BEEN HERE

Patti Drew: I’ve Been Here All The Time (Capitol 1969)

I admit – I’m a sucker for female vocals these days. Soul just sounds better when you have a soul sister scream and swooning on it and I’ve been collecting up a storm of different records featuring funk fatales. This Patti Drew record has been a personal favorite of late too because its two best songs are also covers (another obsession of mine). The first is the sizzling hot version of “Fever” that’s…well…hot. Not only does it scorch along but it also has the album’s most ambitious music, throwing in a slick electric piano alongside more conventional brass and a whipped rhythm section. Then there’s her cover of Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle” which is very loyal to the original but – and this is where it all comes together – it’s the fact that it’s sung by a woman that notches up the wickedness factor. Yow! (Alas, the rest of the album is not so noteworthy…still, two cuts is twice as nice as an LP with only one.)

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