You Are Still My Brother (Soul November 26th 1972)

In December 1988 our crew hurried to the Town & Country Club in Kentish Town to catch Little Feat’s return to London after 11 years away. Of course the late Lowell George was missed but the other five Feat were present, the T&C was the perfect place to boogie your sneakers away. & it was a blast to hear Feat favourites played live again. Halfway through their set the band were joined onstage by Bonnie Raitt. It would be some time before Ms Raitt was anyone’s support act again. Three months later she released “Nick Of Time”, her 10th record & boy did a lot of people like it, #1 on the US chart, the 1990 Grammy Album of the Year, five million copies sold. Bonnie was just as much value as a singer/slide guitarist before all this success & that night in North London she opened her set with a cover version of a song that stood at #10 in the Cash Box R&B Top 60 of 50 years ago this week.

Denise LaSalle had got it going on in 1972. Moving from Mississippi to Chicago when she was 13, Denise was 30 before she was recorded by Billy “the Kid” Emerson (“Every Woman I Know Is Crazy ‘Bout An Automobile”/”My Gal is Red Hot”) & just one regional hit was released on his short-lived Tarpon label. She had learned enough about the music business to, in 1969, form Crajon Enterprises with her new husband Bill Jones to manage her affairs. The decision they made to record in Memphis was absolutely the right place at the right time, Willie Mitchell, with his Royal Studio band based around the three Hodges brothers had the new hit Soul sound of the city. “Trapped By A Thing Called Love”, swinging, finger-popping, plaintive but sweet Southern Soul caught the ears of many to become a #1 R&B record for Denise, crossing over to the US Pop Top 20. “Now Run & Tell That” followed into the higher reaches of the R&B chart & now “A Man Sized Job” was her third Top 10 hit on the bounce.

Denise had written 8 of the 11 tracks collected on the “Trapped…” album. In her mid-30s her mature lyrics were fortified by a sturdy, confident backing band. “A Man Sized Job” is the lead 45 from “On The Loose”, one of just three of her compositions on a selection that was perhaps quickly recorded to cash-in on her popularity. Her Country Soul covers of “Harper Valley P.T.A.” & Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me” are good but her songs, with something to say & said well, are the best of the record. The hits got smaller, though he still made the R&B chart, & it was three years before another album. In 1983 she moved to the Blues-based Malaco Records as a songwriter, stayed for 15 years, became “The Queen of the Blues” & even had a UK top 10 hit with the cover of the zydeco standard “My Toot Toot”. Later there were Gospel records, back to R&B & an album called “Still the Queen”. Catch a collection of her Memphis recordings, because you are worth it.

The Four Tops, Levi Stubbs, Obie Benson, Sugar Pie & Honey Bunch (sorry couldn’t resist an old joke) no, Duke Fakir & Lawrence Payton, were high school friends in Detroit when they formed their quartet. A decade later, in 1963, they signed with Berry Gordy’s growing Tamla Motown roster, had their first Pop Top 20 hit the following year with “Baby, I Need Your Loving”, their first #1 “I Can’t Help Myself” in 1965. Both were written & produced by Motown’s young tyro team Holland-Dozier-Holland & the hits kept right on coming with songs tailored to Levi’s strong, instantly recognisable baritone voice. The Tops became a cornerstone in the Motown edifice, the hit factory that dominated Soul music in the 1960s. The album “Reach Out” included six US Pop Top 20 hits, a title track that was the most obvious #1 record since that last Beatles 45, “Walk Away Renee” & “If I Were A Carpenter”, two well chosen songs by contemporary songwriters that expanded the group’s range. Then H-D-H left the company, there was just one of their songs on the follow up to “Reach Out” & the Four Tops were not as dominant. In the fast moving world of popular music that was then, this is 1972.

