Friday, February 08, 2013

An old friend... and a surprise

The concentration of vinyl in our upstairs spare room (the “little box room” that used to be our daughter’s bedroom) has been an increasing worry recently. Will the floor stand it? Isn’t it starting to slope? I know we’ve had subsidence in the past, but is it the weight of all the shelving and vinyl that has caused those cracks to reappear?

So, with the blessing of Mrs Darce, a new Expedit was ordered and installed in the dining room cum  hi-fi room. Some vinyl has now been relocated from upstairs and I now feel a little less “structurally anxious”. I decided to relocate what I term as my “first phase” record collection, that is the albums I bought back in the 70s and early 80s (a few of my more recent acquisitions – the special ones - have been allowed to be interspersed too) when I was just another person buying records new, as opposed to the records I buy now in what I can only term to be my addictive stage or, if I’m being kind to myself, my curating stage. 

And so it is that I am reacquainting myself with what, in all honesty, are my most cherished records, the ones I have grown up with. They have been somewhat neglected for too long.  

First to be pulled out was Don Covay’s “Super Dude I”. This is an album that, as I remember it, I bought as a cheapy back in the mid ‘70s and pretty much blind (Covay’s “It’s Better To Have” may have been a signpost, but that isn’t on this album). Nevertheless I remember I really fell in love with it and it was an album I would consistently go back to. So it was natural I suppose that it was the first of these records emerging from virtual hibernation to be pulled and played in its entirety. Most of the album features songs that follow a familiar Southern Soul theme - cheatin’, two timing, trying to love two, playing the field (multiple choice, all answers correct). And mighty fine songs they are too. 

But wait a minute - I don’t remember those two tracks at the end of side two?! They don’t really fit in with the theme or feel of the rest of the album. It is as if after all these years filed away this album has metamorphosed, CD like, into an expanded edition!

One of the killer slow tracks “Leave Him” is somewhat oddly split into parts 1 and 2 on the album. I can kind of understand that, at over 8 minutes, it may have been deemed too long for a southern soul album in 1973, but given that, the natural place to put part 2 would have been the last track on the album I would have thought. Instead it appears as track 4 on side 2 – just before these two tracks that I couldn’t remember. And that I think lends some weight to the idea that these tracks were possibly included as afterthoughts – but what afterthoughts! 

Especially this one….

And here is a more representative track, one of a number of soulful (so full of soul!) slow burners on the album…

The CD version of Super Dude I seems to be difficult to track down at a reasonable price but you could try here

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