Monday, 25 May 2009

“Patches/The Dynamic Clarence Carter” by CLARENCE CARTER. A Review of the USA 2000 Collectables label CD covering his 4th/2nd album for Atlantic.

"…That Was Another Place…And Another Time…"

Here's the breakdown (69:56 minutes):

Tracks 1 to 12 make up the stereo LP "Patches" his 4th album issued October 1970 in the USA on Atlantic SD-8267 and Atlantic 2400 027 in the UK

Tracks 13 to 24 are the stereo LP "The Dynamic Clarence Carter", his 2nd album, issued March 1969 in the USA on Atlantic SD-8199 and Atlantic 588 172 in the UK

[His 1st album, the December 1968 "This Is Clarence Carter" and his 3rd album, the August 1969 "Testifyin'" also for Atlantic Records are available on another CD]

To date there's been a 1993 Rhino best of set called "Snatching It Back", some Sequel reissues of the 4 albums in the UK about 1997 and the recent 2007 compilation "Platinum Collection" from Warners/Rhino Europe (basically a slight re-run of "Snatching It Back"). What makes this Collectables USA reissue from 2000 so desirable is the SOUND - it's SUPERB - far better to my ears than any of the others. It doesn't say where or when it was remastered - but the sound 'is' markedly better...

This is odd because Collectables have never had the best of reputations for either packaging or sound - but when I A/B the wonderfully slinky "That Old Time Feeling" or "Two Weak To Fight" with the 1993 Rhino issue for instance - the sound on this 2000 version is twice as good - clearer and basically more punchy. The other point to note is that the 2 Best Of sets include only 5 tracks out of the 24 here - so there's a lot to discover on this CD - ace Sixties/Seventies Atlantic soul all of it.

The slip of an inlay reproduces the liner notes of each of the original LPs and the rear inlay provides session details for both albums - Duane Allman played guitar on "Dynamic" - Travis Wammack on "Patches - stuff like that.

Highlights include his great cover of Tony Joe White's "Willie And Laura Mae Jones" (issued as the B-side of "It's All In Your Mind" in the UK in January 1971 on Atlantic 2091 045) complete with his trademark chuckle after the lyrics (title above). The backing vocals are provided by Donna Rhodes and Charles Chalmers on that track - they also wrote the cool and funky "Look What I Got" on "Dynamic". "C.C. Blues" and "The Road To Love" are his own compositions and are superb too - especially the slow soulful blues of "C.C." A lesser-known soul man called Obie McClinton penned the lovely "Let Me Comfort You" and "Your Love Lifted Me" (he also penned tunes for James Carr). Another highlight is Carter's funked-up cover version of Jimmy Hughes' hit "Steal Away" - it's so clear now too - drums, keyboards, brass - fabulous stuff.

So much on here to treasure and enjoy - a wicked little reissue really. And with its tremendously clear sound - big time recommended.

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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