domingo, 29 de noviembre de 2009

Gladys Knight & the Pips: Everybody Needs Love / Feelin' Bluesy (1967 / 1968)

A great resurgence in the career of Gladys Knight, Everybody Needs Love was also her debut for Motown Records and the beginning of a new wave of sophistication and soul in her sound. The style here is much more polished than the R&B-tinged feel of her earlier recordings, a warmly growing sound that really set a new level for countless other soul acts in the '70s, especially in the way that her lead vocals are given full support by The Pips. Production is by Norman Whitfield, Johnny Bristol, and Harvey Fuqua, who all give Gladys a wonderfully full set of backings. The standout track of the album has to be their incendiary version of 'I Heard It Throught the Grapevine'. Lets not argue about whether they or Marvin recorded it first, but Glad and The Lads' was released a good year before, and sold two and a half million copies (mostly in the US). Also here are two British hits 'Take Me in Your Arms and Love Me', still on radio playlists, and 'Just Walk in My Shoes' which got re-released and was a hit in '72, following interest by DJ Johnnie Walker. The rest of the album is more than filler, and shows how skilled and talented the group were. Titles include 'Everybody Needs Love', 'You Don't Love Me No More', 'Yes, I'm Ready', 'He's My Kind of Fellow' and 'Do You Love Me Just a Little Honey'. Feelin' Bluesy (1968) yielded no British hits but again it is a fine album. By then Knight & the Pips seemed to be locked in a "cutting contest" with several other Motown acts (Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Edwin Starr, even Jimmy Ruffin) as they were covering differing versions of songs by producer/writer Norman Whitfield, who was developing a funkier sound than the 'on the fours' stompers Motown was famous for. The best track here is a stunning rendition of Kim Weston's 'It Should Have Been Me,' given a glossy pop veneer that effectively contrasted Knight's grittiness. The song was a US hit and the song was a British hit for Yvonne Fair in the mid '70s. Other highlights include 'End of Our Road', 'That's The Way Love Is', 'Ain't You Glad You Chose Love', 'Don't Turn Me Away' and 'Giving Up'. This reissue repackages both albums along with three re-recordings of their earlier biggest hits (like 'Every Beat of My Heart') and a non-album B side, co-written and also recorded by Marvin Gaye. Thanks again, Martin!!,,
Gladys Knight & the Pips performing an AWESOME version of 'I Heard It Through the Grapevine'. Live at the "Save The Children" concert in Chicago, Sep 1972:
From Feelin' Bluesy, 'End of Our Road', live in 1969:

4 comentarios:

Nosi dijo...

Vincent the Soul Chef dijo...

Good Lord I love Gladys... thank you so much for posting :)

Peace and blessings.

Mario B dijo...

Kind of a band everybody knows the hits, but there is a lot of good stuff on the albums too ! Thank you and hope to hear more about miss Gladys.

justme dijo...

Thanks a lot, Nosi! It's great to hear some tracks that I haven't heard before and I didn't have a copy of this album. :)