Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lost Soul: Barbara Jean English


The second in a series of soul classics that have fallen through the floorboards







I’m betting most of you will know I’m Living A Lie, a cracking 100mph Northern floorfiller – if you don’t, it’s available on a number of compilations – but the b-side of the UK issue on Contempo, Key In The Mailbox, is equally worthy of your attention.

This piece of sweet despair from 1972, like much femme soul, is no advert for feminism – you know why her key’s in the mailbox? “In case he should come by and the door’s locked” – but in terms of quiet drama, blind devotion and despairing, string-swept heartbreak, Key In The Mailbox has all the passion, fervour and intensity you could ask for.

2 or 3 quid should see you secure this record. Amazing.

5 comments:

Simon said...

That's a bloody great tune! Thanks for that! Back when I first got into soul, especially the rarer stuff, there's was absolutely no way I could have gotten hold of some of the things I can now.

All that stuff about downloading and torrents killing the music industry aside, the amount of rare and deleted music you can hear online is fantastic. There are songs getting a whole new audience (even if it's only a handful of blog readers in my case) that would never be heard again probably if record companies past history is anything to go on.

Lovely!

FireEscape said...

The quantity and standard of soul music that's not been re-issued is very high. One thing I've noticed is young relatives of old soul singers posting comments on, for example, youtube saying how thrilled her aunt is that people are playing and loving the song she made in 1967...
Due to unscrupulous publishing deals, a lot of the artists would make no money if their work was re-issued. But recognition that you made something great that has stood the test of time and is making people happy today - that must be worth something.

ally. said...

the amount of reissues on dusty groove is astounding these days - just about everything you could ever want - i wonder where the audience for all this obscure soul vinyl has come from ?

brogues said...

Flippin' flippers ... what a voice! I confess that when I heard the intro I was thinking that it was ok but not pacey or zesty enough for me. Then I heard the voice and was floored. Cheers for shining a light on her!

FireEscape said...

Ally - there's a healthy number of reissues, possibly fuelled by fans of new acts that are influenced by classic soul. Also, bear in mind that there's a massive market who used to buy records that sampled these type of records. That type of hip hop has long gone, but the craving for those old sounds, by listeners not samplers, remains.

Nothing on my wants list of old 7s is available at Dusty Groove, but there's many a tempting old soul album there.

Brogues - you'll love the a-side, I'm Living A Lie, which is very pacey. Happy hunting...