Monday, 12 October 2009
BRENDA HOLLOWAY: THE EARLY YEARS. RARE RECORDINGS 1962-1963
Brenda Holloway’s 1964 debut for Tamla, “Every Little Bit Hurts”, wasn’t the typical Funk Brothers thumper Berry Gordy was using to accumulate hits for his stable of artists, nor was it the swinging Sound of Young America as Holloway smoldered her way through a stirring piano and string drenched outpouring of aching adult soul. She was only 17 years old. The road to such an accomplished performance must’ve started somewhere and this new CD uncovers the road that’s long been dusted over.
Featuring all her pre-Motown material that crept out to little fanfare on a host of tiny West Coast labels plus some previously unreleased tracks, The Early Years reveals a journey that took in R&B duets, girl group pop, nursery rhyme novelties and, most memorably, a handful of tracks sounding the direct precursors of what was to come.
It’s mixed bag then but there’s some notable highlights: “Constant Love” and “Suddenly” have a Mary Wells feel about them; “Hey Fool” with its mid-tempo rolling sound and cutting R&B guitar break sounds made for current dance floors; the crackingly titled duet with Jess Harris “I Never Knew You Looked So Good Until I Quit You” could pass for an Ike and Tina outtake; and the strolling “Gonna Make You Mine” and the bouncing “I Told You Baby” being just couple of others on this well deserved and well put together compilation.
“The Early Years: Rare Recordings 1962-1963” by Brenda Holloway is released by Ace Records.