Friday, 28 August 2009

Billy Preston “Encouraging Words”

Billy Preston

Encouraging Words
( LP Apple Records, 1970 )
Catalog # ST-3370

Record One
A1. Right Now
A2. Little Girl
A3. Use What You’ve Got
A4. My Sweet Lord
A5. Let The Music Play
A6. The Same Thing Again
B1. I’ve Got A Feeling
B2. Sing One For The Lord
B3. When You Are Mine
B4. I Don’t Want You To Pretend
B5. Encouraging Words
B6. All Things Must Pass
B7. You’ve Been Acting Strange

Record Two
Bonus Track
A1 – As Long As I Got My Baby
B1 – All That I’ve Got (I’m Gonna Give It to You)

Celo’s Note:
Original vinyl rip

Encouraging Words was about as fine an album as Apple Records ever issued by anyone who wasn’t a member of the Beatles, and it’s also better than many of the Apple albums issued by the ex-bandmembers; but it’s also among the most obscure of any album that the label ever issued by a major artist without a hit single to drive its sales, the LP never did more than brush the very bottom of the charts, and it was quickly lost amid the financial collapse of the label and the implosion of the Beatles’ business ventures; even many Billy Preston fans never had a chance to find out it was there, obscured as it was by his subsequent chart success with “Outta Space” on the A&M label. A bold and searing effort mixing gospel, soul, and rock sounds about as well as any record cut that year, Encouraging Words lived up its killer musical pedigree, partly an offshoot of the evolution of the Let It Be and All Things Must Pass albums, and of sessions that Preston and George Harrison had produced for Doris Troy; but it also picked up where Preston’s playing for Ray Charles had left off in 1968. The surging, soaring blues “The Same Thing Again,” and the driving rocker “You’ve Been Acting Strange,” both Preston originals, were worth the price of the album, but for those requiring familiar fare, Preston’s renditions of “My Sweet Lord,” “All Things (Must) Pass,” and “I’ve Got a Feeling” are here too, the first two as stunning gospel numbers (the second with some gorgeous jazz and classical embellishments) that make the Harrison versions seem pallid; and the latter a delightfully funky rendition that makes the Beatles’ recording sound like a classy demo; and for truly, delightfully strange sound amalgams, “Sing One for the Lord” manages to couple soaring gospel with some loud lead guitar and a piano part derived from Tchaikovsky (at least according to the annotator — this reviewer would have said Grieg). [A reissue from the early '90s, which may be slightly easier to find, came with two bonus tracks, the Doris Troy collaboration "All That I've Got (I'm Gonna Give to You)" and the previously unreleased, formerly lost B-side "As Long as I've Got My Baby." They're great additions, but they also only enhance a record that was well nigh perfect on vinyl.]
By Bruce Eder (AMG)

By Celo

1 comment:

peppe barra 'o animale said...

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