Tuesday, 30 June 2015

HELP NEEDED FOR TRANSLATIONS FROM JAPANESE TO ENGLISH



This is a call to the Japanese readers of this blog, I know there's plenty of you out there, many thanks for your visits!

I need to translate a few pages from Japanese to English, they contain important information related to some posts I'm working on for the future, so I need help: if you can translate from Japanese to English please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you so much!

DICK JENSEN "I DON'T WANT TO CRY / TAMIKA (COME BACK LATER)" (1973)

I still love you, just like I did before
But before you smile and walk through the door, darling
I don't want to cry, no, I don't want to cry
No more, no, darling, no more, no more, do you hear me?

You come and go, just like the morning sun
But woman, I'm serious, and you're just having fun, darling
I don't want to cry, no, no, I don't want to cry
No more, no, darling, no more, no more, no more, no more

I said you're welcome to my lips
I said you're welcome, welcome to my arms
Yes, you're welcome to this old heart of mine
You're welcome to everything I have to offer you
So come on now, take it, take it, take it, take any part

Mama, I know I was wrong, can't you see I need you woman
So come on home, yeah, before you do, I'm gonna tell you
I don't want to cry, no, I don't want to cry
No more, no, darling, no more
Ain't gonna cry no more, ain't gonna cry no more

No, do you hear me? I don't wan't to cry, no, I don't want to cry
I cry no more, I ain't crying no more, no, no
Girl I cry no more, no, no, no, no more
Don't wanna cry no more, don't wanna cry no more...


[from the lyrics of "I Don't Want To Cry"]



Dick Jensen was one of the first artists to sign with the now-legendary Philadelphia International Records label in 1971. Nowadays it seems that he had little in common with the other artists which made the label famous later on, but at the time - once you heard the power and soul in his vocal delivery - it all made perfect sense. And with the label main men Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff behind the scenes, it seemed as if Dick Jensen had finally found the perfect home for his energetic style of Soul.

Like many of the label's acts, Jensen received musical assistance from PIR's house band, the illustrious MFSB. The band on the recording sessions for his self-titled album featured Ronnie Baker (bass), Larry Washington (congas, bongos), Earl Young (drums), Lenny Pakula (organ), Leon Huff (piano), Vincent Montana (vibraphone) and guitarists Bobby Eli, Norman Harris, Roland Chambers and TJ Tindall. Backing vocals were provided by Barbara Ingram, Carla Benson and Evette Benton.



Along with arrangements by Bobby Martin, Vince Montana and Norman Harris, and production by Bunny Sigler, Thom Bell and Gamble & Huff themselves (who also handled a majority of the songwriting) "Dick Jensen", released in February 1973, was as smooth and slick as anything else the label had released but was far more Pop-oriented.

Unfortunately, upon release, critics and Soul fans didn't know what to make of it. Jensen's talent was undeniable, but the album was not what they expected from the house that Gamble & Huff had built and the project itself was lost in the confusion... More information about the album are available here and here.


A signed Dick Jensen promotional picture, circa mid-70


Here's the track list for this 7" single:

01. I Don't Want To Cry (2:49)
02. Tamika (Come Back Later) (2:57)

Both tracks were remastered in June 2015 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files; both formats include scans of the complete original artwork.

Please have a look at the comments for the download links.



Following the release of the "Dick Jensen" album, "I Don't Want To Cry / Tamika (Come Back Later)" was published in the U.K. sometimes in 1973 by Epic Records; the record comes in a company sleeve with catalogue number S EPC 1521.

"I Don't Want To Cry" was originally a hit for Chuck Jackson in 1961; the song was written by Jackson himself with Soul legend Luther Dixon. Jensen's version remains faithful to the original (which was arranged by Carole King) with the addition of the magical touch of the P.I.R. team. It swoops and soars thanks to Jensen's passionate delivery. You can listen to the original version of this song by clicking here.



Written by Gamble & Huff, "Tamika (Come Back Later)" features Jensen in Levi Stubbs mode, bellowing out the words as if his life depended on it. The song was arranged by bassist Ronnie Baker and is closer to a Motown Pop song than a Philly Soul record, hence probably its inclusion in this single for the British market. Here's the lyrics:

Tamika come back later
Tamika come back later
I've got another love in my corner

Who told you to come around here
without giving me some kind of warning?
Giving me some kind of warning
And who told you to knock on my door
when it's so early in the morning?
It's so early in the morning

You should have known much better than that
You should have known it was over and back

Tamika come back later
Tamika come back later
I've got another love in my corner

You left me for the love of another
You filled my heart with so much sorrow
Filled it with so much sorrow
Now you tell me that you're really, really sorry
but it's too late so come back tomorrow
Girl, you'd better come back tomorrow

You should have called before you came back
'cause it's a sin to see you cry

Tamika come back later
Tamika come back later
I've got another love in my corner...
Yes I do



Most of the text on this page was sourced from the "Dick Jensen" reissue liner notes written by Stephen SPAZ Schnee. The CD was released by Big Break Records in 2013 and is currently the only available Jensen album, I strongly encourage you to buy a copy of this great long forgotten masterpiece!

