Fair Use disclaimer
All music presented on this site is shared under the premise of "fair use"; this site is solely intended for the purpose of education and critique. If you are a rights holder to any of the music presented and wish for it to be removed, simply contact me directly and it will be taken down.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
This is one of those records that I seem to have a loss of words for, and that's not really a bad thing, is it? An all and out FUN bubblegum soul mover (or should I say moo-ver: you'll get THAT when you hear the end of the song).
Monday, August 30, 2010
If you've been hanging around here often, you know I love these saucy female tracks. This particular one just teeters on the edge of being very naughty and who can resist THAT especially when it's coming from former Ikettes who broke away from the Ike Turner empire and changed their name to the Mirettes?
Saturday, August 28, 2010
By far the most SLAMMING Dutch beat record; you better believe that I'll be playing it tonight at the Burlington Bar!
C+B were formed in the early sixties, and although they saw many lineup changes were an active band up until the 1970's. Most of their releases are in the British-style blues vein, this raver is relatively unique in their catalog. It's not easy to duplicate a record like this.
CUBY + BLIZZARDS - YOUR BODY NOT YOUR SOUL
Friday, August 27, 2010
If there was ever a record that was a one-two punch total knockout, it's this one! An absolutely perfect two sided gem from an excellent Philadelphia group. I especially love the lyrics in "Music"...Doesn't get any better, folks!
This one is most definitely in my box to spin at The Burlington in Chicago tomorrow night!
THE AMBASSADORS - MUSIC (MAKES YOU WANT TO DANCE)
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Candy & The Kisses, made up of sisters Candy & Suzanne Nelson along with friend Jeanette Johnson, seemed destined to break out nationally. Their single 'The 81" (a glorious former 45 of the day) was a smash in their hometown area (Philadelphia) and a switch to Scepter records and this stormer of a track, written by the power trio of Nick Ashford, Valerie Simpson and Jo Armstead, had massive hit potential. For whatever reason, the group never broke into the big time even though the material was mostly excellent. A pity! They truly deserved better.
CANDY & THE KISSES - KEEP ON SEARCHIN'
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Plucked at age 15 from a talent show at Chicago's Regal Theater, saucy voice Jo Ann Garrett was signed to Chess Records where she cut this debut single. This is one of those rare cases where the debut release is also definitive and perfect; she cut some other great sides but in my opinion, this is THE ONE. Another strikingly perfect female Chicago soul side.
JO ANN GARRETT - A WHOLE NEW PLAN
Monday, August 23, 2010
There are funk records and then there are FUNK records; this is the latter category.
Starting life as a bay area gospel group called the Heavenly Tones (and featuring Sly Stone's little sister Vaetta Stewart along with Mary McCreary, Elva Mouton and Tramaine Hawkins) while the members were in high school, by 1967 big brother Sly took the group (less Hawkins who quit) to become the backing vocalist for Sly & The Family Stone.
During 1970, Sly struck up a production deal with Atlantic records and created his Stoneflower imprint(he started his career in production after all) and cut two singles with the group recording as Little Sister. This was their second release, and features Sly's Maestro Rhythm Box (an early drum machine which was featured prominently the next year on Sly's "There's A Riot Goin On" LP) for a sound that must have been otherworldly at the time of release (and still sounds GREAT today.)
Great sound and all, but can someone please explain what STANGA means?
LITTLE SISTER - STANGA
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Sounding quite a bit like her debut record ("You Say You Love Me") this organ-led groove is such a great sound that any similarities between the other track (and also a past 45 of the day) is forgiven. A very enjoyable track from this great Detroit singer.
DEE EDWARDS - TOO CARELESS WITH MY LOVE
Saturday, August 21, 2010
I'll be back at favorite Chicago haunt THE BURLINGTON BAR (3425 W. Fullerton) next Saturday August 28th along with my friend and MOD Chicago raconteur ERIC COLIN for a night of the hottest soul, beat and psych 45's for your dancing, drinking and feel good pleasure.
Hope to see you there!
You know me; I can't get enough of these raw, uptempo, bluesy soul records!
Weathered by the death of his wife, L.A based Vernon Garrett has a depth to his voice on this kiss-off track that is the epitome of soul music. I could put this track on repeat over and over again and not only groove to it, but pick apart all the little nuances that make this such a powerful record. Sublime stuff indeed.
