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Denise LaSalle Making A Good Thing Better (CD)

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(Westbound/Ace Records) 26 tracks The music that came out of Stax Records pretty much... more

Denise LaSalle: Making A Good Thing Better (CD)

(Westbound/Ace Records) 26 tracks

The music that came out of Stax Records pretty much defined the Memphis Sound throughout the 1960s. As the 70s dawned, the sound came to be redefined by records produced by Willie Mitchell down the road from Stax at Royal Studios. In 1971, two singles emanated from Royal that exemplified Mitchell’s new Memphis Sound and took it to the masses. One was Al Green’s ‘Tired Of Being Alone’. The other was Denise LaSalle’s ‘Trapped By A Thing Called Love’.

A groundbreaking record in its time, ‘Trapped By A Thing Called Love’ remains a defining example of what Southern Soul is all about. It took Denise to the very top of the Billboard R&B chart and made her an overnight success at the age of 30, after half a dozen previous 45s had failed to even nudge that chart. Even if Denise had never scored another hit, the record would have ensured her standing as a great of the genre.

Fortunately, Denise did place many other fine 45s on the R&B and Pop charts over the next few years. Although she hailed from Chicago (via Mississippi) and released her music on a Detroit-based label, Denise was a high-profile standard bearer for female Southern Soul throughout her prime chart time. For over five years, Denise’s hits were recorded for Westbound Records and all of them feature here on “Making A Good Thing Better” – surprisingly, her first-ever greatest hits compilation.

Denise released 12 Westbound singles, nine of which hit the R&B charts. In the wake of ‘Trapped By A Thing Called Love’, she hit the R&B Top 5 twice in succession with ‘Now Run And Tell That’ and ‘Man Sized Job’ and almost all of her other hit singles reached the Top 30 – a measure of how popular she was at that time. Although most of her Westbound sides were cut in Memphis, she also recorded in Muscle Shoals and, towards the end of her tenure, in Detroit, the city that gave Denise her final hit for the label with the sublime ‘Married, But Not to Each Other’, a classic of the cheatin’ songs genre. Wherever she chose to record, the end product always came out as superior Southern Soul.

Denise has long been overdue a singles compilation and we’re delighted to rectify that. All the tracks included here have been freshly mastered from the original Westbound production tapes. For those who want to hear Denise LaSalle at her best, singing hits that were all over the radio in the early 70s, it’s going to be an essential purchase.

By Tony Rounce

Article properties: Denise LaSalle: Making A Good Thing Better (CD)

LaSalle, Denise - Making A Good Thing Better (CD) CD 1
01 Hung up, strung out
02 Heartbreaker of the year
03 Trapped by a thing called love
04 Keep it coming
05 Now run and tell that
06 The deeper I go (The better it gets)
07 Man sized job
08 I'm over you
09 Making a good thing better
10 What it takes to get good woman (That's what it's gonna take to keep her)
11 Do me right
12 Your man and your best friend
13 What am I doing wrong
14 Don't nobody live here (by the name of fool)
15 Good goody better
16 Get up off my mind
17 The best thing I ever had
18 Trying to forget
19 We've got love [The good part about it]
20 My brand on you
21 Any time is the right time
22 Here I am again
23 Married, but not to each other
24 Who's the fool
25 Trapped by a thing called love
26 On The Loose
Denise LaSalle A Man Size Job Denise LaSalle hatte keinerlei Bedenken, sich deftige... more
"Denise LaSalle"

Denise LaSalle

A Man Size Job

Denise LaSalle hatte keinerlei Bedenken, sich deftige Geschichten auszudenken, schon 1972 nicht. A Man Size Job ist eine vom Memphis-Trompeter Gene 'Bowlegs' Miller spannend arrangierte, treibende musikalische Empfehlung, sich ruhig mit jungen Männern einzulassen. Die Band besteht aus der selben Hi Records Crew, die sich Denise von Willie Mitchell ausgeliehen hatte, als sie Bill Coday produzierte.

Als Denise Craig (manche Quellen behaupten als Denise Allen) am 16. Juli 1939 in LeFlore County, Mississippi, geboren und ab ihrem siebten Lebensjahr in Belzoni aufgewachsen, hörte sie die Country-Radiosendung 'Grand Ole Opry' genauso wie den R&B-Discjockey John R auf WLAC, bevor sie in den frühen 50er-Jahren nach Chicago zog. Denise wollte Autorin werden und hatte Talent fürs Songschreiben. Sie arbeitete als Kellnerin, als sie Billy 'The Kid' Emerson traf, der das Original von Red Hot bei Sun Records aufgenommen hatte.

