Home > 60s soul, 70s Soul, Mix CD-Rs > If you like Amy Winehouse, you’ll like this…

If you like Amy Winehouse, you’ll like this…

I must confess that I find it hard to mourn the death of Amy Winehouse. Don”t think of me as a man possessed of a callous heart. Of course the death of a young, talented woman is a cause for sadness. But Ms Winehouse did not die in a tragic accident, as Otis Redding did, nor did a dread disease claim her, as it did Minnie Riperton. Amy Winehouse was a victim of her own excess; she lived a self-destructive lifestyle which first wounded her talent and then (as it appears) ended her life. My empathy is directed at her parents and those who loved Amy Winehouse without abetting her destruction.

There is tragedy in a life wasted, and sorrow in a talent not entirely fulfilled. I have both of Winehouse”s albums. They are good, but I couldn”t share in the excess of excitement that surrounded the Winehouse phenomenon. To be sure, she was a smart lyricist; a worthy successor of Marlena Shaw. Even her music was agreeable, in the way of a good pastiche. I don”t doubt that she had an affection for old soul music, and she treated the genre with great respect. But “” and here”s the rub for me “” why go for the copy if there is still so much of the source material to explore?

There is an argument  that Winehouse”s retro offerings encouraged her listeners to explore the canon of old soul music. I don”t buy that. Winehouse”s success encouraged the proliferation of mediocre mono-named songstresses who say they are inspired by the soul music of the 1960s (and, usually, “all the old blues guys”, who then go unnamed).

So, to help the proponents of the former argument, here is a mix of songs which I might have named “If You Like Amy Winehouse, You”ll Like This”. I”ll call it, without any efforts to engage my imagination (for shortly I have a dessert to prepare for dinner), Any Major Soul Women. I imagine that Amy Winehouse would have been inspired by many of these singers; maybe she even based her sound on some of them. I can imagine her singing most of these songs.

As always, the mix is times to fit on a CD-R. Due to shortage of time, alas, no covers.

1. Anna King – Sittin’ In The Dark (1964)
2. Baby Washington – You Are What You Are (1966)
3. Betty Everett – Until You Were Gone (1964)
4. Rhetta Hughes – Cry Myself To Sleep (1969)
5. Irma Thomas – She’ll Never Be Your Wife (1973)
6. Laura Lee – Mama’s Got A Good Thing (1972)
7. Ila Vann – Got To Get To Jim Johnson (1967)
8. Erma Franklin – You’ve Been Cancelled (1969)
9. Fontella Bass – I Surrender (1966)
10. Marlena Shaw – Go Away, Little Boy (1969)
11. Mitty Collier – Little Miss Loneliness (1963)
12. Tami Lynn – I’m Gonna Run Away From You (1972)
13. Candi Staton – I’ll Drop Everything And Come Running (1972)
14. Jean Knight – Pick Up The Pieces (1970)
15. Sandra Wright – Wounded Woman (1974)
16. Esther Phillips – I Don’t Want To Do Wrong (1972)
17. Margie Joseph – Sweeter Tomorrow (1971)
18. Lyn Collins – Take Me Just As I Am (1973)
19. Marie ‘Queenie’ Lyons – Your Thing Ain’t No Good Without My Thing (1970)
20. Linda Jones – Don’t Go (I Can’t Bear To Be Alone) (1972)
21. Barbara Mason – I Miss You Gordon (1973)
22. Rosetta Hightower – I Don’t Blame You At All (1971)
23. Tammi Terrell – That’s What Boys Are Made For (1968)
24. Brenda Holloway – I’ll Always Love You (1964)
25. Dee Dee Warwick – We’re Doing Fine (1965)
26. Jean Wells – Have A Little Mercy (1968)
27. Lorraine Ellison – Try (1969)
28. Ruby Andrews – Overdose Of Love (1972)

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  1. July 25th, 2011 at 18:05 | #1

    …….and that is why you are finding so few tributes to Winehouse. While addiction apparently can’t be helped once most people start using drugs the best way to prevent addiction is to never, ever start. You have to be a flaming idiot to take drugs. If you don’t begin using you can’t become addicted. We’ve all been warned for years and years and years what coke, heroin and others will probably do to you but people continue to try them anyway. While I too try not to be heartless I fail to feel sad over a death the victim brought on herself in this manner. Remember, she refused to go to rehab and was PROUD of it!

  2. Mike Hardy
    July 25th, 2011 at 19:30 | #2

    Hey Dude,
    When was the autopsy done? How do you know she self destructed?? You DO sound like a man possessed of a callous heart! And a FUCKWIT!

