Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The box of delights

Back to the box of delights that dropped through the letterbox recently. I’m going to rattle through the rest of its contents in the next few posts here, because they are all worth sharing.

Leroy Hutson replaced Curtis Mayfield in The Impressions before going solo himself in 1973. He is often described as one of the best kept secrets of Seventies soul. From 1973 here’s a single featuring two tracks from his debut solo album “Love Oh Love”.

“When You Smile” seems to be on constant rotation on the turntable in my head at the moment. A beautiful song and arrangement, unfortunately edited down somewhat for the single – for radio play purposes presumably. “Getting It On” is essentially an instrumental version of the ‘A’ side which includes a cool ARP synth that places the track very definitely at a moment in time in the early 70s. As you can see form the label scan “Getting It On” is billed as a theme to what is presumably a blaxploitation film (as I have seen it is included on a compilation of said films), but googling for details of the film itself draws a blank. Which came first, I wonder, the vocal or the instrumental?

“When You Smile”, a simple love song, has an arrangement to die for – the duh-duh duh bit (for want of a better description!) really gets to me. It is a clever (and irresistible) musical motif that to me suggests thunder, and is introduced when Leroy is singing about the things in life that get him down giving the song at that point a suitably dark, and threatening feel. But as the “trials of the day” are starting to get in the way Leroy’s warm voice and the strings soar away as "the sweet smile on the pretty face" of the woman in his life lifts his spirits and overcomes everything. Great stuff!

Leroy Hutson - When You Smile 1973

If the length of the single isn’t enough for you, you can find the full album version of “When You Smile” here.

Leroy Hutson - Getting It On 1973

Buy "The Best Of Leroy Hutson"


ally. said...

desperately trying to keep up - sorry it's taken so long to wish you happy 200th well happy 202nd now. that josephine taylor was a hell of a way to celebrate too - what a treasure. and there can never be enough leroy out in the world so ta most awfully for this and a whole heap of treasures

Raggedy said...

Got to love Leroy Hutson -- although I have to say that his voice is not what attracts me. It's his incredible versatility. The Love Oh Love album is just a great example of what I mean by "versatility." I love the title track, btw.