Now THAT'S a title. Honestly, I so wish I was a teen in the sixties. You got to gloom along to the highest-quality pop-soul instead of the early 90's alt.rock that was de riguer in my tender years.
The Exciters are one of the most enduring of the 60's "girl" groups (there's one boy in there). No matter how polished the production was, they remained overwhelmingly vital thanks to the harsh vocal power of Brenda Reid, their main singer. They found mucho favour on the Northern Soul circuit, but I think their stuff is substantially more individual than a lot of the platters on offer in that scene.
"Run Mascara" is about a boy who knows how to hurt and make the tears flow, but gives just enough sweetness to keep Brenda in love. Your classic emotionally-abusive relationship. You would think with a voice like hers Brenda would just wallop him. Or shout at him. That'd shut him up.
Musically it races fast, with the other group members yelling to keep up with the breakneck speed. An outstanding few minutes.
from the single Run Mascara (Columbia DB 7606) available on CD - Something To Shout About! (Sequel)
An incredibly light and gentle bossa nova track with an impeccable, delicate arrangement. Originally released on the "Stiletto"-Soundtrack, it's due to compiler Toru Hashimoto's excellent work on the "Cafe Apres-Midi" series that this gem didn't fade into obscurity.
from Stiletto (Columbia) available on CD - Cafe Apres-Midi - Rose (Sony)
10 Jun 04 ·tapler: Sid Ramin was a phenomenally talented arranger and orchestrator. His old RCA LPs exhibit his imaginative approach to big band music.
This 1974, 12-minute electric-jazz masterpiece starts with an attractively sexy, slinky soprano melody and sneakily mutates into blistering solo sections played at a blinding tempo. Recorded before the word "fusion" became a tag for a tired genre this track comes from the seminal album, Headhunters. If you have ears for Hancock's cool Fender-Rhodes shadings and the Headhunter's blazing rhythmic kinetics this could be the very strongest music of this period. Harvey Mason drums brilliantly, forging new rhythms that are peculiarly unique to this recording. I don't know where he comes up with this shit; brilliantly inventive, his energy is unflagging set amidst ascending levels of white hot, mercurial tempo. Paul Jackson plays electric bass with concentrate funk phrasing, his coolly repeated ostinato line is a satisfying compliment to the hyperactivity of the chattering drums and clavinet. The track builds and as it sheds its skins each level is slightly more intense. This is a great record, ignore all the amateur web critics and get this track now!
Note: Many people seem to prefer the sequel album THRUST with the decent Mike Clark on drums. I wish it was as good or better than HEADHUNTERS but it is not.