Archive for the ‘Leiber & Stoller’ Category

BESSIE BANKS / THE MOODY BLUES

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

bessiebanksuka1, Bessie Banks, Denny Laine, The Moody Blues, London Records, Red Bird

Listen: Go Now / Bessie Banks BessieBanksGoNow.mp3

Listen: Go Now / The Moody Blues MoodyBluesGoNow.mp3

Yes, even the blues and purples of the Decca, London and Soul City labels compliment each other. A lot of purists claim Bessie Banks’ original recording of ‘Go Now’ surpasses The Moody Blues later cover. I say we have endless love for many things, why not multiple versions of songs too?

Bessie Banks sounds so young here, and The Moody Blues vocalist at the time, Denny Laine, has such an authentic delivery, what’s not to like? That band never did replace him, nor did they try. Seems the guys were bright enough to go after a completely different, post Denny Laine sound.

Usually, it’s impossible to mess with the magic of an original song the calibre of Bessie Banks’ ‘Go Now’, especially given this Leiber & Stoller production. But thanks to the courage of The Moody Blues, I guess you could say we ended up with a win/win.

Betty Harris

Friday, June 19th, 2009

betty-harris-cry, betty harris, jubilee, bert berns, the pretty things, solomon burke, the rolling stones

Listen: Cry To Me / Betty Harris BettyHarrisCryToMe.mp3

betty-harris-liar, betty harris, jubilee, bert burns, the pretty things, solomon burke, the rolling stones

Listen: I’ll Be A Liar / Betty Harris BettyHarrisIllBeALiar.mp3

Bert Berns’ classic ‘Cry To Me’ had the luxury of being recorded by some truly seminal acts: Solomon Burke (who cut the classic original RnB chart entry), The Rolling Stones and The Pretty Things (see previous post). Often criminally overlooked when sighting legendary versions, Betty Harris not only belts out a rip roar performance for this A side, but actually out does herself on the flip ‘I’ll Be A Liar’. Also written by Burns, and as with it’s top side, produced by Leiber & Stoller, I’d bet this is the hotter of the two. The sparsity of the arrangement leaves plenty of space for her to shred the lead – pretty much scaring off any female competition. I don’t know of another version.

Betty went on from Jubilee to the Sansu label, recording ten singles there with Allen Toussaint. Although most of her work is collectable to both Deep Soul and Northern fans, my money’s on this essential double sider as the Betty Harris desert island choice.