“Listen – Lulu – Dirty Old Man – MP3″
“Listen – Lulu – Feelin’ Alright – MP3″
Welcome to another week here at the Corners Sixteen, wherein the grooves just keep on coming.
The tunes I bring you today come to you via an artist that many of you (aside from those with Mod/R&Beat credentials) might find puzzling. The singer, a much bigger star in the UK than she was over here (save for ‘To Sir With Love’) is the one, the only – or as Alexei Sayle referred to her in the ‘Young Ones’ – “the Lulu”.
Though she is best known for the song mentioned in the previous sentence, those that are hep to her work before (and after that) will be aware that Lulu always had a strong vein of R&B running through her catalog (her first hit in the UK was a version of ‘Shout’).
The finest example of this is the album she recorded in Muscle Shoals in 1970, ‘New Routes’. Backed by the mighty Muscle Shoals house band, and a young fella by the name of Duane Allman, Lulu laid down a hot, soulful album with a grip of excellent performances of some familiar songs and a couple of tunes by Eddie Hinton (who also played on the session).
Funk 45 heads might very well be familiar with the first song here, via another cover by Irene Reid on the Old Town label. Written by Delaney Bramlett (and as far as I know first performed by Delaney and Bonnie), ‘Dirty Old Man’ may not have the edge of the Reid version, but Lulu does and excellent job, and the backing by the Stompers – especially Barry Beckett on the electric piano – is as always, superb.
‘Feelin’ Alright’ is as close as the late 60s rock era has to a ‘standard’, having been recorded countless times by a very wide variety of performers, including Grand Funk, Gladys Knight, Joe Cocker, Lou Rawls and David Ruffin (and of course the OG by Traffic, featuring it’s composer Dave Mason). The Lulu version leans heavily on the horns, with a very solid foundation of Alabama grit underneath the vocalist’s Glaswegian soul.
I hope you dig the tunes, and I’ll be back midweek with something funky.