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Saturday, August 30, 2008

THE DAVE CLARK FIVE : Glad All Over (1963)

Mike Smith 1943-2008
Mike Smith, the singer and keyboard player for '60s British rockers the Dave Clark Five, died of pneumonia this morning (Feb. 28) outside of London. According to a statement from his manager, the infection was "a complication from a spinal cord injury he sustained in September, 2003 that left him a tetraplegic (paralyzed below the ribcage with limited use of his upper body)." Sadly, Smith will now have to be posthumously inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame with the rest of the Five in less than two weeks, an event he was still planning to attend despite a four year hospitalization and ongoing medical problems stemming from his injury. The Dave Clark Five shook their mops through a memorable 18 month run on the American Top 10 between the spring of 1964 and December of 1965, scoring at least six smashes during the high moment of the British Invasion and enjoying success on both sides of the Atlantic through the late '60s before breaking up in 1970. Smith was 64.
Mike Smith is on the right:
Here is one of the tracks that made the group famous, a hard-hitting rocking number. For a time were competing with with The Beatles for the top UK act.

Song : "Glad All Over"
From the LP "GLAD ALL OVER" (Epic) Mar. 1964

Mike Smith : keyboards, vocals (R.I.P. 2008)
Dave Clark : drums, vocals
Lenny Davidson : guitar, vocals
Rick Huxley : bass, vocas
Denis Payton : sax, harmonica, guitar, vocals (R.I.P. 2006)

Get it here : Glad All Over

Saturday, August 23, 2008

HAROLD MELVIN & THE BLUE NOTES : If You Don't Know Me By Now (1972)

Larry Brown R.I.P. 1944-2008
An original member of the rhythm-and-blues group Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes is dead.
Lawrence Lloyd Brown Sr. died Apr. 6 of a respiratory condition. He was 63. Word of his death comes from the Mitchum-Wilson Funeral Home.
Brown was still performing with the Blue Notes until January, when he became ill while singing at a show in Chester.
Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes are known for songs including "I Miss You," "If You Don't Know Me by Now," "The Love I Lost," "Bad Luck" and "Wake up Everybody."
Many people have forgotten that Simply Red's career-defining song is actually a cover version! Here is the original in all its true soul glory. This was the group's biggest hit, and made singer Teddy Pendergrass a star. Heartache, baby!

Song : "If You Don't Know Me By Now"
From the LP "HAROLD MELVIN & THE BLUE NOTES" a.k.a. "I MISS YOU" (PIR) Sep. 12, 1972

Harold Melvin : vocals
Teddy Pendergrass : lead vocals
Larry Brown : bass vocals
Bernard Wilson : baritone vocals
Lloyd Parks : tenor vocals
Gamble & Huff : production

Get it here : If You Don't Know Me By Now

Saturday, August 16, 2008

ISAAC HAYES : Theme From Shaft (1971)

R.I.P. 1942 - 2008

Isaac Hayes, the pioneering singer, songwriter and musician whose relentless "Theme From Shaft" won Academy and Grammy awards, died yesterday, the Shelby County Sheriff's Office said. He was 65.
A family member found Hayes unresponsive near a treadmill and he was pronounced dead about an hour later at Baptist East Hospital in Memphis, according to the sheriff's office. The cause of death was not immediately known.
In the early 1970s, Hayes laid the groundwork for disco, for what became known as urban-contemporary music and for romantic crooners like Barry White. And he was rapping before there was rap.
His career hit another high in 1997 when he became the voice of Chef, the sensible school cook and devoted ladies man on the animated TV show South Park.
The album Hot Buttered Soul made Hayes a star in 1969. His shaven head, gold chains and sunglasses gave him a compelling visual image.
It was his 1971 album 'Shaft' that shot Hayes to stardom. As the soundtrack to the movie of the same name, the album was the first record by a solo black artist to reach the top of both the R&B and Pop charts, winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song and landing three Grammy Awards and a Golden Globe. The album stayed in the charts for 16 months.

"Theme from Shaft", written and recorded by Isaac Hayes in 1971, is the soul- and funk-styled theme song to the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film "Shaft". The theme was released as a single (shortened and edited from the longer album version) two months after the movie's soundtrack by Stax Records' Enterprise label. "Theme from Shaft" went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States in November 1971. The song was also well-received by adult audiences, reaching number six on Billboard's Easy Listening (later Adult Contemporary) chart.

