One of the most obscure albums Covay cut, Funky Yo Yo slipped out in 1977 on the tiny Versatile label, with such little notice that it's even escaped getting listed in some discographies. It's a strange record, too, with production so sparse (and some dull muffle to the sound fidelity, though it's not a serious impediment) that one suspects these might be demos, or perhaps not even 1977 recordings. Yet in a way that very rootsy, stripped-down feel makes it appealing, particularly as it was appearing at a time when many fellow soul greats of Covay's generation were issuing bloated, hopeless attempts to jump on the disco bandwagon. Far from emulating Barry White, Covay sounds rather like Van Morrison on much of this material, though the similarity's probably coincidental. Particularly on the more bare-bones arrangements, these actually have a cool intimate feel, as if they're songwriter demos intended for pitches to '60s Atlantic recording artists.
In 2000, Koch reissued Don Covay's two classic mid-'60s albums, Mercy and See-Saw, on one tremendous CD. The term "classic" is thrown around haphazardly in pop music, but these are two sublime records that earn the term, even if they're not as roundly celebrated as platters from Otis Redding or even cult favorite James Carr. Though he racked up a number of singles on the R&B charts, he never had a huge crossover hit, but his music stands as some of the most effervescent, infectious soul of the '60s (not to mention that his vocal style was a clear inspiration to Mick Jagger). What makes his music so remarkable is how it's earthy Southern soul, kicking really hard in its rhythms and with plenty of growl in Covay's voice, but is as nimble, tuneful, and sunny as the sounds coming out of Chicago and Detroit during the mid-'60s. Perhaps that's why he never quite got a huge single – he straddled the two popular sounds without fully being part of either. It may have not resulted in big singles, but it resulted in splendid music. If there's not much difference stylistically between Mercy and See-Saw – they're both pretty much cut from the same cloth – there's also little difference in quality. It's all tremendous, enjoyable, sweet Southern soul. Razor & Tie's Mercy Mercy: The Definitive Don Covay provides the definitive overview, but for a pure concentration of Covay at his peak, this is irresistible and essential.
Don Covay – a singer who started out as a fairly straightforward soul performer, then got a bit bluesier in the early 70s, then shifted back to a more pop-oriented groove. This one's got Don working with arrangements by Bobby Martin and Dexter Wansel that still keep the bluesy quality in his voice, but go for sort of a Philly modern mode in the arrangements, in the mode that was used on Bobby Rush's one album for Philly.
Robert Dwayne "Bobby" Womack is an American singer-songwriter and musician. An active recording artist since the early 1960s where he started his career as the lead singer of his family musical group The Valentinos and as Sam Cooke's backing guitarist, Womack's career has spanned more than 50 years and has spanned a repertoire in the styles of R&B, soul, rock and roll, doo-wop, gospel, and country. In 2009, Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Founded in 1947 by avid jazz fans and record collectors Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson with a $10,000 loan from Ertegun’s dentist, Atlantic Records ended up being one of the most successful independent labels in the history of recorded music, and a litany of the label’s artists over the past 60-plus years is stunning in its diversity, ranging from John Coltrane and Big Joe Turner to Kid Rock and Gnarls Barkley and several points in-between. This “time capsule” – nine discs of music, one DVD documentary, and a 45 rpm 7" of Sticks McGee's “Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-Oh-Dee,” plus several little bits of flare and memorabilia and a book of photographs, all of it housed in a sturdy metal box – simply confirms what most pop music fans already knew: Atlantic Records is one hell of a record company.
Universal Music presents Top Of The Pops 1974 - 50 hits including such artists as Abba, Sparks, Barry White, Status Quo, Mike Oldfield and many others.
Leonard Chess dispatched Etta James to Muscle Shoals in 1967, and the move paid off with one of her best and most soul-searing Cadet albums. Produced by Rick Hall, the resultant album boasted a relentlessly driving title cut, the moving soul ballad "I'd Rather Go Blind," and sizzling covers of Otis Redding's "Security" and Jimmy Hughes' "Don't Lose Your Good Thing," and a pair of fine Don Covay copyrights. The skin-tight session aces at Fame Studios really did themselves proud behind Miss Peaches.