Dexys’s ‘Geno’ featured on their debut studio album Searching for the Young Soul Rebels, alongside a cover version of Chuck Wood’s ‘Seven Days Too Long’. It’s good, but not a patch on the original.
Kevin Rowland and Kevin “Al” Archer were both members of Birmingham punk band the Killjoys before they decided to form Dexys Midnight Runners. Fans of Northern Soul, the duo sought a horn-driven soul sound and stumbled across a very successful formula. Non more so than on the chart-topping ‘Geno’, a tribute to soul singer Geno Washington.
Jean Carn hit one of the heights of Philly soul with her single ‘Don’t Let It Go to Your Head’ and its Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff production. The song would be covered 12 years later by the The Brand New Heavies, quickly becoming a soul/acid jazz standard. Have a great weekend.
Letta Mbulu was born in Soweto, but left South Africa and Apartheid for the US in 1965. She quickly befriended fellow South African exile Hugh Masekela. In 1967, she recorded Masekela’s anthem ‘What’s Wrong With Groovin’’ on Random Records. Later that same year, producer David Axelrod fell under Letta’s spell, had her signed to Capitol Records and produced her debut album, Letta Mbulu Sings. Have a great weekend.
“I’m a good man, food’s on the table, working two jobs/Ready willing and able check your name.” The vocals of Taura Stinson kick off this soulful track before the lonesome Raphael Saadiq questions his woman’s betrayal. His sound is reminiscent of Isaac Hayes. Have a great weekend.
Alicia Keys gets one mention on my blog and the next thing you see is her feature on a sacred Friday. But the single ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ is worth it, in all its Stevie Wonder-like glory. The track featured on her modestly titled album The Diary Of Alicia Keys. This was R&B with some Alicia neo-soul.
Dornik is back, two years after the release of his well-received, self-titled debut. The evolution from Jessie Ware’s touring drummer to standalone R&B star has been so startling that his arty sound has been compared to that of Frank Ocean, Miguel and Raury. With ‘God Knows’, I am thinking more Croydon’s answer to Anderson .Paak. Long may it continue.
Well, I will do Hall & Oates the justice of posting their 1981 single ‘I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)’ and not giving into my tendency to reach for De La Soul’s sample ‘Say No Go’. Give these blue-eyed soul boys credit, where credit is due. Michael Jackson once confessed that the song heavily influenced his delivery of ‘Billie Jean’.
In 1968, Aretha Franklin was at one of her early peaks. The Bacharach & David-penned song ‘I Say a Little Prayer’ was the second track on Aretha Now, the album pressed by Atlantic Records. Aretha came up with the arrangement,for a song that had been a hit for Dionne Warwick the year before. Bacharach later said that he liked Aretha’s version the best. As for the album, the first three songs were ‘Think’, ‘I Say a Little Prayer’ and ‘See Saw’. Not too shoddy, then.
This is going to need some further curatorship over the next few days, but as a starter for 9:
Honourable mentions also go to: Bobby Hebb for ‘Sunny’ (1966); Stevie Wonder for ‘I Don’t Know Why’ (1968); Aretha Franklin for ‘I Say A Little Prayer‘ (1968); Isaac Hayes for ‘Walk On By’ (1969); Freda Payne ‘Band Of Gold’ (1970); The Five Stairsteps for ‘O-o-h Child’ (1970); Timmy Thomas for ‘Why Can’t We Live Together’ (1972); The Isley Brothers for ‘Work To Do’ (1972); Al Green for ‘I’m Still In Love With You’ (1972); Alice Clark for ‘Never Did I Stop Loving You’ (1972); The O’Jays for ‘Back Stabbers’ (1972); Sly for ‘If You Want Me To Stay’ (1973); and Love Unlimited for ‘Move Me No Mountain’ (1974); Minnie Riperton for ‘Inside My Love’ (1975); Marvin Gaye for ‘I Want You’ (1976) and many others.
‘I’m Still in Love with You’ is the title track off Al Green’s fifth studio album, released in October 1972. Both the song and the album were produced by Willie Mitchell. The combination was deep, complex and soulful. Next week, I will feature a single sound before a summer hiatus over August. It better be a good one. Have a great weekend.