"Billy Emerson kam regelmäßig in die Kneipe und trank dort fast jeden Nachmittag ein Bier", sagt LaSalle. "Als er mitkriegte, dass ich Songs schreibe, wollte er etwas von meinem Material hören. Er präsentierte es bei Chess Records, die mich daraufhin für ein Jahr unter Vertrag nahmen. Aus dem Vertrag mit Chess kam nichts raus, aber Billy Emerson nahm mich in die Clubs mit und stellte mich Musikern vor, und er ermutigte mich, zu singen und bei den Jam-Sessions mitzumachen. Bald erhielt ich Angebote als Sängerin für Bands, und die Dinge nahmen ihren Lauf."

LaSalle landete ihren ersten lokalen Hit 1967 mit A Love Reputation auf Emersons Tarpon-Logo. Sie gründete mit ihrem damaligen Ehemann Bill Jones ihr eigenes Crajon-Label, aber sie lizenzierten ihre Aufnahmen an Armen Boladians Westbound Records in Detroit. Denise spielte ihre Platten in Memphis mit Willie Mitchell ein, darunter ihren 1971er-R&B-Charttopper Trapped By A Thing Called Love. "Ich hatte mich in Chicago in Bill Jones verliebt und ich wollte einen Song darüber schreiben", berichtet LaSalle. "Als wir es in Memphis aufnahmen, schafften wir es beim ersten Versuch. Wir spielten es als ersten Take ein, der aufgenommen wurde." A Man Size Job (auf manchen Pressungen steht Man Sized Job, was noch anzüglicher klingt) entstand sogar noch spontaner.

"Ich war im Studio", erzählt Denise. "Wir brauchten noch ein paar Songs, um das Album fertigzustellen. Und ich saß einfach im Studio und wartete auf die Band, die eine Pause machte. Ich saß da und sang die Platte von den Staple Singers. Ich hatte wie immer einen Bleistift und einen Schreibblock in der Hand. Ich saß da und sang 'Get out the way and let the gentleman do his thing', diesen Song von den Staple Singers, 'Respect Yourself'. Und ich wiederholte das immerzu. Ich konnte mich an keine andere Zeile aus dem Song erinnern außer an diese eine.

Dann plötzlich wurde daraus 'Get out the way, let a boy do a man-size job'! Es kam wie aus dem Nichts! Es passierte! Und ich sagte 'Oh!' und schrieb es auf! Und dann dachte ich: 'Wie würde ich das sagen? Was würde mich dazu bringen, 'Get out the way and let a (boy) do a man-size job?' zu sagen? Dann musste ich mir ein Szenario ausdenken, in dem ich das sagen würde. Ich schrieb den Song. Als die Band von ihrer Pause zurückkam, rief ich einen jungen Mann herein, der fast von Anfang an auf meinen Platten gespielt hat, Michael Toles, der in Memphis ein sehr berühmter Musiker ist. Ich rief ihn, ich sagte: 'Michael, komm her! Ich hab hier was.' Und wir begannen, ein kleines Demo davon zu machen, gleich vor Ort im Studio, und arbeiteten eine kleine Akkordwechsel-Struktur dafür aus. Als die Band zurückkam, sagte ich: 'Hey Jungs, lasst uns das spielen!' Und wir gingen es an und nahmen es sofort auf. Es entpuppte sich als eine große Nummer."

A Man Size Job kletterte Ende 1972 auf #4 R&B und #55 Pop. LaSalle hatte noch einige weitere Hits auf Westbound und anderen Labels. Mitte der 80er-Jahre widmete sie sich bei Malaco ausgiebig dem Blues, wobei sie ihre direkte, oftmals anzügliche Ausdrucksweise noch stärker betonte.

 

Various - Electric Blues

Plug It In! Turn It Up! Vol.4 Electric Blues 1970 - 2005 (Deutsch)

Read more at: https://www.bear-family.de/various-electric-blues-plug-it-in-turn-it-up-vol.4-electric-blues-1970-2005-deutsch.html
Copyright © Bear Family Records

 

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Tracklist
LaSalle, Denise - Making A Good Thing Better (CD) CD 1
01 Hung up, strung out
02 Heartbreaker of the year
03 Trapped by a thing called love
04 Keep it coming
05 Now run and tell that
06 The deeper I go (The better it gets)
07 Man sized job
08 I'm over you
09 Making a good thing better
10 What it takes to get good woman (That's what it's gonna take to keep her)
11 Do me right
12 Your man and your best friend
13 What am I doing wrong
14 Don't nobody live here (by the name of fool)
15 Good goody better
16 Get up off my mind
17 The best thing I ever had
18 Trying to forget
19 We've got love [The good part about it]
20 My brand on you
21 Any time is the right time
22 Here I am again
23 Married, but not to each other
24 Who's the fool
25 Trapped by a thing called love
26 On The Loose