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In lieu of Wilson Pickett's recent passing and the fact that I haven't put up any male singers yet, I decided to put up some selections from his little-recognized 1979 "I Want You" album.. To be honest, I'm not so familiar with his big hits, but last week at the record store, out of curiosity, I bought this LP. I figure since it was from 1979, there had to be some disco on it, and there was.. I'm not sure how it compares to his other work, but for an album that doesn't seem to have been paid much attention, I can honestly say it's really good, at least on it's own terms. It's another one of those albums where you can listen to both sides straight through without lifting the needle. Can't talk about the album without mentioning his voice.. While his recording career seemed to be in decline at this point, that soulful, gritty and passionate voice was full and intact. Side A was the R&B side and it's really there where his voice is front and centre; some really great ones on this side like "I Want You," "Shameless" and "Live With Me" which was written by Pickett and Don Covay. Side B was the disco side and all three tracks on side B are posted up here. "Groove City" is probably my favourite, love the combination of the light synths with his nitty-gritty voice, also love that roll-call of American cities.. "if you're in Miami, Philly or New York City.. don't worry.. even in Detroit, Atlanta GA, or LA".. "Superstar" is great too, a little more on the funk side of things, love the bass on there; for whatever reason though it reminds me of another song which I can't quite put my finger on.. The last one, "Granny" well, probably not the best name for a disco song, but hey, it's got a pretty great groove "...if my grandma could see me now, she would swear I'm craaazy!..." I just wish I knew what those background singers were saying..
Ironically this is also my first Can-Con disco posting. For those of you who don't know, it's basically lingo for Canadian Content and the quotas we have for it up here, albums with any significant Canadian content have these "MAPL" symbols on them showing the amount of Canadian involvement.. It was one of the other things that interested me about this LP since I wouldn't have expected to see all these Canadian Content symbols on the album of a US soul legend, but I suppose it qualifies since it was recorded with a Canadian producer (Andre Perry) with Canadian musicians (Jean Roussel, Walter Rossi..) and in a Canadian studio (Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec), so a little trivia there for you all..
I also included one of the R&B tracks off the album - "Shameless," I think this one shows off the best parts of his voice very well; that rough, soulful style he had.. Anyway, this is my little tribute to Wilson Pickett's legacy. I hope to get some of his earlier stuff and also his "Funky Situation" (1978, Big Tree) LP, which also had some disco on it from what I've heard. Enjoy these for now..
WILSON PICKETT - I WANT YOU LP @ DISCOGS
WILSON PICKETT OBITUARY IN THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE
WILSON PICKETT OBITUARY IN THE GUARDIAN
WILSON PICKETT ALBUM REVIEWS @ ROBERTCHRISTGAU.COM
CATEGORIES: DISCO DELIVERIES, CAN-CON DISCO, IN MEMORIAM..