Thursday, 13 December 2018
Gladys Knight & The Pips - Silk 'N' Soul (1968)
Released in 1968
This is an excellent album of covers of other artists' soul/Motown songs from the rapidly developing, but still contemporarily underrated voice of Gladys Knight. Recorded in excellent Motown stereo sound (for 1968), it is an eminently listenable album. Gladys makes every song her own, to an extent. They are not just note-for-note covers, far from it.
1. I Wish It Would Rain
2. The Look Of Love
3. Goin' Out Of My Head
6. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'
7. Theme From "Valley Of The Dolls"
8. Baby I Need Your Loving
10. The Tracks Of My Tears
11. You're My Everything
12. Every Little Bit Hurts
The Temptations' "I Wish It Would Rain" is marvellously soulful, and features a big, rumbling bass underpinning the whole thing. Gladys's Aretha/churchy soulful vocal is sublime. "The Look Of Love" is sumptuous, of course, and has become one of her best known songs. "Goin' Out Of My Head" is upbeat, horn-driven and slightly funky, while The Beatles' "Yesterday" is given a soul makeover. "Groovin'" also becomes quite funky, while "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" has a bit of a Latin feel in its intro, and Gladys's vocal is awesome, as it is too on Smokey Robinson's "The Tracks Of My Tears". The Temptations' "You're My Everything" and The Four Tops' "Baby I Need Your Loving" are both excellent too.
As I said, this is a really enjoyable album, with great sound and Gladys's voice is just superb throughout. She got a bit of a rough deal from Motown. At this time, she was firmly in Diana Ross's shadow. For me, she was by far the better singer.
- December 13, 2018