August 25, 1973: David Cassidy, James Brown/Lyn Collins, Joe Simon, Deodato, Ike & Tina Turner

Stop press: Cassidy review

DAVID CASSIDY: Daydream; Can’t Go Home Again (Bell, in America only).
David’s new American single pairs a couple of the tracks from his as yet uncompleted new album, and will not necessarily be chosen for singles release in Britain once the finished LP has been heard (writes James Hamilton). David’s whole approach shows an ever increasing maturity. “Daydream,” the famous Lovin’ Spoonful ditty from 1966, here becomes much mellower and less angular than the original, with a greater emphasis on the jangling piano and good-time jug band atmosphere – right rooty tooty, in fact! It’s the lovely slow flip, though, which really shows off David’s maturity. Sung expressively in David’s husky, breathy voice, the truly beautiful melody is perfectly complemented by its gentle backing of electric piano and lightly Latin rhythm. Believe me, it’s real music.

Straight from the States

JAMES BROWN: Sexy, Sexy, Sexy; Slaughter Theme (Polydor) and LYN COLLINS (THE FEMALE PREACHER): How Long Can I Keep It Up (People).
James Brown, meets Jim Brown! Yes, hot on the heels of his soundtrack scoring chores for “Black Caesar”, Mr. James Brown has trotted out more movie music, this time for the latest in the Jim Brown-starring (and Jim Brown-produced) “Slaughter” series, “Slaughter’s Big Rip Off”. Remember, Billy Preston did the original “Slaughter” theme? Well, the impact of hearing the new James Brown theme as you sit back in your cinema seat is gonna be a whole lot different! From a slowly building suspense-filled start it explodes into a whole mess of funky butt Soul rhythm, before easing back into a comparatively melodic instrumental passage. However, that’s only the B-side of J. B.’s new single, the score-culled A-side of which is one of those leaping whomping stomping dancers of the sort which he cut a few years back . . . hence, if it comes out in Britain, it stands a really good chance of hitting here. Add the kinda blatant title to a beat that sure don’t quit, and Pop satisfaction is guaranteed!

Then, for a Soulful turnabout, also from “Slaughter’s Big Rip Off” comes The Female Preacher’s lovely new slowie, penned by J. B. with Fred Wesley, and of course arranged and produced by James Brown – The Hit Man – Godfather of Soul (as both labels proclaim). Interestingly, the Lyn Collins record features an edited 3:32 “Part 1” version on the plug side and the full 5:29 “Part 1 & 2″on the flip. It’s a rap-introed beauty with a gorgeous relaxed backing behind Lyn’s tender then raw emoting, which obviously relates lyrically to Slaughter’s girlfriend in the movie: as the words switch from a loving resignation to her man’s dangerous way of life and become more agitated by self-doubt about her own inner strength, so the music becomes a churning whirl that accurately reflects her mental turmoil. Thus, if the only reason for a visit to the original rather drab “Slaughter” movie was to see Stella Stevens starkers, James Brown’s music will be reason enough to sit through the “Big Rip Off” . . . provided that they fit it all in the film.

JOE SIMON: Theme From Cleopatra Jones; Who Was That Lady (Spring).
Staying with black movie music, we find that although Joe Simon himself wrote and produced this theme for “Cleopatra Jones,” the Brad Shapiro-penned / produced flip has rather more to do with the film’s subject matter, actually mentioning her by name. The theme itself is a ponderous mixture of instrumental and vocal which never gets off the ground, consisting mainly of a monotonous cluster of clomps infiltrated by torpid strings, brass and electric piano, not to forget a bit of the mandatory wah-wah guitar, over which Joe Simon bays and howls. He does actually say “Cleo” twice towards the end, but on the faster, synthesizer-introed flip he tells us all about “Miss Jones” – a gun-totin’ afroed cutie taken to wearing mink boleros with bead accessories, if the paper sleeve pic’s anything to go by. This flip is so much more lively and better than the A-side that it will be a good move of Polydor’s if they make it the plug side when and if British release time comes. Continue reading “August 25, 1973: David Cassidy, James Brown/Lyn Collins, Joe Simon, Deodato, Ike & Tina Turner”

August 18, 1973: Isley Brothers, Eagles, Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen, Perry Como, Maureen McGovern

ISLEY BROTHERS: That Lady (Parts 1/2) (Epic EPC 1704).
What freakiness is this? Amorphous pretty noises, phasing acid guitar, slinky sensuous singing . . . a lightly chattering beat, some chukka-wukka grittiness at times . . . but over all this rapidly rising US hit (and especially its instrumental B-side) is dominated by the mind-naggingly sustained acid guitar line, amidst which the Isleys’ vocal smoothness is at its sexiest. More of a sound than a song, it will hopefully not be too shapeless for British tastes, as it’s truly the PICK OF THE WEEK.

EAGLES: Tequila Sunrise (Asylum AYM 520).
From their “Desperado” concept album comes the Eagles’ latest laid-back gem, an oh-so-languid lazy lilter which features sleepy singing, gentle guitar, slithering steel, “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” touches, and a trace of influence from their feathered friends, the Byrds . . . . aaahhh-uurrr-umm, I think I’ll just lay me down and rest awhile, so sleepy, mmmmm, mmmm MMMUSIC PICK.

COMMANDER CODY & HIS LOST PLANET AIRMEN: Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette); Rock That Boogie (Paramount PARA 3040).
The only reason why many people, the staff of “RM” included, are going to the Reading Festival next weekend is to see the stars of the show, Commander Cody and his real gone Airmen. Cody and the boys just love that oldtime Country music, the sort with balls, and spend their time making fun-filled bouncy recreations of it. For instance, this vintage mild lunacy, full of sprightly fiddle and skipping rhythm, was originally recorded (with a much deeper voice) by Tex Williams in, I do believe, the far-off ‘Forties. What’s more, the jolly flip is similar to the sort of pre-Rock ‘n Roll boogie which Tennessee Ernie Ford used to record, better than twenty years ago. If, wonder of wonders, you dig these, try Dan Hicks And His Hot Licks’ “Where’s The Money” next. MUSIC PICK. Continue reading “August 18, 1973: Isley Brothers, Eagles, Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen, Perry Como, Maureen McGovern”