Friday, November 23, 2012

Claudia Lennear "Phew!" (1973)

I got my hands on Claudia Lennear's "Phew!" album from 1973, but left it sitting in the crates for a long time before I finally took it out and dug through it (thanks to my Knicks getting their asses handed to 'em by Houston). The first side is a failure with absolutely nothing for me to use, but then I flip it to side 2 and go bananas! I will definitely be twisiting in chops from at least these 4 songs:

From A Whisper To A Scream
Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky
What'd I Do Wrong
Goin Down (Reprise)

When I heard "From a Whipser to a Scream" I immediately thought it would be a great song for Erykah Badu to cover with her own unique styles. Same sort of flava with that gritty soul and emotion...I think Badu would blaze this record.

I've used Lou Donaldson's version of "Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky" in a handful of my mixtapes before, but now I HAVE TO chop Claudia's version in too.

Once I heard the funk and soul of her voice I hit google to learn a little more about Claudia who was once an Ikette behind Ike and Tina Turner. She was also the inspiration behind the Rolling Stones hit "Brown Suger" (1971) and David Bowie's "Lady Grinning Soul" (1973). After checking both of those records I will most likely be twisting elements of both into a mix at some point too. My favorite highlight is the fact that she was in Playboy - that's a bonus (see below)

Side 1 was produced by Ian Samwell, but with nothing for me to work with at all. Side 2 was produced entirely by Allen Toussaint with a whole new group of musicians and a brand new funk compared to side 1. Warner Brothers blew it with the labeling and should have flipped side 1 and side 2. Even more so with the fact they never rolled another album behind Claudia Lennear. Regardless, keep an ear open for Claudia Lennear chops twisted into my mixes.

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