More information about Dick Jensen is available here:

http://archives.starbulletin.com/2006/06/22/news/story02.html

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2006/Jun/22/il/FP606220304.html

http://www.oahuislandnews.com/May05/Home.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Jensen

I'm currently compiling a Dick Jensen biography, the first part of this work-in-progress covers the period 1942-1972 and is available here.

I'm also trying to compile a Dick Jensen exhaustive discography, my work-in-progress is available here.

Last but not least, I'm also trying to build a collection of Dick Jensen pictures and memorabilia, my work-in-progress is available here.

All my posts dedicated to Dick Jensen on this blog are available here.


I will post more Dick Jensen stuff in the next months, if you have any other useful information about him and his releases or if you spot any dead links, just get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Friday, 26 June 2015

THE SHEEP RECORDS STORY #17: LOS BANDITOS "FUZZBALL" (2000)



Sheep Records was a Swiss underground label specialized in Garage-Rock, Surf, Lounge and other Rock'n'Roll oddities. Run by Christian Müller from Zürich, along with friends Andi Frick and Andreas Egi, it was active from 1996 to 2004 and published about 30 releases, mostly on 7" vinyl singles.



In october 2006, after about two years of hiatus, all the contents of the now defunct Sheep Records website were deleted from the Internet, and replaced with a blank page announcing that "Der Kebab ist gegessen" ("The kebab is eaten"), a last goodbye and a reference to the label's cataloguing system that included the prefix "kebab" for vinyl releases and "gigot" for CD releases.



The seventeenth Sheep Records release was an EP by German band Los Banditos. This 7" is limited to 300 copies on blue vinyl and 200 copies on black vinyl, for a total of 500 copies; it was released in October 2000.

The short Sheep Records press-release presents the record with these words: «Los Banditos come with their very own style of East German 60's surf, lounge, and rock'n'roll music. Four amazing songs about the new girl in the club, electronically stirred cranes and Detective X.»... Side A begins with the lively "Fuzzball", which includes a recurring German speech of unknown origin, and ends with "Die Neue vom Club" (The New One In the Club), a track that trickles Rockabilly from every pore. On the second side we find "Kommissar X" (Commissioner X), obviously inpired by the series of crime novels and movies of the same name, and the enigmatic "Elektronisch gesteuerte Laufkräne" (Electronically Controlled Cranes, or something very similar), which is my favourite Los Banditos track so far.





Here's the track list and the personnel/credits list for this 7" EP as they appear on the back cover:

01. Fuzzball (3:08)
02. Die Neue vom Club (2:32)
03. Kommissar X (2:37)
04. Elektronisch gesteuerte Laufkräne (3:31)

Django B.B. Silbermann: bass
Mr. 2000 Volt: guitar
Jiri Buschnik: drums
C. Rodriguez Flamingo: organ, electric piano
Superjoe Paco Louise: DJ and special effects

All tracks composed and arranged by Los Banditos.
Artwork by Rolf Keller.

All tracks were remastered from vinyl in June 2015 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files; both formats include scans of the complete original artwork.

Please have a look at the comments for the download links.


Here's a Los Banditos biography as found here:

In 1996 the band was founded as a trio in Jena, Germany. The Banditos first specialized in Surf, but soon enough line up and musical competence were steadily broadened, so that four years later we're facing a five-headed gang that is still celebrating its music on a solid Surf base and is unmistakeably inspired by the East-German "Big Beat" bands of the early Sixties (yes, this term did exist already 40 years ago), but is integrating the sexy groove of the Sixties/Seventies Soul into its music, performing classical R'n'B vocal pieces and with the help of the DJ, who is a regular band member, creates an own version of Post Easy Listening Pop. This mixture is produced on original vintage GDR-equipment: Musima de Luxe guitar, Musima Billant 76 bass and Weltmeister T/O 200.5 organ.

