Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #24

So here we are. The final door of this year’s Advent-ure opens. Christmas is upon us once more and another year has flown by all too quickly.

There is also another landmark  worth noting today – this is the 500th post here.  I’ll be honest, when I started this blog I never thought I would reach 500 posts. Now I can’t imagine life without Feel It.

You will notice that, although this has been my Advent calendar to you, I do not do Christmas songs. Two reasons: I do not possess many, and there are enough available elsewhere this month anyway.

Honey Cone’s superb version of The Dells Stay In My Corner has the feel of a Christmas song though, and the title of their 1972 album from which it comes – Love, Peace & Soul - has the right message too.

It just remains for me to raise a glass and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – and here’s to the next 500 posts too!    

Note: I apologise for some sibilance on this track. I’m hoping that maybe it was inherent in the recording and not an indication that my stylus (or cartridge?) is on its way out.

PS: There is a Christmas song playing at The Hi-Fi Cabinet Of Curiosities. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #23

This year’s calendar has almost run its course. I hope you have enjoyed what’s been behind the doors.

Door #4’s offering prompted me to dig out Carol Grimes’ 1975 album that featured her version of Uphill Peace Of Mind. It’s easy for the majesty of that track to overshadow the rest of the album, but there are in fact a number of other strong tracks. Recorded in Nashville and Memphis it is essentially a soul album. Bettye Crutcher and Frederick Knight appear in the writing credits of many of the songs, and Lewisham lass Carol is joined on the album by, among others, The Memphis Horns and Duck Dunn.

At the risk of topping out my monthly bandwidth quota I’m only posting one track, although I would have liked to have posted more to give a better flavour of the album. In the end, as it is a time to be merry, I have plumped for the bit of fun that is Dynamite, co-written by Duck Dunn who is also playing the bass guitar on the track.  

Monday, December 22, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #22

Another B side! The other side of this is More And More

Mr. Campbell was obviously doing his little bit to reduce the cost of living here with a blinding double header.

Little Milton - The Cost Of Living  1967

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #21

Something cool and sophisticated for a Sunday evening. I tagged evening on to the end of that sentance just now because I had originally intended posting this earlier today, but our internet connection went down and prevented that. Better late than never.

This is the title track from EP that features four tracks from Peggy Lee's 1964 album of the same name. The EP seems to rarely turn up (at least there is very little reference to it on the internet) and I was especially pleased to find a copy for 20p earlier this year.

Peggy Lee - In the Name Of Love  1964   

PS: There is another chocolate on the tree if you search - watch those pine needles!   

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #20

Another B side discovered in an old box of mine the other day. Uchenna Carol Ikejiani's one big disco/club hit was Hit 'n' Run Lover and this was its B side. Too slow to be a disco 'banger', featuring a cheesy horn, and not on any soul aficionado's wantlist I'd wager, nevertheless I find this really catchy.

Carol Jiani - All The People Of The World  1981      

Friday, December 19, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #19

Lifers around here will know I'm a big fan of Millie Jackson. I picked up my 9th and 10th album of hers this year. So, borrowing the title from one of them, let's pause for a moment's pleasure from Millie. 

Actually, I would have liked to offer you, not one, but two moments of pleasure from her 1979 album but bandwidth is becoming a problem. After you have listened to the track I've posted head over to youtube and catch her version of  Rising Cost Of Lovethere are so many great versions of this song and Millie's is certainly one of them.   

I'm posting this track because it's Friday... TGIF.... yes, something to shake a butt to is in order.   

Millie Jackson - We Got To Hit It Off  1979

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #18

I'm a bit out of touch with the span of school terms nowadays but I believe most schools will be breaking up for the Christmas holidays around about now. So, in case physical contact of any sort is still allowed now between teacher and pupil, purely for innocent fun and seasonal celebration this might be a good idea:

The flash has sort of washed out the colour of the label in the picture. It is actually a lurid shade of deep pink. The US were way ahead of the UK in such matters but even so I would say this was colourful for a record issued in 1958.   

