Tag Archives: Soul

August 28: Marvin Gaye released “Let’s Get It On” in 1973

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Post-Al Green What’s Going On, which means it’s about fucking rather than the human condition, thank the wholly holey. Gaye is still basically a singles artist, and the title track, as much a masterpiece as “Inner City Blues,” dominates in a way “I’m Still in Love with You,” say, doesn’t. Then again, it’s an even better song, and this album prolongs its seductive groove to an appropriate thirty minutes plus
~Robert Christgau (Consumer Guide Reviews)

On this album, Gaye meditated on the gap between sex and love and how to reconcile them – an adult version of the Motown tunes he had built his career on. It’s some of the most gorgeous music he ever made, resplendent with sweet strings and his clear-throated crooning.
~rollingstone.com

Let’s Get It On – Live 1976:

Continue reading August 28: Marvin Gaye released “Let’s Get It On” in 1973

August 21: Etta James released Tell Mama in 1968

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August 21: Etta James released Tell Mama in 1968

Something told me it was over
When I saw you and her talking.
Something deep down in my soul said cry girl,
When I saw you and that girl walking.

I would rather,
I would rather go blind, boy,
Than to see you walk away from me, child.

Tell Mama is the eighth studio album by Etta James. The album was released August 21, 1968 on Cadet Records and was produced by Rick Hall. Tell Mama was James’ first album since 1963 to enter the Billboard 200 albums chart and contained her first Top 10 and 20 hits since 1964. It was her second release for the Cadet record label.

Tell Mama (on US TV, Happening ’68, 1968):

Leonard Chess sent Etta James to Muscle Shoals in 1967 (2 August – 6 December), and it really paid off with what might be her best  Cadet album. The record has a fantastic title cut, it has the moving soul ballad I’d Rather Go Blind, it has the incredible The Love of My Man and a many more very fine soul numbers. The tight studio band at Fame Studios really shone next to Etta James. The music they made is timeless soul/blues, it’s a masterclass in record making.

An incredibly good version of I’d Rather Be Blind (Live at Montreux 1975):

“The question of why a rural Alabama town became a conduit for some of the most memorable and instantly identifiable grooves may still be up for debate. The evidence exists in droves and Tell Mama could certainly be considered exhibit A. “
– Lindsay Planer (Allmusic)

One of the best soul albums ever made, and certainly among Etta James’ best records!

Listen to Miss James testify in a  country church style  on It Hurts Me So Much, oh my God how good it is!

Etta James – Tell Mama (Album, The Complete Muscle Shoals Sessions, Spotify):

– Hallgeir

Sources: Liner notes Tell Mama, Wikipedia, Allmusic

July 6: Jackie Wilson recorded (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher in 1967

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July 6: Jackie Wilson recorded (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher in 1967

“(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” was recorded on July 6, 1967 at Columbia’s studios inChicago. Produced by Carl Davis, the session – arranged by Sonny Sanders – featured bassist James Jamerson, drummer Richard “Pistol” Allen, guitarist Robert White, and keyboardist Johnny Griffith; these four musicians were all members of the Motown Recordshouse band The Funk Brothers who often moonlighted on sessions for Davis to augment the meager wages paid by Motown. According to Carl Davis, the Funk Brothers “used to come over on the weekends from Detroit. They’d load up in the van and come over to Chicago, and I would pay ‘em double scale, and I’d pay ‘em in cash.” Similarly two of Motown’s house session singers The Andantes, Jackie Hicks and Marlene Barrow, along with Pat Lewis (who was filling in for Andante Louvain Demps), performed on the session for “Higher and Higher”.

I first became aware of this gem of a song when it was re-released in 1987, accompanied with a new video.

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Jackie Wilson – Higher and Higher (official 1987 video):

Continue reading July 6: Jackie Wilson recorded (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher in 1967

June 17: Elvis Presley released From Elvis In Memphis in 1969

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“Suddenly, Elvis had to be taken seriously because, suddenly, Elvis was taking the music seriously again. He was expressing his soul, which was plenty deep.”
~Robert Gordon

From Wikipedia:

From Elvis in Memphis is the ninth studio album by American rock and roll singer Elvis Presley, released on RCA Victor. The recording took place at American Sound Studio in Memphis in January and February 1969 under the direction of producer Chips Moman and with the backing of the house band, informally known as “The Memphis Boys”. A direct consequence of the success of Presley’s 1968 Christmas television special and its soundtrack, the recording marked the definite return of Presley to non-soundtrack albums after the completion of his movie contract with Paramount Pictures.

Continue reading June 17: Elvis Presley released From Elvis In Memphis in 1969

June 12: Chips Moman was born in 1937

 

June 12: Chips Moman was born in 1937

Chips Moman, now semi-retired and living in LaGrange, Ga., still writes songs occasionally. “I write ’em,” he says, “but I just leave ’em laying there.” (- The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, 2008)

One of the most important characters in the Memphis music scene in the 60’s. Chips Moman helped start Stax Records, then American Sound Studios, which cut 122 chart hits from 1967 to 1972 — an unparalleled achievement.

Lincoln Wayne “Chips” Moman (born, June 12, 1937 La Grange, Georgia, United States) is an American record producer, guitarist, and songwriter. As a record producer, Moman is known for recording Elvis Presley, Bobby Womack, Carla Thomas, and Merrilee Rush, as well as guiding the career of the Box Tops in Memphis, Tennessee during the 1960s. As a songwriter, he is responsible for standards associated with Aretha Franklin, James Carr, Waylon Jennings, and B. J. Thomas. He has been a session guitarist for Franklin and other musicians.



Continue reading June 12: Chips Moman was born in 1937