WHO COVERED IT BETTER? (BEATLES EDITION)

According to Slate’s Dan Kois, Stevie Wonder’s “We Can Work It Out” is the best Beatles cover out there:

Stevie Wonder and his cover of “We Can Work It Out,” not only the best Beatles cover of all time but the only one that is definitively better than the Beatles’ original.

Now…my first response to this claim can be summed up as “OH, WORD?”

To my mind, as good as Stevie’s cover is, it’s in competition with at least two other covers from the same era: Al Green’s “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and Aretha […]

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A REVISIT TO MANU’S VOODOO (AND CRATE DIGGING POST-INTERNET)

A few weeks back, I was interview by The Ringer’s Justin Sayles for an article he just published about the last 20 years of crate-digging and sample-based production since the release of DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing. It is a sprawling long-form essay that covers a great deal of territory and I suspect it’d be of great interest to many of the readers of this site.

At the essay’s end, Sayles includes this section based around our convo:

Wang says that the internet has been both an “asset and a liability” for the world of crate digging. […]

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PUSHING FORWARD

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Swan Silvertones: If You Believe Your God Is Dead
From 7″ (HOB, 197?).

http://soul-sides.com/wp-content/uploads/If-You-Believe-Your-God-Is-Dead.mp3

I received this email, from out of the blue, the other day:

Oliver, the world needs you more than ever now.

Your Soul selections (and general selection) is such an important part of global culture especially Soul & Black culture worldwide.

To DJ’s and Soul collectors you are a hero, and the one thing I know we all need in this world is more […]

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SIDNEY PINCHBACK: SET STUNNERS TO PHASE

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Sidney Pinchback & The Sisters: This Is The Woman
From 7″ (Nickel, 1969)

http://soul-sides.com/wp-content/uploads/This-Is-the-Woman.mp3

Picked this one up from Rob Sevier during the recent Numero sale in L.A. Immediately fell in love with the phased effect that hits you from jump (listen to this on headphones for maximum impact). It’s the instrumental flipside of Lucky Cordell’s “This Is The Woman I Love” which features Cordell…just talking over the instrumental. Believe me when I say, B-side wins this one (again).

Notably, […]

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PAUL GRIFFIN: OLD TIME SOUL SAUCE

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Paul Griffin: Yes, Indeed + Wilson, Otis and Aretha
From Paul Griffin Pours On Some Soul Sauce (Somerset, 1968)

A pleasant surprise find at Mono Records. Griffin was a prolific studio session player with over 250 recording credits to his name but only a small handful of solo sides to his name. All featured Griffin on the Hammond and this album, in particular, was obviously inspired by the burgeoning golden era of soul music in the late ’60s.

I […]

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JEAN-JACQUES PERREY AND DAVID CHAZAM: ECLECTIC TO THE END

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Jean-Jacques Perrey and David Chazam: What’s Up Duck? + An Elephant On the Roof
From Eclektronics (Basenotic, 1998)

I had been meaning to write a post about this Jean-Jacques Perrey/David Chazam LP for a long time and just never got around to it and then JJP passed away earlier this month and that reminded me to get back to it.

This came out in the late ’90s, a collaboration between Perrey – by then, a veritable legend amongst synthesizer aficionados – and Chazam, a younger […]

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ISLEY BROTHERS: IF YOU WANT TO GET INTO SOMETHING

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Isley Brothers: Get Into Something + Take Inventory
From Get Into Something (T-Neck, 1969)

Partly because I’ve always thought of the Isley Brothers as 1970s mega-stars, I forget: 1) that their careers began in 1959 with the original, wedding-rocking “Shout!” and 2) that when the left Tamla to start their own imprint, T-Neck, they recorded and released a full three albums in less than a year.

Get Into Something was the last of that trio and supposedly it’s “the most valuable and highly sought-after Isley Brothers album.” […]

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BETTER THINGS: A SHARON JONES AND THE DAP-KINGS TRIBUTE

My friend Jeff Chang says, “don’t despair, create” so here’s my contribution for this holiday week: a simple mix based around 15 of my favorite Sharon Jones and Dap-Kings’ songs.

Annotated tracklisting:

1. Sharon Jones: Hook N Sling Meets The Funky Superfly
2. Sharon Jones: You Better Think Twice

These first two are from Jones’s early years at Desco, where she first met many of the key players who’d later become part of the Dap-Kings. Back then, most of those folks were in a Desco house band called the Soul Providers. Both can be found […]

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SHARON JONES: AN APPRECIATION

My readers know how much I respected Sharon Jones and adored the music her and the Dap-Kings recorded. I can’t say her death last Friday was a shock – we all knew her cancer had come back and was very aggressive – but it felt unbearably cruel in a year where so many musicians we love have left us. NPR asked me to turnaround a quick essay about her and the group’s legacy and while I wrote it faster than I would have ideally liked to, I still hope I did them some justice in it.

[…]

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THE CURTIS MAYFIELD DEEP DIVE

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Since the summer, I’ve been in a deep dive Curtis Mayfield mode because of the new Traveling Soul biography of Mayfield that I reviewed for Pitchfork.com.

I’ll try not to repeat the same lede as the review but it does bear repeating: it’s crazy that it took until now for someone to write a definitive Mayfield biography. There was Peter Burns’ Curtis Mayfield that come out of the UK in the early ‘00s but while it was a fantastic discographic resources, it offered little on Mayfield’s actual life. Traveling […]

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