Tuesday, December 16, 2003

So, Paul and I've got new mondo server space, which means more mp3s from me, yay! Until year's end, then, I'm going to have a separate section of special Christmas downloads (more on those shortly), so tonight am putting up "regular" weekly downloads. To wit:

How fucking incredible is Timmy Thomas' 1972 single "Why Can't We Live Together?" And why had I never heard it until yesterday?! It was covered by Sade on their '85 debut, Diamond Life, but don't let that put you off (love me some Sade, can't stand the cover). For 1972, this is, I'm increasingly thinking, an incredibly avant-garde record - it's so freaking minimalist! A rhythm track which sounds like a proto-Casio preset, some organ riffing, and Timmy's sad, plaintive voice giving us a simple "why can't we all just get along?" sentiment 20 years before L.A. burned. Amazing.

Timmy Thomas pops up on Joss Stone's phenomenal debut, The Soul Sessions, as well, which this 16-year-old from Devon, England recorded with and under the auspices of most of the old T.K. Records posse (including, most notably, Betty Wright). Thomas plays organ on the record, but the reason to stand up and cheer is the voice Stone possesses, along with her sheer confidence. She already knows not to sing five notes when one will do just as fine. Marcello's said she's the best British soul singer since Dusty Springfield, and he may well be right - and she might yet be even (shock and awe) better. The song featured here is her gender-flipped cover of the White Stripes, retitled "Fell In Love with a Boy." Stone takes it from a dirty Detroit garage to the Stax studio circa '69, and the transformation is truly impressive.

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