Esther Phillips

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inspired by hearing this song earlier:

memo from norv turner (omar little), Thursday, 19 February 2009 23:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

memo from norv turner (omar little), Thursday, 19 February 2009 23:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

memo from norv turner (omar little), Thursday, 19 February 2009 23:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

Search: all the Kudu albums, except maybe Capricorn Princess.

Andy K, Thursday, 19 February 2009 23:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

Definitive version, that.

King Boiled Potato (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 19 February 2009 23:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yes! She is one of my favorite singers... the entire Alone Again,Naturally record is great... there's an excellent cover of Bill Withers' "Use Me" on that...

weekend goodtime (The Brainwasher), Thursday, 19 February 2009 23:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

Her version of The Beatles' "And I Love Her" is perfect:

weekend goodtime (The Brainwasher), Thursday, 19 February 2009 23:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

they really should make a movie about her life - starring Viola Davis! Or Fantasia...

weekend goodtime (The Brainwasher), Thursday, 19 February 2009 23:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

weekend goodtime (The Brainwasher), Thursday, 19 February 2009 23:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

Thanks, these are great

curmudgeon, Friday, 20 February 2009 02:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

I recently scoped out her C&W record, which is nice. Alone Again, Naturally isn't my favorite Esther Phillips record, though; I guess she does OK with the title track and with Withers' "Use Me," but what I like better are "Let's Move and Groove" and "Cherry Red." I also love "Cheater Man," a Penn/Moman song from her Atlantic period, compiled on Atlantic Unearthed: Soul Sisters. I still gotta track down the rest of the Kudu records; what say on which one's the best?

whisperineddhurt, Friday, 20 February 2009 02:21 (nine years ago) Permalink

From A Whisper To A Scream is generally considered the best

weekend goodtime (The Brainwasher), Friday, 20 February 2009 02:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

i would suggest 'from a whisper to a scream', which also seems to be the toughest one of those to track down for some reason (at least on lp)

xp!

memo from norv turner (omar little), Friday, 20 February 2009 02:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

Christgau's good on soul records generally, and he actually gives From a Whisper a B only. "Creed Taylor proves a thankless producer..." he says but points out the adventurous material. Too bad Esther Phillips couldn't have worked with Toussaint himself. For the Dean, the best Esther Kudu LP is Black-Eyed Blues, '73. Burnin' and Performance Xgau gives B-plus. On Mercury, '77 (she sure cranked 'em out), also B-plus is You've Come a Long Way, Baby. I believe actually almost all these are available on CD in twofers or however, and I'm gonna check right now to see exactly.

whisperineddhurt, Friday, 20 February 2009 17:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51VWVsZaMFL._SS500_.jpg

^^^^Killer disco album. And that cover!

retrovaporized nebulizer (â•“abies), Sunday, 6 December 2009 00:54 (eight years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

Dinah Washington + Billie Holiday + Nina Simone + Aretha Franklin = Esther Phillips. I just started listening to her a month or so ago, and have been obsessed. Here's how I'd rate what I've heard so far:

1972 From A Whisper To A Scream
1973 Black-Eyed Blues
1972 Alone Again (Naturally)
1974 Performance
1975 What A Diff'rence A Day Makes
1976 For All We Know
1976 Capricorn Princess
1970 Burnin'
1963 Release Me

The only one I own is Alone Again (Naturally). The rest I've heard through MP3s. I missed my chance at getting From A Whisper for $14 on Amazon, when the price shot up to $25. Dusty Groove just got the CD in for <a href=http://www.dustygroove.com/item.php?id=5pz5qbbr8y&ref=browse.php&refQ=kwfilter%3Desther%2Bcapricorn%26amp%3Bincl_oos%3D1%26amp%3Bincl_cs%3D1>;Capricorn Princess</a>, which I'll pick up. I don't know if it's a reissue, and if the others will become available or not. For Atlantic years, there's The Leopard Lounge Presents Esther Phillips: The Atlantic Years (Rhino, 2006), but the 1997 Rhino comp The Best of Esther Phillips (1962-1970) has many more tracks, but perhaps too many.

Fastnbulbous, Thursday, 23 September 2010 16:59 (seven years ago) Permalink

Dinah Washington + Billie Holiday + Nina Simone + Aretha Franklin = Esther Phillips. I just started listening to her a month or so ago, and have been obsessed. Here's how I'd rate what I've heard so far:

1972 From A Whisper To A Scream
1973 Black-Eyed Blues
1972 Alone Again (Naturally)
1974 Performance
1975 What A Diff'rence A Day Makes
1976 For All We Know
1976 Capricorn Princess
1970 Burnin'
1963 Release Me

The only one I own is Alone Again (Naturally). The rest I've heard through MP3s. I missed my chance at getting From A Whisper for $14 on Amazon, when the price shot up to $25. Dusty Groove just got the CD in for Capricorn Princess, which I'll pick up. I don't know if it's a reissue, and if the others will become available or not. For Atlantic years, there's The Leopard Lounge Presents Esther Phillips: The Atlantic Years (Rhino, 2006), but the 1997 Rhino comp The Best of Esther Phillips (1962-1970) has many more tracks, but perhaps too many.