VERNON GARRETT - SHINE IT ON
Friday, August 20, 2010
While P.P. Arnold was born in Los Angeles, her greatest success was found in the UK. On tour with the Ike & Tina Revue in 1966, P.P was singled out by Mick jagger as a potential solo star and was signed to then Stones-manager Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate Records.
This side, the flip to her big UK hit version of "The First Cut Is The Deepest" is an excellent summit meeting between US/UK soul.
P.P. ARNOLD - SPEAK TO ME
Thursday, August 19, 2010
While "Grounded" was the b-side (to the downright awful "Created By Clive"), this is the side that has lived on in the hearts of collectors and fans of British beat. It also blows my mind that two members of this band (Chris Squire and Peter Banks) formed progressive rock band Yes only one year after this record was cut; a massive indication of changing tastes in music that wasn't limited to the changes that were also occurring in the US soul scene. Not to say that there weren't great 45's recorded after 1968, but for my tastes the rate of amazing singles per capita in all r&b/soul/rock n roll peaked in 1966-67, then began a steady stream of petering out starting in 1968.
Regardless of its' lineage, this is an incredible record featuring some of the finest songwriting of the freakbeat era.
THE SYN - GROUNDED
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
For his final single for Brunswick records, this is also Billy Butler's last gasp of the golden age of Chicago soul before starting his funkier group Infinity. While there are some top notch releases from Billy Butler & Infinity, Billy will always be known best for his uptempo soul period which was one of the defining sounds for the northern soul movement.
BILLY BUTLER - BURNING TOUCH OF LOVE
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
As someone who has loved all music 60's for my entire life, the phenomenon of Frankie Valli has always been a real mystery to me. As a fan of smooth falsetto voices, Frankie's shrill one just doesn't jive with my central nervous system. Sorry.
HOWEVER, on this record he leaves the high parts to female backing vocalists and sings in his normal register to great effect on a superb song that is guaranteed to be stuck in your head for the rest of the day at least, and perhaps weeks.
FRANKIE VALLI - YOU'RE READY NOW
Monday, August 16, 2010
As I've mentioned before, when I'm out on travel one of my favorite things to do is listen to playlists on my MP3 player with a focus on all the "45's in reserve" that I've never featured on the blog. So many times a record will pop up that I had practically forgotten about.
I can't say that I had forgotten this one, as Jackie Wilson's hard soul period is very dear to my heart. HOWEVER, I'd forgotten just how INCREDIBLE this record is and how I never ever hear it played out at soul nights (a pity! I'm gonna start placing it in my DJ box in the future). I've wanted to feature this one SO BADLY while I was out of town but I didn't have a label scan with me; just got home last night and I KNEW that this was gonna be today's record, hands down.
Jackie's career is pretty well divided between his New York period (with producer Dick Jacobs) and his Chicago period (working with producers/arrangers Carl Davis & Gerald Sims). This record was one of the final sides cut with Dick Jacobs, and the band new thing certainly was a reality for Jackie, as the Chicago period began his run of fantastic hard driving records (including, of course, "Higher & Higher", one of the greatest records ever, of any genre). Man oh man this record just flat out ROCKS.
JACKIE WILSON - BRAND NEW THING
Saturday, August 14, 2010
In my relative neglect of bay area artists, here's a really great single from pretty late in the game for where my personal interests lie. While this record was cut in 1976, it has many of the elements of late '60's/ early '70's soul, and the intro hook just completely floors me, along with the very personal lyrics.
Not a whole lot of info is out there about Oakland's Harold Tyler, but a Billboard magazine article shows that he self released this 45.
HAROLD TYLER - REALITY
This record was released three times; under the names The Young Hearts AND The New Young Hearts and it's the same recording.
This copy was pressed in 1970 with the latter group name, and is the same recording as the 1967 release by the former group on another label! Very strange stuff, and indicative of the wild days of the record industry.
As for the record, I could see why it would be issued more than once; it's a phenomenal track that truly should have been a massive hit.
THE NEW YOUNG HEARTS - A LITTLE TOGETHERNESS
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
The murmurings are true; Stockholm may be the best city in Europe for record digging. Unfortunately, I had only one day to dig and only had 90 minutes of sleep the night before so I was a bit worse for the wear. However, the three stores I visited and blasts of espresso kept me going until I returned to the hotel, crashed, and dreamed of 45's spinning.
