Eddie Kendricks – Going Up In Smoke (1976) 320kbs

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This goes out to Agnes in Atlanta on her BIRTHDAY! Happy birthday, yo!!! Agnes is one of my oldest friends (by which I mean a friend I’ve held on to for years, not as in old age) We haven’t actually seen each other in years but hopefully that will change soon.

I can’t get enough of Mr. Kendricks lately. I DJ’d a party this Halloween and played two or three of his songs, and could have just played an entire hour-long set. All of his solo albums are fantastic. This will be the first of several I’ll post here. It’s actually taken from a boxset called “The Thin Man”. I’ve left the track numbering intact but changed the ID tags to reflect ‘Going Up In Smoke.’

LINK HERE

A typical AMG review that makes me say “whatever…” But it’s something:

Review by Lindsay Planer

Although the title could be interpreted to portend the relationship between Eddie Kendricks and his longtime record label, contextual and lyrical clues would suggest Goin’ Up In Smoke (1976) has a motif of triumph over tragedy. In many ways it is a continuation of the work that had begun on He’s A Friend (1976) with songwriter/arranger and multi-instrumentalist Norman Harris back at the helm of the same Philly-based Stigma Sound Studio with many musicians likewise making encore appearances.

With pop and soul music having been temporarily hijacked by disco, it stands to reason that Harris’ scores reflect the latest trend in pop music. All the more significant is that the title song joined “Goin’ Up In Smoke,” “Music Man,” “Born Again,” and “Thanks For The Memories” as they collectively sent the LP to a very respectable #11 on the recently created Dance/Disco survey.

That impressive accomplishment aside, in retrospect Kendricks does not seem well served by the aggressive brass section. He occasionally struggles to be heard over them. Or, perhaps producers intentionally buried the vocalist deep inside the mix as to not get in the way of the four-on-the floor beat. To a similar effect, the slow churning of “The Newness Is Gone” is awash in overbearing strings that sadly detract from the intimacy of the artist’s performance. While the heart is definitely in the right place, “Don’t You Want Light” is little more than an homage to “The Hustle” and again, does little to reveal the singer’s talent

Caroline Crawford – Nice and Soulful (1979) 320 kbs


Caroline Crawford – Nice And Soulful (1979)

www.dustygroove.com
A stunning set of soul tunes from the lovely Caroline Crawford — produced by Bohannon, and some of his best work from the time! Caroline’s got a great style that moves past other club singers of the time — much more soulful and sophisticated than simple disco diva styles, drenched in a deeper soul sound that grounds the album nicely in a strong tradition of 70s soul. The production is tight, but unobtrusive — a bit like some of the best work that Barry White did with singers of a similar style — and the whole album sparkles with a freshness that will make you say “Hey, why I have I been missing this one all these years?” Titles include “The Strut”, “I’ll Be Here For You”, “Havin Fun”, “Facts Of Life”, and “Love Me Or Leave Me Alone”.

Tracks
1. I’ll Be Here For You
2. Can’t Hold Me Back
3. Love Me Or Leave Me Alone
4. The Strut
5. The Facts Of Life
6. Havin’fun

Eugene McDaniels – Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse (1971) VBR

No time for a personalized review today but this one has been in the cue for a while and its about time I shared it. Heavenly and heavily minor-key dissonant cluster chord funk soul-jazz with bitingly droll lyrics, how can you go wrong? this It’s a lot of fun, you shouldn’t miss this! I would upload my vinyl copy of the follow up, ‘Outlaw’ but I have no time for a vinyl rip for the next… few years or so. Anyone who wants to contribute it, leave a message.

Song sample — SUPERMARKET BLUES
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EUGENE MCDANIELS
Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse
Released 1971 on Atlantic Records


(Wikipedia entry!)

Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse is an album of American soul music by artist Eugene McDaniels.

As with McDaniel’s previous album, this is not a typical Soul album, which can even be seen by the cover image (a picture of McDaniels screaming between two warring samurai).

This album dabbles in form between soul, Funk, jazz and even folk. In addition, it has been a collector’s item among rap music and rare groove enthusiasts since the early 90s when several of the songs were sampled by many hip hop producers including Pete Rock and Q-Tip.

