"Peace of Mind / New York City's a Lonely Town", the Swedish edition comes in a picture sleeve...
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.
...but the back cover is plain white!
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.
"Peace of Mind / New York City's a Lonely Town", front cover reconstruction
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.
"Peace of Mind (Mono) / Peace of Mind (Stereo)", front cover reconstruction (promo version)
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.
Dick Jensen at the Oceania Empire Room, circa 1972-73
Here's the track list for this 7" single:
01. Peace of Mind (2:47)
02. New York City's a Lonely Town (3:09)
03. Peace of Mind (Mono) (2:46)
All tracks 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.
"Peace of Mind / New York City's a Lonely Town" Side A and Side B
Following the release of the "Dick Jensen" album, "Peace of Mind / New York City's Lonely Town" was Jensen's third single for Philadelphia International Records; it was published in a company sleeve with catalogue number ZS7 3542, probably sometimes in late 1973.
The single was also released for the Swedish market, and that particular edition featured the picture cover you can see at the top of this post.
By the way, according to the liner notes that accompaign the CD reissue of "Dick Jensen", the single was not released in late 1973 - as indicated on the labels - but in March 1974... I'm doubtful about this, but I may be wrong of course.
The single didn't chart, but it stands as one of the great lost singles of its era, especially with "New York City's a Lonely Town" as its B-side.
"Peace of Mind / New York City's a Lonely Town" Side A and Side B (Swedish edition)
Written by Gamble & Huff and arranged by Bobby Martin, "Peace of Mind" is a fine slice of joyful Pop containing all the elements that make a PIR recording so vibrant. Jensen adds soul to his performance; it's a lively recording that really demonstrate the singer and his golden pipes.
"New York City's a Lonely Town" was also written by Gamble & Huff, with a smooth arrangement by Norman Harris. This number is a real gem, a wonderfully soulful ballad that Jensen really sinks his teeth into. One of the many strengths of his voice is the passionate conviction in his delivery. He starts the song as if it were a lost mid '70s Elvis recording and ends it with a Levi Stubbs-like bellow. With a musical bed that would have made The Stylistics cry with glee, Jensen wraps his booming voice around the heart-breaking melody, turning the sweat of his performance into tears of loneliness.
"Peace of Mind (Mono)", included here as a bonus, was released on Side A of the promo version of the single, which omitted "New York City's a Lonely Town" in favour of the regular stereo version of "Peace of Mind".
"Peace of Mind (Mono) / Peace of Mind (Stereo)" Side A and Side B (promo only)
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:
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!