Various Artists "Love And Jealousy: The Deeper Side Of Southern Soul" (UK Harmless BACKB012)
"The Pain Goes Deep: More Deep Soul Gems (UK Harmless BACKB030)
by Kev Briscoe
Love And Jealousy
Do You Love Me - Quiet Elegance; This Is The Thanks I Get - Barbara Lynn; I Die A Little Each Day - Otis Clay; Could I Be Falling In Love - Syl Johnson; I'm Gonna Wait - George Jackson; You Ask Me- Jean Plum; One Woman - Al Green; Until You Get Enough Of Me - Ronnie Lovejoy; I'm Leaving The Choice To You - Fontella Bass; To Get What You Got - Bobby McClure; Back In Love Again The - Patterson Twins; I'll Take Care Of You - Oscar Perry; I Love Her - Willie Walker;Will You Be My Man In The Morning - Quiet Elegance;Anyway The Wind Blows - Syl Johnson;Tumbling Down - James Fry; Give Me Some Credit - Ann Peebles; Take Time To Know The Truth - Bobby Patterson; Let's Straighten It Out - O.V. Wright; Wake Up Fool - The Masqueraders; When You Move You Lose - Bobby Powell; I'll Go Crazy – Don Bryant; Back To You - Jean Plum; It Was Jealousy - Otis Clay.
The Pain Goes Deep
That's How It Is - Otis Clay; Fugitive From Love - Linda Jones;I Need You - Little Archie; I Don't Care If I Never Get Over You - 100 Proof Aged In Soul; You Ought To Be Here With Me - Annette Snell; Aretha, Sing One for Me - George Jackson; Loneliness - Jean Plum; I'm Worried - Melvin Davis; He's Gone - Doris Duke; Take This Hurt Off Me – Big John Hamilton; I Keep Coming Back - Tyrone Davis; I'm Useless - Charles Smith; I Catch Myself Crying - Leon Byrd; Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong - The Whispers; Let Me Down Easy - Bettye Lavette; Been So Wrong - Aaron Neville; I'll Catch You When You Fall - Laura Lee; I'm Being Held Hostage - Sydney Joe Qualls; You've Got My Mind Messed Up - Quiet Elegance; She Don't Have To See You - Tommie Young; I'm His Wife (You're Just a Friend) - Ann Sexton; Just As Soon As the Feeling Is Over - Jackie Wilson; I Can't Stand To See You Go - Joe Valentine; I'm Down To My Last Heartbreak - Wilson Pickett.
I’ll ‘declare an interest’ in both these CDs as they were compiled by my good friend Sean Hampsey. Issued in the UK by Harmless Records, a division of Demon records, as part of their ‘Backbeats’ series which offers a series of mid-priced CDs covering various facets of Black Music.
With a large back catalogues including Hi, Ronn, Jewel, Paula, Brunswick, Dakar, Invictus, Soul Power, available the biggest problem would be which tracks to choose from the wealth of material at your disposal. However, with both compilations Sean has managed mix ‘classics’ with lesser known tracks, some of which appear on CD for the first time. Both CDs weigh in with twenty four tracks and over seventy minutes playing time each. Priced at under £4 they offer excellent value for money.
I won’t attempt to cover all forty eight tracks included, especially as many are so well known. Instead I’ll highlight some of the less obvious tracks on offer and some of my personal favourites.
Love and Jealousy
Quiet Elegances “Do You Love” (Hi 2280) opens the first CD in fine style. I’m a huge fan of Frankie gearings recording, either with this group, The Glories or her solo work. Originally recorded by the Rayons this was the first of a string of excellent 45’s for the label. It’s the first of sixteen tracks from Willie Mitchells Royal Studio included on this disc with Ann Peebles, Otis Clay, Syl Johnson, Al Green Don Bryant among others all making contributions with some great music. There are two other tracks in particular from the Hi stable that I must mention;
Bobby McClure “To Get What You Got (Hi 78512) is, for me, one of the highlights of this CD. A native of Chicago he is better known for his Checker recordings either as a solo artist or with Fontella Bass. However, the mid seventies saw him in Memphis with four singles being released. From the guitar intro we are immersed in ‘that’ sound that only Poppa Willie could conjure up. McClure delivers a quite beautiful vocal performance in what is one of the seventies great records.
