Friday, 14 December 2018
Gladys Knight & The Pips - Neither One Of Us (1973)
Released March 1973
After seven impressive but underrated years with Motown, Gladys Knight & The Pips decamped to Buddah Records. This was their last official studio album for Motown (late in 1973 the label released "All I Need Is Time", made up of unreleased material). It is a good album, with excellent sound quality as well. It was a shame Motown never seemed to push the group forward as much as they may have done. All the material they recorded for Motown was of high quality.
1. Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)
2. It's Gotta Be That Way
3. For Once In My Life
4. This Child Needs Its Father
5. Who Is She (And What Is She To You)
6. And This Is Love
7. Daddy Could Swear, I Declare
8. Can't Give It Up No More
9. Don't It Make You Feel Guilty.
The title track is a classic and needs no introduction, with superb vocals from both Gladys and The Pips. "It's Gotta Be That Way" is a supreme soul ballad of the style that would be so successful in subsequent years. Lovely bass and orchestration on it. Gladys has always been great at interpreting other Motown artists' songs (and all artists for that matter), and she does it here with a slowed-down, soulful cover of Stevie Wonder's "For Once In My Life". "This Child Needs Its Father" is a socially aware, Temptations-style slow piece of "message" funk/soul. The vocal is once again top notch.
Bill Withers' "Who Is She (And What Is She To You)" is covered in full, bassy, kick posterior funky fashion. Great stuff. "And This is Love" is a heartbreaking, muscular, punchy soul number which again delivers a solid message. "Daddy Could Swear, I Declare" saw Gladys in full-on funky attack in praise of her pugnacious father. It is three minutes of pounding soul. "Daddy couldn't read, daddy couldn't write, but one thing he could do right was swear... Lord have mercy....". You tell 'em how it was, Gladys. "Can't Give it Up No More" is another wonderful slice of classic seventies soul. "Don't It Make You Feel Guilty" ends the album and says goodbye to Motown with another high quality slow tempo soul groove. Things would get better and better for Gladys Knight in the next few years. This album should be viewed as up there with the best of her seventies work.
- December 14, 2018