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Any Major 60s Soul Vol. 2

60s_soulHere is the second volume of “60s soul tracks. Some of these songs are pretty well-known, but many others are hidden or forgotten gem. Eddie Holland”s track is as much a gem as it is a historical curiosity; it”s one of the few records he released on Motown before Berry Gordy decided that Eddie, with Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier, should work exclusively as one of the label”s in-house writer/producer teams, in particular for the Supremes and the Four Tops .

Leaving Here was their first song released as a Motown single (though Please Mr Postman was Eddie”s first Motown hit as a composer). I Hear A Symphony, represented here by the Isley Brothers” version from 1966, was one of their songs. Eddie also brought Rita Wright “” who later became known as Syreeta and who married Stevie Wonder “” to Motown. Her Can”t Give Back The Love, one of this collection”s stand-out tracks, was co-written by Eddie with the brilliant Ashford and Simpson. The trio also wrote with great success for Martha Reeves and the Vandellas (such as Heat Wave, Nowhere To Run). Reeves” song featured here, a criminally neglected number, is a Smokey Robinson composition.

Smokey also co-wrote the Temptations” Since I Lost My Baby, a lovely mid-tempo song in which the Funk Brothers “” Motown”s in-house backing band “” are joined by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The passage in the song that goes “Everyday I’m more inclined to, find her; inclined to, find her “” Inclined to find my baby” ranks as one of Motown”s most inspired moments of genius.

Shorty Long also recorded on Motown. His Devil With The Blue Dress, co-written with Smokey”s Miracles sidekick William “Mickey” Stevenson (he of the Miracles song”s monkey; tough why Good Golly, Miss Molly writers John Marascalco and Robert Blackwell don”t get a credit for the sample used in the song is a mystery) is a paean to the rock & roll era, during which Long appeared as a piano session man on many classics, including several Elvis songs. When hearing the song, try not to sing Footloose! It became a bigger hit two years later for Mitch Ryder. In time-honoured soulman tradition, Long met an early and bizarre death in a boating accident in 1969.

Motown fans will recognise the name Fantastic Four for their hit on the label, I Love You Madly. The Temptationesque song on his mix precedes that, having been issued on the Ric Tic Record label. Motown proceeded to buy the Ric Tic catalogue, and with that the Fantastic Four”s contract.

Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers (as the name suggests, Canadians) had their sole hit on Motown. It”s a fine song, but Taylor”s greater contribution to music history was discovering the Jackson 5. So, well, no, it wasn”t La Ross. Though the other two Supremes did discover the Vancouvers, who previously were known, charmingly, as Four Niggers and a Chink “” the Asian component being bandmember Tommy Chong (later Cheech”s stoner sidekick) who was half-Chinese, half-Scottish. Chong co-wrote Does Your Mama Know About Me.

The mix features several neglected soul women. Marlena Shaw ought to have been massive, but never really broke out of the soul ghetto (Shaw fans might appreciate my wording here), other than her song California Soul, perhaps. Apparently she still performs at the age of 67, having made her first stage appearance, informally, aged 10 at the Harlem Apollo.

Kim Tolliver, who died at 70 two years ago on Wednesday past, went without a hit throughout her long career, despite investing a depth of emotion into her songs which easily rivals Aretha Franklin”s.

Mitty Collier, who recorded on the Chess label, had a hit with I Had A Talk With My Man Last Night, which was a secularised cover of James Cleveland”s gospel song I Had A Talk With My God Last Night. Collier, now 68 and a pastor in a small Chicago church, is still performing in the gospel genre.

The final song will evoke in the English cricket fan memories of batting-collapses and rain.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R.

1. The Show Stoppers – Ain’t Nothing But A Houseparty (1968)
2. Eddie Holland – Leaving Here (1963)
3. Martha Reeves & the Vandellas – No More Tearstained Make Up (1966)
4. Rita Wright – Can’t Give Back The Love (1968)
5. Fantastic Four – I Don’t Wanna Live Without Your Love (1967)
6. Jay & The Techniques – Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie (1967)
7. The Radiants – Voice Your Choice (1964)
8. O.V. Wright – Eight Men Four Women (1968)
9. The Temptations – Since I Lost My Baby (1965)
10. Baby Washinghton – What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted? (1969)
11. Gladys Night & The Pips – Just Walk In My Shoes (1966)
12. Mitty Collier – I Had A Talk With My Man Last Night (1964)
13. Carla Thomas – B-A-B-Y (1966)
14. Solomon Burke – Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (1964)
15. King Curtis – Memphis Soul Stew (1967)
16. Marlena Shaw – Liberation Conversation (1967)
17. Clarence Carter – Slip Away (1968)
18. Don Covay – See Saw (1966)
19. Maurice & Mac – You Left The Water Running (1968)
20. Arthur Conley – Put Our Love Together (1968)
21. Dee Dee Sharp – You’ll Lose A Good Thing (1963)
22. Sam Cooke – Nothing Can Change This Love (1962)
23. Irma Thomas – It’s Raining (1962)
24. Kim Tolliver – I’ll Try To Do Better (1969)
25. Wilson Pickett – 634-5789 (1966)
26. Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers – Does Your Mama Know About Me (1968)
27. Isley Brothers – I Hear A Symphony (1966)
28. Shorty Long – Devil With The Blue Dress (1964)
29. Booker T & the MGs – Soul Limbo (1968)

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  1. June 6th, 2009 at 12:33 | #1

    Hi Major Dude,

    I saw your comment on Facebook. I would comment more often, but I feel like the things I have to say are kind of banal.

    I have plenty of musical knowledge – here and there, you know – but not really about most of the bands you write about.

    I like your blog though. Since I found it I read every new post, and read a lot of previous posts – back about a year I guess! (I follow the ‘related’ cross links, nice feature)

    This was a great playlist. It’s nice to hear the originals of some of these tracks. For example, “what becomes of the broken hearted” – I love that song, but never heard the original.

    Chris W

  2. June 6th, 2009 at 16:22 | #2

    Ah bless you Chris. I’m terrible at commenting myself on other blogs, for pretty much the reasons you state.

  3. shadreck
    June 9th, 2009 at 02:26 | #3

    Enjoying your blog. It is one of my essential daily visits. Thanks

  4. June 15th, 2009 at 06:39 | #4

    Great mix – not really anything I don’t own myself in there, but great mix all the same.

    That passage in Since I Lost My Baby is a particular favourite moment of mine too. There is a version of that song by 60s Mod band The Action which is I actually prefer. If you’ve never heard them they’re worth tracking down. There are two compilations, one is called Rolled Gold and is them as they became a psychedelic band. The other is a compilation of George Martin produced jangly mid 60s tunes, like the Small Faces meets The Byrds, all Motown on Rickenbackers. That’s the one to look for. Covers of songs like I’ll Keep Holding On by The Marvelettes and Since I Lost My Baby and Harlem Shuffle. Plus some pretty good originals. The singer Reg King was a pretty good blue eyed soul singer, a bit like Marriot but more subtle.

  5. H
    October 17th, 2009 at 00:51 | #5

    Brilliant mix, thanks. Side issue: heard an old classic in a bar last night with what i think the lyrics go ‘on mulberry lane’ or something to that effect. Can’t for the life of me figure out what it is. Can’t find anything on the web. I know its a classic and should be out there. Any ideas?? Thanks

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