Posts Tagged ‘George Clinton’

Jill Jones

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Listen: For Love / Jill Jones
For Love / Jill Jones

Just like artists, labels can go from nothing very collectible for ages to suddenly more desirable and even, sometimes seemingly overnight, through the roof.

Paisley Park isn’t quite the latter yet, but with the sudden realization that Prince is a living legend, my guess is some of the more obscure releases, in near mint condition, will start to dry up.

The label design was always beautiful, and in particular, UK pressings are stunning. 7′s by Mavis Staples, The Time, Sheila E and George Clinton are impossible to pass on. But heads up, despite the packaging and font, do not sleep on Jill Jones.

’87 was the year. As a back-up singer for his various projects from the start of the decade, her only Prince written/produced album, JILL JONES, dropped in February of that year. Prince was credited as a co-writer with Jones, but apparently wrote all of the songs himself. Upon its release, the album received positive reviews from critics, but shockingly failed to chart anywhere and has been out of print for many years.

The three singles it spawned are even harder finds, with the last of them, ‘For Love’, in my opinion, being the best.

Signature Prince is all over this one, the squeals, the wallops, his meticulously clean rhythm playing, it’s all there. Very few records swing like ‘For Love’. I bet I played this twenty, maybe thirty times tonight alone.

Prince does another in his series of seemingly endless Madison Square Garden shows this evening. Better than ever, if you can believe it. Last week he opened with ‘Kiss’ and that was just the beginning.


Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Listen: I’ll Bet You / Funkadelic FunkadelicBet.mp3

Between all the Parliament / Funkadelic releases, I must admit confusion. I do believe this was their debut single, and if not, certainly an early contributor to launching their tidal wave of output duiring the 70′s.

Vividly recall hearing ‘I’ll Bet You’ for the very first time through the PA at a Sly & The Family Stone concert. What was that! The low end was so dirty. The overall boom of the track dwarfed the songs each side of it. I just asked everyone around me if they knew it. No luck.

Out of desperation, I timidly approached the soundboard, hoping the mean looking character behind it might know. Luckily, fate was on my side. He did, and was rather impressed that a little white kid would even be interested. It was, by the way, the moment I discovered what a good view standing at the mix desk could offer. It’s become my preferred spot through the years. Learn something everyday.

I marched in to Walt’s Records on Salina Street after school the very next afternoon and landed my deep groove pressed copy. Sounds as thunderous now as it did that very moment coming through the PA at the Syracuse War Memorial.

Don’t even bother to ask me how it sizzles in a Rock-Ola or Seeburg.

Shirley & Lee / Slade

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Listen: Let The Good Times Roll / Shirley & Lee ShirleyLeeGoodTimes.mp3

There’s nothing like an original pressing and company sleeve when it sounds like this. There are probably a heap of accurate adjectives that apply here, like juke joint, chitlin circuit or barrelhouse RnR. I hope so, cause that’s how I hear it.

This being Shirley & Lee’s biggest hit (#1 RnB / #20 Pop: 1956), it was a drastic change from their earlier sweetheart, call and response sound and releases. Indeed, they were for a while coined as ‘Sweethearts Of The Blues’.

Years later, Sylvia Robinson, who went on to start Sugarhill Records, signed Shirley Mae Goodman and together they had a massive hit with ‘Shame Shame Shame’ as Shirley & Company on her All Platinum imprint.

Listen: Let The Good Times Roll / Slade SladeGoodTimesRoll.mp3

Covered by many: The Righteous Brothers, Barbra Streisand, The Searchers, Joe Strummer, Harry Nilsson, The Rolling Stones, Roy Orbison, Conway Twitty, Freddy Fender, Buckwheat Zydeco, The Animals, Fishbone and George Clinton, my favorite version clocks in via a working class glam rendition by the almighty Slade.

I sure hope Shirley Mae Goodman and Leonard Lee, who also wrote their biggest hit, got the publishing.