An early Charles Stepney arrangement (who later worked with The Dells, Rotary Connection, and Earth, Wind, & Fire, among others), this record rumbles and slinks along with soul.
I love how the chunky electric keys interplay with the swirling strings, and Monk’s swinging saxophone.
Monk Higgins was born Milton Bland in Arkansas. He was already a staple on the Chicago Scene when he released this cut on Chess in 1968 (just before he went to LA, bringing fellow Chicago Scenesters Freddie Robinson and Mamie Galore for the ride).
UPDATE: For more Lovely versions of this classic composition (and a touch of drama), check the comments of this post.
April 17th, 2011 at 2:40 am
A Beautiful song slaughtered. This garbage doesn’t even define music. You don’t have to like Burt Bacharach’s composition and the artists who made it famous. Dusty Springfield or Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66. But If you’re truly looking strictly four Soul. At least post worthy versions of that Soul.
April 17th, 2011 at 4:09 pm
Longshot, sorry you don’t like this version. Luckily, I didn’t claim that Monk Higgins’ version (although one of my personal favorites) “defines music”. As a fan of cover songs, I have tons of versions of compositions that I love. For instance, the Isaac Hayes version of “the look” is a slice of psychedelic reverb heavy soul that I love,
as is Gladys Knight’s version from 1968 (below).
I only say that to say that by no means is this the definitive version of the song in my eyes. Since this is a blog about Chicago-created music and culture, I chose one that fit the bill. Below is another Chicago-based version (arranged by the great Johnny Pate). Thanks for sharing your faves.
April 17th, 2011 at 9:38 pm
Yes your right the “Chicago Based” probably went right over my head, although I don’t know why, the word Chicago isn’t listed enough off to the right. LOL
My brain is fixed on Muse alone I guess. My apologies.
I did listen to the Issac Hayes one prior but just couldn’t get into it.
All I know is the first video made me cringe.
Now if you want to talk Chicago Blues? LOL… That more my genre. They are spread throughout all of my All Blues and Nothing But the Blues Blogs. Parts 1-4