This is, for the time being, the next to last post featuring the Meditation Singers. You can hear them today and, God willing, next Wednesday. But not to worry: I kept one of the highlights of my little series for the great finale. You're in for a rare Funk Gospel treat!
Ralph Bass? The producer and A&R director at Chess who, among much else, supervised the Meditation Singers' Checker LP # 10044 (The Bad Apple) (see the previous posts:
here and here). Well, he said the following in a Billboard interview (Oct. 12, 1968, p. 88): »The message of 'gos-pop' is that there is more to gospel than just finding solace in the church. This follows the same message of Martin [Luther] King, who was fighting for a new way of life.« He was putting that credo into practice at Chess, not the least with the Meditation Singers. But their way did not end at Chess. In autumn 1971, the Meditation Singers moved on to Stan Lewis's Jewel/Paula Records (Shreveport, La.). On Jewel, they had two albums out, the second of which already featured in this blog (here). However, the true gem of their Jewel output is their first album entitled Change Is Gonna Come (Jewel # LPS 0048). It was released in October '71, some forty years ago to this day.
|Jewel # LPS 0048 (1971)|
Trouble's Brewin'« and »Good Old Gospel Music«. They'll sweep you off your feet right away. In addition, they're graced with significant lyrics that dwell on social and political issues. But in the end, it all comes down to the groove: I wonder, do you feel it?
I wanna ask you one more time: Do you feel it? Oh yeah. The more you saying it: Do you feel it? Oh y'all. I wonder, do you feel it?
The Meditation Singers: »Trouble's Brewin'« / »Good Old Gospel Music« from the Jewel LP # 0048 (1971):
* * *It's not all about heavy gospel funk on this album, however. We also have the title track, Sam Cooke's »A Change Is Gonna Come«. And I'm sure you'll agree with me that it's one of the best versions of this song ever recorded. The arrangement is complex and innovative, and there are several lead voices woven in. Jewel sensed the beauty and sales potential of that version and released it on the subsidiary Paula # 356. They were right about the beauty. Happy Sunday all!
The Meditation Singers: »A Change Is Gonna Come« from the Jewel LP # 0048 (1971):