Archive for August, 2013

Covered with Soul Vol. 18

August 29th, 2013 6 comments

Covered With Soul 18

Following on from the theme of Covered With Soul in Vol. 5 and Vol. 11, this edition comprises soul covers of other soul songs. One might quibble that “For Your Love” is not really a soul song (nor is, originally, “Try A Little Tenderness”), but it seems to me that Freddie Scott”s version was inspired by the 1967 hit version by Peaches & Herb.

The fun with this series is in wondering in what direction soul singers might take a song. Sometimes the results are quite breathtaking. One of the best examples of that is how The Temptations turn Bill Withers” simple “Ain”t No Sunshine” into a seven-minute plus epic.

As always, this mix will fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-covered covers. PW in comments.

1. Philly Cream – Soul Man (1979)
2. Zulema – Love Train (1974)
3. The Spinners – O-o-h Child (1970)
4. Lyn Collins – Try A Little Tenderness (1975)
5. Sharon Cash – Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay (1970)
6. Vessie Simmons – A Change Is Gonna Come (1971)
7. Al Wilson – I Stand Accused (1968)
8. Billy Paul – Let’s Stay Together (1972)
9. Diana Ross – I Love You (Call Me) (1970)
10. Kimberley Briggs – My Whole World Ended (1972)
11. Wayne McGhie & the Sounds of Joy – Take A Letter Maria (1970)
12. Joe Simon – What A Wonderful World (1976)
13. Freddie Scott – For Your Love (1967)
14. Esther Phillips – Do Right Woman, Do Right Man (1972)
15. Cissy Houston – When Something Is Wrong With My Baby (1970)
16. Ann Peebles – Chain Of Fools (1969)
17. The Intruders – Be Thankful For What You Got (1975)
18. Tina Turner – Back Stabbers (1979)
19. The Three Degrees – Who Is She (And What Is She To You) (1975)
20. The Temptations – Ain’t No Sunshine (1972)



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Any Major Soul 1969 Vol. 2

August 15th, 2013 13 comments

Any Major Soul 1969 Vol. 2

Here is the second installment of Any Major Soul 1969, which might actually be even better than the first. Those three opening tracks alone”¦my, what a year for soul that was!

We previously met The Flirtations on the Christmas Soul Vol. 1 mix with their gorgeous version of “Christmas Time Is Here Again”. “Nothing But A Heartache” (which was actually first released in December 1968) was their big hit, reaching #34 on the US Billboard charts and #51 in the UK. It was revived in Britain in 2007 as part of an advertising campaign for the colonel”s fatty fried battery chicken which will give you nothing but a heart attack. The Flirtations continued releasing records into the 1980s, when they briefly became a Hi-NRG act — you might remember their 1983 song “Earthquake”.

Tina Britt released only one album, titled Blue All The Way. It”s an eclectic mix by a singer who could do the Motown thing as well as the Marlena Shaw thing. She had only one minor hit, a R&B Top 20 song titled “the Real Thing”, composed by Ashford and Simpson.

The best song title on this mix must be “Hip Old Lady On A Honda” by Rhetta Hughes, who has featured a few times (twice on Covered With Soul, the “Light My Fire” song swarm, the Amy Winehouse-inspired mix). Hughes was still a teenager when “Hip Old Lady” came out, having recorded for four years before that. The Chicago singer also has had a career as a part-time actress.

Janice Tyrone“s song here, “I’m Gonna Make It”, apparently features Aretha Franklin. Like Rhetta Hughes, Tyrone had begun as a teenage singer, going by the moniker Little Janice. By the time she was too old to be little, she released the excellent “I”m Gonna Make It”. Alas, it was her final record.

The closing track, by The Ambassadors, is another one of those productions which presaged the rise of Philly Soul, here its funkier side. The band never had commercial success, but the musicians who played on their 1969 LP, Soul Summit, went on to be big session names in Philadelphia, from the late, great Vince Montana to saxophonist Sam Reed, trombonist Fred Joiner and drummer Earl Young.

I”m not sure whether this series has run its course; the feedback to the last couple of mixes, if measure by the volume of comments, has been unenthusiastic. I have much more soul music to share, but whether to continue I shall leave up to you.

As always the mix is timed to fit on as standard CD-R, and includes covers.

