My final top ten 50 years on
It's exactly 50 years today since I compiled my final personal top ten, the 408th time between early 1960 and December 1965 that I had listed my favourite records of the moment. Here is the list (11 actually as there were two records tied in tenth place) and a great selection it is.
4. Wilson Pickett - Don't Fight It. Atlantic AT 4052.
This was the follow up to In the Midnight Hour and was equally good. The Wicked Pickett made some great soul records and was a dynamic performer. My photo shows him at Clapham Grand not long before he died in 2006. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A47uNen5-Q
As well as being a superb record producer at Royal Studios in Memphis, Willie was also a trumpeter and bandleader who recorded some soul classics, including this double sider, which had That Driving Beat on the B side. He died in 2010. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhEAYNJKa_U https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdliK6IwsYU
6. Patti La Belle & Her Belles - All Or Nothing. Atlantic AT 4055.
Beginning with the Bluebelles in 1962, Patti went on to become a soul superstar. Success came with LaBelle's Lady Marmalade, duets with Bobby Womack and Michael McDonald and solo hits. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuHink8A7lY
7. Len Barry - 1-2-3. Brunswick 05943.
Blue eyed soul singer Len Barry was lead singer with the Dovells before going solo and enjoying huge success with this one and the follow up Like A Baby. He went on to record more disco oritentated material and is now also a novelist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An1-ntyBcz8
8. Marvin Gaye - Ain't That Peculiar. Tamla Motown TMG 539.
Another big hit from Marvin Gaye who died tragically in 1984. Written by Smokey Robinson. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7CZdfnbxNk
9. The Mad Lads - Don't Have To Shop Around. Atlantic AT 4051.
Stax/Volt recording artists the Mad Lads introduced some sweetness into soul. Members included John Gary Williams, who I saw at Porretta a few years ago, and William Brown, who went on to become studio engineer at Stax and Royal Studios. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17UaQ6yV6zI
10=. Bobby Bland - These Hands (Small But Mighty). Vocalion VP 9251.
Bobby 'Blue' Bland created some exquisite soul and blues records during a career that extended until his death two years ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qd__L_qM0K0
10=. The Miracles - My Girl Has Gone. Tamla Motown TMG 540.
The follow up to The Tracks Of My Tears, this was another Smokey classic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2Bpj8GtnPw