The Banditos' live gigs turn out to be a challenge for your dancing as well as for your laughing abilities. Glamour is served in family packs and the prescribed combination of musical drugs, namely Sixties Beat, Surf, sound tracks of spy thrillers, Spaghetti Westerns and blue movies, Black Soul, Las Vegas Glamour, Shadows melodies and brave postmodern Pop makes even the death move. At the latest with their interpretations of "Je t’aime… moi non plus" and "Oh Tannenbaum" (whose melody is also the state hymn of Maryland) every hall goes wild.

But of course the Banditos are not only game for popular party tunes. In the first place elegance and understatement are dominant. In an adequate atmosphere it is not unlikely that an Los Banditos concert takes up to three hours. And there's not one moment of boredom included. Their own compositions, titled "Fremder Planet" (Unknown Planet), "Porno Uschi" (Porn Uschi), "Unbekannte wilde Frau" (Unknown Wild Woman) or "Zwischenfall im Orbit" (Incident In Space) don't have to hide behind their versions of classics or obscurities.

Self evidently, the Banditos are now all year around on tour, not only at home, but also in Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, The Netherlands, Belgium and Danmark. Their divine "Sex" video clip ran several times on Viva; Arte broadcasted a complete concert and they have been hired to write the music for Karen Finleys thestre play "The Theory of Total Blame". Of course they appear also frequently in the radio, in fanzines and the press. Some samples? Spex: "Best Surf/Instrumental record of approximately the last 18 month." Flying Revolverblatt: "Fantastic Instrumental sound between Surf &Easy Listening." Ox: "The heroes of Trash Surf Beat… were the only ones who managed to make the 700 lethargic bastards move."


Los Banditos as a (temporarily) four-piece band sometimes in the 00s


The following clips offer a preview of the remastered single, enjoy "Fuzzball" and "Elektronisch gesteuerte Laufkräne"!






More information about Sheep Records and Los Banditos is available here:

http://www.surfnroll.de/interviews/sheep/sheep.html

http://www.losbanditos.de

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Los-Banditos/116466851763320

http://www.discogs.com/artist/362031-Los-Banditos

https://myspace.com/banditen/photos

http://www.schuette-raibach.de/seiten/mitglieder/oliver_jahn/los_banditos.html


The Sheep Records story will continue in the next months. All your inputs are more than welcome, if you want to get in touch please write to stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Friday, 29 May 2015

STEREO TOTAL "MIAU MIAU" (1996)

Miau miau wilde Katze mit grünen Schlitzaugen
Miau miau wilde Katze steht ganz nass im Regen
Ich lasse dich vor der Tür miauen und jaulen und fauchen
Ich sah dich auf allen Dächern der Stadt dich rumwälzen

Miau miau wilde Katze komm bitte nicht nach Haus'
Weil du nach wilder Strapaze nur etwas Milch brauchst

Miau miau wilde Katze zeigt ihre weiße Tatze
In dem Schlitz meiner Tür nach wilder Strapaze
Wenn dir nichts Schöneres einfällt und wenn dich der Hunger quält
Wenn das Wetter dir missfällt miaust du vor meiner Tür

Miau miau wilde Katze komm bitte nicht nach Haus'
Weil du nach wilder Strapaze nur etwas Milch brauchst

Miau miau wilde Katze verbringt die ganze Nacht
Auf einem fremden Dach und kommt am nächsten Morgten
Zu mir ihre Milch holen

Miau miau wilde Katze komm bitte nicht nach Haus'
Weil du nach wilder Strapaze nur etwas Milch brauchst

Miau miau wilde Katze der Sturm und der Regen
Sind meine Wut, meine Tränen um dich böse Katze
Miau miau nur wenn es regnet wenn sich böses ereignet
Wenn ein Feind dir begegnet miaust du vor meiner Tür

Miau miau wilde Katze komm bitte nicht nach Haus'
Weil du nach wilder Strapaze nur etwas Milch brauchst


[From the lyrics of "Miau Miau"]



During winter 1992-93, Françoise Cactus and Brezel Göring were living in the same neighborhood in Berlin and the legend has it that they casually met while shopping in a bakery in Adalbertstraße.

At that time, Françoise was about to close her experience with the French girl-garage-punk-R’n'R-Band Lolitas (...they released six albums in Germany and France and toured all over Europe and America, for more information about them have a look here...) and Brezel was keeping himself busy with an Experimental-noise-copyright-ignoring-tapeloop-soundeffects project called Sigmund Freud Experience (...he released three vinyl records under this guise, 100 copies each...).

In 1993 they started playing together. Their first recording was a ten minute cooking-recipe, in which all ingredients had sexual connotations. The recording is sadly lost... In 1994 they started rehearsaling and recording in Hamburg at the Alien Sound Studio of Peter Stein, and began to perform concerts in small venues in Berlin and Germany.