“Keeper of the Castle”, rising a healthy 14 places to #23 on this week’s R&B chart is the Four Tops’ first single on the ABC/Dunhill label – not on Motown, almost unthinkable. It was on its way to the US Pop Top 10, their first 45 to do so since “Bernadette” in 1967. Under the supervision of label head Steve Barri, Brit Steve Potter & his partner Dennis Lambert contributed the songs & production for this next phase of the Tops career. The “Keeper” album is an attempt to update their sound, more restrained, the group were in their mid-30s now, not always successful but Levi’s voice abides & Obie Benson, confident from his co-writing credit on Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”, has five of his tunes included, something that never happened at the previous label. Perhaps the Tops’ stylist for this “Soul Train” appearance was not quite onboard with the overhaul – check dungarees were never a good look, even in 1972 but the group was still popular. Another track from the album, “Ain’t No Woman (Like the One I’ve Got)” reached a higher chart position than “Keeper” & R&B hits followed. The Four Tops were welcome everywhere they performed, audiences wanted to hear & dance to their favourites from the 60s & they obliged because oldies were never more Golden than the Four Tops Greatest Hits.

New to the chart at #58 is from a new label, a new artist with, certainly, a new sound. Timmy Thomas had moved from Indiana to Jackson, Tennessee to study Music Education. There he entered the orbit of Goldwax Records in Memphis becoming the keyboard player of a studio session crew making essential Soul records with James Carr, Spencer Wiggins, the Ovations & others. With the label’s demise he took a position at a Florida college, moved to Miami, opened the first Black-owned lounge in Miami Beach while pursuing his own music.”Why Can’t We Live Together” was recorded as a demo tape, with necessity being the mother of invention Timmy used a simple, contagious drum machine rhythm under his simple, sometimes shrill Lowrey organ before, after an almost two minute instrumental introduction he sings a passionate plea for peace inspired by the Vietnam War. Timmy took it to the newly-founded TK Productions where further orchestration was considered. TK founder Henry Stone had, as was proved in the following years, an eye for innovation & an ear for a hit record the demo was released & Timmy had a two million selling song.

Homemade hypnotic minimalism wasn’t a thing on the R&B charts of 1972. The subsequent album was criticised for a lack of variety though in later years, when we knew about drum machines, chill out & trip hop, it has come to be better regarded. Timmy did have three more records on the R&B Top 30, one as late as 1984.but never returned to the Top 3 of the Pop listing. He became part of the TK crew who were so influential in the new-fangled Disco music, he will be best remembered as a one hit wonder & what a hit it was.

“Why Can’t We Live Together” is a song that has endured. In the 80s Sade covered it on her debut album, in the 90s Santana included it in their live sets & in the 21st century Steve Winwood, who, knows his way around a Blues riff on an Hammond organ recorded his version with a Brazilian-Cuban percussion team accentuating the Latin rhythms & adding to Steve’s particular feeling & taste. So, while we are here…


Get Back Jack (Albums November 18th 1972)

There are some much loved records on the lower reaches of the Cash Box album chart, those ranked between 101-150. The Stones “Exile On Main St” (#114) & “Harvest” by Neil Young (#115) had both held the #1 position earlier in the year & if you have recently added these 50 year old records to your collection then you are doing the right thing. Further down the list, rising four places to #139 was a group who took their name from a steam-powered dildo in William S. Burroughs’ novel “Naked Lunch” & who named their debut LP from the Bob Dylan song “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry”. “Can’t Buy a Thrill” is a refreshing , erudite take on Rock, “post-boogie” if you like. In late 1972/early 73 we were discovering the well-crafted delights of tracks beyond the two Top 20 singles though did we know that it would retain its crispness for half a century or that we were listening to the starting point of great American artistry? Only a fool would say that.

In 1972 Steely Dan were a six man band. Donald Fagen (keyboards) & Walter Becker (bass), college friends from back East, in Los Angeles as staff writers with ABC, had a bunch of songs that it was probably best they recorded themselves. They had met Denny Dias through a “Must have Jazz chops. Assholes need not apply” advertisement & he joined session man Jeff “Skunk” Baxter on guitars. Drummer Jim Hodder knew Skunk & as Fagen was unsure of his vocal abilities David Palmer added his voice. Palmer sang lead on just the two tracks, more in the live show, & his short stay in the group means that he gets little credit for his contribution. I do know that when I sing “Like the castle in its corner in a medieval game, I foresee terrible trouble & I stay here just the same” from “Dirty Work” it’s his perfectly pitched, yearning vocal that I’m aiming for.

