Friday, February 16, 2007

Put it on your list

Well here we are – this is post #50. I’m not intending to stop, so it’s 50 not out – a score that most English cricketers nowadays can only dream about. After the pain of an Ashes drubbing that was going to be my cheap joke at their expense but then, what do you know, they polish their bats (and balls!), come up with a couple of half decent performances and win the wotsit cup from under the Aussies noses. Not exactly reason to dance around the sidescreens yet, but maybe there’s a glimmer of hope for the World Cup.

As this is 50 up I thought I better make the music a bit special. Back in October I featured a Betty Wright single. Re-reading that post I notice I made a cricket reference there too, in fact probably the only other cricket reference I’ve made in any of my posts – what’s this then? some weird cricket - Betty Wright subliminal connection going on?

Anyway, in that post I mentioned her 1972 album “I Love The Way You Love”. People sometimes say that soul music is all about the 45s and that there haven’t been many classic soul albums. Well I would agree to a point in that many good soul albums feel like a collection of singles but don’t seem to quite work as an entity which would elevate them to greatness (of course we can all name some classic soul albums that do work as an entity - Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” & “Here, My Dear” and Stevie Wonder’s 70s triple play of “Music Of My Mind”, “Talking Book” and “Innervisions” come immediately to mind). Betty Wright’s “I Love The Way You Love” probably falls into the category of a collection of singles – seven of the eleven tracks were either A or B sides of 45s and six of those were released before the album – but I still rate it as a classic as every track is so strong. The likes of Little Beaver, Snoopy Dean, Clarence Reid, Benny Latimore, and The Memphis Horns are all present; Betty is one of the best soul singers around; and with strong and varied arrangements each track has its own clear identity. I must name check Mike Lewis too who did the string and horn arrangements, the strings are prominent throughout, and fantastic.

To quote, from the back cover, Willie ‘Moon Man’ Bacote from WEBB Radio Baltimore, Maryland: “It’s truly a great bit-o-wax- well recorded and beautifully put together”.

This album is not too difficult pick up on vinyl, and it’s also now available on CD so you too can easily own this soul classic.

How do I pick the tracks to feature? Difficult, because they’re all great. Easy, because they’re all great!

The album has not one but two tracks that feature the word ‘love’ twice in their title. Must be some sort of record. Here they are:

Betty Wright – I Love The Way You Love 1972
Betty Wright – If You Love Me Like You Say You Love Me 1972

Oh, go on then, here’s another one:

Betty Wright – All Your Kissin’ Sho’ Don’t Make True Lovin’ 1972

Now go and buy it.


doctashock said...

I've been liking the content you're putting up here and I've been meaning to say thank you for the blogroll listing. We've been getting quite a few hits from it.

Anonymous said...

as always thanks for the great selection... a true test of any great batsman is converting the fifty into a century, so keep focus and i look forward to 50 more.

ps sri lanka are my outside tip for the cup

Vincent said...

Greetings from Baltimore! Yes, Betty Wright is absolutely fantastic! "Clean Up Woman" has been a staple in my record collection for decades. Suffice it to say that the vinyl is a bit tattered so... off I go to Dusty Groove! Just in case that's not enough, there is a nice budget comp available at that has a few hit singles and a couple of live tracks. And for the record, I thought I'd never hear Moon Man's name again... WEBB was required listening back in the 70s (it's important to note that my last name really is Ebb, however I think it is purely by coincidence) as was WSID with Gospel legend the late, great Mary Clayborne. Also, I don't know what public access cable is like in the UK, but every once in a while in Maryland we can catch old episodes of Moon Man's "Dance Connection" series which was required viewing from the 70s up until about 1991 or so, especially when "Soul Train" went on the steady decline.
I know I'm late on commenting on this fine post but this is only my second time visiting. I will be sure to check back often and encourage my readers to do so as well.

Peace and Blessings.