In those early days, the band logo consisted of two tits that were originally painted on a mix-tape Françoise made for Brezel entitled "Stereo Total", and I easily guess this is how the band's name was born... The logo was later shown on the backside of their first album "Oh Ah"; here you can have a look at the inlay-card of the CD version.



At this time the line-up included Françoise (vocals and drums), Brezel (vocals, guitar, organ and synthesizers) and Lesley Campell from Scotland (distorted guitar). With their unusual mix of music influences and languages, it wasn't easy then to find a label... The band used to play French Chanson, Disco, Rockabilly and Garage in a very minimal, simplified, essential way, often with self-built guitars and cheap electronics; lyrics were both written in French and German.

At last, in 1995 Desert Records released their first four tracks EP entitled "Allo... J'ecoute...", which was the subject of a previous post here on Stereo Candies. During the same year, Palestinian bassist Ghazi Barakat, a.k.a. Iznogood - ex member of the Hardcore / Experimental combo Burst Appendix - joined in and for some time the band became a quartet.

In January 1996, Stereo Total finally released their first album entitled "Oh Ah", which included tracks recorded during 1994 and 1995 at the aforementioned Alien Sound Studio in Hamburg, and a lot of 4-track home recordings.

The CD version of the album was published in Germany by Peace 95, while the vinyl edition came in the form of a 2.000 copies limited edition LP on Little Teddy Recordings; these were divided into four different colours, with respectively 500 copies in black, transparent red, transparent blue and off-white.

At the same time, Little Teddy Recordings also released the "Miau Miau" 7" EP, which is the subject of this post.

   
"Mia Miau" comes with a cheap black and white postcard...


Here's the track list for this release:

01. Miau Miau (2:01)
02. Tu m'as voulue (2:11)
03. Aua (2:06)
04. À la sortie du lycée (2:01)

All tracks were remastered in May 2015 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files; both formats include scans of the complete original artwork.

Please have a look at the comments for the download links.



"Miau Miau" was released in Germany by Little Teddy Recordings sometimes in early 1996 with catalogue number "LiTe2-UP". The EP was available in a standard black vinyl edition and in a 200 copies limited edition on clear vinyl. My copy looks almost white in the scans presented on this page, but I swear that the vinyl is clear, my friends!

Side A opens with the title-track "Miau Miau", a song which - as Françoise Cactus puts it - "...is about a cat, a stray cat, wild cat, who comes home too late next morning and gets problems with his girlfriend, female cat..." or as someone else explains in a comment I found somewhere on YouTube again - "It's a story about a man and a woman who live in an open relationship and she sings about how the guy only comes home to get food and maybe sex... and she doesn't want that ;D"...

Based on a Rockabilly groove, "Tu m'as voulue" - or "Tu mas volu" as printed on the center label - offers an infectious riff and French lyrics about what seems to be the disillusion and grudge that often emerge after the end of a love story: "...Tu m'as vue, tu m'as voulue, tu m'as prise, mais tu ne m'as pas comprise...". Françoise's voice is compressed, distorted and effected with other delay treatments.

"Aua", an interjection which can be translated in English as "Ouch", seems to be a female/male call and response about a master/slave intercourse, as detailed in the description of this clip... Anyway, nice little guitar solo in here, and cool electronic bits too!

The EP ends with "À la sortie du lycée", or "Sortie de Lycée" as on the center label, another winner which in 2002 was released on the old Stereo Total website as part of the "Trésors Caché" online rarities compilation, with the following description: "This is a song about a home for pensioners, that is built next to a school. The girl in the song gets molested by old daddies."... Amazing, isn't it? This is just one of the one thousand nine hundred and sixty-three reasons why I love Stereo Total!!!



Here's the complete credits and personnel list as translated from the back sleeve of the EP:

Lesley Campbell: guitar
Iznogood: bass, vocals
Brezel Göring: music, synthesizers, organ, guitar
Françoise Cactus: lyrics, vocals, drums

Go Go Girls: Ogar, Beth Love, Lesley, Siggi

Recorded in 1996 by Peter Stein, Gerd Bluhm, Brezel Göring.

Artwork by Sabina Maria Van Der Linden.

Postcard picture by Holger Flosz.


Stereo Total 1996: Iznogood, Brezel Göring, Lesley Campbell and Françoise Cactus, picture by Holger Flosz

The following clips offers a preview of the remastered single, enjoy "Aua" and "À la sortie du lycée"!





As a bonus, enjoy the original videoclip for "Miau Miau"...



...and a 2012 live performance of the same song with introduction by Françoise Cactus, enjoy!