For all Becker & Fagen’s love of Beatnik Jazz (& conversation) & R&B “Can’t Buy A Thrill” is a record made by a young band who had been listening to the radio in the 1960s, their teenage years, when there was a Pop & Rock explosion. “Do It Again” & “Reelin’ In The Years”, those two classics that still merit airtime, are epic singles, the guitars of Denny & Skunk (& Elliott Randall on “Reelin’…) come correct & shine brightly. There are Jazz inflections, bossa nova rhythms but these are songs with hooks & choruses written by two young men intending to write hits. I could have chosen any track, “Midnight Cruiser”” & “Brooklyn (Owes the Charmer Under Me” were certainly in the frame, but “Change of the Guard” with its sprightly tenderfoot optimism, even idealism, makes the cut here. It may be an outlier from the rest & the acerbic seeds of the group’s sardonic lyrics that Steely Dan would cultivate are certainly present on “Can’t Buy A Thrill”. There’s an argument to be made that it is the most varied, most accessible, even the best of their records & I would listen to that reasoning. Myself, I prefer the jaded urbanity of their later lyrics matched to the sophisticated perfectionism of their music – I guess that makes me a Dapper Dan Man.

By 1972 Joe Walsh had established a reputation as a guitar hero with three studio albums by the James Gang, attracting the admiration of the likes of Jimmy Page & Pete Townshend without his power trio achieving the mega-success of theirs. The Blues-Rock of “James Gang Live In Concert” (1971) shook the foundations of New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall. On a couple of tracks Joe put down his axe to play an atmospheric Hammond organ, an indication perhaps that his musical ambitions went beyond an impressive, grandstanding 18 minute long jam on a Yardbirds’ song. He left the Gang, recruiting drummer Joe Vitale, a classmate at Kent State University & bassist Kenny Passarelli to form Barnstorm. So was this new album, “Barnstorm”, at #128 on this week’s chart, a group effort or a Joe Walsh record? His name was there on the disc’s label, the gig posters of the time have “JW & Barnstorm” on the bill It was a little confusing but despite the contributions of his new buddies (they wrote two of the tracks) I’m going with “Barnstorm being Joe’s solo debut.

Joe had followed his long time producer Bill Szymczyk out to the Caribou Ranch studio in Colorado & the Rocky Mountain way was having an effect. There’s a more pastoral feeling to his music now & an expanded instrumentation, Vitale brought along his flute, Joe his ARP synthesizer. “Barnstorm” is creative, adventurous &, on tracks like “Birdcall Morning” beautiful. Szymczyk’s skill in layering assorted acoustic & electric guitars gives the songs texture & substance on possibly the best of Joe’s releases. I chose the one hard-edged track, “Turn To Stone”, a song he revisited on “So What” (1974) because those trademark chunky, still melodic power chords are what Joe does so well. The record, with no single to promote it, was not a commercial success, the following year Barnstorm recorded “The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get”& it made the US Top 10. Joe was having a good time having a good time in the early 1970s, in 1975 at the urging of his producer with no vowels in his name he was recruited by the Eagles, a regular job that he probably needed. Earlier this year there was news of a new record by Barnstorm, now that would catch my interest.

A story about a deaf, dumb & blind boy, you know “Tommy” (1969), had made the Who transatlantic stars. A monumental “Live At Leeds” (1970) repeated the rock opera’s double platinum status while the group’s composer, Pete Townshend, struggled in his home studio with the next concept. The plot of “Lifehouse” was so convoluted, the vainglorious ambition so far-reaching – music that could be adapted to reflect the personalities of the audience, culminating in a universal chord merged from biographical data – that Pete became alienated from the rest of his uncomprehending group members & estranged from his mercurial co-manager Kit Lambert who was in New York shopping around an unauthorised movie version of “Tommy”. “Lifehouse” remained unfinished when a new Who album was required & eight tracks from the unfinished project were used on “Who’s Next” (1971), a triple platinum landmark in early 1970s Rock. Interest in the Who, particularly in the US, had never been greater.

