Back in the day many groups and artists were making disco retreads of older songs. In 1980 Coffee had a big dancefloor hit with “Casanova”, a record that brings back fond memories for me. At the time I think I knew it was a remake of an older song but it wasn’t until many years later I heard the original (at least I presume it is the original) version of the song as sung by the great Ruby Andrews. Released in 1967, it is, of course, a very different animal to Coffee’s disco take on the song.
A couple of months ago I became aware (ha!) of another version of “Casanova”. It was released in 1975 on the Atlanta based Aware label and so, in memory lane, appeared roughly mid way between Ruby’s original and Coffee’s remake. 1975 was just before the disco bandwagon was seriously rolling and this version is a lot closer to Ruby’s original in style. Ruby Andrews is one the many great, but lesser known, soul singers that graced the scene during Soul’s golden age and this Aware outing is sung by another singer that fits very much into that category – the late, great, Loleatta Holloway.
I really love all three versions of this song. As soon as I bumped into Loleatta’s version on YouTube I had to go out and snag a copy for my collection. I now have all three versions on 45 and right now, featuring a really wonderful arrangement by Tommy Stewart, Loleatta’s is my favourite and has been on heavy rotation on the Dual 505 in recent weeks.
The B side’s worth a spin too…