Friday, 29 June 2018

"The Fame Singles Volume 2 – 1970-73" by CLARENCE CARTER (October 2013 Ace/Kent Soul CD Compilation of Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...


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"...If Samson Had Kept His Head..."

I love Clarence Carter to pieces – have done for decades - his 60ts Soul was the utter business - and in 2018 still is. But this second CD volume from Ace Records of the UK of Carter’s 7” singles for Fame Records will test even the most ardent fan - because like him or not - there is some truly awful crap on here. Let’s get details out of the way first...

UK released 28 Oct 2013 - “The Fame Singles Volume 2 – 1970-73” by CLARENCE CARTER on Ace/Kent Soul CDKEND 407 (Barcode 029667240727) is a 22-Track CD Compilation of New Remasters and plays out as follows (65:17 minutes):

1. Patches [Mono]
2. Say It One More Time [Mono]
3. It’s All In Your Mind
4. Till I Can’t Take It Anymore
5. The Court Room
6. Getting The Bills (But No Merchandise) [Mono]
7. Slipped, Tripped And Fell In Love
8. I Hate To Love And Run
9. Scratch My Back (And Mumble In My Ear)
10. I’m The One
11. If You Can’t Beat ‘Em
12. Lonesomest Lonesome
13. Back In Your Arms [Mono]
14. Holdin’ Out (On My Baby)
15. Put On Your Shoes And Walk
16. I Found Somebody New [Mono]
17. Mother-In-Law
18. Sixty Minute Man [Mono]
19. I’m The Midnight Special [Mono]
20. I’ve Got Another Woman [Mono]
21. Love’s Trying To Come To You [Mono]
22. Heartbreak Woman [Mono]

Collectors will note that many of these American 45s were issued in MONO – so they are making their CD debut here. But for me the compilation doesn't really pick up until nearly 9 tracks in when "I Have To Love And Run" on Atlantic 2818 comes to save the day. The duet with CANDI STATON on "If You Can't Beat Us" is not bad either (lyrics above). But then we get schlock like "Lonesomest Lonesome" where he literally uses "crying into my cornflakes" as lyrics. Oh dear...

The booklet with liner notes by DEAN RUDLAND is the usual classy presentation from Ace and the sound quality of the remaster by NICK ROBBINS is superlative - I just wish the listen was as joyful as Volume 1 - instead of being a chore.

Unless you're a fan of his 1970's fall from grace - I'd look for the first 3 albums from 1968 and 1969 instead. "This Is" (Amazon reference B008PVDA2G), "Dynamic" (B008PVDA5S) and "Testifyin'" (B008PVD8SM) have all been reissued in Japan under the "Atlantic 1000: Best R&B Collection" series. They're 2012 DSD remasters and chock full of quality Sixties Soul in stunning sound quality (see my three reviews for Joe Turner to get a list) and retailing at under eight quid in most cases - they're absolute bargains. There's also Volume 1 of this which is an altogether better listen (see my review).

One to avoid I'm afraid because there is so much better elsewhere...

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