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Charles Stepney - new recording (short but sweet)


mjazzg
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  • 2 months later...
On 3/23/2022 at 6:40 PM, felser said:

From the samples, I'm simultaneously in the "made quesy by it" camp and the "who does that" camp.  Don't know if I "like" it or not., but I do know I want to listen again.  Even the title is subversive.  Warwick never charted top 40 with 4 of the 11 songs, those were the Carpenters, B.J. Thomas, Jack Jones.  Clearly Bacharach/David, not Warwick, was the unnamed target.  And the arrangements both magnify and mock the originals.   Who does that, indeed.  We really need a Charles Stepney Chess Productions box set.

I agree with you. It sounds like they/Stepney were making fun of Bachrach/David songs. The out of tune whistling, the weak sounding vocal on Raindrops, The morbid sound on Planes. the cornball stops on a few of them, the weird ending on Alfie, the mocking (probably deserved) of the demeaning lyrics of Wives and Lovers, the overdone dynamics, the snide comments that went by pretty fast, and as you said, the fact that Warwick didn't even sing a bunch of those songs, and they called it "The Dells Sing Dionne Warwick's Greatest Hits". Even the record cover has them laughing, not smiling!

It's too much to be a coincidence. I wonder ho Burt took it? Hal David was already put down by some lyricists, but they were going after both of them here.The Dells got a new producer after this album...

Edited by sgcim
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Do you have factual backup for this, or is this just your impression?

I don't get any mockery out of it at all. Inspired wackiness, yes. Mockery, no.

The liners of the Dusty Groove (label) reissue posit that Stepney was a HUGE fan of Bacahrach-David (just as he was of The Beatles) and that the album had to be titled as it was because The Dells audience (i.e. Black) would NEVER accept them doing a tribute to Burt Bacarach. The notion was, they say, Stepney claiming his right to expand on this music just as much as he was ANY music, marketplace/racial barriers be damned.

Sorry, but absent any first-hand documentation that this was a put-on (and why the hell would it be?), I just can't buy it.

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I guess Rotary Connection was making fun of The Rolling Stones.

Not everybody should take LSD, and a lot of those who shouldn't do.

But those who shouldn't should stay the fuck out of the way of those who should and do. Two different worlds, those are. 

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22 hours ago, JSngry said:

Do you have factual backup for this, or is this just your impression?

I don't get any mockery out of it at all. Inspired wackiness, yes. Mockery, no.

The liners of the Dusty Groove (label) reissue posit that Stepney was a HUGE fan of Bacahrach-David (just as he was of The Beatles) and that the album had to be titled as it was because The Dells audience (i.e. Black) would NEVER accept them doing a tribute to Burt Bacarach. The notion was, they say, Stepney claiming his right to expand on this music just as much as he was ANY music, marketplace/racial barriers be damned.

Sorry, but absent any first-hand documentation that this was a put-on (and why the hell would it be?), I just can't buy it.

I guess like Felser, I was reading too much into it. With that info from the re-issue's liner notes, it does make more sense that it was just wackiness. If it had been like his work for Ramsey Lewis, all instrumental, the issue wouldn't come up, but Hal David's lyrics are so cornball, giving them a hip treatment just comes off as comical, trippy,satirical, whatever.

It's just hard to take the part where the Dells are going ba ba ba ba, and the lead singer is testifyin' in a gritty voice seriously. in a song like "Close To You".

I mean, WHO DOES THAT? LOL!

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2 hours ago, sgcim said:

I guess like Felser, I was reading too much into it. With that info from the re-issue's liner notes, it does make more sense that it was just wackiness. If it had been like his work for Ramsey Lewis, all instrumental, the issue wouldn't come up, but Hal David's lyrics are so cornball, giving them a hip treatment just comes off as comical, trippy,satirical, whatever.

It's just hard to take the part where the Dells are going ba ba ba ba, and the lead singer is testifyin' in a gritty voice seriously. in a song like "Close To You".

I mean, WHO DOES THAT? LOL!

Exactly! STEPNEY DOES THAT!!!!

Have you heard Rotary Connection's "Ruby Tuesday"?

The Dells... The Dells could sing "Knoxville Girl" and make it sound like an impassioned love song. I went on a Dells bender a while back and came away stunned, and never moreso than when Stepney was at the helm. 

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2 hours ago, JSngry said:

 

Have you heard Rotary Connection's "Ruby Tuesday"?

Incredibly, it got played on top 40 radio in Cincinnati when I lived there in the late 60's.  Pre-figured the later success of the Benedictine Monks, I guess.  If I had the Dells album I would play it through, at least once.  At this late date, I'm willing to seek out "interesting" instead of "safely good".  And yes. I think they were mocking the Rolling Stones, though perhaps affectionately.  Same with Bacharach on the Dells album, right down to the album title.  YMMV.

Edited by felser
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Hey, little girl,
Comb your hair, fix your make-up.
Soon he will open the door.
Don't think because
There's a ring on your finger,
You needn't try any more

For wives should always be lovers, too.
Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you.
I'm warning you.

You're telling me that Hal David warning women that they should behave like obedient little dogs is not dated and cornball.

Even Michael Bourne (RIP) put this one down on his radio show as hopelessly outdated and anti-feminist! LOL!

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Gotta look at the entire lyric for the whole story. Dated it certainly is, but cornball? Hardly. It's a perfect reflection of the new "Sex and the Single Girl" ethos. Hell yeah, there were girls at the office, and they had the pill if they wanted it. And men will always be men. 

Do you think Rob came home to Laura just out of a sense of moral obligation? And I bet that Millie kept Jerry in line with more than just her sass.

I bet there was a lot of fucking in New Rochelle in 1962 

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16 minutes ago, sgcim said:

They never showed the Petrie's bedroom, just that same freaking living room, where he trips over the furniture every week, so we can only assume the Petries were celibate throughout their entire marriage.

And the stork delivered Ritchie.

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They did show the Petrie's bedroom. More than once, actually. They slept in seperate beds, which is a sure sign they were fucking.

dvd-show-separate-beds-e1518596120100.pn

dick-van-dyke.jpg?w=1200&h=719

y'all need to watch more TV show.

mary-tyler-more.jpg

so hey:

what you don't learn from jazz, you can count on TV show & R&B to fill the gaps.

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Bob Bruno told me he used to play at a club in LA in the early 60's where MTM would be sitting right in front of him. Imagine Laura Petrie within touching distance for four hours! Rob was probably out doing Millie...

Bob Bruno told me he used to play at a club in LA in the early 60's where MTM would be sitting right in front of him. Imagine Laura Petrie within touching distance for four hours! Rob was probably out doing Millie...

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