More information about Stereo Total is available here:

http://stereototal.de

http://stereototal.stereototal.de

http://monokini.free.fr/index.html

http://www.discogs.com/artist/Stereo+Total

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereo_Total

http://www.facebook.com/StereoTotal

http://www.myspace.com/stereototal

http://soundcloud.com/stereototal


If you have any other useful information about Stereo Total - especially corrections and improvements to this post - or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Friday, 22 May 2015

JIMI TENOR AND HIS SHAMANS "CLOSER / SOME FUN" (1988)



Jimi Tenor was born in 1965 as Lassi O. T. Lehto in Lahti, Finland. The resemblance to the youngest member of The Osmonds, Little Jimmy Osmond, earned him his nickname of Jimi in the early '70s.

Just like his older brother Marko, Jimi had a passion for music. He studied for many years at a music institute and can play flute, piano and saxophone; his skills were further implemented by his work experience as the saxophone player for various bands.

At 16 he was the youngest member of Pallosalama (Thunderball), an orchestra which used to tour Finland with a sort of Saturday night dance shows for older people. This act was very popular then and also appeared on the Syksyn Sävel (Melody of Autumn), a song contest on Finnish Television.

Later on he was part of the Pop-Rock group Himo (Lust) as a saxophone and keyboards player. In 1986 the band gained some success in the Finnish Rock Championships and released a self-titled album along with a few singles on the Amulet and Cityboy labels. Tenor was also responsible for the music and lyrics of a couple of the band's songs.

Other groups in which Jimi was involved in the mid-80s include The Cherry Pickers, Iloinen Poika Milloin (Happy Boy When) - a band founded by his brother - and... Shaman!


...yes, the back looks exactly like the front...

Jimi Tenor and His Shamans were founded during 1986; this new project was an experimental evolution of the more ordinary Rock band Shaman. At the time, Tenor had recently discovered the Industrial sound of Einstürzende Neubauten and Test Dept., and - as a twist of fate - had accepted a new job in a mayonnaise factory.

Other members of the group were Ilkka Mattila (guitar), Toni Kuusisto (bass) Niklas Häggblom (trumpet), and Enver Hoxha (real name Hannu Mäkelä, atonal alt bass), with Tero Kling playing drums as an added member. Jimi was the lead singer, played tenor saxophone and - just like all the other members of the band - banged on empty oil barrels, a trademark of their sound both in studio and live.

Matti Knaapi, a graphic designer and inventor, allowed the band to embrace a more experimental sound helping Jimi to create special equipment in the form of self-built musical instruments bearing names like Vera (an automatic trombone), Sirkka (a man-sized mechanical drum machine), Melukone (a noise machine) and The Liberace (a peculiar-looking stainless steel object which is hard to describe).

In late 1987, after a series of concerts in Finland, Jimi Tenor and His Shamans debuted with their first single which inclued the songs "X-Rays" and "Still In Love; this release was the subject of a previous post here on Stereo Candies.

OK, at this point comes my most imploring and subdued request to the Finnish readers of this blog: I desperately need your...


Finnish magazine Rumba included a feature about the band and a review of the aforementioned debut single in its November 1987 issue: I previously dedicated a post about it and, since that is probably one of the earliest features dedicated to His Majesty Jimi Tenor, I would be glad to include an English translation here on these pages, so that a wider public can enjoy it.

An high resolution scan and a .txt transcription of the feature/review are available for download here, if you can translate from Finnish to English and are willing to help, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you so much!!!

In early 1988 Jimi Tenor & His Shamans had recorded enough material to fill both sides of an album. We'll take care about "Total Capacity of 216,5 Litres" sometimes soon, for the time being the subject of this post is still the band's second single: "Closer / Some Fun".


Jimi Tenor and His Shamans performing live, 1987


Here's the track list for this 7" single:

01. Closer (3:35)
02. Some Fun (1:50)

Both tracks were remastered in May 2015 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files; both formats include scans of the complete original artwork.

Please have a look at the comments for the download links.





"Closer / Some Fun" was released in Finland sometimes in early 1988 by Euros Records with catalogue number SIS-036; according to the relevant Discogs entry, the label released mostly Rock music and was active from 1983 until the early '90s.

The single comes in a very simple black and white cover which offers the same uninformative artwork on both sides... From the center labels we learn that the songs were written by Jimi Tenor and arranged by The Shamans. Both of them were also included on the band's debut album "Total Capacity of 216,5 Litres".

"Closer" is quite intense and offers the usual band's trademark metal percussions coupled with an interesting horns arrangement; the refrain is infectious and somewhere in a parallel universe I'm quite sure this was a huge MTV hit!