Fastnbulbous, Thursday, 23 September 2010 16:59 (seven years ago) Permalink

only Esther I lack is her last one, Good Black Is Hard to Crack, and one of her disco albums from just before that. And the Atlantic stuff. Otherwise I've heard the Little Esther material, all the Kudu albums, the Atlantic live album, the one called Confessin' the Blues. Performance may be the sleeper of the bunch; I rate Black Eyed Blues over From a Whisper, and her version of "Don't Let Me Lose This Dream" is just as good as Aretha's, altho totally differently conceived. Some of the disco/funk-lite shit, with Beck, is a bit superfluous, but all in all, she's great.

ebbjunior, Friday, 24 September 2010 01:29 (seven years ago) Permalink

So Capricorn Princess was issued by Reel Music in June - http://myreelmusic.com/CD/Capricorn.html

It's an odd choice, given the more undisputed classic Black-Eyed Blues remains out of print. Hopefully they'll do that and maybe Performance next, rather than For All We Know!

ebjunior, would you rate any of her Mercury albums, like You've Come A Long Way, Baby, over her last couple Kudu albums? If not, I might not bother with those.

Fastnbulbous, Friday, 24 September 2010 20:44 (seven years ago) Permalink

actually, Black Eyed Blues is in print and available thru amazon; I bought a copy from them about a year ago. It's the CTI remastered series edition w/ extra track. As for the Mercury albums, in a way, I do think they're better than the last Kudu albums. Esther was suited for disco.

ebbjunior, Saturday, 25 September 2010 23:31 (seven years ago) Permalink

I love her gay-disco version of 'what a difference a day makes'

they sell FUCKTONS of records! (m coleman), Sunday, 26 September 2010 12:25 (seven years ago) Permalink

Paul Williams of Reel Music said about Capricorn Princess, "I totally agree with you about this not being one of Esther's highlights, but it was one for which we received a lot of requests and surprisingly enough, it had not been out on CD before."

Actually the great song-by-song commentary of A. Scott Galloway's liner notes made me appreciate the album more than before.

Example, his three long paragraphs just on "Candy":

"Candy" is a song that has had a long sweet life. Penned by Mack David, Alex Kramer and Joan Whitney, and first recorded for Capitol in 1945 by Johnny Mercer with singer Jo Stafford...[gives it's long history]

...Then as the great Eric Gale ushers her up to the first verse with sweet-weepin' blues licks that he all but owned in his too-brief lifetime, Esther proceeds to wear you OUT with a masterfully modulated performance of the song that'll have you signifyin' back to your stereo speakers, "Sing it Esther!" The man is too good to be true...and she makes you feel all the emotions that go with that - from suspicion to elation. Kudos are in order to arranger Alfred "Pwee Wee" Ellis for backing Esther so exquisitely here. His laidback rhythm and horns cushion Esther's every vocal free fall. It is the one song on Capricorn Princess that was lifted from an earlier unused session (likely Alone Again, Naturally[ or Black-Eyed Blues). Like many sharp record producers of the day, Creed held back a couple gems from particularly fruitful sessions for a rainy day. He reached back for this one one he knew this would be Esther's last album for the label. Esther closes the song so damn deliciously she'll have you hittin' rewind.

"Don't get no sweeter," she demands at "Candy"'s close. "I don't wanna have to go to my doctor, you know what I mean, and have her tell me I got sugar diabetes from weigh witcha and lovin' you and huggin' you, Candy / I'm gonna be alright the day, Candy / I make you mine... MAKE YOU MINE / Make you miii-yiiahhh-ah-ine / AhAhAhAhhalll Miiliiliiliine..."

There's disco cuts on it, but also more soulful sides. Not being a huge disco fan, I'm still dubious about the Mercury albums.

The King Japanese imports from 2003 are available, though the Amazon price for For A Whisper jumped from 18 to $28 recently, as I noted before. The others are $19 to $23 counting shipping, except What A Diff'rence, which is cheaper.

Fastnbulbous, Sunday, 26 September 2010 13:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Just watched her last night on the 1966 tv program The !!!! Beat. Wow, what a unique voice. She with Etta James, Little Milton and others on that program doing Ray Charles "What I'd Say" was awesome

curmudgeon, Saturday, 8 September 2012 15:23 (five years ago) Permalink

five years pass...

holy SHIT

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Thursday, 12 April 2018 01:09 (three months ago) Permalink

the way she sings "i don't love you anymore" to open her version of "release me" is all-time

dyl, Thursday, 12 April 2018 02:55 (three months ago) Permalink


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