Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Get Lifted

I am a fan of Huey Morgan’s Sunday show on BBC 6 Music. He plays an eclectic mix with more than a smattering of oldies in the soul, funk and hip hop vein. 6 Music are learning, finally, that it doesn’t have to be rock slanted music all the time. A few weeks ago Huey evidently could not make the gig at short notice so 6 Music stalwart Tom Robinson stepped in to do the talking. I stress the talking bit, because he was sticking to an already laid down play list prepared by Huey. It was quite amusing at times listening to Tom, who I respect, seemingly coming over all quizzical at some of the tracks he was required to introduce. One example was a track from George McCrae – “I Get Lifted”, and Tom appeared to sound surprised that George had recorded something other than the ubiquitous “Rock Your Baby”.

If you are of a certain age then “Rock Your Baby” will certainly be familiar and probably loved too, even if you are not generally of the soul persuasion. Memories and all that. I loved “Rock Your Baby” and quite liked some of George’s follow up singles even though I recognised they bore more than a passing resemblance to his big hit. “I Get Lifted” was a single that was released after the big hit and is one I couldn’t recall but, boy, did it sound good pumping out of the radio on that Sunday afternoon.

I resolved to go out and snag a copy. It is not a rare record by any means but to date I had not managed to find one on t’internet that ticked the boxes on both price and condition. Today, almost as an afterthought, I paid a quick visit to a couple of chazzas and what do I find in one of them? For 50p, a mint copy of George’s album “Rock Your Baby” – and I do mean mint, it was as if I had just stepped back in time nearly 40 years and walked into a record shop.  Side one of this album is predictable inasmuch as it contains all the hits, but side two is a great surprise, as well as “I Get Lifted” there are two more killer tracks, and I think they all sound really fresh to this day.

On the back cover of this album George is sporting a rather fetching denim suit, including cut off shorts. It may take a few more years for denim shorts to be cool again, but there can be no denying that the Jay Boy label in the middle of an LP will forever be uber cool.  

I will leave you to find one of the, to my mind, killer tracks on this album -  “I Need Somebody Like You” - and give you these:       

George McCrae – I Get Lifted 1974

George McCrae – Look At You 1974       

Friday, July 13, 2012

Capricorn needs the sunshine...

... and Scorpio.

I couldn’t resist buying a David Ruffin 45 in a charity shop today – from 1977 a track entitled “I Can’t Stop The Rain” – I thought it would be the perfect post considering the (lack of) summer we are experiencing in the UK this year. Spookily as I walked out of the shop the sun came out. When I got home and gave the record a spin it frankly wasn’t up to the standard necessary for posting here anyway (although the B side – “My Whole World Ended” from the previous decade -  was worth the price of entry and so the 45 was a neat summary of how soul music and Motown in eight short years had lost its magic).

So instead I give you Leo’s Sunshipp rare groove gem “Give Me The Sunshine”. Actually, it is almost five years to the day since I featured another track from their only album “We Need Each Other”. Reading that post again I notice I commented that “the British summer has been a damp squib so far”, and so here we are again. I went on then to describe a sunny weekend and it’s that I am hoping for now (actually with some optimism looking at the forecast) as Mrs Darce and I are off to Sidmouth for the weekend.

Sunny here as I type! Have to stop typing now as fingers are crossed.

Sunday, July 01, 2012


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…

Loleatta Holloway – OnlyA Fool 1975