Wednesday, 12 February 2014

“Get It While You Can – The Complete Legendary Verve Sessions” by HOWARD TATE. A Review Of The 2007 Hip-O Select CD Reissue.

This review is part of my "SOUNDS GOOD: Exceptional CD Remasters Soul, Funk & Jazz Fusion" Download Book available to buy on Amazon to either your PC or Mac (it will download the Kindle software to read the book for free to your toolbar). Click on the link below to go my Author's Page for this and other related publications:


“…Yes They Told Me…To Watch Out For You…”

Some Soul singers garnish a reputation that borders on the hysterical – Luther Ingram, James Carr and even white boy Eddie Hinton spring to mind – and Macon Georgia’s Howard Tate is one of them. His album came into existence in 1967 – was reissued in 1969 with a slightly different track running order and then (like him) disappeared into virtual obscurity for nearly 30 years. But luckily for us – up steps Harvey Weinger at Hip-O Select who has saved the day and these fabulous torch-Soul sides for posterity. Here are the coiffured down-home details…

US released March 2007 as a numbered limited edition CD of 5000 – “Get It While You Can – The Complete Legendary Verve Sessions” is on Hip-O Select BB0002210-02 and its 29-tracks break down as follows (74:55 minutes):

Tracks 1 to 10 are his debut album “Get It While You Can” – it was released April 1967 on Verve V-5022 (Mono) and Verve V6-5022 (Stereo). The STEREO mix is used here (as all the singles represent the Mono variant). 

Side 1: 1. Ain’t Nobody Home 2. Part-Time Love 3. Glad I Knew Better 4. How Blue Can You Get 5. Get It While You Can 
Side 2: 6. Baby, I Love You 7. I Learned It All The Hard Way 8. Everyday Have The Blues 9. How Come My Bulldog Don’t Bark 10. Look At Granny Run Run

Tracks 11 and 12 are “Stop” and “Sweet Love Child” - two STEREO tracks that were added onto the February 1969 reissue LP on Verve Records V6-5072 (it also had different artwork which is on the first page of the booklet). The photos above are the artwork for the first and second sleeves (the first is the artwork to this Hip-O Select CD).

Tracks 13 and 14 are “Ain’t Nobody Home” and How Come My Bulldog Don’t Bark” – the A&B sides of a June 1966 USA 7” single on Verve VK 10420 (Mono)

Tracks 15 and 16 are “Look At Granny Run Run” and “Half A Man” – the A&B sides of a December 1966 USA 7” single on Verve VK 10464 (Mono)

Tracks 17 and 18 are “Get It While You Can” and “Glad I Knew Better” – the A&B sides of a March 1967 USA 7” single on Verve VK 10496 (Mono)

Tracks 19 and 20 are “Baby, I Love You” and “How Blue Can You Get” – the A&B sides of a May 1967 USA 7” single on Verve VK 10525 (Mono)

Tracks 21 and 22 are “I Learned It All The Hard Way” and “Part-Time Love” – the A&B sides of an August 1967 USA 7” single on Verve VK 10567 (Mono)

Tracks 23 and 24 are “Stop” and “Shoot ‘Em All Down” – the A&B sides of a December 1967 USA 7” single on Verve VK 10573 (Mono)

Tracks 25 and 26 are “Everyday I Have The Blues” and “Night Owl” – the A&B sides of a June 1968 7” single on Verve VK 10604 (Mono)

Tracks 27 and 28 are “Sweet Love Child” and “I’m Your Servant” – the A&B sides of a November 1968 USA 7” single on Verve VK 10625 (Mono)

(Bonus) Track 29 “Give Me Some Courage” is an alternate mix first issued in 1995 on the Mercury Chronicles CD set “Get It While You Can: The Legendary Sessions”. It is freshly mixed for this CD.

Hip-O Select have used a favorite remaster engineer of mine – SUHA GUR. He’s had his hand in many great Soul reissues (especially on the Motown front) and received unanimous praise for them all. The sound is fantastic – punchy, present and full of sock-it-to-em emotion. It’s housed in a three-way foldout card digipak and is numbered in Gold to 5000 on the rear. The 20-page booklet has contributions from long time fan Harvey Weinger and musical associate, mentor and album Producer Jerry Ragovoy. It also reproduces the original liner notes from both issues of the album and well as track-by-track annotation.  

Most white boys like me will know “Get It While You Can” and “Look At Granny Run Run” from Janis Joplin and Ry Cooder (both songs penned by the dynamic duo of Jerry Ragovoy and Mort Shuman). “Get It While You Can” got soul-rocked on Janis’ Joplin’s sublime “Pearl” album in 1971 while Ry Cooder did a furiously funny version of “Look At Granny Run Run” on his fabulous Americana “Bop Til You Drop” album in 1979. Even Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper and Stephen Stills covered “Stop” on their wicked Blues Rock album “Super Session” in 1968.

I love the huge feel of the STEREO album – tracks like “Glad I Knew Better” sound just amazing – instruments and his aching Little Richardesque vocals leaping out of the speakers (lyrics from it title this review). Both “Stop” and “Sweet Love Child” added on in 1969 only made an already perfect album even better.

I have the “Howard Tate” album he made on Atlantic in 1972 on the “Atlantic Soul Legends” 20CD Mini Box Set issued in 2012 (see separate review) that is a cracker as well.

Unfortunately this CD quickly sold out and in 2014 has built up a hefty price tag – but this is one of those occasions where spending the wedge is worth it.

Beautiful stuff and one of the reasons why Hip-O Select is held in such affection by Soul fans and collectors…

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