Friday, August 19, 2016

Never leave me

If it's Friday it must be a double header 45. At least for a while here, and now and then, that holds true.

About time for another one.

For a long time I was only aware of Thelma Jones through her tortured and superb 1976 single Salty Tears, which has featured here before. I have since familiarised myself to a degree with her earlier output. The House That Jack Built for example is a favourite on the mod/scooter/Northern scene and is a stormer.

Until recently I didn't have any other records of hers, but now this, a copy of her first 45, is safely tucked away in the collection. Stronger I knew, it's a good driving dancer, although a little repetitive. The attraction for me is Never Leave Me. I had not heard this track until a few months ago. Something of a deep soul gem, it is right up my alley. Thelma takes it to church, although to be more precise I am sure she took it straight from church where I just know she must have been singing just before she recorded this in late 1966. A time when the slow, deep side would still take the A, with the dancer relegated to the B. That would soon change, and the trend continued to the extent that the dancer always seems to get the push now whether it was an A or a B side – as I said I knew Stronger but it has taken nearly 50 years to hear Never Leave Me, and now it will live up to its title. Thelma Jones is one helluva singer who deserves to have a deeper catalog.

PS: Mrs Darce and I are off to Canada for three weeks next Friday. I will try and fit in another post, although packing panic may well set in. So this may be the last post until later in September.     

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Atlantic flossing

It has been gruelling at the car boot sales lately. 2016 is rapidly turning into the “ is now” to 2015's “they think it's all over...”.

It could just be me. I don't seem to be able to get up quite as early as I used to so I may miss most of the worms. My lack of any real finds leads to dejection which leads to apathy and ends up with me not going so regularly. I am getting more choosy maybe. Oh, and of course I haven't got the space for any more records anyway – not that that has stopped me before!

But I am hearing the same story from other vinyl hunters. We grumbled about 2015 and we are shaking our head over 2016. It's a vinyl desert out there.

I found myself bottom feeding last Saturday. Why do I class it so? Firstly, I missed the start of the booter by a good 30 minutes – first of all I had to overcome the apathy mentioned above, then I had to overcome the traffic. So if there were any records the chances were the best had gone. Certainly, and predictably, vinyl - of any description - was hard to find. Secondly I found myself on a known dealer's pitch looking through every last single he had on offer in a couple of boxes. It was odds on it would be a ragbag of well known rock and pop in questionable condition he just wanted to offload. But I needed to look through some records. So I did, and I was pleasantly surprised to come away with seven 45s for the grand sum of £1.50. Included in this seven were The Hollies, The Troggs, Nancy Sinatra, Ronnie Lane, and the Mo-Dettes which were representative of the spread of much of the singles in the boxes.

The other two 45s to make up my seven 7s were these two slabs of funk goodness on the UK Atlantic label – both released in 1973 and certainly atypical of the rest of the material in the boxes. They are not particularly rare, and the artists should need no introduction, but I am very happy to have found them, and they have gone a little way towards restoring my faith in trawling the car boots.

In fact I think I may already have this Betty Wright 45 on its original US Alston label. But there is always a little thrill in finding a superior slice of funk/soul on a UK label, and it always leads me to wonder how few copies it probably sold when it was released. Be sure to listen all the way through and not miss Betty's impressive shriek at the end.

The Dr John track I remember hearing on the radio when it was released – John Peel, Alexis Korner would have undoubtedly played it, probably Emperor Rosko too – a time when I had yet to appreciate the mightiness of New Orleans funk. And it's a Promo, and that big A gets me every time.

For the picture I thought I would lay this brace of Atlantics on a bed of shells very recently collected from a Portuguese beach (yes, I will collect anything!).