Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Squeeze me tease me

I love it when I buy a record that moves me enough to want to post it here on Feel It straightaway. Last week two such records arrived in the same package.  So, here goes with the first of them.  

Earlier this year I wrote a piece on Jackie Moore titled Queen-B and featured two of her Seventies songs that appeared as B sides. Last week I was very pleased to pick up this Jay Boy issue for next to nothing and, again, it’s the B-side that is really turning me on.

The year on the label is 1968. That refers to the original recording date of this song. “Dear John” backed with “Here Am I” was Jackie Moore’s debut single, on the Shout label, recorded during a brief, and unsuccessful chartwise, stay in Philly. This UK Jay Boy release dates to 1971.

Incidentally, I love the Jay Boy label. It probably goes back to George McCrae’s “Rock Your Baby” when I was just getting into Soul music, and the fact that it had a quirky name and design which was refreshing amongst all the major label mundanity that dominated UK releases in the early 70s. Looking at the Jay Boy discography around the time of this Jackie Moore release it is clear they had a deal with Shout because Freddie Scott, Erma Franklin, and Philip Mitchell’s "I'm Gonna Build California From All Over The World" (great title, and I never knew that got a UK release!), were also issued.

I digress.   

“Dear John” is a perfectly acceptable song but it’s “Here Am I” that is the stronger song and just simply irresistible to my ears. How this hasn’t ever seemed to garner more recognition on the Northern/Crossover scene, or whatever you want to call it, beats me. And, who knows?, if “Here Am I” had been the A side perhaps Jackie Moore would have started her recording life with a smash hit and her career would have ended up being more stratospheric  than it was.    

Monday, November 21, 2011

Not enough Roots

Looking at my vinyl collection a regret I have is that it doesn’t feature enough reggae. My DJing days, way back when, steered me into buying a lot of disco and jazz-funk, many of which just don’t lend themselves to being played outside the context of a hot sweaty club and some of which now, frankly, sound second rate. Oh how I wish now that I could swap at least 50% of my disco 12” singles for ones of the reggae variety.

My collection of reggae 12” inchers is highly treasured, but unfortunately distinctly limited. Most of them, including the one featured here, are now worth considerably more than any of the disco counterparts they rub sleeves with in the roll-top cabinet, although that is definitely not the point. Accept in a way it is because I feel like I missed a trick – I love Roots reggae in particular and I was buying a lot of 12” singles at the time that Roots was at its height. If I hadn’t been such a slave to the disco decks I would probably have a bigger Roots collection, and buying them new then would certainly have worked out cheaper than trying to acquire them now.   

Never mind.

Here’s one of my treasures, from a former I-Three.
Judy Mowatt’s Black Woman backed with Joy Tulloch’s “dub poem” Black Beauty was originally released on the JA label Ashandan, as early as 1977 I think. This 12” on Grove Music appeared in the UK in 1980.   

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Labelled with love

Pull up a stump by the fire with me (this one is a bit crackly).

Car Boot sales have just about finished now but there is one (at least) in my area that seems to continue through the winter. I paid it a visit this morning, pickings were thin, but I did come away with this 70/71 thereabouts Atlantic compilation album. The sleeve attracted me initially, and then I pulled the record out and saw it was an Atlantic plum/orange label so that was it – I knew I was going to buy it. There is something about the this label that presses all the right buttons for me, don’t ask me why though, It’s not as if it triggers a wave of nostalgia as my interest in music and records started at about the time Atlantic retired those particular colours on their album labels, and I never owned one at the time.

The album turned out to be rather more scratchy than I had hoped (why is it I can’t see half of the scratches and scuffs until I get home?), but was well worth the 65p I paid for it. Side One, Track Five (sandwiched between Yes and Led Zeppelin) really made me prick up my ears. Janis Joplin I initially thought, but then realised whoever it was would relegate Janis to a distant also ran in any singing competition. The tracklisting told me it was a group called Cold Blood. I admit I had not heard of them before. 

A quick bit of Googling later I can tell you that the singer is Lydia Pense (great voice) and Cold Blood hailed from the Bay Area. They released four albums between 1969 and 1973 and then a couple more with Lydia as main billing, and are still touring. 

This track is, of course, a cover of Barbara Lynn’s classic that came out on Tribe (another great label design) and was issued as a 45 on the San Francisco label (yet another great label design!) which is where Tower Of Power started life, and I’m wondering if ToP’s mighty horn section are making an appearance here.     

Compilation and sampler albums raison d’etre was undoubtedly to make you explore artists and bands you may otherwise not. Well, 40odd years after this one was released its power is still intact as it has certainly got me wanting to hear more of Cold Blood, and Lydia Pense!    

Cold Blood – I’m A Good Woman  1970                  

Saturday, November 05, 2011

That’s with an R instead of a V and without the I and,yes, it’s with an L

Here’s a great 45 whose fire unfortunately didn’t burn at the time of its releases in the 70s.

I say releases because it was released twice, once on each side of the pond, with completely different mixes and slightly different titles. It first appeared in 1974 on Darnel Records as “You’ve Gone” by Georgie Flame (incidentally Darnel Records address was 254 W 54th in New York, in 1977 that address would open its doors as Studio 54). The track then reappeared in 1976 in the UK with a completely different mix and a slightly faster tempo on the President Records offshoot Seville as “You’re Gone” credited to George Flame. I guess the people at President/Seville thought they should go with a plain George to try and avoid confusion with Georgie Fame. The song  was written by Herb Rooney, once of The Exciters.

The only information I can find on George Flame was that he co-wrote, with Joe Beck, a number of tracks on Gloria Gaynor’s 1977 album “Glorious”.

Both versions of this song have a really dark feel to them and the 1976 version has a sort of sleazy arrangement too. It certainly lights my fire!

You can also hear the original 1974 version here.