  3. Teena
    July 25th, 2011 at 21:48 | #3

    only just found out today.. incommunicado mucho these days.. was thinking the same – while it’s a loss to music (I’d like to imagine what she could have achieved in the long years to come had she got her act straight) and a bleeping WASTE it’s not a whopping surprise (might sound cruel but once or twice I kept thinking what the odds at the bookie’s were for her making the next Christmas.. or album)
    I think it’s a pity we’ll never get to hear at her best…
    love your collection, some of my favourite soul ladies.. and some unknown (to me ;) songs.. thanks a bunch.

  4. Richard
    July 25th, 2011 at 22:13 | #4

    thank you. A fitting tribute to a sad loss. May she be at peace with the demons that fueled her

  5. halfhearteddude
    July 25th, 2011 at 23:11 | #5

    I did qualify the statement, Mike. And I might be a callous fuckwit, but I don’t come to your house and swear at you. It’s just bad manners.

  6. July 26th, 2011 at 04:22 | #6

    I was not at all surprised. Nor was I ever blown away by her work; I found it derivative, as you do. But I am sorry for the friends and family she left behind.

  7. simmo
    July 26th, 2011 at 12:07 | #7

    The fact is that if anyone dies at such a young age it is always going to be tragic whether it be through their own misadventure or not.Even juxtaposed with the slaughter in Norway on the same day the tragedy of Ms Winehouses demise is no less for her family and friendswether it be her own fault or not and as of now, we do not know if that is the case.
    I did not own her music on CD for me Mark Ronson polished all the ‘soul’ out of it and it did not really engage me a great deal, I saw her a couple of times in concert, very slick (possibly too slick) band but generally a lazy disinterested performance from a clearly out of it chanteuse at the mic. But there were moments at each concert when she cut through and gave an all too brief glimpse of the talent she clearly had .She will sadly be remembered more for the tabloid headlines than for the talent she clearly had and that is the tragic part

  8. aikanae
    August 5th, 2011 at 22:38 | #8

    Thanks for this. I’m one of those who’d like to explore the roots of her music. Without southern blues, the Rolling Stones would have had to find something else (and probably not as successful). All creative works are a sum of what’s been previously done – just in a new way. Winehouse may not have been original enough for you but who’s to say where she would have been in 5 more albums.

    Understanding addiction is a complicated issue. Why do some become addicted and others don’t with the same amount of “fuel”? Nature or nuture? Once the tendency is present it’s a life-long battle that never goes away – it’s controled, very much like a chronic illness. Our society is not very big towards understanding addictions or mental illness – yet history proves that both are abundant throughout the arts. They fuel a direct link to creativity that most people can’t reach.

    I would have loved to hear Winehouse develop into her own over the next 10 years. For this it was a sad loss.

  9. January 20th, 2013 at 09:23 | #9

    Okay well Amy indicated transparently in her albums that she was drawn to jazz standards and if my ear is correct that is what she subscribed to when she wrote originals…. that some could have been better , I felt some originals were underdeveloped but nonetheless beautiful delivery at every stage. But dually noted was the people that surrounded her may have very well been Jackels and hyenas…. including her father and the Lioness album , although cherishable is a good display of this…. I think those who claim to be close and loving of her were riding her wave and had $$$ for visions..and that is just not sustainable … I understand her torment though as far as alcholhism , self esteem issues and how easy it is to be consumed by addiction and when you are an artist you filter a lot and a lot of emotions rule you and yet this rawness is what can make you so appealing as an artist yet you are tortured at the same time.. Balance is key but is mostly unabtainable for these kindred soulss… it reminds me of Qwan Yin….goddess of compassion… so no not soulful oldies , maybe hair style ect but to her I think she really loved jazz standards mostly.

  10. alisha
    June 7th, 2013 at 03:15 | #10

    hey, I dont think the download link is working anymore. None of them are. Can you help me out? I really want it.

  11. halfhearteddude
    June 7th, 2013 at 17:26 | #11

    Two new links are up now, alisha.

    PW = amdwhah

  12. alisha
    June 15th, 2013 at 11:13 | #12

    thank you a bunch! I’m loving this playlist already and I’m only 5 songs into it. Very well put together and very well thought out.

