In trading out my Pure Essence 7″, one of the things I got back was one of my heaviest “wants”:
This hits on so many different levels of “stuff I like”: female funk, teen soul, samples, you name it. Total package. The flip side isn’t any near as distinguished and it’s not as good a song but it’s still quite interesting as an example of how soul artists were working with Black Power politics of the era. Love how it opens…some “Young, Black and Gifted” pride, for real.1
The Trinikas: Black Is Beautiful
From 7″ (Pearce, 1970)
Just realized that Louis Chachere produced this, which is funny since I literally just filed away Chachere’s single “The Hen,” which is a slinky piece of mod/funk.
It seemed to make sense to pair this single with another recent arrival (and another white whale, though not something I’ve joneses for as hard):
A-side is one of the best songs the Brothers ever cut. I think I still prefer “A Lifetime” but “I’d Be Grateful” is a masterful, mid-tempo slice of Northern soul. The rhythm arrangement, in particular, is killer. Is that a…cello? The flip side, as with The Trinikas, isn’t as good as its flip (but still a nice ballad) but it’s on some social commentary tip with its Vietnam War draftee subtext.
And, of course, that makes me think of Nancy’s “I Promise I’ll Wait” which is also about waiting on a lover sent overseas.
- There’s apparently two other versions of “Black Is Beautiful.” One that appears on the Century label and then on a high school album (that the group came out of). Notably though, none of those other records have “Remember Me.” ↩