Monday, August 13, 2012

Top flight; still burning bright


Here are my two latest acquisitions to drop through the letterbox.

As I opened the mailer there they were, tucked up tight together between two pieces of card: two pieces of vinyl, one containing the sound of Chicago, the other of Detroit - utterly distinctive, both totally irresistible, the perfect marriage.

There was a picture of The Five Stairsteps 45 World of Fantasy here. But I have received a takedown request so the perfect marriage was short-lived I'm afraid. 

The Five Stairsteps –World Of Fantasy 1966

You might have noticed I’ve been overboard on The Five Stairsteps in recent months. The title of this one might be said to aptly describe the state of GB, team and country, this last couple of Olympic weeks.   

Flaming Embers – HeyMama (What'cha Got Good For Daddy) 1967

Flaming Embers were actually a white group keen to emulate the black soul sound of the day, and the sound of Detroit is certainly perfectly formed here. Note the names Clinton and Terry among others in the credits: sure fire marks of quality. (Thanks to Mr Finewine for leading me to this one).   

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Moody and magnificent

A bit of virtual digging (just for a change!) led this 45 to drop through the letterbox recently and it has stayed close to the deck ever since. It continues to amaze me just how many old and obscure records are on YouTube nowadays, and this one is there. A comment on it describes this track as “great moody mid tempo”. A good description and I will go one step further and say moody and magnificent.    

Just about all I know about Patty & The Emblems can be found here on the now sadly defunct Supersoulsisters blog. The group debuted in 1964 with what turned out to be their one and only hit “Mixed Up Shook Up Girl”. “You Took Advantage Of A Good Thing” was on the B side of the follow up “Music Makes Me Want To Dance”. The A side was aimed fair and square at the dancefloor catching the Motown tide and was co-written by Leon Huff. This follow up single, as a double header,  was in my opinion much stronger than their hit debut but did nothing chartwise; possibly because at the time of its release the British Invasion was gathering pace and the R&B charts had been temporarily dropped. After a few releases on Herald Patti & The Emblems resurfaced a couple of years later in the Sixties with a handful of 45 releases on Kapp, but again chart success eluded them.

Pat Russell had a rich, strong voice and puts in an excellent performance here (and with some good phrasing on this track I would have thought she could have made a good jazz singer). The Emblems give an almost doo wop backing (demonstrating their influences and background?, after all this was 1964), and then there are the horns accentuating the tempo of the song as well as giving us some wonderfully dramatic fills.

A moody, magnificent masterpiece. I love it.           
Patty & The Emblems – You Took Advantage Of A Good Thing  1964