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:
Oh, go on then, here’s another one:
Now go and buy it.