The short "Some Fun" is a piercing noisy track which is almost autistic in its stride; alienating lyrics are sung above oppressive guitars and a steady beat, and the other elements are kept to a minimun, probably on purpose.


The following clips offer a preview of the remastered single, enjoy "Closer" and "Some Fun"!






More information about Jimi Tenor is available here:

http://www.jimitenor.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimi_Tenor

http://www.discogs.com/artist/952-Jimi-Tenor

http://www.discogs.com/artist/136250-Jimi-Tenor-And-His-Shamans

http://www.phinnweb.org/tenor/history.html

http://www.phinnweb.org/tenor/discography/shamans.html

https://rateyourmusic.com/artist/jimi_tenor_and_his_shamans

http://creativegames.org.uk/modules/Art_Technology/Futurism/Tenorvision_gear.htm


If you have any other useful information about this post, or if you spot any dead links, just get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

LINDA JONES "I WHO HAVE NOTHING" (1969)

I, I who have nothing
I, I who have no one
Adore you, and want you so
I'm just a lonely girl,
with nothing to give you but love, oh
I love you

You, you buy her diamonds
Bright, sparkling diamonds
Oh, but believe me, hear what I say
You may give her the world,
but she'll never love you the way
I love you

You can take her any place she wants
to fancy clubs and restaurants
Where I can only watch you with
my nose pressed up against the window pane

I, I who have no one
I, I who have nothing
Oh, I must watch you go dancing by
wrapped in the arms of some other girl
Darling it is I who love you
Don't you know don't you know that I love you
Oh, I love you baby
Don't you know that I love you
I love you...


[from the lyrics of "I Who Have Nothing"]


"I Who Have Nothing", front cover of the Portuguese EP, 1969

Linda Jones was born in Newark, New Jersey, on January 14, 1944, and she first sang in public in her hometown at the age of six. She cut her teeth in church, regularly treading the gospel path as part of The Jones Singers, a group comprised of her whole family.

Through this background Linda developed and nurtured her most predominant vocal technique: the melisma, the art of spreading a word or syllable over several rapid notes up and down the scale. In later years she took to singing spirituals every morning to exercise her voice.

Linda's childhood was plagued by a severe history of diabetes, and this condition only worsened during her adulthood. Small wonder her artistry reflected the desperate determination to triumph over pain and loneliness.

As her prowess developed, she moved towards the secular field, and soon began to accumulate trinkets and trophies from winning a host of talent shows and amateur nights. This trend continued until she grew into her teens, and the talent show medals began to metamorphose into dollars and dimes from gigs at local nightspots.

This presumably led to what is reputed to be her first recording under the name Linda Lane: "Lonely Teardrops", a cover of a song originally performed by Jackie Wilson in 1958, backed with "Cancel the Celebration", was produced by Bill Cook, manager of Roy Hamilton, and was released sometimes in 1963 on Cub Records, a subsidiary that MGM Records started in the late '50s for Rhythm and Blues releases.

Linda's short-lived but musically powerful career began in earnest when producer/songwriter George Kerr entered her life around 1964. Kerr, who had a brief stint as a member of Little Anthony & The Imperials, met Linda through a mutual friend, songwriter Gerald "Jerry" Harris, when she was performing at a local club. At the time Linda was working at a pie factory, and Kerr soon became her mentor, using his connections to secure a short term record deal with Atlantic.

On October 19, 1964, Linda went into the Atlantic Studios on Broadway in New York City and cut three songs composed by Kerr and Harris: "Take the Boy Out of the Country" and "I'm Taking Back My Love", which were released as a one-off single on Atco in 1965, and "I Need You", an unreleased track likely lost to posterity due to the infamous Atlantic Records warehouse fire in February 1978.


"I Who Have Nothing", back cover of the Portuguese EP, 1969

In 1966, Kerr and his new protege mad a brief stop at Leiber & Stoller's Blue Cat Records, a subsidiary of Red Bird Records, for another one-off single which included the songs "Fugitive From Love" and "You Hit Me Like TNT", once again both penned by him and Harris.

Later on, Kerr gave Linda a shot at a song written by friend Richard Poindexter (one of the Poindexter Brothers along with Robert: both would go on to have success with The Persuaders in the early '70s) together with Gloria Florence Spolan. 

With a vibrant and emphathetic Richard Tee arrangement, the legendary emotion-packed "Hypnotized" was recorded in one take during April 1967 in New York, along with "I Can't Stand Lovin' My Baby". As the story goes, Linda was just learning the song, but Kerr told the engineer to hit the record button and the touching performance was preserved.