While Pete was seeking that elusive universal chord he became interested in the spiritual teachings of Meher Baba & had, with fellow acolytes, recorded a couple of albums inspired by & in tribute to Mr Baba. Initially in limited quantity Decca, the Who’s US label approached Pete about an official release, he took a couple of tunes from both , three “Lifehouse” demos & a couple more unreleased tapes he had stashed away & “Who Came First” became Pete’s first major label solo album. Over the years we have heard more of Pete’s home tapes. They lack the robustness of Daltrey’s voice & the intensity of the Who in all their glory but the tunes, the arrangements are all there & the gentler dynamic is charming. OK, the favourite country songs of Pete’s mystical mentor may not be to everyone’s taste but “Who Came First”, at #116 on the chart, with early versions of “Pure & Easy” & “Let’s See Action” is an insight into Pete’s process & a fine collection. The Who did record “Time Is Passing” I think that I prefer the homemade version on this record. Ronnie Lane of Faces was another Baba believer & in 1970 they recorded “Evolution” together for the “Happy Birthday” record. As “Stone” the song was later recorded by both of Ronnie’s groups, Faces & Slim Chance. It’s a lovely song, some great acoustic picking by Pete & a welcome addition to “Who Came First”. So, while we’re here…

Carpenters Of Love And Affection (Soul 12th November 1972)

At the beginning of 1972 Cash Box featured a rising young artist on their cover & spelled his name wrong! Al Greene was just 20 in 1967 when his debut single “Back Up Train” was an R&B hit & made the US Pop Top 50. The following 45s & album were not as successful. In 1969 bandleader/saxophonist Willie Mitchell hired Al to sing with his band then took him along to a new thing he had going making records for the Hi label. By the end of 1972, after dropping an “e”, Al Green had the fasting rising record on the Cash Box R&B Top 60 for November 12th 1972, he was the biggest new star on the Soul scene & when he appeared on the cover of Cash Box for the second time this year the magazine used the correct spelling.

The three Hodges brothers, Teenie, guitar, Leroy, bass & Charles, keyboards were central to Willie Mitchell’s plans at Royal Recording Studios in Memphis. Together with this Hi Rhythm Section he created a velvety, seductive sound, smoother than the sharp-edged abandon from across the city at Stax, still warm, soulful & perfect for the label’s new featured vocalist. In his youth Al Green had aimed to emulate Sam Cooke & Jackie Wilson, Mitchell encouraged him to find his own voice, to express himself in his own songs like the super hits “Tired of Being Alone” & “Let’s Stay Together”. You know these songs, I don’t have to tell you about the special appeal of Al Green, the new star of the 1970s to match those of the previous decade.

Commercial success brought great creativity & confidence. There were two albums in 1972, both #1 R&B, Top 10 Pop, & “You Ought To Be With Me”, rising a big 16 places from #29 to #13 on the R&B chart of 50 years ago this week, is the first of three 45s from the upcoming album to make the Top 10. The song, written by Green, Mitchell & Al Jackson Jr, the nonpareil drummer off of Booker T & the M.G.’s, is perhaps not as well remembered as the other two, “Call Me (Come Back Home)” & “Here I Am (Come & Take Me)” but it’s classic Al Green, you hear it & you know who it’s by. Here, on “Soul Train” it’s showcased in it’s full glory, while other guests were happy to lip-synch to their latest record Al brought his band, his song, his voice, his charisma & it’s a stunning joyous performance. As host Don Cornelius says in his introduction, ” there are many stars in the sky, Al Green is the moon & there is only one moon, there is only one Al Green”.

Texan Johnny Nash had made a mark as an actor/singer without consolidating his progress. A starring role in a 1959 movie didn’t lead to the parts that went to Sidney Poitier or Harry Belafonte while in his career as a Rock era crooner aspirations to emulate Nat “King” Cole & Johnny Mathis were unfulfilled. A 1965 R&B hit encouraged a move to Jamaica where studio costs were more affordable & Johnny entered a creative local music scene. His company signed the four Wailing Wailers to publishing deals & in 1968 his own fluent Rock Steady “Hold Me Tight”was an international hit. With Bob Marley in the US & Bunny Wailer in Richmond Farm prison it was Peter Tosh who had two songs on the LP that followed. Johnny’s subsequent records were more popular in the UK, we liked Reggae over here, & he continued to promote the talent of Bob, taking him to London to perform & record. By the time his version of Marley’s “Stir It Up” was another British hit CBS had taken notice & picked up his contract.

Now with better promotion “I Can See Clearly Now” rose 11 places to #36 on this week’s R&B charts. Recorded in London , backed by the Fabulous Five Inc, with a lyric of perseverance & optimism to a loping Reggae rhythm, the song was on it’s way to #1 R&B & the same position on the Pop charts of the US & the UK. It’s a smash, you know the words.It’s not Burning Spear, there’s no 7″ Disco-Dub version, it’s smooth, uplifting Pop-Reggae & was very, very popular. The accompanying Platinum-selling album included four Bob Marley, soon to be signed by Island, songs. Johnny continued to have UK hits with his sweet Reggae-inflected records, he was certainly an agent in the spread of Jamaican music & a champion of Reggae’s international star.

