January 13, 1973: Laura Lee, The Persuaders, Archie Bell & The Drells, Kenny Loggins & Jim Messina, The Crickets

Hot US releases

Record Mirror is the ONLY pop paper to provide advance reviews of the most important American singles releases. Each week JAMES HAMILTON, the most knowledgeable writer on the US record scene, brings you, hot from the presses, reviews of the new Stateside hits . . . via Billboard’s exclusive fast-mailing service.

LAURA LEE: Since I Fell For You; Wedlock Is A Padlock (Hot Wax HWX 118).
If you’re a bloke with any sensibilities at all, this languidly and so sexily conceived recitation-then-smouldering torch song is guaranteed to reduce you to a quivering mess: if you’re a dewy-eyed maiden, it’ll appeal to you much as Gladys Knight’s current hit does, although this really is aimed at the blokes. In truth, by far the best bit is the long smoochy spoken intro which sets the scene for the old Lenny Welch hit, and the one disappointing bit is when the tempo tries to get clever halfway through the song proper. However, this long-time-comin’ Soul gem is head, shoulders, chest, hips and knees above the boringly obvious thump thumper coupling, which amazingly is the official plug side. Skip it ‘n flip it, y ‘all !

THE PERSUADERS: Peace In The Valley; Thin Line Between Love And Hate (Atlantic K 10265).
It’s a good week far Soul fans, this, and here’s the number one on the lists of all Soul Group Freaks. Dead slow and very Gospelly, with incredible passionate singing and several gallons of pure one hundred proof SOUL, this current US R&B Top Tenner is backed by the group’s US Pop Top Tenner of 1971. It too is a must-have item, dead slow and particularly inventive, but the trouble is that many of you must have it already as it’s been out on 45 and LP before in this country. Double dynamite for tyros, cheesy deal but vital for initiates.

ARCHIE BELL AND THE DRELLS: Tighten Up; (There’s Gonna Be) A Showdown (Atlantic K 10263).
1968’s “Tighten Up” is, as some of you by now must know, one of my all time faves, but, more than that, its madly infectious rhythm (an innovation in its day, I think it’s true to say) keeps on cropping up to brighten anything to which it is applied (the Nite-Liters’ “K-Jee” for instance). As it’s a well-proven disco smash, why is it in fact the official B-side here to the good but less direct Gamble & Huff-penned/produced “Showdown”? Both, incidentally, were issued on a maxi together with “I Can’t Stop Dancing” about a year ago by Atlantic Polydor, so that, despite their other R&B maxis, Atlantic WEA ain’t doing you no favours. Continue reading “January 13, 1973: Laura Lee, The Persuaders, Archie Bell & The Drells, Kenny Loggins & Jim Messina, The Crickets”