Among Kent’s most acclaimed releases are our two collections of Sam Dees’ mid-70s songwriter demos. Over those CDs, issued in 1995 and 1998, and some various artist compilations, 50 tracks were debuted. The recordings on this vinyl album are taken from those CDs, along with a taster from a forthcoming third volume.
The album is titled “Take One”, as these are the first incarnations of songs accepted as some of the most intensely intimate examples of the soul singer-songwriter’s art. Several were covered by other accomplished soul vocalists, including Loleatta Holloway, Ben E King and Margie Alexander, but the raw original takes have an equally alluring appeal. The previously unheard ‘Married, But Not To Each Other’ (not to be confused with the song of the same title recorded by Denise LaSalle) is a continuation of this simple, successful formula.
Ballads,Dees’ prime oeuvre, feature prominently. His performances on ‘Con Me’, ‘False Alarms’ and ‘Only Lonely People’ are as intimate as music can get. The social realism he was very much part of is represented on ‘Black Tattler’, and his subtle dance numbers include ‘Touch Me With Your Love’ and ‘I Know Where You’re Coming From’, while ‘The World Don’t Owe You Nothing’ is verging on the raunchy.
For soul fans who prefer vinyl, this LP is a godsend, while the brand new track alone is reason enough to purchase this thing of beauty.
By Ady Croasdell