Listed as a new entry at #59 is “You Got the Magic Touch” by Limmie & Family Cookin’, a song I was not aware of by a group that I was. I went to the usual places, Y-tube, Discogs, Wikipedia, to find out more about Avco release number 4602 & found nothing about touches, plenty about magic. Limmie Snell, from Canton, Ohio, had been recording as Limmie B Good since he was 11 before forming a vocal group with his twin sisters Jimmy & Martha. Their first 45, “You Can Do Magic” (it was that all along) didn’t make any major impression on the US charts but here in the UK in 1972 the popular Northern Soul dance clubs were picking their own favourites & buying enough copies of them to gain the attention of radio stations so this unknown group had a Top 3 hit on this side of the Atlantic with their catchy bit of Pop-Soul. 18 months later they were back in our Top 10 with “A Walking Miracle”. Folk here remember dancing to Limmie & Family Cookin’ but a bigger impression was left by the writer/producer of “You Can Do Magic”.

Sandy Linzer & his writing partner Denny Randell worked with producer Bob Crewe & songs including “Dawn (Go Away)”, “Opus 17 (Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me)” & the almost perfect “Let’s Hang On” contributed to the maintenance of the Four Seasons’ popularity in the face of the Beatles-led British Invasion. In 1966 their own operation found success with the classically inspired “A Lover’s Concerto” for girl group the Toys then, two years later a pattern was started when “Breakin’ Down the Walls of Heartache” by the Bandwagon was recognised as a classic breathless rush of energy & made our Top 10. After Limmie & Family Cookin’ Sandy worked with Odyssey. “Native New Yorker” hit on both sides of the Atlantic while, in 1980, “Use It Up & Wear It Out” spent two weeks at #1 in the UK. Finally, I know, it’s a list & there are others, an old Four Seasons tune was re-made, re-modelled by the Spinners & “Working My Way Back To You” was another chart-topper. Flipping heck, Sandy Linzer knew how a hit tune went.

The Cream Rising To The Top (Soul November 4th 1972)

I’ve not taken a look at the US R&B charts from 50 years ago this week for some time & this time around I need look no further than the Top 3 of the Cash Box R&B Top 60 of November 4th 1972 for my selections. All three were also included in the Top 10 of the US Pop chart for this week – big hits then, you probably know them.

The Spinners, five friends from Ferndale, Michigan, got together in 1954. Almost a decade later the group was taken to Tamla Motown by their label boss Harvey Fuqua where, despite making some fine records, found that there was only space for one five man vocal group on the label & that would be the Temptations. They neither established their individuality nor achieved commercial success & were even working as roadies, chauffeurs & chaperones for other acts before Stevie Wonder handed the group “It’s A Shame”, not only their biggest hit but also one of their final 45s for the label. There were nine different producers employed on the 1970 album “Second Time Around”, their contract was not renewed & they moved on. G.C. Cameron, the lead on “It’s A Shame” chose to stay & his cousin Phillipe Wynne stepped in to join Bobby Smith & Henry Fambrough as one of three lead vocalists. No offence to G.C. but this turned out to be a smart Spinner move.

With the raised profile & goodwill from their 1970 Atlantic were waiting to sign the group. They were matched with producer Thom Bell whose work at Sigma Sound Studio, along with Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff, was making the Sound of Philadelphia a very big thing. Atlantic, hoping to catch the wave of Bell’s slow heartbreak hits with the Delfonics & the Stylistics, released “How Could I Let You Get Away” as their first single but it was the uptempo b-side that caught the ear & “I’ll Be Around” hit the #1 spot on the R&B chart this week in 1972. The Spinners were as sharp & contemporary as their album, released in 1973, which produced three Gold records, four Top 10 R&B 45s. They they were, as you can see from the live clip, ready for success. With Bobby & Phillipe’s distinctive leads backed by great harmonies, slick dance moves & Thom Bell’s talent as a writer/producer they became one of the most celebrated vocal groups of the decade. .