Incidentally my son and the staff of a local school were led a merry dance by a local recruitment agency today. My son has no actual classroom teaching or assistant experience yet but was put forward as a candidate for a full time supply teaching role in a local secondary school. Much as the school and my son seemed to like each other and my son’s academic qualifications were relevant, they both agreed that the role not a good fit at the moment!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #17

The problem with this post a day malarkey is sometimes there is hardly enough time in the day to do one!

This is the first record that came to hand. 

Don't worry, it's a good one.

Mike & The Censations - Split Personality  1969

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #16

As promised the other day, here is one of my newly discovered B sides from deep in one of my old boxes. Frankly I am a bit disappointed with myself: why had I not noted it before? I estimate this 45, the A side of which is Bus Stop, will have been filed away in its box for 37 years. For all those years it has been nestling next to another Southside Movement 45 - I Been Watching You - which is probably their best known song, and has been well sampled down the years. I remember exactly where I bought, second hand, I Been Watching You (Disc 'n' Tape on Bristol's Gloucester Rd, now just another great record shop in the sky), and exactly how much I paid for it (20p). No doubt on the strength of that 45 at some point soon after I bought Bus Stop. I have cannot tell you where I bought it, or how much I paid for it. Bus Stop is OK but not as strong as their previous 45, and I have no recollection whatsoever of ever playing its B side until a few nights ago. I am glad I finally did. 

In the depths of winter with a dearth of car boot sales, and charity shops going through a relatively barren spell, it's good to know that, without stepping out into the cold, I can go digging in my own record collection come up with a find!

Southside Movement - Love Is For Fools  1975               

Monday, December 15, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #15

Happy to find a copy of this recently. Super happy when I played it.

Tania Maria - Super Happy  1981

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #14

I was talking about looking for hidden gems tucked away on B sides a couple of days ago and said I’d found some… and I’ve just found another that I have to post straightaway!

Working through a batch of singles I bought at a boot sale earlier this year I came to this, a copy of Tamla Motown TMG 604. The A side is Take Me in Your Arms…  which is a great enough track on its own, but then I turned it over and…. just WOW!

I think I paid 20p for this single but if I had already known of this B side I would have gladly paid 100 times that amount.  It’s hauntingly beautiful, and somehow seems appropriate as a Christmas track too. We have one of those snow domes, a large clockwork one that plays a tune, and I could imagine this track playing along behind some mistily nostalgic scene – snow flurries and romance (as it's Christmas I like to think his answer is yes) in the air.

I have always maintained that Candi Staton is my favourite singer, however I have come to realise that Gladys Knight is a challenger for that honour. There is a purity to her voice that probably makes her a better singer. She is possibly more versatile too (athough maybe Candi was never allowed, or never desired, that). That versatility is probably why, later in her career, Gladys Knight (was?) moved more into the mainstream, dare I say it MOR, arena.  That was a pity in my book, because much of the material she sang later in the Seventies, for example, left me cold.   

PS. You can also listen to it here on YouTube where you can also enjoy a wonderful montage of pictures of Gladys. Put it on repeat, I did. Come to think of it, I think Gladys Knight and Candi Staton look alike, especially the eyes.      

PPS. Pop over to The Hi-Fi Cabinet Of Curiosities where something equally haunting awaits. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #13

As usual reggae and ska have been conspicuous by their general absence out in the wild this year. I have picked up a few bits and I can say every 45 I have found has been buried alone in a mountain of 70s and 80s pop and rock. This was one of them. Digging deep pays in the end. I can't help but wonder how they get there in the first place. I can't believe I've missed a reggae motherlode and just been left with a scrap, but if I have then I'm happy with the scraps.

The Skatalites - Beardman Ska   1965

Desmond Dekker - Get Up Edina  1963

My Island 45 is a 1980 press with Bonanza Ska on the A side. There is some sense to this being found amongst average 70s/80s pop fodder. But this doesn't apply to other reggae 45s I have found this year. Another one later in this series.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #12

Feeling a bit jaded today and as a result the inspiration for a record to play sort of deserted me. In the end I felt drawn to one of my original (Schweppes) boxes. I pulled out a handful that I haven't played in years, as much as anything looking for hidden gems lurking on the B sides. I found one too, but I will save that for another day. I wanted to feature something more up tempo as it's Friday - and I felt like I needed a shot in the arm. This 1976 outing from Al Green fits the bill perfectly. I'm not sure, until now, I have ever appreciated how good this track is. You can find it on his Full Of Fire album.

