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The Pain Gets A Little Deeper ~ The Complete Early Years 1965-1971 [Original recording remastered]

Darrow Fletcher Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £10.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Aug 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Kent
  • ASIN: B00DTXFE1U
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 92,466 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Changing By The Minute
2. Dolly Baby
3. Gonna Keep Loving You
4. Gotta Draw The Line
5. I Like The Way I Feel
6. I Think I'm Gonna Write A Song
7. I've Gotta Know Why
8. Little Girl
9. My Judgement Day
10. My Young Misery
11. Now Is The Time For Love Part 1
12. Now Is The Time For Love Part 2
13. Sitting There That Night
14. That Certain Little Something
15. The Pain Gets A Little Deeper
16. The Way Of A Man
17. Those Hanging Heartaches
18. We Can't Go On This Way
19. What Good Am I Without You
20. What Have I Got Now
See all 23 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

Darrow Fletcher was a Chicago child prodigy who showed emotional maturity and vocal excellence from his first teenage hit 45 in 1965. The Pain Gets A Little Deeper was the soul equivalent of Frankie Lymon's Why Do Fools Fall In Love : young, vulnerable, heart-felt vocals that belied the singer's years. It entered the charts on 1 January 1966 and catapulted the 14 year old to fame in the R&B world, particularly in his home city of Chicago. Elton John has cited the recording as one of the best soul records he had ever heard. The follow-up records were only local hits but many were of exceptional quality and the teenager's age did not prevent him tackling some serious emotional subjects. In fact it was this notion of a kid dealing with the complexities of love that made his records so appealing. My Judgement Day was an early example of combining soul and social issues over a sublime Chicago backing track and sensitive arrangement. Darrow was massive on the mod revival scene of the 80s and nearly all his Jacklyn and Groovy sides are fetching more and more money on recent auctions. Once considered commonplace, they are now held in respect. What Good Am I Without You recently rocketed in popularity and price and it is now the turn of My Young Misery to be the talk of DJ and collector s gatherings. Infatuation and What Have I Got Now are always hard to find and popular, while the more common Changing By The Minute is recognised as a classic dance track. Darrow could also deliver haunting ballads such as When Love Calls , My Judgement Day and Little Girl . Chicago music expert Robert Pruter contributes to the sleeve notes and research. This CD covers Darrow's complete early years up to 1971. Kent have already issued a CD of his Crossover label recordings from the mid to late 70s including several unissued masters (CDKEND 382).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top 60s Chicago Soul 15 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase
This CD warrants attention as it brings together most of Darrow Fletcher's 1960s material and since these come from multifarious sources ACE have really done themselves proud gathering together a set of highly enjoyable Chicago soul from a previously neglected artist. Most of these cuts were local hits but the northern favourite `The Pain Gets A Little Deeper'was a sizeable hit and Fletcher also scored with the Don Mancha penned, produced and Detroit recorded `I Think I'm Gonna Write A Song' and the moody mid-pacer, `When Love Calls'. Most of the cuts on the CD are uptempo and this is a strength with the Motown influenced 'Gotta Draw The Line' and 'I've Gotta Know Why' standing out for their power and assurance. There are also a couple of decent mid tempo offerings that Chicago did so well back in the day and 'Sitting There That Night'is well placed to be the stand out cut on the CD. As for the slower numbers such as `Those Hanging Heartaches', a Revue a-side in 1969, and `Little Girl' they do not really suit Fletcher's young voice.

The whole collection is delightfully presented by ACE. Is the collection essential? If you're first love is uptempo, mid 60s soul then this will certainly find favour containing as it does great songs from top Chicago songwriters, well sung and produced. A great ACE release.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ace/Kent went a little deeper and hit 1965-71 soul pay dirt 23 Dec 2013
By TheNoomz83 - Published on Amazon.com
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The U.K.'s Kent Soul label has reunited me with an old friend I thought I'd never hear again after 48 years: Darrow Fletcher's irresistibly insistent Chicago soul tune "The Pain Gets a Little Deeper." It was the 14-year-old's (8 months younger than Stevie Wonder) début hit -- and his all-time biggest -- rising to #23 soul on Billboard and crossing over onto the Hot 100, reaching #89 in January 1966. Co-written by Fletcher, it's propelled by hand-claps and an irrepressible backbeat as it poignantly describes the plight of a teenager experiencing the vicissitudes of first love and inevitable heartbreak. The singing by this Chicago high school freshman is astoundingly expressive and emotional, and when he hits the title word "deeper" he sounds so wounded you can only hope he was administered first aid once the tape stopped rolling. Yet it's a solid dance groover all the way that was issued on the appropriately named Groovy label out of New York City (the short-lived [1965-67] label's very first release).

I call this an "old friend" because I remember hearing it at the time on soul radio, liking it a lot but wishing I could hear it some more before it disappeared, seemingly forever. I mentioned Fletcher's closeness in age to Stevie Wonder, plus they sang in a similar high register back then, possibly causing a bit of confusion with listeners as to who this artist was. It just so happened that this record was exactly contemporaneous with Wonder's "Uptight (Everything's Alright)," his biggest soul chart vocal hit of the 1960s. But Fletcher's singing has more grit, making this record just what the U.K. Northern Soul dance fans were looking for a decade or so later as an alternative to soulless disco. This CD release out of the U.K. (along with the companion one of Fletcher's later '70s material) attests to his newer-found popularity across the pond. The really good news is that he is still only 62 and we are sure to be hearing more from him.

