lunes, 27 de abril de 2009
Sandra Feva: The Need to Be (1979) ... plus
Detroit vocalist Sandra Feva may be an unfamiliar name to those who didn't follow indie soul scene in the late ‘70s-early ‘80s, but she certainly was not unknown to real soul enthusiasts at the time. On the contrary, it seemed that every connoisseur rated her very high, and compared her to Gladys Knight, Betty Wright, Margie Joseph and other songstresses of the same calibre. Soul Express scribe Heikki Suosalo wrote in early 1983 that he "hasn't heard a better album by a female singer this decade", John Abbey in Blues & Soul considered Sandra on a par with Gladys, and Clive Richardson cites in the liner notes of this reissue release that "here was a new voice to match the newly-solo Gladys Knight and the vibrant Patti LaBelle". Feva earned a good local reputation, but gained more national notoriety as a background vocalist with Aretha Franklin, George Clinton, and Prince than on her own as a solo act. Husky-voiced and with enough lung capacity to cause a minor windstorm, she occasionally stepped out of the shadows to show off her own vocal prowess, although she didn’t get much chart success. Sandra recorded for a variety of labels, including Venture, Krisma, Catawba, Grandstand, and Robbins. She also released on the Buddah label what would be her first single (as Sandra Richardson, her then-married name): the original version of ‘I Feel a Song (in My Heart)’, from 1973. But the two solo singles that came closest to making an impact for her were 1979's ‘The Need to Be’ and 1981's ‘Tell 'Em That I Heard It,’ the latter of which was produced by Tony Camillo (renowned writer of ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’) on his Venture label, and peaked at #33 on the R&B charts (I added both sides of this 1981 single as bonus tracks). Her 'Savoir Faire' LP, from that same year, has been an acclaimed “must have” item for soul collectors ever since. One note for those who stop listening to music from the late-'70s on (and most of the time I am one of them!): don’t let the release date discorauge you. This is PURE DEEP SOUL at its best, with touches of modern soul on the uptempo tracks. The balance is great, and really makes the album a fresh one: hardly the usual soul set from the time, and a record that really holds up over the years! Trust me, if you are a real soul fan, you don’t want to miss this. http://www.soulexpress.net, http://www.allmusic.com/.