Change- Got To Get Up 12″ single

We are finishing up this week’s theme of records I purchased without close inspection, took home and found different discs inside the cover.  In most cases, this happens with the $1 his record I actually spent a pretty penny for.  400 pennies to be exact. 

And why not, for an early record from the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin.  I do not have enough soul records on this site and this would have been an excellent addition.

Well what I got is just awful.  I got a 12″ single from Italian/American post disco group Change, a group that would feature Luther Vandross and Deborah Cooper, who would later form C+C Music Factory .  It was a promo single form 1983 “Got To Get Up” that did not chart, perhaps because of the promo nature. So not only was this not what I was expecting, but there was only two songs per side and they were basically the same song.  I listened to both sides to try to find the differences and they were few.

bargai vinylI understand that this is not fair to Change nor producer Jacques Fred Petrus as the group had several #1 songs.  However, this is completely the opposite of what I was expecting and I paid $4 for this screw job.

Well, here is the only song on this record, “Got To Get Up”.  Again, apologies to the group is this is a pretty good representative of work from 1983, but I am quite disappointed with this transaction.  If I got a full record, perhaps I would feel differently or if I paid a dollar.

The Temptations- Greatest Hits

Keeping with this week’s theme of records I bought that were different than there covers, I submit this, previously owned by one Rich Ortiz.  When I saw this album by a young Stevie Wonder for only a dollar, I flipped out.  When I saw the track listing and saw “Sunny”, ” Everybody’s Talking”, “I’ve Got To Be Me”, “Blowin’ In The Wind”, By The Time I Get To Phoenix” and “For Once In My Life”, I thought this was a major score and was really excited to listen to this record.

I also probably would have really enjoyed writing a post on Wonder.  I would have noted how remarkable he is and how he could have played it safe and continued this style of music into the 70’s, but instead he chose to reinvent himself and his music in that decade and beyond.  Would have been a fun post to write.

Well, instead of this record, I got the Temptation’s Greatest Hits, which is not a bad collection.  The Detroit vocal group who are perhaps most famous for :My Girl” were a smash hit in the 60’s and dominated the RnB charts of that period. Released on Gordy Records, a division of Motown.  All the classic hits from this legendary vocal group are here. And there is not a bad moment on here. This record, released in 1966 would go to #1 on the RnB Charts and #5 on the overall US charts.

For a sample, I could have gone with any song.  As with the more established artists whose albums I post on this blog, I like to do less known pieces of work but that is almost impossible on this record.  So I went with “Don’t Look Back”, a single released in 1966 that went to #15 on the RnB charts.

I really wanted to hear that Stevie Wonder album so I am actually quite disappointed with that . However, this is a really good album as well.  So this transaction washes out.  Satisfactory.


Four Tops- Reach Out

So why wouldn’t you buy this album? Seriously?  It was only $4.  Well this is my last post from Amsterdam, despite being written in Houston weeks earlier.  Hopefully, I will get home by the next post.  More about this vacation in January.

Truth be told, this is not the original record I had planned for this month.  I originally had an early Aretha Franklin album picked.  However, when I pulled out the record and found out it was not Franklin, my heart dropped.  This was the second such incident this month as I went thru the same thing with Doris Day’s movie version of The Pajama Game. Next month, I plan to dedicate a week to these mis-labeled records.

Well, if I had to get a replacement, this would be a mighty fine substitute from the vocal quartet from Detroit.  Released in 1967, this was I believe their most successful album going #11 in the US and #6 in the UK. It also spawned six Top 20 singles including the #1 title track.  It was the last Four Tops record to feature Motown’s production/song writing team of Holland-Dozier-Holland.  On top of their contributions, the album also features (2) songs from the Monkees as well as one from The Association.

For a sample, I went with “Walk Away Renee” as was suggested by my neighbor. This was a tough call as I also really liked “7 Rooms Of Gloom” as well as about the rest of this album.

Great record. And in decent condition as well.  Top Rated.

Three Degrees- ST

This little gem was $4.  I got it to diversify the blog which is much needed given where the second half of September is heading.  What is this you say?  Well, stay tuned to find out.

Formed in Philadelphia, and rising up with the Philadelphia Sound of the 1970’s, The Three Degrees started their career in 1963..  This is the second studio album and the first on Philadelphia International Records, the label of Gamble and Huff (and Thom Bell).  Released in 1973, this features the group with the lineup that brought them their biggest hits.  This lineup, which formed from 1967- 1976, featured original member Fayette Pinkney along with Valerie Holiday, and Shelia Ferguson.  Consequently, a version led by Holiday still performs today.

Link to The Three Degrees’ Web Site

Anyway, back to the record, it was among one of their most successful and spawned four singles; “Dirty Ol’ Man”, “I Didn’t Know”, “Year of Decision” and ” When Will I See You Again”, which went to #2 in the US and #1 in the UK.

For a sample, I decided to go with “Can’t You See What You Are Doing To Me”.

Pretty good album.  Satisfactory.


Isaac Hayes- The Isaac Hayes Movement

Happy Saturday.  This gem was only $1.

This was Isaac Hayes’ third album, released in 1970, fresh off the heels of the massive success of Hot Buttered Soul.  I did not want to write about HBS but since I already have a copy and find it very unlikely that I would find one for under $5, I might as well note it here that after dismal sales of his first album, Hayes was prepared to go back behind the scenes, writing and producing.  The label’s executive, Al Bell, had different plans.

