Thursday, February 28, 2008

Too Hot To Hold

Let me start off by saying that this is my favorite 45 right now. Pulled from a $2 box at the WFMU record show last November, it wasn't until after the new year that I had a chance to clean it and give it a proper listen. And since then, I've got it burned to a CD and it's on constant rotation on the way to and home from work (generally the only time I have to actually listen to music). Anyway, it's a stormer - as Tina sings in the very tune - it "sets my little soul on fire".

Tina's voice is at the top of it's register from the very start, propelled by steady drumming and a bass that's well up in the mix. Then there's that scratchy bit of guitar that wonderfully contrasts with the bass, and the organ that bubbles underneath. For the choruses, the horns come in, build, and then the band crashes down on them. And let's not forget the backing vocals, which are as strong as Tina's.

The second verse is my favorite, where Tina pulls it back just slightly and sings:
I thought I knew everything a girl's supposed to know
About how to keep cool when the heat is on
You taught something I never learned
You made me hot enough baby, hot enough to burn

And then the group takes it right back up. And they sound damn good throughout. This is one smoking slice of soul right here.

I believe this is the 3rd 45 titles "Too Hot To Hold" I've featured. Anyone recommend any others?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Forget Him

soul 45
I thought I'd stay with the Carnival label and feature this wonderful 45 by Barbara Brown, "Forget Him", which was released in 1965. I bought this at a flea market last year, and the seller had placed a small pink post-it note on the 45 label that read "worth a lot". So when I handed him the four 45s I was interested in, I expected the worst, but was pleased when he asked for $5 for the lot. I believe another 45 had a note that read "hard to find". Funnily enough, I have kept these post-it notes, and they now reside on the paper sleeves that house the 45s.

Barbara Brown's "Forget Him" is built on a solid drum beat, a percussive piano, guitar and bass. There's a slick little guitar line that opens the tune, and re-appears throughout, often working in concert with the drums to almost reset the tune. Horns work in the background, primarily via a mournful trumpet that helps the maintain the mood of the tune. Barbara's delivery is sometimes down, advising the other lady to forget the guy in question, to sometimes soaring, when reminiscing about him. Likewise, the tempo moves between a slower pace to mid-tempo. Start to finish, though, everything is spot on: another quality production by Carnival.

This tune can also be heard on Soulclub. Check it out.

Also, if you're in the Asbury Park area, there is a record show this Sunday, February 24th at the Asbury Lanes. I will be there selling some LPs and 45s, so stop by if you can. More info here.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I Love You More

Well, I was hoping to have a new 45 on the blog last week, but with the arrival of my daughter's first molars, it was a night-waking, sleep-deprived, caffeine-fueled week. I was so tired that, even though I bought the Valentines cards before the actual day, I didn't remember to sign them until Thursday morning. Anyway, here's a belated love song, Lee Williams & The Cymbals' "I Love You More" on Carnival Records.

"I Love You More" is a slowie, opening with some plaintive guitar, the bass, and a crisp drum beat. Other than this, there's some very low horns (tuba?) and the vocals of the group. And those vocals are simply outstanding. There's not much variation in the musical theme of the tune, just some slighly scratchy guitar, plenty of bass and tuba to give it plenty of bottom, and those spot on drums. The tune is direct, yet with plenty of depth. Singing "I love you more than anybody's ever loved anyone" could backfire on you, but it never does here. Simply brilliant. You can check it out on SoulClub.

I believe I have mentioned this in a prior post, but I highly recommend the "A Carnival of Soul" CDs (on Kent) that feature sides from this label. Quality soul music through and through.