September 18, 2005


Apparently, Patti Labelle tore it up sanging The Pretender's beautiful STAND BY ME at the World Music Awards. (I missed it, but I've heard her cover this on her new album, the boringly titled CLASSIC MOMENTS.) She insisted on doing a song from her new album, which is being poorly promoted by her new label. My sources tell me that after slaying the crowd, her label head approached her saying--as if he were hearing it for the first time-- "Great song!" and Patti replied "IT'S ON MY ALBUM!" So you see, even a legend with a 40 year career has to second-guess their label heads. And anybody who watched Gladys Knight tearing it up on the BET Awards recently know that new-school soul divas have nothing on the old-school soul divas. Sorry Beyonce, Ciara and Amerie, but I doubt if anyone will be wanting to see y'all singing a medley of ballads in 30 years, which is how long ago Gladys hit with IF I WERE YOUR WOMAN, NEITHER ONE OF US, and MIDNIGHT TRAIN TO GEORGIA. Y'all are cute with a beat and a smoke machine, but I defy any of you to kill with a show-stopping ballad. Beyonce, remember the Tony's that one year?

Anyhoo, CLASSIC MOMENTS has some great tracks on it, but also some misses. AIN'T NO WAY with Mary J is one of the misses. And Patti, I hate to say it cuz I give you points just for resurrecting these chestnuts, but SILLY should have been left for songbird Deniece Williams and you haven't topped The Jones Girls' version of YOU GONNA MAKE ME LOVE SOMEBODY ELSE either. (I am fascinated that Patti changed the first line of YOU GONNA... from "I ain't DID nothin' to ya" to the (I suppose more acceptable/classy "I ain't DONE nothin' to ya. I guess that makes the lyric a little more proper. Unlike Alicia Keys, who changed Gladys's IF I WERE YOUR WOMAN to IF I WAS YOUR WOMAN to make it more street.) But then again, if you don't know the originals then Patti's new versions may be a treat. This is one heifer I'll give the benefit of a doubt to. I guess she is just trying to snatch a little of the success other artists like Rod Stewart have had with cover albums. At least she does soul classics instead of those wretched, worn-out standards.

But George Benson's exquisite LOVE BALLAD is turned into a heavenly slow jam and Rose Royce's plaintive LOVE DON'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE is everything that you'd hope for from the most dramatic of divas. (Didn't Madoodoo attempt to cover this a while back?) But the corker is I KEEP FORGETTING. I know you may consider this muzak, but it's good enough muzak for the Neptunes to sample on their second album. Patti's voice soars over this down-tempo funk--OK, muzak/funk. And the last track is not as widely known, but definitely worth discovering. Fags will know it from Kristine W's first album LAND OF THE LIVING, and Kristine duets with Patti here. The electro/house-y flavor of the original is replaced with an Incognito-like uptempo acid jazz with YES! a dramatic key change which modulates the track into a frenzy. Also worth checking out: DIDN'T I (BLOW YOUR MIND THIS TIME).


Blogger Chris Krakora said...

I'm loving that Kristine W. cover as well.

If there was any justice this album would be getting major airtime on VH1. Of course these days VH1 more resembles the E! Channel with better graphics rather then the music channel it started out to be. No wonder that Patti's label doesn't know how to promote the album right with these industry types running around.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe it's Stand By You, not Stand By Me. Correct me if I'm wrong.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Lady Bunny said...

BUSTED AGAIN! I'll change it!--thanks! And I love Chris's comment about VH1. --B

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miss Patti sang Stand By You on Good Morning America a week or so ago as part of their "songs for relief" series or whatever the segment is called. She started whooping and hollering and crying so much by the end of the song that the hosts and studio audience almost drowned her out with cheers and applause. Knocked my ass right outta bed.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Lady Bunny said...

Sorry I missed that one! --B

10:50 PM  
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