As Stax had lost its entire back catalog following a split with Atlantic, Bell was tasked with building the catalog back up and pressed Hayes to make another record.  Hayes insisted on creative control. which he received, and as a result, a massive and heavily influential record was born.

This was the follow up album, which was also a hit, reaching #1 on the Soul charts.  The album features only four songs , heavily arranged and orchestrated with the signature sound Hayes crafted on the previous album.

For a sample, I went with “Something” despite being 12 minutes in length.  It should be noted that “Something” is the most covered Beatles’ song after “Yesterday”.

Great album. Top Rated.

VA- This is Soul

This was $3 at a record show. Look at the names on this and tell me if you are going pass this up.  Anyway, this is that brief day between St Patrick’s Day and my birthday so I am going to make this one of my shortest posts. 

This piece came out on Atlantic Records in 1968 and features various hits from such luminaries of soul as Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke, and Ray Charles among others.  All of this is previously recorder material.  For a sample, I wanted to use a song which I felt was a fitting tribute to soul and actually discussed in last months blog, Arthur Conley with “Sweet Soul Music”.  As discussed, Conley used Sam Cooke’s “Yeah, Man” (used as a sample for that blog post) as the basis for a tribute to the big names of soul.

A lot of great songs on here.  Top Rated.  See, this is short, like I said.


Ray Charles- Ray’s Moods

Well this is the end of Black History Month here at the old Show that is known as the Donkey.  Been a fun month for me although time has always been a constant factor this month.  This was $3.00.  I got it at a record show.  If the fact that it was from Ray Charles wasn’t enough to buy this, the inclusion of one of my favorite songs which I will use as a sample drove the purchase home for me.

This record came out on Charles’ own label Tangerine.  It was released in 1966, which would have come right after his stint in rehab after his third arrest for heroin possession.  As dark as this time was for Charles (no pun intended), he was able to finally overcome the drug habit.  

This is a pretty good album of songs which vary in style.  There are a few RnB numbers as well as a few Country and Western ones as well.  Charles is backed up by his orchestra which provides a lush sound to back up his piano.  He is also accompanied by his Raelets on backup vocals.  There are a lot of good songs on this album.

For a sample, I was drawn (as always) to one of my favorite songs, “By The Light of the Silvery Moon”.  This song was a popular Tin Pan Alley tune, first published in 1909. Charles version is pretty good, although my favorite version is still Gene Vincent’s.  Also for good measure, I included “Granny Wasn’t Grinning That Day”.

Good album.  Satisfactory,

Roberta Flack- Chapter Two

This was $5 putting it on the high end of the record buying scale for me.  But I enjoyed the last album I posted of Roberta Flack’s (which was her first) and felt this was a logical progression.

In that earlier post, I profiled Flack as best as I could, depending on how busy I was that week.  Flack is a prolific R&B singer and pianist who scored a massive hit with “Killing Me Softly” as well as “Feel Like Makin’ Love” and “The First Time I Saw Your Face”.  As the title would suggest, this was Flack’s second album.  Produced by Joe Dorn and King Curtis, and arranged by Donnie Hathaway, the album features a collection of songs from various song writers including Bob Dylan, Jim Webb, and Saskatchewan’s own Buffy St Marie.  Decent album and a great continuation of what she started on the first as well as framework for where she was heading in the future.

There were a couple of tunes I really liked, but at the end of the day, I went with one of my favorite songs, “The Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha.

Good album.  Satisfactory.

Little Anthony and the Imperials-

This was $1.60 with discount.  I think I got this the same day I bought the Coaster’s album and was quite surprised to find either at Half Price. This month is nearly over.  Where did time go?

Little Anthony and the Imperials were a doo-wop vocal group from New York City who burst on the scene in 1958.  The group was founded by “Little Anthony” Gourdine, Clarence Collins, Ernie Wright, Nate Rogers, and Tracey Lord.  Lord got married and Rogers got drafted and were replaced by Sammy Strain, thus forming the classic lineup. The group would have several hit singles including “Going Out Of My Head”, “Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko Bop”, “Tears on My Pillow”, and “Hurts So Bad”.  A version of the group with Gourdine and Wright still tours today.



This is a greatest hits album and features some of these hit singles.  Pretty good stuff.  Gourdine’s high pitched vocals are very noteworthy.  What more else to say or more accurately, what more do I have time to say?

I really liked all the songs I listed two paragraphs ago. However, for a sample, I went with “Get Out Of My Life”.

I liked this album quite a bit. Satisfactory.

Dionne Warrick- Very Dionne

Trying to get a bit more caught up on blogging this week.  Keeping Black History Month going with this selection from Dionne Warick.  This was $4.00.  As a side note, I saw Verdi’s Requiem last Friday at the HGO.  Pretty good production.  It was one of those instances where I did not realize I was familiar with the music until I heard it.  Also, since there is no story, I could focus on the orchestra and the singers.  I had to wait for it, but once Soprano Angela Meade finished the opera quite well.

Well, there is this.  This would have been Warick’s 14th album if my math is right.  I can’t remember how many Warick albums I have posted so far but I have put more than a couple on this blog. Got to love starting the week with a subject I have exhausted.  Anyway, this came out in 1970.  It would be her last album with Specter Records before jumping ship to Warner Brothers.  

Five of the ten songs are by Bacharach and David.  Highlights include “The Green Grass Starts to Grow” as well as her cover of the Beatles’ “Yesterday”.  However, for a sample, I went with “Going Out of My Head”.