This rather simple but brilliant Stateside CD brings together the late great Bobby Womack's first two LPs both issued on Minit Records in the USA. It also boasts major label sound quality (EMI) and a less than budget price. In my book - it's a total winner. Here are the midnight movers and all-night groovers...
UK released August 2004 on EMI Stateside 866 0782 (Barcode 724386605924) it breaks down as follows (63:39 minutes):
1. Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words) 2. Baby! You Oughta Think It Over 3. I'm A Midnight Mover 4. What Is This 5. Somebody Special 6. Take Me 7. Moonlight In Vermont 8. Love, The Timer Is Now 9. I'm In Love 10. California Dreamin' 11. No Money In My Pocket 12. Lillie Mae Tracks 1 to 12 are "Fly Me To The Moon" released January 1969 in the USA on Minit Records LP-24014
13. How I Miss You Baby 14. More Than I Can Stand 15. It's Gonna Rain 16. Everyone's Gone To The Moon 17. I Can't Take It Like A Man 18. I Left My Heart In San Francisco 19. Arkansas State Prison 20. I'm Gonna Forget About You 21. Don't Look Back 22. Tried And Convicted 23. Thank You Tracks 13 to 23 are "My Prescription" released May 1970 in the USA on Minit LP-24027
The 12-page booklet has sleeve notes by DEAN RUDLAND with two photos and snappy trade advert for the "Fly Me To The Moon" LP. STEVE ROOKE did the remasters at Abbey Road and lovely Stereo Sound fills every track. There is hiss on some of the tracks but there's a wonderful warmth and air around the recordings - kind of goes with the territory.
Wilson Pickett had a 7" smash with Womack's "I'm A Midnight Mover" in 1968 (called the album "The Midnight Mover" too) but now it was the turn of Cleveland's finest and `The Preacher' does a barnstormer of a great tune. In fact the first album is full of those unbelievably catchy hooks - the mid-tempo "Somebody Special" and the distant harmonica melody in "Take Me" (also used as the B-side to "Fly Me To The Moon" when it was released as a US 7" on Minit 32048). Wilson Picket plundered Womack's knack for a ballad with punch too when he recorded "I'm In Love" and released it in early 1968 (also calling the album after the track).
But for me things really take off on "My Prescription" which opens with one of my all-time favourite Soul tunes - "How I Miss You Baby". Minit coupled it with the album cut "Tried And Convicted" (on Minit 32093). It has a snappy beat, churchy organs, impassioned vocals, touching lyrics and eventually goes into a sort of Burt Bacharach brass bit as he sings - it's unbelievably good. The same hooky melody of sorts infests "It's Gonna Rain" where he sings of "bad vibrations" - again brilliantly arranged and the remaster bring out a fabulous rhythm section of bass, drums and rhythm guitars. His "Preacher" side comes out in "Everyone's Gone To The Moon" and "I Can't Take It Like A Man" - the latter with lovely brass fills adding so much. And on it goes to the Tony Joe White slink of "Arkansas State Prison" and the bouncy keyboard of "Don't Look Back" (A Temptations cover) and the equally upbeat "Tried And Convicted".
Womack would go on to huge success and acclaim with his Seventies material on United Artists and onwards again to "The Poet" and beyond. But I've always loved his duo of fabulous Minit LP starters and hope you will too...
Stateside 866 0782 is the kind of CD that gets unwisely ignored and sells for peanuts. But I urge you (if you'll forgive the primate pun) to shell out on this one...
Mr. Womack's first two albums in one package - another Womagic, soul, no-brainer. 'Stateside' have released a series of these double albums and with the name Bobby Womack on them they are all well worth a listen.(Communications is a lil' bit country so you may want to listen before you buy). Hard to believe these are from 1968 and 69. This CD demonstrates exactly what is wrong with modern music. I know I am a grumpy old man but check out the production, lyrics, orchestration and pure soul of these tunes and you may start to understand my point.Bobby's guitar skills are also noteworthy as he is a great musivcian aswell as a great singer. You may be put off by the pub singer inclination of 'Fly Me To The Moon' but if you know his version of California Dreamin' you can rest assured Booby sings any classic as only he can.The song Arkansas State Prison is reason enough to buy this set. I have liked Bobby Womack for thirty years and I always will.I find myself returning to is music over and over again because the soul within really is timeless. Rumour has it he is about to release a new album with Damon Albarn which if the Gorrillaz track Stylo is anything to go by should revive Bobby's career at the age of sixty seven.I for one am very excited at the prospect of new material -spread the word and let's make the new album a hit.