Thursday, 23 February 2017
February #2: Used Soul
Last week's Kenny Gamble post made me realise just how infrequently I post old soul tunes on this blog... which is odd, considering soul makes up a sizable chunk of my record collection. It's probably because soul songs tend to be (not exclusively) about more traditional songwriting topics (love, heartbreak, loneliness, listening to grapevines, et. al.) than my usual more oddly themed Top Tens. Anyway, I decided to try and redress the balance a little, and where better to start than one of my favourite old soul stars...?
When I worked in radio, there was a DJ who used the same gag whenever he played a record by this artist. "It never stopped being hilarious."
"How do you turn a parrot into a soul singer?"
"Put it in a microwave until its bill withers."
I have great respect for Bill Withers though. Beyond the obvious hits, he also produced some lesser-known gems and great albums throughout the 70s. Then, after being messed about by CBS for years, he grew tired of the music industry in the mid-80s and packed it in altogether He's not recorded or performed since, and I'm not sure what he's up to these days, but I'll always be grateful for songs like this one...
2. Bill Withers - Use Me