1. Sly and the Family Stone – Stand!
2. The Impressions – Mighty Mighty (Spade & Whitey)
3. The Flirtations – Nothing But A Heartache
4. The Mad Lads – Make Room (In Your Heart)
5. Sweet Inspirations – Watch The One Who Brings You The News
6. Aretha Franklin – River’s Invitation
7. Tina Britt – Who Was That
8. Clarence Carter – You’ve Been A Long Time Comin’
9. The Chambers Brothers – Girls, We Love You
10. Friends Of Distinction – I’ve Never Found A Girl (To Love Me Like You Do)
11. Barbara McNair – The Hunter Gets Captured
12. Ila Vann – Keep On Laughing Baby
13. Tony Clark – Ain’t Love Good, Ain’t Love Proud
14. Rhetta Hughes – Hip Old Lady On A Honda
15. Janice Tyrone – I’m Gonna Make It
16. Solomon Burke – What Am I Living For
17. O.V. Wright – This Hurt Is Real
18. Isaac Hayes – One Woman
19. Linda Carr – In My Life
20. Cookie V – You Got The Wrong Girl
21. Dee Dee Warwick – That’s Not Love
22. Carolyn Franklin – There I Go
23. Sonny Charles & The Checkmates – Black Pearl
24. Stevie Wonder – Angie Girl
25. The Five Stairsteps – We Must Be in Love
26. The Exciters – Fight That Feelin’
27. The Ambassadors – Music (Makes You Wanna Dance)


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Any Major Telephone Vol. 2

August 8th, 2013 11 comments

Any Major Telephone Vol. 2

The first Any Major Telephone mix attracted a nice response, in the comments here and on Facebook, with loads of suggestions, some I had already on my shortlist, some I don’t even know. I’ll see what I can find on the suggestions I don’t already have; if I can, then there will be a third volume, compiled by the readers of this blog.

In the meantime, here are 24 tracks of my choosing, all featuring or suggesting telephone calls. Two belong together: In “Woman To Woman”, Shirley Brown tells the woman her man is cheating with to lay the fuck off; in an answer record, Barbara Mason explains to Shirley exactly why her man is straying. It’s pretty brutal stuff.

The Bobby Vee track could have featured on the Bacharach: The Lesser Known Songbook mix, for it’s a David/Bacharach composition (and, yes, that’s how they used to be credited; take a look at the image in the file’s ID3 tag).

Disclaimer: Inclusion in this mix does not in itself imply my endorsement of a track. I want to make the explicitly clear and ask you to remember that when you hear track 5.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes covers. PW in comments.

1. Mott The Hoople – One Of The Boys (1973)
2. The Mothers of Invention – Telephone Conversation (1968)
3. Jim Croce – Operator (That’s Not The Way It Feels) (1972)
4. Little River Band – Home On Monday (1977)
5. Paul Evans – Hello, This Is Joannie (1978)
6. Love Unlimited – Walking In The Rain (1972)
7. Brenda Holloway – Operator (1965)
8. Shirley Brown – Woman To Woman (1974)
9. Barbara Mason – From His Woman to You (1974)
10. Bunny Sigler – Regina (1973)
11. Eddie Floyd – 634-5789 (1967)
12. Johnny Fallin – Party Line (1959)
13. John Lee Hooker – Just Me And My Telephone (1951)
14. Effie Smith – Dial That Telephone (1953)
15. Orville Reed – The Telephone Girl (1927)
16. Jim Reeves – He’ll Have To Go (1960)
17. Bobby Vee – Anonymous Phone Call (1963)
18. Joe South – A Million Miles Away (1969)
19. Ben Folds Five – Your Most Valuable Possession (1999)
20. Kraftwerk – Der Telefon Anruf (1986)
21. Wham! – Battlestations (1986)
22. Sheena Easton – Telephone (Long Distance Love Affair) (1983)
23. Zhané – Request Line (1997)


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In Memoriam – July 2013

August 1st, 2013 6 comments

JULY-13These are dangerous days if you”re a TV actor associated with the Journey song “Don”t Stop Believing”. In June, the wonderful Jim Gandolfini was taken from us much too young; in July Glee“s Cory Monteith suddenly died at an even younger age. Monteith was not the most talented singer or actor on Glee, but his character exuded a fundamental decency which, from all I”ve read, was a defining characteristic of the man. Kids everywhere will have dug out old DVDs of Glee; educate them by playing the originals of songs covered in the first two seasons of the show on the Origleenals mix.

Monteith was the most headlined death of July, but the headline death must be that of JJ Cale, who provided Eric Clapton with two of his biggest hits, “Cocaine” and “After Midnight”. Both versions were superior in Cale”s kicked back manner. Clapton”s decision to record “After Midnight” persuaded Cale to persist with his hitherto unrewarding music career.

In 1968 the immensely talented and even more troubled Frankie Lymon died at the age of 25 of a drug overdose. His younger brother Lewis Lymon was also a singer, with a very similar voice, fronting a group named The Teenchords who, like Frankie”s Teenagers, were multiracial. Lewis, who died at 69 on July 10, did Read more…

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