Track listing

1. “The Lord is Back” – 3:19
2. “Jagger the Dagger” – 6:02
3. “Lovin’ Man” – 4:47
4. “Headless Heroes” – 3:32
5. “Susan Jane” – 2:10
6. “Freedom Death Dance” – 4:16
7. “Supermarket Blues” – 4:08
8. “The Parasite (For Buffy)” – 9:36

Personnel

* Harry Whitaker – piano
* Gary King – electric bass
* Miroslav vitous – acoustic bass
* Alphonse Mouzon – drums
* Richie Resnikoff – guitar
* Carla Cargill – female vocals

Review by John Duffy

When Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse was first released in 1971, so the legend goes, Spiro Agnew himself called Atlantic Records to complain about the album’s incendiary lyrics. Promotional efforts dried up, and since then, the album has become one of the great rare gems of the funk era. With this first-ever CD release from Label M, it is available again in all its strange, eclectic glory. McDaniels had earned his living as a producer and songwriter for artists like Roberta Flack and Gladys Knight, and was in all honesty not much of a singer, but somehow his clumsy lyrics and dry delivery combined to carry his message across. In an unthreatening manner that hardly warranted a call from the White House, McDaniels warns that man’s struggles against each other are pointless, as some dark sinister force controls us all (“Headless Heroes”), and that protest without action is futile (“no amount of dancing is going to make us free,” he sings in “Freedom Death Dance”). With a dry wit he recounts an episode of everyday racist brutality in “Supermarket Blues,” and finds simple carnal pleasures in the acoustic folk-flavored “Susan Jane.” It all gets wrapped up in an appealing stew that draws from rock, funk, folk, soul, and even free jazz. Considering the number of times McDaniels’ sinewy beats and chunky guitar riffs have been sampled over the years, it’s about time a proper re-release allowed listeners to hear the whole picture.

Isaac Hayes – The Isaac Hayes Movement (1970) VBR

Get “Hot Buttered Soul” first (below), then check this out.

A lot of folks are going to remember Isaac Hayes for the themes song and soundtrack album to blaxploitation flick “Shaft.” A whole other generation will remember him more as the adorable Chef from South Park. He deserves to be remembered for both of those accomplishments, but he was also a lot more to a lot of people. His music has pulled me through some tough times, the warmth of his deep-hued voice made my winter easier to bare this year, and his raps on love and loss are unequaled, striking true chords whether they bring a smile to your lips or make you shake your head and shout an ‘Amen!’ And his music meant enough to black America in the early seventies that he was made the headliner of the 1972 Wattstax festival. The documentary film of the same name, released in 1973, was such a powerful celebration of black identity that it even became central to the nascent soul music scene, the Black Rio movement, and the Movimento Negro in Brazil during the 70s, with the film being screened at parties in the favelas and audience members chanting along phonetically with some of its notable scenes. The significance of this cross-pollination was not limited to the appropriations of American soul, funk, and jazz music by artists like Jorge Ben, Tim Maia, Cassiano, or Banda Black Rio. It was also eminently political — In a country where the “racial democracy” of mestiçagem or race-mixing had been celebrated for decades as ‘evidence’ that race prejudice did not exist, the sounds and images of black people in North America celebrating difference and claiming a space of dignity for Afrocentric cultural roots struck like a clarion call. Whether or not those mobilizations around racial identity were ‘successful’ is not the point here. The point is that the ways that the united states deals with (or fails to deal with) the politics of race has consequences outside its borders. I regularly meet people in Brazil who know more about contemporary American politics than I do, and the knowledge of and interest in Barack Obama there has certainly been no exception. Isaac Hayes was not just a soul singer who belonged in the ranks of Marvin Gaye, James Brown, or Stevie Wonder — he was also an icon of blackness, a “Black Moses.” Isaac Hayes is remembered in Brazil today among music fans of my own generation (too young to be there for Wattstax’s initial breakthrough) as a towering figure alongside those peers, just as he towered over his fellow musicians on the stage.

