High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Perfect Storms: The 10 Most Exciting Records...Ever! (Part 8)

We're counting down the Most Exciting Records...Ever!
Here are the top 5 finalists in the Soul/R&B category!

5. “Nutbush City Limits’ – Ike & Tina Turner (October 1973)

No list of the most exciting records would be complete without at least one or two by Ike & Tina Turner. They sounded great on record, but it was the live performances of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue that bumped up the excitement to the max. Let's join Tina at the "Nutbush City Limits" and feel the heat comin' up off the street!

4. “River Deep – Mountain High” – Ike & Tina Turner
(June 1966)

When we talk about the Ike & Tina Turner Revue we must remember that the Ikettes were a big part of the equation and were recording stars in their own right. When Ike, Tina and the Ikettes hit the stage the result was always the same - smokestack lightning!

"River Deep - Mountain High" was one of the rare commercial disappointments for producing genius Phil Spector. As Shady's Law reminds us, chart performance and record sales are often inversely proportional to a song's greatness. In this stark black and white rockumentary clip, Tina Turner attacks "River Deep" with her customary raw, fiery intensity.

3. “Nothing But a Heartache” – Flirtations (March 1969)

Over the past 41 years, "Nothing but a Heartache" has achieved the status of a northern soul classic; yet the song and the Flirtations remain underrated.

Some might wonder why I ranked a song like this so high on my "exciting" list. Again, it's a combination of the recording and the visual impact of the performance. The song is ethereal. The Flirtations are goddesses and sing like heavenly hosts. The promotional film, in which the trio glides through the 12th century gothic ruins of Tintern Abbey in Wales, is nothing short of something straight out of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls!

Ladies and gentlemen,
an announcement
if you please...

There is a soulful new girl group in the house.
Their name? The Flirtation Affair.

As the teen tycoon of rock I'd like to hear them and I'm sure you would, too. The Flirtation Affair!

Faster, Pussycat...KILL! KILL!

Masters and mistresses, I'm so excited by what I've just heard that I predict these three...

much like one of their illustrious sisters before them, Carrie Nation, will crush the musical barrier and rise like angels.

Did I say LIKE
Carrie Nation?
they are
THEE Carrie Nations!
You'll be superstars!!!

2. “Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved” James Brown with backing vocals by Bobby Byrd (January 1971)

“Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved” is arguably James Brown's most exciting recording, among many. This mighty (and mighty sweaty) high energy soul power anthem punctuated by a flawless call-and-response marathon between Brown and backup singer Bobby Byrd, is teeming with social implications, hinting of long hot summers filled with struggle and strife, inertia and resistance on both sides of the racial divide. Listen now and experience the pure excitement...the sound and the fury of James Brown and Bobby Byrd!

1. “My Baby Likes to Boogaloo” – Don Gardner (January 1967)

In my Battle of the Boogaloos post more than a year ago Don Gardner pulled off a stunning upset victory over the Emperors of Harrisburg right here on their home turf! Now, Don's back to defend his title with his formidible R&B entry, "My Baby Likes to Boogaloo."

Larry Grogan, author of the expertly written Funky16Corners funk and soul blog, got it oh so right in his sidesplitting yet impeccable description of Don's two minute forty-seven second torture test.

Larry wrote:

"‘My Baby Likes To Boogaloo’, on the New Jersey (hiyooooooo!) label Tru-Glo-Town is just under three minutes of explosive, 1967 soul/funk savagery, in which Mr. Gardner whips the band like a rented mule team and shreds his vocal cords like so much slaw. The tune starts off with what sounds like someone slapping a giant, novelty guitar, accented by the slightest hint of combo organ, followed then by someone bashing the hell out of a set of drums that sound like they were perched on top of the main microphone. Don then drops in, sounding like he just caught his straightjacket on a rusty nail and couldn’t be more peeved. The sound is intense, and there are points where it sounds like the whole band climbed into a dumpster and rolled down a marble staircase, always on the verge of spinning out of control (yet always just hanging on…just)."

It's time to experience what Larry described so brilliantly.

Can't touch this!

She even jerks to work? That's must see, D.G.!

And there you have it - my list of The Most Exciting Soul/R&B Records...Ever! In Part 9 of my hunt for the most exciting songs ever recorded, I'll be counting down the heavyweight contenders from the UK. Be there!

Have a Shady day!

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