Friday, May 08, 2015

My top ten 50 years back - continued

I'm taking another trip down memory lane with a look at my personal top ten exactly 50 years ago. 1965 was the year when soul music really took off in the UK, even if the pop charts did not reflect it. After years of the major US labels having their UK records released on labels such as London, Stateside and Pye International, they were at last getting their own UK outlets. In the space of a couple of months in early 1965 Decca, EMI and Pye launched Atlantic, Tamla Motown and Chess labels under their own names. My top ten of May 9 included records on all three of these, plus a few on more established labels such as HMV, RCA and Stateside, plus one on the Sue label which had been launched a couple of years earlier.
Here's the top ten.
1. Impressions - People Get Ready. HMV 1408. This great gospel flavoured 45 was a big US success for Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions and has been chosen as one of the top 10 songs of all time by a Mojo magazine panel including Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson, and the 24th best song by Rolling Stone.
2. Sam Cooke - It's Got the Whole World Shaking. RCA 1476. A cut from Sam's Shake album, this was the second posthumous 45 by the great Sam, but despite being an excellent record it tends to be overlooked.
3. Otis Redding - Mr Pitiful. Atlantic 4024. Written by Otis with Steve Cropper, this was the Big O's first release on the UK Atlantic label. From The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads it reached the US top ten and was his most successful release to that point. The B side That's How Strong My Love Is was written by Roosevelt Jamison and first recorded by O V Wright.
4. Marvin Gaye - I'll Be Doggone. Tamla Motown 510. Co-written by Smokey Robinson, this was Marvin's first 45 on the newly launched UK Tamla Motown label and was a million seller, reaching the US ten ten. Did nothing in the UK at the time needless to say.
5. Fats Domino - Why Don't You Do Right. HMV 1421. Fats never quite reached the heights of his Imperial recordings once he moved to ABC and this one - a remake of a pre war blues song best known for the recording by Peggy Lee - didn't make much of an impact. It's not typical Domino, but not bad.
6. Solomon Burke - Got To Get You Off My Mind. Atlantic 4022. Of all the many great records in Solomon's long career this was his most successful. It was written in the immediate aftermath of Sam Cooke's death - Solomon had been with him just a few hours earlier.
7. Fontella Bass & Bobby McClure - Don't Mess Up A Good Thing. Chess 8007. Fontella recorded several duets with former Soul Stirrer Bobby McClure before her Rescue Me smash, and this was probably the best -a great up tempo number. An early UK Chess label release.
8. Ikettes - Peaches And Cream. Stateside 407. The Ikettes burst out from the Ike and Tina Turner Revue with a number of brilliantly soulful records of their own, incuding this substantial hit recorded for Modern. There were at least two sets of Ikettes on the road at this time, as Ike wanted to maximise their success whilst still having them performing in the revue.
9. Miracles - Ooh Baby Baby. Tamla Motown 503. This was Smokey and the Miracles' first release on the newly launched UK Tamla Motown label and is a superbly dreamy slowie, which captures Smokey's voice to perfection.
10. Wilbert Harrison - Let's Stick Together. Sue 363. Recorded for Fury in 1962, this shuffle beat blues was only released in the UK as a single on Sue three years later. It was later retitled Let's WorkTogether and re-released and also covered by Canned Heat and Bryan Ferry, but this is the original and best.


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