Oct 16, 2012
You hear that rhythm section and you immediately think of all those classic Al Green records. That's because this was produced by Willie Mitchell who produced and orchestrated all those great early Green records with the Hi Rythm Section, named after Mitchell's label Hi Records. That incredible drummer is named Howard Grimes and he's on all those Al Green songs with that same hypnotist trick of a beat.
And we haven't even talked about O.V. Wright yet, who had that distinctive marble-mouthed but still silky tone to his voice. He died real early but remains a legend in Memphis and for all those folks who like this kind of sound. This LP, Memphis Unlimited, is about as good as it gets outside of Al Green at this time.
Below is another one of Wright's songs from a later album called Bottom Line, something I posted here a long time ago but it's worth bringing up again. This was the first song I heard from Wright and I think it's the best thing he ever did.
Sounds like there's a little trouble in the house but O.V. goes right to the old lady to settle it. Hard not to smile a little listening to this one.
O.V. Wright - Let's Straighten It Out (1978)
Jul 7, 2012
Here's solo-era Keith showing his love of Otis Redding, Al Green and Motown Records and he nailed it with this cut from the '92 LP Main Offender.
He mines the same territory here on "Make No Mistake" which is from a live show in '88 at the Hollywood Palladium with the incredible Sarah Dash on guest vocals.
Keith has always said his favourite Stones cover was Otis Redding doing Satisfaction, and the main riff was originally intended to be horns. Of course, the famous story is that Keith woke up from a dream in the middle of the night with the Satisfaction riff in his head, sat up in bed, grabbed his guitar and pressed record on his little tape machine, played the main notes and the rest of the tape is the sound of the guitar hitting the floor and Keith snoring.
Jun 29, 2012
I watched Superfly a few weeks ago for the first time and enjoyed it for what it was - what the fuck does that even mean? - but found that Mayfield's songs completely stole the film. You'd think the songs would be a nice push behind what you're seeing on screen but you sit there listening to Mayfield's words and that voice ... it's a better movie than the movie.
I go back and forth on what's the best soul record from this era - Mayfield's Superfly soundtrack or Lee Dorsey's "Yes We Can". The Al Green records are right there too but Mayfield captured something on this album that Green could never approach. It has a bigger scope, not only the words but the arrangements. Listen to the horns and the strings on this thing. It's a huge production but somehow it feels like it's rising off the sewer grates of NYC.
Little Child is the first song on the album. Then it runs right into Pusherman... it's ridiculous how good this one-two punch is. The first two lines of Pusherman are fucking classic.