are performing in their own living room. The album was produced by the iconic Philadelphia production duo Gamble & Huff who bought in the right players to compliment the songs as only they could. The result: soul music.