Jackie Ross “Selfish One” (Chess 1903, R&B#4 Pop#11, 1964)
One of my favorite uptown soul songs of all time, and one of the best selling of the genre was Jackie Ross’s first single for Chess Records. Patterned after Mary Wells’s Motown style, but borrowing the element of elegant Strings that appeared consistently on Brill Building work by Maxine Brown and Dionne Warwick, this fusion (although it can be said that Juanita Williams “Baby Boy” was the first song in this style) was so influential that it influenced songs as different as Brenda Holloway’s version of “When I’m Gone” Dusty Springfield’s “Some of Your Lovin’” and Edwin Starr’s “S.O.S (Stop Her On Sight)” (Check the the intro to the last one, it’s virtually identical to “Selfish One”).
Released in the fall of 1964, in the absence of Mary Wells, it rocketed to the R&B Top five, #1 in some regions like Jackie’s home base of Chicago, and barely missed the Top 10 pop listings. Unfortunately this auspicious start was fumbled: for whatever reason all of her follow-ups barely made the bottom of the Hot 100, and she exited Chess for Brunswick in 1966, but never restored the luster of her debut hit.
Though I imagine the lesbians have separated, but remain connected through their activism
TBH I really wanna see Jason spread his wings in another vibrant gay community out of manhattan. Like he’s just not a manhattan type I think. But it wouldn’t be an easy transition at all because of the support system they had developed at home.
“Citizens of The Pitt, workers of Downtown, traders of Uptown, and all fierce souls who do what must be done! I bring you good news! We stand at the dawn of a new golden age. Where others merely survive, we thrive!”
On this day in music history: October 8, 1980 - “Dirty Mind”, the third album by Prince is released. Produced by Prince, it is recorded in Uptown (Wayzata Home Studio) in Wayzata, MN and Hollywood Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA from May - June 1980. After having his first taste of mainstream success with his self-titled second album, Prince takes a stylistic left turn by recording an album of raw, stripped down funk and rock songs on a 16-track multi-track recorder set up in his home studio on Lake Minnetonka. At first, Warner Bros Records are taken aback at the sexually explicit lyrics of tracks such as “Head” and “Sister”, but eventually agree to release the album after the raw tapes are remixed by Prince and engineer Mick Guzauski. The track “Partyup” is co-written by Prince and his friend and former high school band mate Morris Day, and is the catalyst for Prince putting together the band The Time around Day. Initial pressings of the album also carries a disclaimer sticker on the front to advise those of its explicit content. Though sales wise it is much less successful than his previous release, the album and the subsequent tour in support of it attracts the attention and universal praise from the rock press helping to widen his fan base beyond his core R&B audience. It spins off two singles including “Uptown” (#5 R&B, #101 Pop) and the title track. Initially selling around 300,000 copies at the time of its release,
the album eventually reaches Gold status in the US less than one week before the release of “Purple Rain” (the soundtrack) in June of 1984.
The album is reissued on 180 gram vinyl by Warner Bros’ Rhino Records reissue division in 2011. “Dirty Mind” peaks at number seven on the Billboard R&B album chart, number forty five on the Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
01. I Want You Back / 02. Teenage Dream / 03. Bad / 04. Glad You Came / 05. Somewhere Only We Know / 06. Live While We’re Young / 07. Blackbird / 08. Whistle / 09. Bills, Bills, Bills / 10. Help! / 11. When I Get You Alone / 12. Animal / 13. Raise Your Glass / 14. My Dark Side / 15. Uptown Girl / 16. Hey, Soul Sister / 17. Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? / 18. My Sharona / 19. Smooth Criminal / 20. Silly Love Songs / 21. Misery / 22. Candles / 23. What Kind Of Fool / 24. Sing / 25. Stand / 26. All You Need Is Love.
This was inspired by the complete lack of ideas for this prompt, volleyball games I’ve played, and a desire to write a fluffy-ish college au because I absolutely love those, and procrastination. And of course, “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars.
When Maka Albarn meets Soul Evans, he’s snarling by himself to no one in particular and emanating a don’t-look-at-me vibe, but she decides that his eyes are too dreamy
to admire from afar and soon she’s crossing the gymnasium and dropping down
beside him, folding her legs and grinning.
Betty Harris “It’s Dark Outside” (Jubilee 5465-B, 1964)
As the veil parts, we pack away Daylight Savings Time. We trade dark mornings with sunrises approaching 8 am in some parts of the United States for dark evenings where the sun lowers below the horizon before many of us leave our offices and shifts and we float like live ghosts into darkened worlds in search of dinners, decompression and companionship.
It won’t be dark 24 hours of the day like the heartbreak Betty Harris sings about. But seemed appropriate as we make that shift into darker, introspective days as we start bringing together what has been a turbulent year for many of us to reach back in introspection what we’ve lived through, properly grieve the losses and be thankful for those moments that we’re still here, and have plenty of things to hope and wonder for.
The sun does shine again, even after thunderous ends of B-sides of uptown soul.
Taylor Swift may have won 2014, but it’s a week into 2015 and she’s already been upstaged. Music purists will be happy to hear why: Swift has been ousted by Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars and the return of soul music.