First off I stopped at Record Hunter; a small shop that was very tidy and well organized. Not many 45's, but I found some nice LP's that were priced very reasonably. The geezer behind the counter recommended the next two stores for me to visit, thankfully...
First off, there is Skivbörsen (St. Eriksgatan 71, Vasastan), a tiny and funky basement shop that I dug right off. PILES of records, CD's and god knows what else piled up everywhere. Started looking through 45's and was pulling stuff out big time. CHEAP, too. I accumulated a BIG stack and the nice geezer behind the counter told me they had thousands more in storage and they would pull them out for me. Uh, yes indeed! I told them I wanted to visit another store and asked if that would give them time to pull them out which they said yes.
So, I was off to the next stop; the literally mind melting Nostalgipalatset (S:t Eriksgatan 101 - S-113 31 Stockholm). Nostalgia Palace is, quite simply, the best record store for 60's rock I have ever visited, hands down, no argument. The soul selection wasn't too shabby either (but not the best). While looking through the boxes of 45's, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Exotic sleeves from Sweden, Germany and beyond including some Beatles releases I've never even seen in books (but are now in my collection)! Spent a few hours here and realized that I had to stop or I would go broke! Walked ouit with an armful and headed back to the basement...
When I returned to Skivbörsen , they had started to pull out the storage 45's and they were in GROCERY BAGS!!! YES! Some TRUE digging at last; reminded me of stores on the west and south side of Chicago. I went through easily a few thousand records and pulled out around 100; he priced them up for me and most were UNDER A DOLLAR!!!! Found all types of stuff; 60s rock, early punk, Scandanavian beat, soul, new old stock 70's soul...There were more but at this point I was starting to see double so I just had to stop and walk back to the hotel. Hope to go back to Stockholm, as there were other recommendations that I simply didn't have time to check out. A magical city!!!!
While other cities may boast great deals, Oslo is simply not one of them. Remember this is the land of the $6US small ice cream cone!
However, what the city lacks in deals it makes up for it in exotic, rare as can be Norwegian pressings of 60's 45's with unique picture sleeves that makes us collectors drool.
Proving that one can't believe everything they read on the internet, I approached Rakk And Ralls (Akersgata 39 (city centre) / phone: 22 36 04 88)with hesitation; their online reviews mention a rude staff, etc. However, I found just the opposite. A jaw dropping, three floor record & memorabilia shop that was full of a dizzying array of cool stuff. I spent a number of hours there, grabbed an armfull (telling myself that I may never be back so SPLURGE) and then went back the next day for more. The bloke behind the counter was very friendly and more than happy to give me a generous discount. There was a portable turntable setup with headphones as well. My friend behind the counter also recommended that I check out Bjorn Ringstroms Antikvariat (Wessels gate 2 (Meyerløkka) / phone: 22 20 00 13), a short walk down the road. I was very happy for this recommendation; the store is small but it's full of QUALITY vinyl and priced a bit less than Rakk And Ralls. Erik behind the counter was very friendly and actually ENCOURAGED me to bargain with him. I picked out some very nice singles and an LP and was on my way, carrying a great feeling about the store. However, the friendliness of the store and a few exotic picture sleeves made me go back the next day, and I'm glad that I did. We worked out a great deal and everyone was happy. This is a very, very friendly store and I cannot recommend it enough.
Folks, I am truly honored to have been a featured guest on last night's WATT FROM PEDRO SHOW! Check it out here! He interviewed me and I spun over 40 of my favorite soul 45's while we imbibed some delicious red wine. Good times indeed!
Hailing from Liverpool and with all bets on them that would be the "next Beatles", The Dennisons seemingly had it all, except for the massive success which they seemingly deserved. They looked great and were fantastic musicians and singers (shades of the fab four!). Perhaps still smarting from the wounds of missing the Beatle boat, Decca records hurriedly signed the Dennisons in 1963.
Releasing only a scant three singles, this was the second and finds an incredible version of the Rufus Thomas standard, backed with a number that was (allegedly) written for the lads specifically by Ben E King while they were touring together.
Easily the best double sided Merseybeat record other than those released by the group whose name starts with B and ends with S.
THE DENNISONS - WALKIN' THE DOG
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
While the lyrics may be very simplistic (to say the least), this funky track makes up for it in hot playing and excellent dynamics. I chose this one today with the shuffle play method; I have an itunes playlist setup with all my "45's in reserve" for the blog. This one came on and I literally started dancing around my hotel room so that was the deciding factor. So yes, there IS a science in what I choose to post every day!