The mp3 was good to go but at the last minute, fearful of a takedown request, I decided to hold it back. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #11

Sometimes I start thinking I’ve found all the great old Soul music there is to be found. What?! Yes, I know, I’m deluded if I really think that.

Here’s another old group I have never paid any attention to before. I’m sure I must have seen their records in lists but they certainly hadn’t registered with me.

The Vibrations started out as The Jayhawks in the 50s and this North Bay 45 was issued as the sun was going down on their recording career in ‘72/’73. They performed under a number of different names in their time including, for one single on Neptune, the Vibrating Vibrations - that's a wonderful name.

They had numerous 45 releases but judging by this article many of them were in styles – dance records following the early 60s craze, and then straight pop - the group weren’t comfortable with. It wasn’t until ’67, coinciding I think with a hook up with Gamble and Huff, they starting recording material that really did them justice.

Although released in late ’72 it is possible this track was laid down in the late ‘60s. I love it, and after a Vibrations Youtube trawl I have found a few of their other later 45s that are now well and truly installed on my wants list.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #9

This one dropped through the letter box today. I find it insanely catchy.

Lynn White was born in Mobile, Alabama in 1953 but her recording career didn’t start until 1977. At the time Lynn was working in Ike Darby’s record shop in Mobile. Ike had a song Blues In The Bedroom and to try it out asked Lynn to sing it. That song would be the B side of Lynn’s first single on Ike’s own Darby label. That was the start of a recording career that lasted into the 90s.

Lynn has got a really good voice. Unfortunately, by the end of the 70s Soul’s golden age was over,  and its currency sort of retreated back to the Southern states and the Blues circuits. To think that if Lynn had started her singing career 10-12 years earlier, which would have been possible (Betty Wright started at 15), she could have been a really big name because she had the pipes, and was certainly popular in her own back yard in the 80s.

Lynn disappeared from the recording scene in the 90s and from a few tidbits I found during a quick search it seems she married Ike Darby, and later became a Pastor. I found the recent picture of her (I’m certain it is her) here.

This was also released on Darby. The label states it comes from the album Too Much Woman, which would appear to have been released in 1981 on Willie Mitchell’s Waylo label. So I’m not sure where this Bust-Out release fits in. 

Monday, December 08, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #8

Some Deep Soul for Monday.

Just look at the credits on this one! Written by Sam Dees and Frederick Knight, produced by Major Lance and Otis Leavill. Satisfaction guaranteed. Killer title too. 

It's amazing to think this got a UK release really. The A side is a great little mover, not quite Northern, shades of Philly, sort of pre Disco, which is why, I guess (and it's worthy of a post in its own right). But this B side is the one I heard first, probably around 10 years ago now in my early days of virtual digging on the internet. I finally secured a copy at a good price earlier this year.

Barbara Hall - Drop My Heart Off At The Door  1975      

Sunday, December 07, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure: #7

Presenting The Ronnie Scott Sextet.
I was really pleased to pick this album up at a charity shop recently. It’s a solid album throughout.  This issue dates to 1968 but presents numbers recorded over two days in London in early January 1957. That was the year I was born, although I was not yet quite a twinkle in my parents’ eyes.

I’m becoming a big fan of Fifties British jazz. It has a distinctive feel to it I think, the slower numbers seem to be drenched in melancholy, and whatever the pace adopted one is left with a sense of sepia tones. The Second World War left Britain with a long hangover, and that’s what comes through I think.      

The sleeve notes tell us the tracks here were recorded a few weeks before Ronnie Scott “head(ed) the first group of British modern jazz musicians to go to America under the Anglo-American exchange scheme, as tricky a delivery of coals to Newcastle as had ever been ordered”. A couple of years later (incidentally, I see it was on the day my wife was born) Ronnie, together with Pete King, opened  his famous London club, originally located in Gerrard Street. The informative sleeve notes also make mention of Ronnie’s penchant for jokes and one-liners delivered during his sets and as host at his club and tell us in 1967 he added “a new joke to his canon. ‘The police have asked me to remind you’… ‘that breathalyser tests are now in operation. So if you’re thinking of drinking and driving tonight – don’t breathe.” 