    Thanks again :)

  13. Joseph
    December 29th, 2013 at 00:26 | #13

    What a load of shit Amy Winehouse was incredibly talented. Love is a Losing Game is a classic if it were made in the 50’s or the 60’s everyone from Nat King Cole to Frank Sinatra to Billie Holiday would have covered it its that good. Also fuck you for saying addicts don’t deserve sympathy. You people make me sick. People are addicts for all sorts of reasons to group them all together as criminals or people who are just too stupid t know the dangers is ridiculous. Amy had a whole string of serious mental health problems from bullimia to anorexia to manic deppression what’s the bet you don’t know any of that. Sadly though its human nature to exclude one group of people as not deserving the same treatment as the rest of us. In the past it was because they were gay “why should a gay relationship be thought of in the same way as a heterosexual one” or it was skin color “why should these people get the same rights as us” now its health fascism. “Why should addicts and fat people get the same treatment as people who are healthy. We look after ourselves they don’t nobody should shed tears over them”. Makes me sick that you would say you care about her family then argue the case against people who feel sad about her passing.

  14. halfhearteddude
    December 29th, 2013 at 09:34 | #14

    Does your mom know you speak like that in public, Joseph? Did many strawmen have to die for you to make an argument that bears no relation to what the post actually says and makes references to things you only infer?

    Amy Winehouse sang defiantly about no going to rehab, and she walked the talk. Whatever the causes of her addictions, she seemed defiant in choosing the path to self-destruction. I have plenty of sympathy for people with addiction problems, but that sympathy diminishes when that person refuses all appeals and offers of help; more so when that person issues a collective “fuck you” in song to these appeals and offers.

    Winehouse’s addictions were public. My concern rests more with people who are suffering mental health issues but are afraid to seek treatment because of stigmatisation. Winehouse made certain decisions which eventually led to her demise. Her death was tragic on many levels, but there is a difference between that and justifying, as you do, the lifestyle hat led to the tragedy.

    And again, do mind your fucking language.

  15. Lordy
    March 23rd, 2014 at 17:35 | #15

    Great blog! Thanks for everything!

  16. Ciara
    August 17th, 2015 at 06:52 | #16

    Totally agree with previous commentator, Joseph – the writer of this post (the “callous fuckwit”, haha) clearly demonstrated little understanding or knowledge of addiction. I love the idiotic irony of him waxing lyrical about Winehouse’s stubborn refusal to understand what she was doing to herself destructively, and then his own belligerance in not bothering his hole to understand the often-complex nature of addiction. Most people are now aware that Winehouse eventually DID go to rehab (several times apparently), saw her G.P. regularly and, in the months before her death, had been taking Librium to help cope with alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Her mother also said Amy had a gym installed in her home and had hired a private yoga teacher – all as part of her lifestyle overhaul. I suggest the writer goes off abd watches Asif
    Kapadia’s excellent documenrary-film about her,named Amy.

  17. September 24th, 2018 at 13:11 | #17

    But I wasn’t surprised at all when I found out that she was dead. After what happened in Belgrade only a few weeks after she got out from rehab, me and Nathan were actually talking about how it probably wouldn’t be long until the drugs would take the best of her…

  18. December 18th, 2023 at 02:00 | #18

    Always find it a fascinating insight to review comments after time has passed. Especially interesting, is how mental health in society has been re-assessed and continues to evolve.
    It doesn’t matter how we individually perceive our own health, or how we express opinions on other people’s.

    One thing for sure – each and everyone of us have experienced some kind of mental health issue in our lifetime. In most cases, we find our own way through it, with the support of those closest to us, and may not have even realised how it affected our day to day lives at that moment.

    The most likely reason for recovery or oblivion as an outcome is how we re-discover our own baseline for survival. Some don’t find the example to follow that takes them along the right path. Some are in so deep, they are unable to find it. If you got through your own crisis, it’s as likely down to luck and circumstance as it is a choice.

    @half-hearted – Liked your choices in the mix. Thoughtful and balanced. I do wonder if an example from Sarah Vaughn would’ve been poignant….
    Thank you for the effort and love you inject into all these mixes. Keep educating :)

  19. amdwhah
    December 18th, 2023 at 08:31 | #19

    Thank you for your thoughtful and pertinent comments. Re-reading this, I think I was harsh on Amy. Her song “Rehab” annoyed me. “Just take the good advice from people who love you. Don’t rub your self-destructive defiance in their faces,” I want to shout at her. But that, of course, is reasoning with her on my terms. But, as you hint at, she probably was in too deep. MHSRIP.

    Thank you also for your kind comments about the thing I do here.

  20. rat-a-tat-tat
    January 28th, 2024 at 20:23 | #20

    A cherished re-up!
    Thanks for taking the time not only to create this mix in the first place, but also to put the file back on the new and improved shared server.

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