A pleasing compilation of Clarence Carter's early singles for the FAME label . They come replete with some lovely bass lines and of course some great horns. Carter's voice is pretty good as well and we get gems that include: "Slip Away," "Snatching it Back," and "Let Me Comfort You.". There is a reply to Etta James' ''Tell Mama'' entitled ''Tell Daddy'' which opens the set and my favourite Carter track ''i Can't See Myself (Crying Over You)''. The packaging contains some contemporary photographs of the sessions. In truth these are a little uninteresting but the information is well presented.
I've bought three Soul CDs this week - "Just As I Am" by Bill Withers and "Queen Of Soul" by Etta James are the other two (also reviewed) and like this set - it's a full-on embarrassment of riches. Lovers of Sixties/Seventies Atlantic Soul will flip for this great-sounding Clarence Carter CD - finally compiling the A&B-sides of his superb run of American 7" singles between 1966 and 1970. Here are the finite details...
UK released Monday 28 May 2012 (15 June 2012 in the USA) on Ace Records/Kent Soul CDKEND 376 - "The Fame Singles Volume 1 1966-70" breaks down as follows (64:19 minutes):
MONO USA and UK 7" SINGLES 1966 to 1970 (CD track number after the title):
1. Tell Daddy (1) b/w I Stayed Away Too Long (2) Released December 1966 in the USA on Fame 45-1010 No UK release - both tracks non-album
2. Thread The Needle (3) b/w Don't Make My Baby Cry (4) Released June 1967 in the USA on Fame 45-1013 Released February 1968 in the UK on Atlantic 584154 His 1st UK single as a solo artist - the B-side is non-album
3. She Ain't Gonna Do Right (5) b/w The Road Of Love (6) Released 1967 in the USA on Fame 45-1016 No UK release Note: the B-side has the "I like what I'm listening too now!" shout before the guitar solo - which means it features DUANE ALLMAN on Guitar
4. Looking For A Fox (7) b/w I Can't See Myself (8) Released January 1968 in the USA on Atlantic 45-2461 Released April 1968 in the UK on Atlantic 584176
5. Funky Fever (9) b/w Slip Away (10) Released May 1968 in the USA on Atlantic 45-2508 Released June 1968 in the UK on Atlantic 584187 Note: it was the B-side that charted Stateside - "Slip Away"
6. Too Weak To Fight (11) b/w Let Me Comfort You (12) Released November 1968 in the USA on Atlantic 45-2569 Released November 1968 in the UK on Atlantic 584223
7. Back Door Santa (13) b/w That Old Time Feeling (14) Released December 1968 in the USA on Atlantic 45-2567 NO UK release
8. Snatching It Back (15) b/w Making Love (At The Dark End Of The Street) (16) Released March 1969 in the USA on Atlantic 45-2605 Released March 1969 in the UK on Atlantic 584248
9. The Feeling Is Right (17) b/w You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure (18) Released June 1969 in the USA on Atlantic 45-2642 Released July 1969 in the UK on Atlantic 584272
10. Doing Our Thing (19) b/w I Smell A Rat (20) Released October 1969 in the USA on Atlantic 45-2660 No UK release
11. Take It Off Him And Put It On Me b/w The Few Troubles I've Had Released January 1970 in the USA on Atlantic 45-2702 Released January 1970 in the UK on Atlantic 584309 Both tracks non-album at the time of release
12. I Can't Leave Your Love Alone b/w Devil Woman Released August 1970 in the USA on Atlantic 45-2726 No UK release - B-side is non-album
The 16-page booklet has detailed, informative and affectionate liner notes by England's DEAN RUDLAND and peppers the text with photos of those gorgeous American and British 7" single labels - trade adverts - covers of sheet music - photos of Clarence in the studio with his band and the legendary Producer Rick Hall. As ever - a proper class act from Ace.
But the real fireworks come in the SOUND - newly accessed 1st generation MONO tapes remastered by NICK ROBBINS at Sound Masters - and all 24-tracks are kicking like a mule. What you get here is the gamut of 60t's Soul - powerhouse Pickett, Funky JB, talking Sam and Dave, slinky Aretha and Carter's own guttural voice and trademark chuckle - an irresistible mixture.
The audio-quality on something as common as the sexy "Looking For A Fox" and the sly rhythm of "Slip Away" is suddenly new and fresh - a top job done. The punch of the drums and guitar on the salacious "Back Door Santa" is unbelievable - as it is on the "Tell Mama" soundalike "Tell Daddy". The vocal line prompted to him by a staffer as he sings "I Smell A Rat" is still audible - as is the guitar work on the fabulously bluesy and criminally forgotten B-side "The Road Of Love" (lyrics above).
And what a joy it is to hear cracking tracks like "You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure" and the romantically lovely "The Feeling Is Right" (surely destined for a movie somewhere). The only real clinkers for me are the dated talking style songs like "Making Love..." and "Few Troubles..." But they're few and far between. What gets you most (apart from the revelatory sound quality) is the sheer quality of the tunes - and how he was at ease with all styles and paces.
Perhaps not as enticing as this but still containing must-haves - Volume Two of this series is due later in 2012 - and will focus on the "Patches" stuff from 1970 onwards.
If you've been on the fence about Clarence Carter before - don't be. Dive in and enjoy. A proper gem in Ace's quite awesome Kent catalogue.
"Looking For A Fox" - no need - got one right here...
Good Arrangements...So-So songs...Good voice...BUT...You cant help but feel that he was always destined to develop into a ...maker of well crafted Salacious...Novelty Songs. He could have been up there with the Best...but his Temperament was for ...Sex with Humor...Fine if that's your thing...But it isn't mine...Maybe 3-4 tracks there ...will get played...He has talent.