'No Turning Back' was released on this day (January 3rd) in 2003.
Rockabilly may be on the niche side of the genre spectrum, but with artists like Imelda May out there we're surprised that that's still the case. Today we're paying tribute to her debut album venture 'No Turning Back', which was initially released 17 years ago through her independent Foot Tapping label under her first and last name Imelda Clabby.
Imelda May - No Turning Back
The Irish singer and multi-instrumentalist saw her first album remixed and reissued four years later under the moniker Imelda May, though no singles were ever released from the album. It was a stunning and well-underrated blend of originals and covers from fellow rockabilly, country, rock 'n' roll and blues artists.
Songs included The Everly Brothers' 1959 single '(Till) I Kissed You', Skeeter Davis' 'The End of the World' and Cliff Richard's 'No Turning Back', written by Lionel Bart, for which the album is named. The three original songs written by May were 'What Am I Gonna Do', 'Y'hoo' and 'Forever You and Me', and it also featured her own arrangement of traditional song 'Let Us Sing'.
It was after this album that Imelda decided to leave her roots behind and move to London with former husband Darrel Higham (Kat Men), and went on to feature on Later... with Jools Holland in 2008 just before the release of her second album.
Imelda grew up wanting to be a musician and began her career at the age of 16, performing in Dublin clubs and sometimes getting thrown out for being underage. A few years before she released her debut album, she got the chance to tour alongside rhythm and blues singer and pianist Mike Sanchez of Big Town Playboys and Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings.
'No Turning Back' didn't receive quite the acclaim of follow-up 'Love Tattoo', which was certified Gold in the UK and topped the Irish charts upon its release via Universal, but it certainly drew the right attention to her exceptional talent. Since then, Imelda May has released three other albums on Decca Records, the latest of which was 'Life Love Flesh Blood' in 2017.