I will fear no evil (Eclectic Playlist Series 5.08 – Oct. 2018)

With Fingertips operational again it’s time for the latest playlist, which as always features a wide mix of genres and decades of origin. A random preponderance of songs under three minutes this time makes this one of the shortest EPS mixes to date, for those keeping score—not much more than an hour total this time. Easy listening! And speaking of keeping score, with this playlist, both Kate Bush and the Kinks now tie for the top position as artists who have at this point been featured once a year for the five years that the EPS has been doing its artist-mixing, genre-mingling thing. David Bowie, Björk, and Elvis Costello may yet join them before year’s end. These are either my favorite all-time artists or I just like putting their songs in playlists. Or, probably, both.

Some random notes:

* Try as I might I can’t be exactly sure when Hattie Littles recorded this version of “Come and Get These Memories.” It’s a chestnut from Motown’s early days; as recorded in 1962 by Martha and the Vandellas, it was in fact the first hit produced by the legendary team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, charting in early 1963. Littles herself was on the Motown roster early on, but turned out to be one of those powerhouse vocalists who got overlooked and eventually dropped in favor of those considered to be more commercially viable. She recorded only one official single for Motown (and did open for Marvin Gaye on his first tour). After years out of the business, she was re-discovered in the 1980s and ended up releasing an album called The Best of Hattie Littles in 1996, which included a number of songs re-recorded from her Motown years, “Come and Get These Memories” among them. Let’s figure it was recorded in the vicinity of 1996, if not somewhat before.

* I have a lot of favorite Kinks songs but “Sweet Lady Genevieve” is one of my very favorite favorites, from the band’s otherwise troublesome Preservation Act 1 album (although not as troublesome as the seemingly related follow-up, Preservation Act 2). Apologies for the somewhat clunky segue from Sam Phillips here, I kept going back and forth between thinking it worked well and thinking it didn’t work at all, and by the time I figured it didn’t really work it was too late.

* Patti & The Emblems were from Camden NJ, and had this one hit, in 1964, which happened to be written by Leon Huff (one year before joining forces with Kenny Gamble). The group featured lead singer Pat Russell and three gentlemen backing vocalists. This is an unexpectedly great song, at once typical-sounding of the era and yet also somehow looser and grittier than the Brill Building fare that was still (but not for long) dominating the day.

* Véronique Sanson is a French singer, still active, who was married to Stephen Stills from 1973 to 1979. Her album Le Maudit was released in 1974, and recorded with a few members of Stills’ group Manassas.

* “For You To Do That” was a Fingertips featured song back in 2007, from an album that had come out a few years earlier. Mary Ann Farley only recorded two albums of music before veering off into a career as a painter. Still love this one.

* Speaking, earlier, of Holland-Dozier-Holland, we also dive here into the somewhat under-visited catalog of Mr. Lamont Dozier himself here. Dozier, now 77, has released a dozen or so solo albums over the years, all coming after the Holland-Dozier-Holland heyday of the mid- to late-’60s (and boy go look at the songs that team was responsible for if you want to be amazed, including 14 songs that went to number one on the Billboard chart). But he was no slouch on his own, if a good deal less commercially successful. One of my favorite semi-overlooked songs of his is “Invisible,” which was recorded by Alison Moyet on her first solo album, back in 1984 (and was featured on EPS 3.07 back in 2016, for those who, against all odds, are still keeping score at home).

* And if we’re talking about overlooked goodies, what about this entire album from T Bone Burnett? The Criminal Under My Hat is full of smartly-written, wonderfully accessible songs, but came out, in 1992, while Burnett was still laboring in obscurity, some years yet before the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack made him at least a little more famous. But he was from that point onward pegged as more of a producer than a performer, so much so that the next album he made, many years later, 2006’s The True False Identity, kind of just fell through the cracks without much notice, although also a good one. It’s not too late to pay attention, and give him his due.

Full playlist below the widget.

“Please Stand Up” – British Sea Power (Open Season, 2005)
“Billy Two” – The Clean (Boodle Boodle Boodle EP, 1981)
“I’m In Love” – Kate Pierson (Lost Songs of Lennon & McCartney, 2011)
“Come and Get These Memories” – Hattie Littles (The Best of Hattie Littles, 1996)
“Strawberry Blonde” – Ron Sexsmith (Other Songs, 1997)
“Rainbows” – Dennis Wilson (Pacific Ocean Blue, 1977)
“Cloudbusting” – Kate Bush (Hounds of Love, 1985)
“Everybody’s Happy But Me” – Cheryl Williams (single, 1964)
“All My Friends” – Lens Mozer (single, 2017)
“I Want To Tell You” – The Beatles (Revolver, 1966)
“Troubled Mind” – Everything But The Girl (Amplified Heart, 1994)
“Playing For Keeps” – Lamont Dozier (Working On You, 1981)
“World On Sticks” – Sam Phillips (World On Sticks, 2018)
“Sweet Lady Genevieve” – The Kinks (Preservation Act 1, 1971)
“For You To Do That” – Mary Ann Farley (My Life of Crime, 2002)
“Seems So” – The Apples in Stereo (Tone Soul Evolution, 1997)
“Mixed Up Shook Up Girl” – Patti & The Emblems (single, 1964)
“Pure” – The Lightning Seeds (Cloudcuckooland, 1989)
“Le Maudit” – Veronique Sanson (Le Maudit, 1974)
“It’s Not Too Late” – T Bone Burnett (The Criminal Under My Hat, 1992)

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