Isaac, I already miss you. To honor your memory, I’d like to share this wonderful music you left us and maybe turn a few others on.

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Isaac Hayes
The Isaac Hayes Movements
Released 1970

Enterprise Records/Stax Records
Original Catalogue #: ENS-1010

Track List:
1. I Stand Accused (11:37)
(Butler-Butler) Warner-Tamerlane Publ. Corp.-BMI

2. One Big Unhappy Family (5:49)
(Chalmers-Rhodes) Times Square Music Publ. Co./Rhomers Music Inc.-BMI

3. I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself (7:00)
(Bacharach-David) U.S. Songs, Inc./Blue Seas music Inc./Jac Music Co., Inc./Anne-Rachel Music Corp.-ASCAP

4. Something (11:52)
(George Harrison) Harrisongs Ltd.-BMI

Liner Notes:
Producer: Isaac Hayes
Arrangers: Isaac Hayes, Dale Warren
Voice Arrangements: Pat Lewis
Engineers: Ron Capone, Henry Bush, Ed Wolfrum
Remix Engineer: Ron Capone
Photography: Joel Brodsky
Art Direction: The Graffiteria/David Krieger
Art Supervision: Herb Kole

Mastering by Joe Tarantino (Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA)

Following the simmering grooves of “Hot Buttered Soul,” this record is more of a laid-back affair. The long spoken intro to Chicago soul genius Jerry Butler’s “I Stand Accused” brings that song into a whole new plane. Another Burt Bacharach tune opens up the second side of the LP with “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself.” A few minutes into George Harrison’s “Something,” you might find yourself thinking what I did and often still do when hearing it, “I’m not….quite…sure if this is working or not..”, as the chord changes punctuated by an orchestra give way to a screechy violin solo played (I’m guessing) through an amplifier. It definitely ranks as one of the more ‘out there’ of Beatles covers in existence, and by the time it reaches past the ten-minute mark, I don’t really *care* if it’s “working” or not, I’m just enjoying being along for the ride. It takes brass balls to cover a song by the Fab Four this way (or, should I say “chocolate salty balls”?). The song gets an A for effort even if it leaves you scratching your head.

Isaac Hayes RIP !! Hot Buttered Soul (1969) VBR

Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr. (August 20, 1942 – August 10, 2008)

Rest in peace, brother Isaac….

There will be more Isaac to come. This is my favorite record of his. I have an MFSL version hanging around somewhere too that I may share as well, but this original pressing will do fine.

I’m too devastated to say anything else right now. His music meant a lot to me, to a whole lot of people. He will be dearly missed.

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Isaac Hayes
Hot Buttered Soul

Enterprise Records/Stax Records

Original Release Date: 1969
Original Catalogue #: ENS-1001

Track List:
1. Walk On By (12:00)
(Bacharach-David) Blue Seas Music/Jac Music-ASCAP

2. Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic (9:36)
(Isbell-Hayes) Irving Music-BMI

3. One Woman (5:08)
(Chalmers-Rhodes) Times Square/Rhomers Music-BMI

4. By the Time I Get to Phoenix (18:40)
(Jim Webb) The EMP Co.-BMI

Liner Notes:
Rhythm section on all the above tunes features The Bar-Kays

Producers: Al Bell, Marvell Thomas, Allen Jones (Under supervision by Al Bell)
Engineers: Terry Manning, Ed Wolfrum
Re-Mix Engineer: Russ Terrana, Jr. (Tera-Shirma Sound Studio, Detroit, MI)
Art Direction: Honeya Thompson
Cover Design: Christopher Whorf
Photography: Bob Smith

Special thanks to Terry Manning (Ardent Recording Studio, Memphis TN);
Special thanks to Ed Wolfrum (United Sound Studio, Detroit, MI)

Mastering by Joe Tarantino (Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA)

Isaac Haye’s work has been sampled countless times in hip-hop and rap music. For a long (but probably not complete) list, click here.

NEW — HOT BUTTERED SOUL, FLAC FILESET 1
HOT BUTTERED SOUL, FLAC FILESET 2