Thursday, 23 December 2010

DICK JENSEN - DICK JENSEN (Phil. Intl 1973) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

One of the strangest albums ever issued on Philly International – a set of tunes by Dick Jensen, who was part blue-eyed soul singer, part easy male vocalist – sounding here as if he'd almost hit the market about 5 years too late to make a difference. The record's the kind that would be more at home on late 60s Capitol than early 70s Philly – but they must have had big plans for it, as all the tracks are originals by Gamble & Huff, who also do the production with Thom Bell and Bunny Sigler. Bobby Martin, Vince Montana, and Norman Harris all arrange, so the backings are top-shelf too – it's just that Dick can't seem to figure out what he wants to be from track to track on the record. Titles include the funky "Fat Mama", plus "Peace Of Mind", "Going Up To The Mountain", "I Don't Want To Cry", "32nd Street", and "Tamika". [Dusty Groove America]
A really wonderful (mostly late '60s pop style) album!

Friday, 10 December 2010

MERRY CLAYTON - GIMME SHELTER (ODE 1970) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

Best known for her background vocal work on the Rolling Stones' legendary single "Gimme Shelter," Merry Clayton had a long and successful career as backup singer, solo artist, and actress. Born December 25, 1948 (hence the rather "holiday" feel of her first name), in New Orleans, LA, Clayton recorded tracks with Elvis Presley, the Supremes, Ray Charles, and Joe Cocker, as well as being a member of Ray Charles' Raelettes in the early '60s. Her solo debut, "The Doorbell Rings," was released in 1963, and she eventually found success as a session singer for the aforementioned artists. She followed up her best-known work -- the appearance on "Gimme Shelter" -- with a solo album of the same name, and during the '70s managed some minor R&B hits with tracks like "After All This Time" in 1971 and "Oh No Not My Baby" in 1973. After a brief hiatus from the music business, Clayton did minor acting work, appearing in the film Maid to Order and Cagney & Lacey. Clayton returned to the music side of things in 1994, albeit as a gospel singer, with the album Miracles. In 1996, Clayton performed with Marianne Faithfull and Darlene Love in the show 20th Century Pop, a performance of "20 rock-era standards."[allmusic]

YELLOW SUNSHINE - YELLOW SUNSHINE (GAMBLE 1973) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

An excellent bit of spacey funk – and one of the most obscure Gamble/Huff records ever recorded! Yellow Sunshine are a hip funky jazz group, very tight in the riffing department, with a sound that would be more at home on Fantasy Records than Philly International. Dexter Wansel's in the group playing some excellent keyboards, and the tracks are mostly instrumentals with an excellent funky fusion groove – really ripping away with a massive intensity, and storing up a few very tasty breaks – of the sort that's made this album a legend for years with the beatheads! Titles include "All Along The Seashore", "Happiness", "Yellow Sunshine", "The Greetch", and "Apollo 17".[Dusty Groove America]