ANDY WILLIAMS: You’ve Got A Friend (CBS 7378).
Andy can sure pick ’em – this time, Carole King’s beautiful song. Don’t expect any subtlety from this version tho’: for that, hear those by Carole, James Taylor or Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway. Strict-tempo flip.
FRANK SINATRA: Lady Day; What Now My Love (Reprise K 14098).
Bob Gaudio and Jake Holmes’ lovely slow tribute to Billie Holliday may not be general enough in its message to rival “My Way,” but the melody should appeal. Brisk flip.
JODY MILLER: He’s So Fine (Epic EPC 7375).
The U.S. ads for this lively Country treatment of the Chiffons’ classic seemed proud of the fact that the “doolang doolang” chant has been left out. Huh? So similar to “My Sweet Lord,” good easy listening, could click.
CHUCK MANGIONE: Hill Where The Lord Hides (Mercury 6052089).
What Chuck or soloist Gerry Niewood play I have no idea. This vaguely Spanish-cum-symphonic instrumental, recorded live at “A Chuck Mangione Concert,” whatever the heavy significance of that may be, is unusual and rather catchy. Hey, old Gerry may just have taken a slightly jazzy clarinet solo . . . or was that Chuck?
THE DELFONICS: He Don’t Really Love You; Without You (Mojo 2092007).
Their Moonshot single, recorded before Philly Groove but a U.S. hit on the tail-end of “La La I Love You”‘s success, is an obtrusively arranged sweet wailing slowie (what else?!), produced by Thom Bell, and of course it is lovely. Very good tricky waltz-tempo flip.
WILSON PICKETT: Don’t Knock My Love, Pts 1 and 2 (Atlantic 2091124).
Leaping funk, lots of life, which earned Mrs. Pickett’s little boy his second Gold, U.S.-side. Good freakier instrumental flip.
JEAN KNIGHT: Mr Big Stuff (Stax 2025049).
More Malaco funk ‘n’ grunt, by a chick this time. If King Floyd’s “Groove Me” acclimatised enough of you, this sparse beat U.S. R&B/Pop smash might have a chance.
THE J.B.s: The Grunt, Pts 1 & 2 (Mojo 2027002).
Great screaming sax spearheads this instrumental rhythm workout by James Brown’s band.
VERNON BROWN: I’m a Lover (Mojo 2093002).
From spring, nicely propelled by a buoyant beat, this chugging R&B is unassumingly danceable.
BOOKER T. AND THE MGs: Melting Pot; Kinda Easy Like (Stax 2025026).
Cleverly edited from the album tracks, but as the album is their best since “Soul Dressing,” and their most mature ever, get it instead.
CANDI STATON: Stand By Your Man (CL 15658).
Reissue of Candi’s R&B treatment of Tammy Wynette’s Country classic, presumably to cash in on the song’s “Five Easy Pieces” appearance. Tammy’s original (which is the one you hear in the film) is much, much better and deserves to hit.
LOVE’S CHILDREN: Soul Is Love (Buddah 2011085).
Curtis Mayfield penned/produced this messy, quite frankly bad, Jackson 5-type noise. The Stairsteps-type cool slow flip is the good side.
THE GUESS WHO: Albert Flasher; Broken (RCA 2100).
The Canadians are doing steady double-sided hit business in America with this happy rollocking beater/ponderous slowie coupling. Albert is fun.
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD: I Can Feel Him In The Morning; Are You Ready; Mean Mistreater (Capitol CL 15689).
If you want to help swell Terry Knight’s coffers, get this 33 1/3 maxi made up of LP trax and then really please him by getting the albums. “Mistreater’ isn’t bad.
TONY BENNETT: More And More; I Want To Be Happy (CBS 7342).
Blanketting strings and a mellow Tony on Sacha Distel’s smooth and old fashioned slowie. Noisy brass and noisy Tony on the intro to the plonking bass-led flipside stomper.
AL KOOPER: John The Baptist (Holy John); Back On My Feet (CBS 7376).
From Al’s new album, a cross between the Beach Boys and Band sounds makes a distinctively good but uncommercial though-jolly top. Lively flip.
ALEX TAYLOR: Baby Ruth; All In Line (Atlantic 2091125).
Hugh’s big brother turns in a good and convincing performance on these two Country-Folk-Rock sides, which he did not write. Lazily rhythmic top, more energetic flip, neither of which seem forced or hurried.
THE DOOBIE BROTHERS: Nobody (Warner Brothers K 16083).
The Brothers from Brothers make nervy strumming and humming rhythmic noises behind the hurried though clipped lead singer on this goodie. ‘Tis good, too.
MOTHER EARTH: Temptation Took Control Of Me And I Fell; I’ll Be Long Gone (Reprise K 14069).
Tracy Nelson is a very good singer who can veer from sounding Soul to Country, but here sounds strident on a dull chant and sparse beat -backed mid-tempoer. The infinitely better, recommended, dead slow flip shows off her Soul sound well.
MARY TRAVERS: Follow Me (Warner Bros K 16080).
The ex-member of Peter, Paul and Mary (she’s the blonde, beardless one) has done this John Denver song in a pretty speed-gaining way that’s likely to appeal to the Judy Collins/Joni Mitchell crowd.
ANNE MURRAY: Sing High – Sing Low (Capitol CL 15690).
“Snowbird” was a lovely smash by this Canadian, who has yet to equal its success, even in America. This JuIie Felix-ish light lilter hung about in the C&W Charts for a long time, though.