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A MIGHTY MOTOWN READ

Thursday, 13 August 2009 09:18 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

A MIGHTY MOTOWN READ

It can't have escaped anyone's attention that Motown is, this year, celebrating its 50th birthday. There's been any number of album reissues and compilations and a decent level of interest in the media. There have been a number of celebratory books published too, but I'm absolutely confident that none will come near the scholarship and thoroughness of this mighty 700 page plus volume from American writer TERRY WILSON. WILSON - a self-confessed Motown addict - has worked in England for some time and soon after arriving he became impressed by the passion and devotion of UK Motown collectors. He already had an idea for a book to try and distil Motown's top 100 songs, but he quickly realized that a complete run down (with full commentary) of every UK-issued Motown single would produce a more integrated book and one that would have real appeal to the aforementioned collectors. So, 'TAMLA MOTOWN …THE STORIES BEHIND THE UK SINGLES' was conceived and now - some five years later- it's available from all good bookshops!
The book is a testament to WILSON'S thoroughness and it will appeal directly to the anorak nature of the stereotyped UK collector. It begins with the releases on the old London label in 1959 and goes right through to the noughties. In between it covers all the major landmarks and a host of appendices will keep the most committed Motown-phile occupied for days … it even has sections on the typefaces used on those famous 7" paper sleeves. But the book is much more than a sterile listing. WILSON offers astute and thoughtful comments about each release - often avoiding the obvious by offering new perspectives. He's particularly good on 'What's Going On' - suggesting that RENALDO BENSON'S contribution to the masterpiece is all-too often overlooked. Equally persuasive is WILSON'S logical questioning as to why Motown music has always been neglected by serious music historians … and it's observations like these that give the book a life beyond the UK anorak brigade. Every Motown fan - anywhere - will find something new, provocative and intriguing in the book. Without doubt, 'TAMLA MOTOWN - THE STORIES BEHIND THE UK SINGLES' is the best book to come out of this year's Motown celebrations.

TERRY WILSON'S 'TAMLA MOTOWN - THE STORIES BEHIND THE UK SINGLES' (published by CHERRY RED BOOKS) is out now

 

MAKING OVER WITH JODY

Thursday, 06 August 2009 12:43 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

MAKING OVER WITH JODY

It's an amazing but, apparently, true fact that the lovely JODY WATLEY - along with MADONNA and JANET JACKSON - is MTV's most award-nominated female artist, despite a comparatively low mainstream profile in Europe and the UK. Knowing soul fans though are totally aware of JODY'S talents and a pedigree that goes way back to the heady days of SHALAMAR. Said knowledgeable fans eagerly seek out her solo work , though much of it has been hard to track down in Europe. Things are about to change with the October UK release of a variant of her US 2007 set, 'The Makeover'. The new release has some of the old cuts but is enhanced with new tracks and remixes. There's lots of outstanding soul on the album - including the insistent 'A Beautiful Life' and the DJ SPINNA produced version of CHIC'S 'I Want Your Love' There are gentler grooves too - a unique version of BOB MARLEY'S 'Waiting In Vain' and a sweet take on the SHIRELLES' 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow'. For soul collectors though, the real icing on this soul slice is the PAM SAWYER produced and arranged ten minute version of her own 'Love Hangover'. Here Sawyer gives the song the original prelude and arrangement which bossy BERRY GORDY vetoed for the DIANA ROSS version. JODY WATLEY - 'The Makeover' is out on Aritone/ADA in October. Full review on www.soulandjazzandfunk.com very soon

 

TURNING LEDISI LOOSE

Wednesday, 29 July 2009 15:16 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

TURNING LEDISI LOOSE

UK soul fave LEDISI (YOUNG) releases here 4th solo album in mid August. 'Turn Me Loose' (Verve Forecast) is a feisty collection of 13 songs with Ms. YOUNG aided and abetted by people like JAM AND LEWIS, REX RIDEOUT and RAPHAEL SAADIQ. By visiting www.ledisimusic.com/countdown you can hear exclusive previews while the lead track 'Goin' Thru Changes' is already available via i-tunes. More? LEDISI supporters need to go to www.ultimateledhead.com to prove they're the lady's biggest fan… i-pod nanos and a trip to see LEDISI live are on offer as prizes. 'Turn Me Loose' will be reviewed on www.soulandjazzandfunk.com very soon.

 

WORTH THE WAIT

Wednesday, 29 July 2009 15:14 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

WORTH THE WAIT

23 year old HANNAH-ROSE is an unknown name on the UK soul scene, but the autumn release of her debut album, 'Sorry To Keep Ya Waiting', is set to change all that. The sampler currently doing the rounds shows HANNAH to possess a husky, true soul voice that's as much at home handling sensitive ballads as bouncy R&B beaters. Ms. R resides in Blackpool and her family roots are Sicilian, Hawaiian and Caribbean. Dad's a professional bass player and from an early age HANNAH worked with him in the studio. A finalist in 2007's Urban Voice contest, she's since been working on her debut set. Amongst the songs is an impressive '17 Days' which proves that DUFFY and AMY don't own the monopoly on contemporary UK femme soul, while 'Rock Your Soul' would give any R&B princess a real run for their dollars. Best of the bunch though is the shimmering 'Watching You'. It has a captivating, 60s cinematic feel and a hook to die for.
More info - www.myspace.com/hannahroseenright www.artistecard.com/hannahrose

 

JONATHAN... DOING WHAT A GUY'S GOTTA DO

Thursday, 23 July 2009 11:18 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

JONATHAN... DOING WHAT A GUY'S GOTTA  DO

JONATHAN JEREMIAH is a new British singer/songwriter who's about to launch his debut album - and from what we've heard from the sampler EP doing the rounds, he's set to become a major player. Born in Wembley to an Anglo-Asian father and an Irish mother, his love of music began with JAMES TAYLOR and CAROLE KING, though at university his allegiances switched to singers like NICK DRAKE and JOHN MARTYN. After his studies JONATHAN travelled across America and immersed himself in soul before returning to the UK to work on his own material. His album's taken seven years to complete and towards the end of the process his reputation in the North London music community was such that he could draft in the likes of BERNARD BUTLER (ex-SUEDE man and DUFFY collaborator), QUESTLOVE from the ROOTS and the legendary JBs to help out. The result is a delicious music that's hard to pin down but which has soul sensitivities at its root. Listen out for the string-laden, MARVIN-GAYE-inspired, DONNY HATHAWAY-flavoured 'What's a Guy Got To Do'… already one of 2009's best soul tracks.

 

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