"Hypnotized" proved to be a turning point for both Linda and her producer. A promo man at Brunswick liked it but the label was busy, so he directed Kerr to Loma, a Rhythm and Blues label that Warner Brothers had just started. Jerry Ragovoy, head of Loma, instantly detected the song's potential and a deal was easily arranged.

The single entered the charts in June 1967. Within weeks Linda was signed to Ruth Bowen's famous Queen Booking Agency, and with some new photos and a new wardrobe, she was ready to hit the road. Working with promoter Henry Wynn, known for producing multi-act R&B packages that would criss-cross the U.S., Linda did shows with all manner of artists including Jackie Wilson, The Vibrations, The Chantels, The Bobettes and others.

With her highly emotive style, Linda literally had audiences hypnotized and, as she toured, the "Hypnotized" single kept rising on the charts, finally reaching #4 on the Billboard R&B Chart and #21 on the Hot 100. This proved to be the label's best-selling record and Loma asked Kerr to do an album.


A Billboard advert for the "Hypnotized" single, 1967

Over two sessions in New York City, on June 21 and August 4, 1967, Linda cut a total of nine songs. Kerr masterminded the sessions while famed keyboardist Richard Tee provided arrangements. Players like guitarist Eric Gale and drummer Bernard Purdie added their musical magic and the Poindexter Brothers did all the background vocals.

"What Have I Done (To Make You Mad)" was issued in October '67, with "Make Me Surrender" as its flip, and became another top 10 R&B hit but only struggled to #61 on the Pop listings. A third single, "Give My Love a Try" backed with a version of The Soul Sisters' "I Can't Stand It" was released in January 1968 and enjoyed moderate sales, struggling to #34 R&B and a dismal #93 on Pop. On the strenght of its title track, the "Hypnotized" album actually made it to the R&B Top 30.

Culled from a session recorded earlier during that year, Sammy Turner's "My Heart Needs a Break" was issued as a single sometimes during Spring '68 backed with "The Things I've Been Through". It peaked at #50 in the R&B charts, becoming Linda's final charted entry during her two-year tenure with Loma.

On the same session Linda also recorded "What Can I Do (Without You)", another Turner co-penned tune arranged by Robert Banks (also known for his work at the time with Thelma Jones), and a version of The Beatles' "Yesterday", which were released as a single in 1968.

Linda's last single for Loma consisted of two tracks recorded in August 1968 at Broadway Studios in Manhattan. Side A surprisingly offered Poindexter Brothers' "It Won't Take Much (To Bring Me Back)" while a stunning version of "I Who Have Nothing" - previously recorded by the likes of Ben E. King, Dee Dee Warwick and Shirley Bassey - was relegated to the flip side...

Unfortunately Loma folded early in 1969. During the same year Warner Brothers released a single with the two songs Linda recorded in March at her last session for the label: "I Just Can't Live My Life (Without You Babe)", written by George Kerr, backed with "My Heart (Will Understand)" by Eddie Jones.

During the same year, a different version of "Fugitive From Luv", another song recorded for Loma back in August 1967, was released by Cotique as a split-single which offered Bessie Banks' "Go Now" on the other side.


Linda Jones, promotional picture, circa 1967

In mid 1969 George Kerr signed Linda to Neptune, a label owned by Philadelphia's Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff which was the forerunner to the Philadelphia Records International hit factory. The first Neptune single, "I'll Be Sweeter Tomorrow / That's When I'll Stop Loving You" revealed a more aggressive, even hysterical-sounding vocal.

Never a singer noted for restraint, Linda's style became increasingly volatile and fraught with desperation and urgency as her career progressed. Making fewer concessions to the demands of the Top 40 programming, Linda's attack was wildly exuberant, her desperation bearly overwhelming, her phrasing with melismas, shrieks and gasps. Her second and last Neptune release, "Ooh Baby You Move Me / Can You Blame Me?", continued the progression.

While "Hypnotized" found Linda taking a relatively subtle approach to her music, her subsequent sides captured her at full strength, and though soul purists (especially Northern Soul collectors in the U.K.) treasured her records, she never had another major hit.

In 1971, by the time she had changed her base from New York to New Jersey to sign with All Platinum's Turbo subsidiary, Linda was in a bad way. Her medical condition was deteriorating as her illness began gaining the upper hand.

Aware of her problems, All Platinum's owners Joe and Sylvia Robinson put her on the staff payroll and gave her liberal studio freedom, thus helping to ensure her a reasonable, regular diet to combat the illness. Linda took to going to the studio almost every other day as music was a mean of forgetting the pain she was often in.