The following year, "Theme from Shaft" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, with Hayes becoming the first African American to win that honor (or any Academy Award in a non-acting category). Since then, the song has appeared in numerous television shows, commercials, and other movies, including the 2000 remake of Shaft, for which Hayes re-recorded the song without making any changes to it. "Theme from Shaft" is sometimes considered more iconic than the movie for which it was written.

Song: "Theme From Shaft"
From the LP "Shaft" (Music from the Original Soundtrack) (MGM) July 1971

Isaac Hayes - vocals, keyboards, lyrics
Lester Snell - electric piano
James Alexander - bass
Charles Pitts - guitar
Michael Toles - guitar
Willie Hall - drums
Gary Jones - conga drugs
Pat Lewis, Rose Williams, Telma Hopkins
Richard "Johnny" Davis - Lead trumpet
John Fonville - flute
Johnny Allen, J.Alan Johnson - horn/string arrangements

Get it here : Theme From Shaft

Saturday, August 09, 2008

RUFUS THOMAS : Funky Hot Grits (1973)

There is no other reason for posting this track than to show how funky AND funny Rufus Thomas can be. Truly the Crown Prince, he recorded this with the Stax rhythm section, and Thomas just ad-libbed most of the vocals; sounds like he's losing his mind!

Song : "Funky Hot Grits"

Recorded 1973
From the compilation LP "STAX OF FUNK. THE FUNKY TRUTH" (Stax) 2000

Also released as a single A-side (BGP records) Jul. 8, 2002:

Get it here : Funky Hot Grits

Saturday, August 02, 2008

LED ZEPPELIN : Fool In The Rain (1979)

R.I.P. William F. Ludwig II (1916 - 2008)
The name of Ludwig is synonymous with the manufacture of drums, and Ludwig instruments have been played by generations of drummers. William F. Ludwig II's father was the founder of the drum-making dynasty, but it was William junior's marketing expertise that established the company as a world leader.

One key sponsorship was of Joe Morello from the Dave Brubeck Quartet. By sheer good fortune, Ringo Starr started playing Ludwig drums and in 1964, when the Beatles played Chicago, Ludwig presented Starr with a gold-plated snare-drum by way of thanks. Many rock drummers played and endorsed Ludwig drums, including John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, Alan White of Yes and Ginger Baker from Cream. See
obituary .
Ludwig drums are well-known in rock history, and this track has John Bonham playing the drums on the Zep classic "Fool In The Rain". As a bonus, I've included two drum-only tracks of the song; these were made during the sessions for the song in 1978. The beat is deceptive, more complicated than you would initially assume.
Here is the wiki blurb:
The song exhibits a Latin feel. Drummer John Bonham plays a New Orleans-style shuffle beat, along with a samba-style breakdown. A master drum track shows that the samba breakdown (2:25) was recorded separately. It was their final song ever to make the pop singles charts during the band's tenure, reaching #21 in 1980.
Bass player John Paul Jones and vocalist Robert Plant got the idea for the samba beat from watching the 1978 FIFA World Cup tournament in Argentina. Guitarist Jimmy Page used an MXR Blue Box effect pedal during the solo to produce the octave sound.
Lyrically, the song is about a man who is supposed to meet a woman on a certain corner. When the woman doesn't appear, he is filled with grief at being stood up. By the final verse, he wonders whether he'd been waiting for her on the wrong corner, making him the eponymous "Fool in the Rain."
This song was never performed live at Led Zeppelin concerts because the group didn't think the sound came off well. The piano was quite necessary in the song, but with John Paul Jones on piano there could be no bass. There is also a twelve-string guitar line at one point in the song and the guitar solo that has to be pulled off. However, on October 5, 2005, Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant performed the song with Pearl Jam at a Hurricane Katrina benefit show.

Song : "Fool In The Rain" (written by John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant)
From the LP "IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR" (Swan Song) Aug. 15, 1979

John Bonham : drums
John Paul Jones : bass, keyboards
Jimmy Page : guitars
Robert Plant : vocals

Get it here:
Fool In The Rain
Drum track 01
Drum track 02