SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing The Turning Tide cd by PP Arnold

THE TURNING TIDE   PP ARNOLD  (Kundalini Music)

This year marks the 50th anniversary of PP’s career in the music business and of a remarkable talent. Classic Rock recently remarked ‘is PP Arnold the most overlooked soul singer of all time?’. In a word as far as I’m concerned a huge yes! Everybody remembers the early classics that established PP in the late Sixties ‘The First Cut Is The Deepest’ ‘Angel Of The Morning’ If You Think You’re Groovy’ and my favourite ‘The Time Has Come’. All recorded for Andrew Loog Oldhams Immediate Records. However when Immediate folded in 1969 all went quiet. But PP was far from inactive. The next phase of PP’s career should have been the album that is now finally seeing the light of the day in The Turning Tide. The story is a long and complex one but i’ll condense it as much as possible. Jim Morris assistant to big time impresario and manager of the Bee Gees Robert Stigwood suggested introducing PP to Barry Gibb. PP had already recorded Gibbs ‘To Love Somebody’ on her second album the marvellous ‘Kafunta’. Keen to work together PP and Barry entered the studio and put down 10 tracks, eight of which appear hear. Then owing to the Bee Gee’s heavy commitments the sessions didn’t get completed. Stigwood then arranged for PP to tour and open for Eric Clapton on his tour with Delaney and Bonnie.Eric was so impressed with PP he needed no urging to go into the studio and lay down another 3 tracks (all covers) which added to the previously recorded 8 became The Turning Tide album. All good, no, for inexplicable reasons these tracks then sat on shelves mired in industry and record label politics for the next four decades until now. PP was naturally heartbroken that these recordings never got a hearing and went on a mission to redress this. Of course in the intervening years she continued to work solidly, solo, and with a host of others, notably, Beatmasters, Roger Waters and Ocean Colour Scene. But that ‘lost’ solo album which would have maintained her continuity remained unreleased. In 1998 Steve Cradock (Ocean Colour Scene) produced a great single for PP in ‘A Different Drum’ and it is Steve and wife Sally with additional help that have now, after a great deal of work, sorted out all the legalties and mixed and finally got the album ready for release on October 6th. Now we can finally enjoy that ‘lost’ album in all its glory and glorious it is. The power and soul of PP’s voice captivates from the get go. I mentioned earlier Clapton produced 3 covers and The Turning Tide kicks off with Traffics ‘Medicated Goo’ which PP makes her own in the way Aretha did with Respect. She also pulls it off with Blood Sweat and Tears ‘Spinning Wheel’ and The Stones ‘You Can’t Always Get What you Want’ to great effect. The title track a huge ballad is ‘classic’ PP with emotion oozing from every line, the bluesy/gospel of ‘Children of the Last War’ is another sure fire winner. For me the crowning track has to be the Gibb penned ‘Bury Me Down By The River’ a gospel performance that is simply stunning in its power and range that truly shows PP at her finest, its epic and worth buying the album for that alone. It might have been a long wait but God its worth it.

To coincide with the albums release PP’s autobiography ‘The First Cut Is The Deepest’ is being released by St. James Publishing shortly and she is touring the UK this month and October. She will be appearing at The Ropetackle in Shoreham on October 29th. Don’t miss the chance to be there! And in conclusion next year will see the release of a new album (produced by Steve Cradock) currently being mixed including a new version of ‘I Different Drum’. Much to look forward to for Pat and all her many fans.

For more information go to http://www.pparnold.com

Til next time……..Colin

Percy Sledge dies aged 74

Percy_Sledge_1974_touring

photo: Gene Pugh http://www.flickr.com/photos/gtpugh/5118503811/in/photostream/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-32301435?ocid=socialflow_facebook

Jim Breeds… Another one down

Andy Qunta… RIP

Andre Martin… A very sad day- RIP Percy

Jane Hartley… 2 in 2 days, not good.

Alan Esdaile… this is very sad news. R.I.P.

Pauline Sims… RIP Percy.

Julie Findlay-Jones… Oh no, sad sad news R.I.P

Carol Ann Bolton… We are at that age where Facebook is like an obituary page. 🙁

Colin Bell… Wrapped in Warm and Tender Love now R.I.P

Jim Breeds. warm & tender love, Great song!

Mick O’Dowd… Sad loss of yet another soundtrack of my generation. Saw him at The Aquarius ( I think) and was only a small man with a big voice.