The Cordells were one of Philadelphia's earliest recording r&b groups; this seems to be one of their final singles and I am, once again, guessing the year.
THE CORDELLS - YOU DO A THING TO MY MIND
Monday, August 9, 2010
Hello from Oslo, Norway!
While this is a Detroit record through and through, the sound to my ears is much more Chicago-like in nature, in that it is much rawer with a more laid back groove than the Detroit sounds. "Ready For The Heartbreak" is a cool dancer with a most excellent guitar break (if this were Motown or any of the mini-Motown's, the break almost surely would have been baritone sax!). B side "Modern Day Woman" is a very very unique track with lyrics and subject matter that are quite different from just about anything else I can think of in the genre.
Excellent stuff that was released on the very obscure and highly collectible La Beat records (beautiful label, isn't it?)
JAMES SHORTER - READY FOR THE HEARTBREAK
Saturday, August 7, 2010
In the past, I've featured some real stompers featuring the brassy and sassy vocals of Jean Wells. Here we find her in a different context completely OWNING a ballad with vocals soaring over a very Otis Redding-like arrangement chock full of superb playing.
I was not aware of this record until I recently found this Yugoslavian(!) EP at a record faire in Italy (!) containing two singles (the other of which I have and featured here in the past). There was also a single release in the US for this one.
JEAN WELLS - IF YOU'VE EVER LOVED SOMEBODY
Recorded and released shortly before this Australian group moved to the UK (and found much deserved international success with the amazing "Friday On My Mind") this record finds the group at the peak of their powers amidst "Easy-mania" in their native land.
THE EASYBEATS - SORRY
Friday, August 6, 2010
Of course I like/love every record I post, but some of them are VERY special; this is one of those. I know nothing about this Dallas TX group (certainly no connection to the Detroit girl group). From the low fidelity recording to the heartfelt performance, this is the type of record that makes us collector types weak in the knees. I am guessing at the year; please write if you know any more.
THE DEBONAIRS - PLEASE COME BACK BABY
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Hello from MOSCOW!
One of the joys in writing this blog is when researching the artists I find that they may no longer be recording, but still sing locally, either in clubs or their church. It's very sad to say that today's featured singer gave up singing around 1972 after the lack of success of her half a dozen singles. This release was also the first issue from Curtis Mayfield's Curtom label (Mayfield was a strong believer in the vocal prowess of Ms Conquest).
This record features a typically brilliant Johnny Pate arrangement (full of excellent drive and dynamics) as well as the always sublime production of Curtis Mayfield.
JUNE CONQUEST - WHAT'S THIS I SEE?
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Just take a look at the label of this gem; unsung heroes of Detroit music Mike Terry, Ollie McLaughlin and of course the star of the show, Richard "Popcorn" Wylie.
Popcorn was an early member of the Motown family not only was he a session musician (he appeared on "Please Mr Postman", "Money" and "Shop Around"; three of the defining early Motown hits) but he was also head of A&R. His career at Motown was over in 1962, but he was a mainstay on the Detroit scene, working with the likes of JJ Barnes, The Platters (he wrote the incredible "With This Ring") and Jamo Thomas (Popcorn wrote one of my all time favorites- "I Spy For The FBI") along with single on his own.
Here we find Popcorn back in the Motown family 9 years later for a final one-off single for the Soul subsidiary, and what a monster JAM it is!
POPCORN WYLIE - FUNKY RUBBER BAND
Monday, August 2, 2010
Yet another great track that, seemingly, with better exposure could have been a major hit.
Surprisingly, no members of this Philadelphia-based 4 woman, 1 man group ever went on to any other groups that made any records (from what I gather, but I can't say that with 100% certainty).
Whatever the pedigree, this is a lovely record that can be had for surprisingly little money, too. Proving once again that not all rare 45's are expensive, and that a 45 doesn't HAVE to be expensive to be great!
THE SWEET DELIGHTS - BABY BE MINE
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Honestly, I'm too tired to write a whole lot right now so let's let this record speak for itself! Not quite sure what my web connection will be like in the next few days, so I wanted to be safe and post something (great) while I'm able.
For as high of quality as this record is, it never did much of anything on the charts, sadly.
ISLEY BROTHERS - GOT TO HAVE YOU BACK