Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Something Silver by LABELLE
Something Silver by LABELLE
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Best kept secret about the amazing Labelle
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To most people perhaps, Labelle had one major hit ("Lady Marmalade") in the mid-70s and that was about it. They broke up after two follow-up albums to "Nightbird" because they didn't catch fire and amidst internal squabbles about the musical direction they should be taking. Patti Labelle went on to become a superstar to the supperclub crowd in the 80s and 90s, Nona Hendryx realised her true ambition when she ventured off in the direction of black rock and funk and fell in with New York's hip music making crowd, while Sarah Dash surfaced sporadically with an occasional album but declined into relative obscurity. But what's unknown to all but Labelle's serious fans is that even before "Lady Marmalade", Patti, Nona and Sarah had already discarded their 60s girl group image and transformed themselves into "something silver" in the 3 years or so preceding "Lady Marmalade". Or that during this time, they made three criminally neglected albums that were commercial failures few knew about and none would remember and that's why "Something Silver", drawing on some key tracks from these three lost albums, is such a revelation.Listening to this great compilation album makes you realise what a powerhouse these three ladies were when they were simply Labelle. Produced and managed by Englishwoman Vicky Wickham, they dabbled convincingly with rock material by the Who ("Won't Get Fooled Again"), the Rolling Stones ("Wild Horses") and Cat Stevens ("Moonshadow"), covered Laura Nyro ("Time And Love") but more significantly started recording their own material. Nona Hendryx was the main writer in the group and it is on her songs that Labelle produced their best work during this time. Unlike most 60s girl groups which had only one featured lead singer, Vicki's concept of Labelle was about three distinct personalities, so Sarah and Nona were either distinctly audible or had their own solo spots in any given song. The magical blending of their three separate voices is simply unbelievable. My own personal favourites are "Shades Of Difference", "I Believe That I've Finally Made It Home", "Sunshine (Woke Me Up This Morning") and "(Can I Speak To You Before You Go To) Hollywood". The opening track, "Something Silver/The Revolution Will Not Be Televised", from their "Pressure Cooking" album, is also a stunner. It broke new ground. While "Labelle" and "Moonshadow" (recorded for Warner) are now separately available on CD, somebody should coax RCA into reissuing "Pressure Cooking" on CD too. It is possibly the strongest of the three early Labelle albums. "Something Silver" is an inspired compilation and a must for all soul music lovers. To my ears, we lost a great and progressive black vocal group when Labelle split up in 1976. While Patti, Nona and Sarah went on to do some excellent stuff on their own, none rivalled the freshness and vibrancy of their 70s recordings as a group, including material from "Phoenix" and "Chameleon", their two equally underated post-Lady Marmalade albums."
Something silver worth its weight in gold.
Yiannis Psaroudis | soho, ny | 01/18/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"not enough people realize that patti labelle existed before her duet with michael mcdonald. in fact, "existed" is too weak a term. with a career spanning four decades and a number of incarnations, no artist is doing anything (artistically) today that patti labelle has not done at some point. in the 1970s, the space-aged funky divas of labelle epitomized glam rock while shocking the world with frank musical discussions about love, war, racism and sex. labelle marks a decidedly dramatic departure from the groups former incarnation of patti labelle and the bluebelles, and was something the likes of which nobody had ever seen. on _something silver_ some of the group's best tracks are compiled, providing a musical narrative of their remarkable career. patti, of course, is fierce and benefits greatly from the powerful back-up vocals of dash and hendryx. while lady marmalade may be their most well-known hit, "forgotten" gems such as "runin' out of fools/if you gotta make a fool of somebody" are welcome additions to this collection and separate it from others."
Fantastic Rock and Soul fusion!
Marc200 | Los Angeles, CA | 07/11/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unlike anything you are likely to hear nowadays, Labelle's "Something Silver" captures the best from their early 70's recordings when they liberally fused Rhythm & Blues, Rock , Funk and Politics. Patti Labelle has never sounded better than when Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash were at her side. CD features a funky cover of Cat Stevens' "Moonshadow" and a tender version of the Rolling Stones'"Wild Horses". The best tracks are those penned by group member Nona Hendryx: the rousing "Sunday's News",the bluesy "If I Can't Have You", and the highlight of the whole affair is the gospel-inflected "I Believe That I've Finally Made It Home" (one of my all-time favorite songs). A classic!!!!"