Despite the dismal sound reproduction of the three Turbo album releases ("A Portrait of Linda Jones", issued early in 1972, and "Your Precious Love" and "Let It Be Me", both released the same year after her untimely passing), Linda's frantic overwrought vocals sharply reflected her torment.

As Russell Gersten wrote in Rolling Stone, "Singing became a life and death matter for Linda at her last few recording sessions... Whatever little poise and restraint she at one time had, disappeared." Gersten also wrote that listening the singer's final sides made him imagine "someone down on her knees pounding the floor, suddendly jumping up to screech something, struggling to make sense of a desperately unhappy life."


Linda Jones as pictured on the cover of "Your Precious Love", circa early '70s

Early in 1972, Turbo's single "Your Precious Love" brought Linda back to both the R&B and Pop charts, Many consider this to be the ultimate rendering of the old hit by Jerry Butler and The Impressions.

British critic Ian Hoare regards it as "the quintessential Deep Soul record", even beating out Lorraine Ellison's masterful "Stay With Me". He accurately describes it as a "spine-chilling piece of histrionic desolation". After the song's spoken introduction, which has an intense sermon-like quality, Linda explodes into a one-woman vocal hurricane, the like of which is not to be heard elsewhere.

The single entered the charts in February 1972 and began climbing, peaking at just #74 on the Hot 100 and a more respectable #15 in the R&B list. Linda's diary was full of work and she was actively promoting the single just weeks before she died.

After a matinee performance at the Apollo Theatre in New York in March, Linda went to her mother's house in Newark to eat dinner and take a nap before playing her evening show, but when her mother tried to wake her, she discovered Linda had slipped into a diabetic coma. She was rushed to the hospital but she didn't regained consciousness and died on March 14.

Because of her remarkable ability to transmute her own pain and suffering into Soul singing of a most astonishing and uncompromising quality, it could be argued that Linda Jones was to Soul what Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf and Judy Garland were to other forms of music.


"I Who Have Nothing" contains the following tracks:

01. I Who Have Nothing (3:03)
02. It Won't Take Much (To Bring Me Back) (2:18)
03. What Can I Do (Without You) (2:58)
04. Yesterday (2:28)

All tracks were remastered in May 2015 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files. Both formats offer complete printable PDF artwork.

Please have a look at the comments for the download links.





The "I Who Have Nothing" EP was released in Portugal by Warner Bros. sometimes in 1969. It combines four tracks that were released the previous year on two singles by Loma; here's some details about them:

"I Who Have Nothing" is a song based on "Uno dei tanti" (One of Many), with music by Carlo Donida and lyrics by Giulio "Mogol" Rapetti, released by Joe Sentieri in 1961; the English lyrics for the song were written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who also produced the 1963 Ben E. King version using the backing track from Joe Sentieri's record. The song was later recorded by the likes of Shirley Bassey, Dee Dee Warwick, Tom Jones and... Sylvester! Strangely enough the label gives a writing credit to a certain James Bryant, uhm...

"It Won't Take Much (To Bring Me Back)" is one of the songs penned for Linda by the Poindexter Brothers, Richard and Robert, along with Charles Harper, while "What Can I Do (Without You)" was written by Sammy Turner, a singer who was popular at the end of the '50s.  Both these tunes were A-sides when released as singles in 1968.

The EP ends with an unavoidable cover of The Beatles' "Yesterday", which - according to the Guinness World Records - is the most recorded song in the world...


Here's the two most famous songs included on this EP: enjoy "I Who Have Nothing", and "Yesterday"!






More information about Linda Jones is available here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_Jones

http://www.allmusic.com/artist/linda-jones-mn0000834673/biography

http://www.discogs.com/artist/346244-Linda-Jones

https://rateyourmusic.com/artist/linda_jones

http://www.soulfulkindamusic.net/ljones.htm

http://www.lomarecords.com/loma2091-linda-jones.html

http://www.thenewblackmagazine.com/view.aspx?index=2857

http://www.chancellorofsoul.com/linda.html

http://web.archive.org/web/20140715084454/http://hamptonroads.com/2014/01/everything-i-got-darling-its-yours-drama-linda-jones

http://www.soulmusic.com/index.asp?S=1&T=38&ART=1878

http://soulfuldetroit.com/showthread.php?7969-Linda-Jones-quot-Hypnotized-quot

http://www.answers.com/Q/The_death_of_singer_linda_Jones

http://www.whosampled.com/Linda-Jones/sampled/


If you have any other useful information about the Linda Jones - especially corrections and improvements to this post - or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

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