DR. NICO: CONGO-LATIN SOUL

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Docteur Nico & L’Orchestre African Fiesta: Suavilo (African, 1972, 7″)

Normally, one shouldn’t judge a record by its cover but this one sounds as good as it looks. Nico was known for his love of Afro-Cuban music and this is an obvious meeting of many styles into one delicious groove.

365 Days of Soul, #136

GERALD FAULK: WHATEVER YOU DO

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Gerald Faulk and the Return of the Flames: Express Yourself (Lanor, 197?, 7″)

I’m never NOT going to be down for a Louisiana cover of the Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band.

365 Days of Soul, #135

BIG ELLA: NO SMALL SOUND

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Big Ella: It Takes A Lot Of Loving (Lo Lo, 1969, 7″)

To be honest, I bought this partially because my kid’s name is Ella…though my Ella isn’t quite as brassy (or salacious) as Big Ella. That Ella dropped at least three singles in the late ’60s – “Too Hot To Hold” is oft-desired – but this one is a bit of a sleeper jam, with this great crossover jam plus a decent ballad flip.

365 Days of Soul, #134

IIJIMA AND MIYAMOTO: LAYING DOWN THE GROUNDWORK

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Iijima and Miyamoto: We Are the Children (Yellow Pearl, 1970, 7″)

I could have sworn I wrote about this at some point but I guess not. The song above might constitute the very first Asian American recording. I’m premising that on the argument that “Asian American” – as a pan-ethnic label – didn’t exist in any real form prior to the Asian American Movement of the late ’60s and early ’70s. Before then, the identity terminology would have been around specific ethnic groups: Chinese American, Japanese American, etc. But […]

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ABRAHAM AND HIS SONS: EVERY TIME I CLOSE MY EYES

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Abraham and His Sons: I Can’t Do Without You (Revue, 196?, 7″)

Wow, how have I not posted this earlier? Far as I know, this is the only release by Abraham and His Sons (on the Hollywood-based Revue imprint). Great firme role, written by Harold Thomas of the Masqueraders and produced by Sonny Parks, who had a few 7″s for Warner Bros. I like the surprise build on the opening, going from the guitar and around a blind corner into that wall of horns.

365 Days of Soul, #127

MARVIN GAYE: SAY YEAH

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Marvin Gaye: Stubborn Type of Fellow (Tamla, 1962, 7″)

Don’t tell anyone this but I’ve never spent much quality time with Marvin’s ’60s catalog. Even this, Marvin’s first chart-topper, is one that I’ve always heard somewhere in the middle distance but I’ve never owned it nor sat with it as a song until this past week (see the last post) and those “say ‘yeah yeah yeahs’” are now pretty much my favorite thing ever.

365 Days of Soul, #124

LOS HOLY’S: STRUTTIN’ THEIR STUFF

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Los Holy’s: Reunion Sicodelica (Cissy Strut) (Sono Radio, 1967, 7″)

This Meters’ hit traveled its way around the world, including to Peru. There’s a ton of covers of the song but this may be my favorite, especially for how biting the reverb on that guitar is.

365 Days of Soul, #118

OTIS GAYLE: WHENEVER YOU CALL

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Otis Gayle: I’ll Be Around (Studio One, 1971, 7″)

I love reggae covers that are mostly loyal to the original but the difference in rhythm is always just enough to give it a special, distinct feel. This is more sparse than the original but the essence of the song is still all here.

365 Days of Soul, #115

LOS AFRICANOS: SAME NEW DAY

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Los Africanos: Together People (Pamoja Watu) (TK, 197?, 7″)

I love “shadow covers” – songs that heavily, ahem, “borrow” from existing hits as part of their core melodies or rhythms but aren’t necessarily true covers. Case in point, “Together People,” by a little known Bobby Marin outfit from New York opens – unmistakably – with James Brown’s “It’s a New Day” riff and while JB clearly influences the song as a whole, this isn’t meant to be a cover of “It’s a New Day.” Still groovy though.1

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THE FUNKEES: THEY’RE CALLED THE FUNKEES. NUFF SAID.

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The Funkees: Slippin’ Into Darkness (EMI, 1973, 7″)

The flipside to this, “Breakthrough” (cover of Atomic Rooster) went onto Deep Covers 2 but surprisingly, I forgot to share the A-side, which was the original reason I copped this killer 7″ from EMI’s Nigeria catalog.

365 Days of Soul, #109