28 February 2010

Patti & LaBelle - Lady Marmalade (the best of)

An oldie I found yesterday. Old music and old CD.

Funk, soul, disco and extravaganza. It's highly irrelevant but no mention of LaBelle is complete without mentioning their outfits and show. An insane mix of glamrock, space-age and show.

The origins of LaBelle go back to girl groups of the 1960's, on different labels and with different names but the Bluebelles scored a few hits. Around 1970 things changed when Cindy Birdsong left for the Supremes and Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles lost their record contract. Times weren't so good for the classic vocal soul groups with all the rock going on and the more socially conscious move in black music. So the group re-invented itself.

Drastically. Add a generous helping of sex and a bunch of top musicians and eventually success came with Lady Marmalade the song that taught everyone to speak French. In case you didn't know, "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?" isn't the real title of the song but it's what most people remember about it.

Anyway, the songs on this CD are from Lady Marmelade onwards. The first half of the CD, 8 songs, are taken from the three classic LaBelle albums Nightbirds, Phoenix and Chameleon. The last 8 songs are from the 4 albums by Patti LaBelle from 1976 to 1980.

Yes, the 3 real LaBelle albums would have been better. A compilation of songs from those three or with older stuff too would have been better. There's a 2CD called NightbirdsPhoenixChameleon containg the 3 albums, there's a compilation called Something Silver covering the early years. I haven't got them but you can find them as torrents.

The members have been working on solo careers, with considerable success occasionally, and re-united a few years ago for an album in 2008 and touring. Alive and kicking, hear Nona Hendryx respond to some 'insensitive remarks' sprouted by Russ Limbaugh about the Earthquake in Haiti, for example.

This CD is from 1995, booklet with a few pages with numerous pics (you simply can't ignore the looks of the band), production info on the tracks and some text from Amy Linden, a professional linernotes writer. Not much but I've seen worse from that era.
Legacy/Sony, 1995

Patti & LaBelle - Lady Marmalade