The Songs That People Sing

First let's hear somebody sing me a record that cries pure and true

Month: November, 2008

Sounds For Sunday

There’s a scary version of Try A Little Tenderness on the TV as I’m sitting here, which is so shouty and forced and completely un-soulful that it’s making me feel a little ill.

So here’s some classic tunes that pretty much define soulful without even breaking a sweat. These are in their full length form too, so watch out: there’s about half an hour’s music in these three tracks!

Marvin Gaye – Got To Give It Up
William DeVaughn – Be Thankful For What You’ve Got
The Temptations – Papa Was A Rolling Stone

Sounds For Sunday

1983 was a turning point for me in a lot of ways. Where music was concerned it was the moment where I stopped simply discovering music from it being played to me via the radio or TV and went out and found it. It was the year I became a soul fan.

Several things came together to make that happen. I started to become interested in what influenced the bands I liked. Before then the records they made seemed to be in a vacuum. They came fully formed and I didn’t really care who the bands had listened to to come up with their music. It was all new.

But in 1982-83 I started to realise that these bands didn’t exist in a bubble of their own, they were part of a bigger thing. Weller would talk about Motown and The Clash and The Who. Joboxers took over presenting a radio show and talked about Northern Soul, Madness did something similar and talked about Costello. Costello would talk about Burt Bacharach. And then when you would work your way backwards through those people you would then find that, hey wait a minute that sounds familiar and work forwards again through other bands. So, while Weller loved Motown, so obviously did the Human League. Joboxers loved Northern Soul and so did Soft Cell.

And so it began.

A couple of years ago my mum was retiring, moving out of London and going back to her hometown in Wales. When she packed up I gave her a hand and found a couple of suitcases in cupboards filled with my own stuff, leftovers from my teens that I’d never taken with me when I left home. There were old comics and pin-ups, copies of Smash Hits and old school jotters. Some of those were filled with lists of songs that I would hear on the radio and make note of so I could get them later. One in particular was kept by the radio specially for a show that I used to listen to on Capital Radio, Pete Young’s Soul Cellar. In the winter of 1983 that became a huge favourite of mine as I claimed that particular style and sound for my own.

Flicking through that one I realised that I actually owned most of the tunes listed these days. But back then though you couldn’t get some of the sounds for love or money. Well you could, but you had to be prepared to spend loads. Today’s sounds are a selection of that list. Listening to them now I can remember that feeling in the pit of my stomach, that excitement at hearing them, but also that desire to own them myself.

Booker T & The MGs – Slim Jenkins’ Place
The Soul Sisters – I Can’t Stand It
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – If You Can Want

Friday

It’s funny. You spend your whole life thinking about, chasing, and if you’re lucky having:

Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex.Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex.

And then you remember what sex is actually for.

Positively so…

In six months time there’ll be a mini-me or mini-wife. I’m absolutely over the moon right now, especially given the times that we’ve been through in recent months.

You’ll maybe understand that I’m not really up to blogging lately; the last few months have left me a little drained in that department!

And this week there’ll be no posting because it’s time to go and visit the family. So in the meantime here’s some Stevie Wonder to make the weekend go down a little easier.

Sounds For Sunday

This is something a little bit special today. “I Cried” by Tammi Montgomery was a single in 1963. Tammi was 18 years old and signed to James Brown’s Try Me label. This song was her only release for the label. You can hear James Brown all over it, the backing track is pretty much note for note one of his more famous ballads. I’ll leave you to work out which one.

It’s a beautiful track though, with an amazing vocal, and the gorgeous flute parts just send shivers down my spine.

It’s even more special for it’s place in soul history. Because, two years later Tammi was signed to Motown and became the more well known Tammi Terrell. Tammi died at the tragically young age of 24 after leaving behind some great music, especially the ballads with Marvin Gaye. And this:

Tammi Montgomery – I Cried

Enjoy.