Otis Clay “It Was Jealousy” (Hi 2270) Although a Mississippian he also found fame in Chicago recording some hard edged Soul initially on One-Derful . Two albums and half a dozen 45’s at Hi epitomised the seventies sound at its best. The Hi Rhythm section with that wonderful ‘lazy’ sound and Clay’s voice combining here to perfection. Surprisingly, this track has been overlooked by many people in the past and is currently going through a long overdue revival.
Fontella Bass “I’m Leaving The Choice Up To You” (Paula 376) McClure’s’ former partner will be forever linked with the sixties classic “Rescue Me”. In the early seventies she linked up with early mentor Oliver Sain resulting in this beautiful ballad. Yet another overlooked side from that era.
Ronnie Lovejoy – “Until You Get Enough of Me” (Ace CD “Until You Get Enough Of Me”). The nineties are seen by many as a barren period for ‘real’ soul music and I know some who think it ‘died’ at midnight December 1969! However, great music continued to be made in that, and subsequent, decades it just needs a bit more digging out. One artist worthy of seeking out is Ronnie Lovejoy. He issued half a dozen CDs from 1992 until 2000 and sadly passed away in 2001 aged 51. He had a wonderful deep baritone voice and was also an accomplished writer. It’s great to see him included with such illustrious company. The Revelations (featuring Tre Williams) have covered the song to good effect on their forthcoming “Concrete Blues” CD, after hearing it on this compilation, high praise indeed!
The Pain Goes Deep
Little Archie – “I Need You” (Dial 4080). Archie Himon’s career is covered here in the main site and it is great to see something so relatively obscure included in this compilation. It also saw release in the UK on Atlantic 584209; I wonder how many reading this bought it as a new release?
Tyrone Davis – “I Keep Coming Back” (Dakar 616). I’ve always had the feeling that Davis has never got the recognition he deserves as one of the Souls leading voices. This track shows off his skills to great effect, it’s the B side to his classic “Turn Back The Hands Of Time” so every home surely must have one! Just listen to the way he screams “Oh Lord” and “Oh Baby” to hear what I mean. As ever, the Chicago backing, arranged by Tom Washington and produced by Willie Henderson is faultless.
100 Proof (Aged In Soul) – “I Don’t Care If I Never Get Over You” (Hot Wax album 100 Proof). Steve Mancha is another underrated singer. However, he is held in high regard by Detroit collectors due to string of fine singles on Wheelsville, Groovesville and Groove City. This track finds him handling solo vocals for 100 Proof on Holland Dozier Holland’s’ Hot Wax imprint. Another example that the Motor City could not only get us tapping our feet but also stir our soul.
Leon Byrd – “I Catch Myself Crying” (SS7 2600). One more track that must be making its digital debut and a prime example of yet another great record nestled in Sound Stage Sevens’ impressive catalogue. You can listen to this track on Leon's page on this website here.
Aaron Neville – “Been So Wrong” (UK Island 6332) As far as I am aware this was only ever released in the UK on vinyl and anyone who doesn’t know the track is in for a real treat. Beautiful lyrics about ‘lost love’, beautifully sung by the gentle giant, it’s simply magnificent and has long been a favourite of mine.
Jackie Wilson – “Just As Soon As The Feeling Is Over” (UK Brunswick 43) To the serious soul fan the collaboration of Jackie Wilson singing a Sam Dees penned song must be a marriage made in heaven. Well this magnificently track does not disappoint and another record that only appeared on the seven inch format in the UK.
Although the majority of the tracks have been issued previously and will be well known to older collectors both compilations stand up well in their own right. For anyone new to this musical genre, and I hope you are out there, these CDs are a great ‘entry level’ introduction. Copy them onto your MP3 player, hit ‘shuffle’ and let the music wash over you for two and a half hours!
There are also two excellent companion CDs showcasing more up-tempo, but still oh so Soulful, tracks from the same labels. Both, “I Get My Groove” and “They Call It Crossover” are well worth checking out. All four CD’s have been consistently ‘high sellers’, with the quality of the tracks available it’s easy to see why.