Tag Archives: soul

Studio One Lp Cover Art Book from Soul Jazz

Collected for your viewing pleasure

Just out from Soul Jazz, most recent purveyors of all that is Studio One related in the UK (music and otherwise) comes this coffee table booky wook, collecting some of the covers from Studio One’s catalogue for your viewing pleasure, though if you collect the Lps, you’ll have a significant amount of the artwork already.

No surprise there then?

It’s nice to have and there are a few you may not have seen before, such as the Tabernacle Gospel Lp covers or the Sri Chimnoy Lp (now legendary as a rarity) but there isn’t a lot here to stun an enthusiast for the label. Frankly that’s been the case with most of Soul Jazz’s output of Studio One material musically and so it is visually, also.


They (SJ) I think have missed a complete trick, in that on occasion they mention the sleeve notes and quote from them, they could have included many more, for the quirky nature of them are well-known and often amusing or enlightening. Including the cover of the Lp Pirates Choice (which has never it seems been reproduced as anything but a muddy turdish greeny brown of a poorly registered example of what NOT to do if you are a Litho printer) seems odd too. There are more Lps they could have chosen from, with more to offer the viewer, casual or otherwise.

I hoped for more

There is no logic or rhyme to the choices made and to the inclusion of some of the more recent Lp covers, which have little or no individually distinctive style whatsoever.

The forward by Steve Barrow is little more than yet another introductory level run through of Jamaican music history, though generally accurate for all that and still an engaging read for the newly converted. Though it should be mentioned that no Mento was ever to my knowledge released by Tewari on Down-Beat, only on sister label Caribou.


Percy Sledge – Listen to him

He may not be the best singer you’ve ever heard, he might not have a 10th of the technical prowess of a Sam Cooke or a Maria Carey, but shit this man’s got soul.

Listen to Percy Sledge

I know it sounds strange and I’m going to keep it brief but if you, like I, passed the artist still known and not formerly whatsoever as Mr. Percy Sledge by, then go back, stare at him for a while and pick him up, give him a little shake to awaken him and listen… for this is one super soul brother.

The songs he sings would sit as well (and some did) in a Country star’s repetoire, songs like ‘It’s all wrong, but it’s all right’ will have you weeping into your ear buds and smiling to yourself in strange inward self huggings of a musical nature – while though you still are still unfortunately and visibly ‘a bit odd’ to the commuters that surround you’re ‘Sledging’ episodes.

Wow is this listners ear reaction, Wow is this now confirmed ‘Sledgster’s reaction, it’s . . . . beautiful, sublime, heartfelt and REAL, No cock posturing Timberlakian vocal acrobatics that mean sweet fuck all and purport to be ‘Soul Music’ or ‘R&B’ or whatever that chicken guts mess of mistaken identity is really all about, or really means to anyone with a true soul from this here one. Instead be prepared to hear the soulful yearnings of reality…

Check him out now!


Go Percy!

SWEET SOUL MUSIC – Peter Guralnick

Within the first hundred pages, you’ll know stuff you won’t have heard elsewhere…

I’m not going to witter on, this will  be a pithy review, terse, to the point, direct, an easy read; much like this wonderful book that has been around since the 1980s and tells the story of Southern Soul Music.

Beggining with the R&B roots of ‘Soul’ (though, really it don’t take a genius, to work out they is the same damn thang), he takes us through a fairly linear exploration of the major figures, Sam Cooke’s gospel beginnings and secular sexuality, the usurping of Black music and it’s repackage as Rock ‘n Roll, Ray Charles and the genius that he was… and the story of Solomon Burke; telling an amazing tale of how he once played to a giant crowd of Klu Klux Klan members by ‘accident’, which will have you heaving, in laughter and relief as the Sheriff escorts him to the county line!

He leads you through the story of Stax, the Muscle Shoals phenomenon, the growth of the South as exporter of Soul music in general, James Brown’s career, the incredible rise of Otis Redding, Jerry Wexler and Atlantic’s dominance of the R&B market, the crossover of Soul to the ‘White’ audience, and with all tell tale of those names never heard of before who were pivotal in the development of Black music in the United States in the 50s, and 60s.

If you knew (like me) bugger all about ‘Soul’ music before reading it, you might consider yourself more than a little illuminated by the time you get to the end of the tale.

Read it and love it.