Saturday, 17 May 2008

Sounds For Sunday


I'm doing some joining of the dots this week. Years ago I had a tape of songs I'd recorded from the radio. I'd been listening to some chart show playing hits from a particular year. This year had been 1965. So there was some Rolling Stones, some Who, some Small Faces. And Manfred Mann doing 'Oh No Not My Baby' the Goffin/King classic. I was about 13 at this point and still in the dark about music from before 1980. But I was learning. I loved that song. The Manfred Mann version is a pretty good poppy blue eyed soul performance.

But then a few years later I heard the original on Pete Young's soul show on Capital Radio. Maxine Brown. A fantastic vocalist, with plenty of classics currently sitting under the term 'Northern Soul'. But this one is my favourite. It's got an innocence to it, an almost 50s sort of lyric. But, drawing the dots...I hadn't heard anything yet. A few years later Aretha Franklin performed it. I didn't hear that version until about ten years ago.....Wow. A big summery funky groove, with great brass. And typically Aretha performs the ass out of the song. It's back in my life and currently firmly fixed into every playlist I'm making right now. I can't get enough of it.

And while listening to Aretha this week, her version of Nina Simone's Young Gifted And Black came up. So I followed the song to Bob And Marcia's classic pop reggae version. You almost can't tell that they're the same song. Aretha's version is a slow builder, all gospel moves that takes it's time over the melody until it hits the groove it fades out on. Bob And Marcia's version is tighter on the melody and seems to take it's cues from Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's Onion Song. It's a much better song than that one though. (I hate The Onion Song. It's one of those songs that just...irritates....)

The final joining of the dots took me from that to Bob Andy on his own and his song You Don't Know. What a fantastic tune. A fantastic lyric, almost Dylanesque, especially in it's rhythm and wordplay. In fact the whole tune sounds like an imaginary collaboration between Dylan and Smokey Robinson on holiday in Jamaica. It's simply gorgeous, and along with Aretha's 'Oh No Not My Baby' taking up my time on the iTunes.

Listen and enjoy.

Maxine Brown - Oh No Not My Baby
Aretha Franklin - Oh No Not My Baby
Aretha Franklin - Young Gifted And Black
Bob And Marcia - Young Gifted And Black
Bob Andy - You Don't Know

8 comments:

Davy H said...

Lovely, lovely, Simon and ooh, that Bob Andy record's a cracker in particular - never heard that before, so thank you. And may I say your description's spot on. I do like the idea of Smokey 'n' Bob holidaying in Jamaica...not so far-fetched given that Rockin' Bob once called Smokey 'America's greatest living poet'...

Simon said...

Oh it's good isn't it? It feels....perfect....like there was nothing else they could possibly add to it...such a lovely vocal as well...

Planet Mondo said...

Sir Roderick of Stewart does a passable version 'Oh No Not My Baby' from his Mercury period.

And that Bob Andy is a real groover (is it meant to end like that?) - top digging

Simon said...

I've got it on several compilations, they all end like that! I know what you mean though, it just sort of stops....

ally. said...

high quality maestro.
old maxines a cracker but it's the dusty version for me.
and that bob andy has shot straight to the top of my must find list
ta ever so
x

dickvandyke said...

Nice piccy too. It will be my screensave wallpaper thingy for a while as I need to get my knees brown for summer. (That reminds me, I must order some more Jesus sandals to go with my brown socks).

Davy H said...

Simon dear boy, ten days since that first comment and I just wanted to tell you how much and how many times I've been enjoying the Maxine Brown too...To my shame, I don't know her stuff at all but must certainly invest(igate) now x

Simon said...

I got a cracker of a compilation from iTunes a little while back; chocka with some amazing tunes. She really is a little gem..