Making "The Pain Gets a Little Deeper" an even greater 45 is its B-side "My Judgement Day," a midtempo ballad (featuring a fine horn chart) whose lyrics decry the crime and violence of the inner city from a young person's perspective. It got some well-deserved airplay in Chicago after the top-side had peaked. Of the other three Groovy A-sides, "Gotta Draw the Line" was the only one to dent the Chicago soul Top 30, but you can easily tell why it later became a Northern Soul biggie. Originally by the Three Degrees, it has Four Tops mid-'60s Motown soul written all over it.

Next (late '66/'67), it was on to Chicago's Jacklyn label founded by Fletcher's adoptive father. The lack of financial push behind these three very good singles doomed them to obscurity, although the first, "Sitting There That Night," did fairly well locally. It is easily the best soul "sitting" song between Billy Stewart's "Sitting in the Park" and Otis Redding's "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay": a gorgeous romantic ballad with another excellent horn chart -- and as a bonus, Fletcher, who composed the music, put in his own brief Curtis Mayfield-styled electric guitar solo in the middle.

Seeking better promotion and distribution, Fletcher next joined LA-based MCA who presided over a whole stable of labels. It was here, on its Congress imprint, in early 1970, that he landed his second national soul chart placement [#47 / and predictably higher in Chicago: #12 on WVON] with the Don Mancha-written-and-produced "I Think I'm Gonna Write a Song," a smooth soul groover that sounds a bit like the missing link between Stevie Wonder's "Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day" and Al Green. Its follow-up, "When Love Calls," from the summer of 1970 (issued on MCA's Uni label as Uni 55244, just two releases ahead of Elton John's "Border Song" and six ahead of Neil Diamond's #1 pop song "Cracklin' Rosie"), is his greatest ballad, featuring a rather complex but irresistibly slinky arrangement by Tom "Tom Tom" Washington [check out his work on Otis Clay's great "Truth Is" CD from earlier in 2013]. This beautifully soulful gem rose to #13 on Chicago's WVON, while placing nationally at #56 on Cash Box's R&B chart.

Finally on this collection, it's 1971 and Fletcher puts out (on the Genna label, his sixth in seven years) a more experimental psychedelic-soul-influenced two-part peace-and-harmony song ("Now Is the Time for Love") that name-drops the Temptations' "Ball of Confusion."

Darrow Fletcher is a tremendous talent whose early work finally gets its full due with this sterling CD researched and compiled to a tee by Ady Croasdell with a stunning 20-page booklet that contains superbly written, ultra-informative and comprehensive liner notes by both Robert Pruter (author of the book "Chicago Soul") and Croasdell. It's photo-filled, showing Fletcher from 1965 to 2012 as well as color repros of all of the discs' labels (both sides). That Kent was able to acquire the licensing rights to all 14 of these early singles (A and B sides) issued on six different labels speaks volumes about their motivation, commitment and perseverance.
4.0 out of 5 stars Neglected 1960s Soul Vocalist 26 Feb 2014
By Donald E. Gilliland - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Unlike the other reviewer, I had never heard any songs by Darrow Fletcher until I purchased this CD. But I love taking a chance on "unknown" or neglected artists, especially soul acts from the 1960s and 1970s. This CD got a great review, plus it's on the always reliable Kent/Ace label, so I thought I'd take the chance. Good choice; this is very impressive soul music from a very talented young singer.

The first track on here, the title of this compilation, was Fletcher's first record, recorded in 1965 when he was just 14 years old! The line notes describe it as a "funky Latinish song," but I hear a bit of a blues undercurrent in the song too, giving it a depth and feel that sound like that of a much older singer. Fletcher may have been young, but certainly didn't sound like Michael Jackson at the same age. The next track, "What Good Am I Without You", is from 1967 and is an uptempo number in much more of a Northern Soul vein. Another one of my favorite tracks on here, "Gotta Toe The Line" also shares that addictively catchy Northern Soul vibe. Throughout this collection, Fletcher shows that he's a versatile singer capable of a covering variety of styles from mainstream soul to funkier stuff. One good example of this versatility is "Now is the Time for Love" (broken up into "Part 1" and "Part 2" versions on this CD), a very cool song with an atmospheric, almost psychedelic vibe to it.

Ace and Kent have also released an additional compilation of Fletcher's mid to late 1970s recordings, but I suspect this talented singer has a lot more left to give us. From reading the liner notes. Fletcher is alive and well and still singing in clubs. It would be pretty darn cool if an astute label got him back in the studio again for some new recordings.

One note: the track listing that Amazon posted is NOT in the correct order. Both lists have the same 23 songs, but the sequencing is completely different. Just for the record, here is the order of the tracks on the CD:

1. The Pain Gets A Little Deeper
2. What Good Am I Without You
3. Changing By The Minute
4. I Think I'm Gonna Write A Song
5. My Judgement Day
6. Sitting There That Night
7. When Love Calls
8. Infatuation
9. My Young Misery
10. Gotta Draw The Line
11. I Like The Way I Feel
12. Gonna Keep Loving You
13. What Is This
14. Now Is The Time For Love Part 1
15. Now Is The Time For Love Part 2
16. Those Hanging Heartaches
17. Little Girl
18. Dolly Baby
19. The Way Of A Man
20. What Have I Got Now
21. I've Gotta Know Why
22. That certain Little Something
23. We Can't Go On This Way
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