Search - Lee Dorsey :: Yes We Can (Mlps)

Yes We Can (Mlps)
Lee Dorsey
Yes We Can (Mlps)
Genres: Pop, R&B
Japanese limited edition issue of the album classic in a deluxe, miniaturized LP sleeve replica of the original vinyl album artwork.


CD Details

All Artists: Lee Dorsey
Title: Yes We Can (Mlps)
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Universal Japan
Original Release Date: 1/1/2007
Re-Release Date: 11/5/2007
Album Type: Import
Genres: Pop, R&B
Styles: Oldies, Funk, Soul
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 4988005491336


Album Description
Japanese limited edition issue of the album classic in a deluxe, miniaturized LP sleeve replica of the original vinyl album artwork.

CD Reviews

"Yes We Can" (from Japan)
J P Ryan | Waltham, Massachusetts United States | 01/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've reviewed at least two other compact disc editions of Lee Dorsey's 1970 classic, "Yes We Can", first released as a Polydor LP. The most readily available and inexpensive version on CD as of this writing is the Australian Raven label's 2005 edition, which adds two non album Polydor single sides from 1972 and 1973, plus Dorsey's next and final full length recording, "Night People" a quite different album released by ABC in 1978, at the height of the disco era. Dorsey's warmth and presence translate easily to Allen Toussaint's slicker production and the album suggests Al Green if the Memphis soul giant recorded with Allen Toussaint (circa 1978) more than Tavares or the Bee Gees. There are fewer, and longer, songs (eight), and even fewer gems - yet Dorsey's warmth, as well as his laconic, hip, conversational vocal persona, survive intact. As for "Night People's" predecessor, "Yes We Can" may have come out eight years earlier, but it's the work of a very different era. The album was recognized by the few who heard it, and remains something very special, one of the truly enduring soul and funk albums to be released in the '70s. In terms of material, arrangements, production, musicianship, and Lee Dorsey himself, his voice betraying fewer of the gospel influences that informed so many '60s soul stars, instead developed a style and vocal persona that was full of warmth, wry intelligence, and an irony that never undercuts his disarming warmth and humor. The material shows the Dorsey/Toussaint collaboration at their best and most adventurous. Toussaint once again utilizes some of the best musicians from New Orleans' vast talent pool, including The Meters. The record didn't sell a lot, but half the songs became hits they were covered by The Pointer Sisters, Ringo Starr, Robert Palmer, and Little Feat, among others. This lovely new Japanese edition is packaged as a replica of the oiginal LP, in a sturdy cardboard miniature cover (and the original graphics have not been reproduced in any other CD reissue - I recognized the author of brief liner note on the back cover, Janis Shacht, as "Circus" magazine's record reviewer more than 30 years ago). The Japanese remastering is superb, detailed and warm, which surprised me. I had expected a straight repackage of Polygram's long out of print set from 1993 "Yes We Can...and Then Some", which until now offered more Polydor material than the Raven set or any other CD: 11 out of the album's original 12 tracks (resequenced), plus a superb assortment of rarities. The Japanese edition happily restores all 12 tracks in their original order. Bonus material includes four Polydor singles issued shortly after "Yes We Can", during 1971 - 73, every one a gem, as well as three previously unissued tracks recorded during the Polydor period. Finally, the set offers two marvelous songs from Dorsey's brief stay at Smash several years earlier(1963), one of them never issued. These were recorded with the A.F.O. All-Stars, during Toussaint's stint in the service.
Toussaint's settings are always appropriate and inspired, and the material - hear 'Riverboat', with an irresistable drum pattern that evokes, well, a riverboat chugging along, and Dorsey's vocal - wary and knowing - perfect for the hard won wisdom and perserverance expressed in Toussaint's lyrics. 'Gator Tail' is James Brown funk with a New Orleans attitude and sax solo from (it sounds like) Gary Brown. The lyrics on this album are, unsurprisingly, some of Toussaint's most socially concious (it WAS 1970) but they are also personal, sometimes angry or melancholy, yet understated. Dorsey's vocals are full of wisdom and committment, so these songs (specifically the title track and 'Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further') never seem dated the way more labored material dealing with such topics often can. The bonus cuts are just as good, from a creative rearrangement of Ray Charles' 'Lonely Avenue' and the sunny, infectious charm of 'A Place Where We Can Be Free' to the bitter, dark, unhurried classic that was Dorsey's last single for Polydor, 'On Your Way Down'. Check the snarling lead guitar that appears near the end of 'If She Won't (Find Someone Who Will', which was issued as a single in 1971 along with one of Toussaint's famous compositions, 'Freedom For The Stallion'. Niether Dorsey (who was 43 when "Yes We Can" was released) nor Toussaint (who would have been 32) were kids when they made these recordings, and the combined intelligence, maturity, and generosity that went into the songs, performances, and production make for a rich and powerful collection. Like my most enduring favorites, this gets you through both good times and bad.
This Japanese reproduction improves on the 1993 Polygram set thanks to superior mastering and restoration of the original album's running order. The nine bonus tracks make an already classic album essential for anyone interested in New Orleans r&b/funk, or simply timeless music. The Japanese edition is also more comprehensive than the 2005 Austrailian edition released by Raven. (For die-hard fans I should mention a new budget priced collection, "Funky As I Can Be" (2008) that unearths two more early-'70s tracks, Little Walter's 'My Babe' and the Chuck Willis ballad 'What Am I Living For' as well as three unreleased tracks from the early '60s and three live tracks from Dorsey's 1980 performance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival). Finally, the late Lee Dorsey's best album certainly deserves to be released in his and Toussaint's own country, in a Deluxe Edition (maybe there are a couple more gems in the vaults, right?). If you become addicted to this set, track down the two Sundazed-label expanded editions of Dorsey's two Amy albums, "Ride Your Pony" (1965 - 68) and "The New Lee Dorsey" (1966 - 70), which now gather all of the Toussaint-produced Dorsey recordings issued during their five years with the Amy label, where Lee scored some of his biggest hits, plus a brace of Dorsey/Betty Harris duets and a few gems discovered in the vaults.
Until that long overdue domestic edition of "Yes We Can" is released, however, pick up this beautifully produced limited edition. You won't be sorry. It's one of those records I can't get sick of - richly allusive, funky, soulful, smart - and Dorsey's vocals are always a pleasure, disarming, idiosycratic - utterly original yet unmistakeably of New Orleans."