These Are The Good Times: The Complete Capital Recordings
Review by David Bowling
Donna Loren is best remembered for her singing performances on four of the Annette Funicello/Frankie Avalon Beach Party movies. She sang one song in four different films but never spoke a word of dialogue.
She was also the Dr. Pepper girl in commercials of the day. If you watch the Beach Party movies closely, you will see it as the drink of choice in Big Daddy’s lounge. She was a semi-regular on Shindig and appeared in such television series as The Monkees and Batman.
She released one album and five singles for the Capital label, none of which enjoyed any commercial success. She them floated from label to label for a few more singles before leaving the music business for three decades. She has recently issued several albums as a part of a comeback.
Her entire output for Capital has now been re-released as These Are The Good Times: The Complete Capital Recordings. Included is her complete Beach Blanket Bingo album, both sides of her five singles, and eight previously unreleased tracks.
She had All-American good looks and the voice to become a star. One of her problems was the quality of her material. “Beach Blanket Bingo” is a joyous 1960’s pop song and “Muscle Bustle” has a Brian Wilson pedigree. “It’s Got To Be Me” is interesting due to the backing of the Beau Brummels. On the other hand, when you get to songs like “Do The Zonk,” the quality drops dramatically. Another problem was her label. Capital was a hit making machine, who represented the Beatles and the Beach Boys among others, and she received little publicity.
The music of Donna Loren is rooted firmly in the 1960’s and its main appeal will be to fans and members of the Beach Party era. This makes These Are The Good Times: The Complete Capital Recordings a niche release. The music does not particularly stand the test of time well but if you remember a raven haired beauty singing her heart out back in the 1960’s, then this album will bring back memories of an innocent time.