(Strange but true - I had decided on the two tracks to feature from the album before I wrote this little piece. It wasn’t until I typed their titles it struck me how appropriate they were!)  

Saturday, December 06, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #6

The BBC got funktified last night. The Story Of Funk: One Nation Under A Groove was an enjoyable breeze through the funky days of yore. Worth watching for the live footage of Parliafunkadelicment going out there on its own.    

Let us praise the funk.

Chocolate Milk - Action Speaks Louder Than Words  1975 

I loved this track at the time of its release but didn't actually pick up a copy (on a later UK 12" release) until earlier this year! It still had the original Revolver price sticker on it, my favourite Bristol record shop back in the day. Who knows, I may even have been in the shop when the original owner bought it (that would have been 34 years ago)! 

Friday, December 05, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #5

Desert island discs? I don't like being pinned down with such questions. The list would tend to change over time. But there is a fair chance this one would be installed on the juke box.(There would have to be a juke box on any self respecting desert island.)

It could almost be said that Zodiac was Ruby Andrews label, inasmuch as 15 of the 25 known 45s released were hers. (Incidentally, referring back a couple of days, the same could be said about the Whit label and Bobby Powell). 

Ruby Andrews - Hey Boy (Take A Chance On Love)  1968

Thursday, December 04, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #4

Good songs attract covers. Frederick Knight wrote Uphill Peace Of Mind and included it on his 1977 album Knight Kap. Before that it did appear on a US 45 on the tiny Castle label in 1976. His was not the original version though. Both The Gospel Truth and UK's own Carol Grimes both recorded and released versions in 1975. Both versions are superb and are far superior to the much sampled 1976 version by Kid Dynamite in my book. I would post both but bandwidth worries are already kicking in. 

For Carol Grimes version Youtube is of course your friend. Here, I believe, is the original version by The Gospel Truth. Produced by Mille Jackson. So good it's frightening.

The Gospel Truth - Uphill Peace Of Mind  1975 

PS: If you hunt around you will find a chocolate on the tree (in truth a record on the turntable) over at The Hi-Fi Cabinet Of Curiosities.       

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #3

Bobby Powell - early doors.

I wasn't sure if I had posted a Bobby Powell track before so I had to check. It turns out I have - another Whit 45 of his was lurking behind door #2 of my 2012 Advent-ure. It must be something about this time of year that brings out the Bobby Powell in me!

So this time Bobby is one door later, with a 45 that was one release earlier in the Whit catalog than the 45 I featured in 2012. There's a certain strange symmetry to all this. Perhaps there's a bit of NOLA magic in the air.  

Why Am I Treated So Bad was written by "Pops" Staples and originally performed by the Staple Singers. That's a helluva act to follow, but Bobby Powell cuts a really strong version.       

Bobby Powell - Why Am I Treated So Bad  1967

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #2

A version of what? I hear you ask. Childish Games by Marcia Griffiths. I can't tell much difference from the A side in truth.

Marcia is known as the "Queen Of Reggae", so soulful too.

Marcia Griffiths - Childish Games (Version)  1995/1999?*

*The A side says '95, the B side says '99. Such are the vagaries of your average reggae 45, and is this an original or a repress? Again, who knows? Oh, and don't get me started on whether this is reggae or dancehall.      

Monday, December 01, 2014

The 2014 Advent-ure : #1

I can't believe another year has gone. It's December already so that means it's time for another Feel It Advent-ure. A post a day (if I can keep up!). 

I've bought too many records again this year, and this a good time to take proper stock. 

Don't expect too many words, I'll let the music do the talking. Look out for some bonus chocolates off the tree too over at my occasional other blog The Hi-Fi Cabinet Of Curiosities.

Behind the first door we have Johnnie Taylor - one of my favourite singers who I have neglected for too long. This is his take on The Parliaments I Wanna Testify.

Pretty ugly drill hole through this one, but the grooves are nice and minty.

Johnnie Taylor - Testify (I Wonna)  1969