Bill Withers was in his 30s before he recorded his debut album. There had been 9 years service in the US Navy before settling in Los Angeles, working a day job at Boeing to finance his demo tapes. “Just As I Am” (1971), produced by Booker T Jones (off of the M.G.s), included the single “Ain’t No Sunshine”, a crossover to the Pop chart million seller. Booker T had called on his friends to play on the record & for the follow-up Bill brought in the L.A. musicians who had played on his demos. Ray Jackson (keyboards/arrangements), Benorce Blackmon (guitar), Melvin Dunlap (bass) & drummer James Gadson’ all previously members of Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band, shared a production credit on “Still Bill” (1972) & joined him on the road when Bill started his new full-time musician’s job.

This new unit made “Still Bill” a better record than the debut, adding a very cool in-the-pocket groove to mature, emotionally expressive songs that certainly connected to the record-buying public & earned Bill a place at Soul’s top table. “Lean On Me”, you know it, was a Platinum #1 Pop hit & now the smooth, insistent, resistance is useless, sinuous funk of “Use Me” was #2 on the R&B charts. “Live At Carnegie Hall” (1973) showed an accord between a great band enhancing the sincerity & geniality of a great singer that was life-affirming. A later move to a major record company proved to be less to Bill’s taste. The records are still warm & individual, there were still hits, but a production gloss moved him away from his original sound & the company often rejected tracks while making inappropriate suggestions for material & he stepped away from recording. For the rest of his life Bill Withers remained a grounded, wise, humble & gracious man. He had written songs that endured for the ages. “Ain’t No Sunshine” has been covered more than 350 times, “Lean On Me” & “Just the Two of Us” both more than 100, I’m guessing the regular royalty cheques from these classics helped him along the way.

Curtis Mayfield was just 16 when his group the Impressions had their first hit in 1958. In his hometown Chicago, as part of the talent gathered by Carl Davis at Okeh Records, he integrated his Gospel & Doo Wop roots into commercial Soul with rare songwriting skill. In 1961 the rather perfect “Gypsy Woman” was a big hit for the Impressions. Like many young black men Curtis had a developing awareness of the issues facing his race in the 1960s & this was reflected in lyrics expressing his concerns & aspirations. 1964’s “Keep On Pushing” & the following year’s “People Get Ready” were written as anthems & adopted by the Civil Rights movement. He was also navigating his way around the business of music & in 1968 he started his label Curtom with an album release by the Impressions & a firm eye on his own solo career.

On “Curtis” (1970) he revelled in his new artistic freedom. Songs like “Move On Up”, “We the People Who Are Darker Than Blue” & “(Don’t Worry) If There’s A Hell Below We’re All Going to Go” were lyrically more profound while the upbeat rhythms, strings & brass of Chicago Soul were stretched by his understanding of the new progressive sounds of Black American music. The record was an artistic breakthrough & a commercial success. “Shaft” (1971) was not the first significant contribution to Black cinema but its box-office success & that of Isaac Hayes’ score really started something, a new wave of “blaxploitation” movies all with their own funky soundtrack. By the end of the decade most major black artists had entered the field but few achieved the standard set by Curtis Mayfield’s “Super Fly”” (1972) (I’m thinking Marvin Gaye’s “Trouble Man”). Youngblood Priest was no “black private dick”, he was a cocaine dealer looking for one last big score. Curtis’ new gritty realism suited the neo-noir story as did the expanded musical palette & ambition of himself & arranger Johnny Pate. “Freddie’s Dead”,appears in the movie as an instrumental but when released, with lyrics, ahead of the film, it was gold records & Grammy nominations all round.They, the 45 & the album, are landmark records. 50 years ago this week “Freddie’s Dead” stood at #3 on the R&B chart.

Well, that’s some Top 3, a Golden Age of Soul or what? The Spinners, Bill Withers & Curtis Mayfield all made records that abide after half a century. Next time I’ll dig a little deeper, hit the lower reaches of the Top 60 where there are some pretty good records too. I’ll end with a live performance of “Freddie’s Dead”, stripped of the orchestral brass & string atmospherics, driven by the bass of Joseph “Lucky” Scott, the percussion of “Master” Henry Gibson, a man I don’t know on wah-wah guitar & the authentic star power of Curtis Mayfield. “Hey, hey. Love, love. Yeah, yeah”.