Friday, August 03, 2007

It just might take all night..

James Bradley - I Can't Get Enough Of Your Love (1979, Malaco/Attic) | LINK TWO

Not a cover of the Barry White classic, but a great, understated soulful disco groove by what appears to be a little known soul singer named James Bradley. Apparently this track was off his self-titled and only(?) album for the venerable Malaco label (at the time distributed by T.K. Records in the US), which has what is possibly one of the most stereotypical, kitschy disco cover shots ever (afro: check!, no-nonsense moustache: check! shiny, glittery discotheque in the background: check! open shirt exposing thick tufts of chest hair: check!). Disco-fabulous on a budget, as I'd like to call it..

This particular song, released on a 12'' single, but tucked away on the B-side, is one of those classic instances where the B-side is so obviously a superior record to the A-side, you wonder what the label was thinking putting it out like that. Being 1979, perhaps they thought even an extended, albeit mediocre disco single would do better than a stellar, more R&B styled track? Whatever the case, in my opinion, the inferior A-side, "I'm In Too Deep," has got to be one of the more tedious, gimmicky, uninspired disco workouts that I've heard in a while. It manages to go on for some 8 or so minutes, yet seems to have little to show for it aside from a flat arrangement and some interesting, albeit clichéd synth touches..

Flipping it over however, after the overwhelming tedium of the A-side, hearing the the soft, elegant hi-hat, and those oh-so-beautiful introductory guitar notes of "I Can't Get Enough of Your Love" is, quite appropriately, music to the ears. Relegated to the B-side probably because it wasn't the sort of straight-ahead, energetic disco typical of the time, but instead, one that straddled the boundary between R&B and disco; it can probably be described as something of a throwback to the earlier days of 'disco as danceable R&B'. Effortlessly easing into it's mellow groove, with it's instantly catchy beat and melody, Bradley's vocals riding on top of it all; that combination of melodic beauty, captivating rhythm and all-out soul would have likely made this an excellent 5 A.M. disco sleaze staple back in it's day..

While James Bradley may not have been the most well known name out there, the writer and producer of this record, Frederick Knight, would probably be much moreso. For those who might not be familiar, Knight was the producer behind none other than Anita Ward's damn-it-if-you-just-can't-resist-it disco mega-hit "Ring My Bell." In addition to that, Knight also had some success as an artist in his own right, recording an album for the Stax label, which included a 1972 top-10 US R&B hit "I've Been Lonely For So Long." Although not quite as successful; In 1981, Knight would also release an 'answer' to "Ring My Bell" under his own name entitled "Let Me Ring Your Bell Again," along with at least two other albums under his own name in the late 70s and early 80s ("Let The Sunshine In" and "Knight Time," respectively)..

Not sure what ever became of James Bradley, but evidently Frederick Knight is still around, having racked up production credits right up into this decade (at least, according to the All Music Guide). As well, Knight's Juana label, distributed by T.K. in the late 70's and once home to artists like Anita Ward and The Controllers, is still operating, albeit as a largely Gospel-focused label these days..

Aside from a few signature production touches: those little cowbell hooks, for instance; this record may not instantly resemble the bouncy, addictive "Ring My Bell," although it's yet another, albeit much less acknowledged (and perhaps less gimmicky), moment of brilliance on his part.. With Bradley's full and soulful vocals conveying just the right amount of romantic passion and vulnerability, put together with a breezy, sensual call-and-response with the female back-up, those rhythmic hooks, great guitar work and sax; it all makes for four minutes and thirty seconds of easy, groove-riding ecstasy. It's almost too good to be on the same disc as the A-side. Just one of those things that makes it all worthwhile..





Anonymous said...

I love this blog! I especially love how you post whenever you feel like it, but always deliver great quality. It makes each post that much more special! I'm STILL hooked on Southern Exposure. Looking forward to your next 'release'. Thanks again for all the great music!

Tommy said...

Hey jmsweetie, no problem at all! Thank you for the kind comment, I really appreciate it! :) I feel a bit guilty sometimes for not posting as much as some of the other blogs do, but I always try to deliver quality when I do, so thanks again for the kind comment! :)

Anyway, that reminds me, I'm well overdue for another actual Disco Delivery installation. So I really hope to get started on that soon..

Unknown said...

Post your Updates @ Totally Fuzzy


If you would like to publish your updates on the Totally Fuzzy blog, you can do so yourself now by posting the updates as a comment on this page.

Just letting you know ;)



PS: please update your link to fuzzy to the new one.. you still got the olod one up .. thanks

Tommy said...

Hey Mephisto,

Thanks for linking me and letting me know! :) I just corrected the link to Totally Fuzzy..

Thanks again for the reminder! :)

Matt said...

Loving this one Tommy. A great find, and as always, a very informative post.

Tommy said...

Thanks Matt! :) Glad you enjoy it! Thanks also for the link on I Love Okra, just linked you back.. :)

BoogieMan said...

This is a smooth, mellow, groove. I went to grammar school with a James Bradley but, I don't think it's the same guy.LOL Can't say I'm too familiar with this guy though. This is a great, lazy afternoon, relax on the lounge in my backyard, tune. Oops, I forgot my Iced Tea.8)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the extra time to post that priceless cover.

The track is a great find too. Class as always.

Tommy said...

Hey DungeonDJ, thanks for the comment! :) Yeah 'James Bradley' is a bit of a common name, so unfortunately I couldn't come up with too much info.. I'll have to get his album sometime though, just to see what it's like. Anyway, I love the mellow groove on this one, too.. Thanks again DDJ :)

Thanks for the comment, Tay! :) When I found the pic of his album cover, I knew I had to reference it somehow haha.. Anyway, thanks again for the comment and for the link on your blog! :)

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