Saturday, June 16, 2012

Womack Comeback

Bobby Womack, the iconic soul and R&B artist -- and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer -- released his first album of new material in almost twenty years.  On The Bravest Man in the World, Womack collaborates with Damon Albarn and XL Recordings' Richard Russell in what NPR's Ann Powers describes as less elegiac than "another step in the fascinating dance of someone who will keep kicking until he can kick no more."

Powers recommends that "anyone who discovers Womack through this fresh start should go back and explore his many other lives and resurrections; one of American music's feistiest survivors, he's brought the world plenty of trouble and delight."

I would start off with Womack's 1968 cover of The Mamas & The Papas' California Dreamin':

Pitchfork has dug into the archives to "revisit some visual highlights from the man's 50-plus-year career."  Here's what they came up with:  (1) Communication, performed on Soul Train in 1971; (2) Across 110th Street, from 1972, heard here on the opening sequence of Quentin Tarantino's 1997 film Jackie Brown; (3) Lookin' For A Love, originally a hit in 1962 when Womack and his brothers were The Valentinos.  This version is from 1974, with three of his four brothers; (4) I Wish He Didn't Trust Me So Much, from 1985; and last, but definitely not least, (5) an acoustic version of (If You Don't Want My Love) Give It Back, a 1971 song performed with Gorillaz in 2010.

OK.  Now we're ready for the new one.


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