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  1. #1

    Esther Phillips - Brand New Day: The Lenox/Atlantic And Roulette Recordings



    The late Esther Phillips (1935-1984) has often been considered one of the ‘unsung’ pioneers in the world of R&B, stretching back to the early ‘50s when as a child star working with famed bandleader Johnny Otis, she enjoyed a run of chart-topping singles at the age of 15, making her the youngest female artist to ever have an No. 1 R&B hit at the time. The Texas-born vocalist returned in 1962 with a soulful version of the country hit, ‘Release Me’ for Lenox Records, subsequently signing with Atlantic Records for whom she recorded a total of four full albums between 1964-1970 with a brief spell at Roulette Records in 1969.

    Produced by SoulMusic Records founder David Nathan (who first met Esther in 1965), “Brand New Day – The Lenox/Atlantic & Roulette Recordings” is a sumptuous first-of-its-kind 5-CD box set, consisting of (102) tracks of Esther’s work in a variety of different musical settings, sequenced by session and containing a number of previously unreleased cuts as well as non-album singles making their CD debut. An 8,000-word informative and extensive essay by renowned UK writer Charles Waring, alongside superb mastering by Nick Robbins and first class artwork by Roger Williams make this box set an overdue celebration of Esther Phillips’ glorious artistry, in particular as a commemoration of her passing in August, 1984 at the age of 48.

    Disc 1: AM I THAT EASY TO FORGET covers Esther’s recordings for Lenox Records including her 1962 hit version of ‘Release Me’, her sole LP for the label (reissued by Atlantic in 1966 as “The Country Side Of Esther Phillips”) plus nine non-album tracks including two duets with ‘Big Al’ Downing, most making their digital debut alongside Esther’s first recordings for Atlantic.

    Disc 2: JUST SAY GOODBYE (titled after the popular UK Northern soul track) includes Esther’s first two albums for Atlantic, 1965’s “And I Love Him!”, the title track of which yielded her US hit cover of the Lennon & McCartney song and the 1966 LP “Esther Phillips Sings”, with big band arrangements by Oliver Nelson, Ray Ellis & Jimmy Wisner.

    Disc 3: TOO LATE TO WORRY, TOO BLUE TO CRY features Atlantic recordings cut between 1966-1967, primarily singles’ sessions with a previously unreleased track (‘Watch Dog’) from Esther’s only session in Memphis and eight 1966 Nesuhi Ertegun-helmed, Onzy Matthews-arranged tracks including the previously unreleased ‘Rocks In My Bed’; as well as the six tracks from Esther’s 1969 sessions for Roulette Records.

    Disc 4: I’M GETTIN’ ‘LONG ALRIGHT is the first-ever release of all the tracks from Esther’s best-selling Atlantic album “Burnin’” produced by King Curtis, recorded live in January 1970 at Freddie Jett’s Pied Piper club, with two previously unissued cuts, ‘Just In Time’ and ‘Fancy’ and two outtakes.

    Disc 5: CATCH ME I’M FALLING (a UK Northern soul favourite track) completes Esther’s Atlantic legacy with four cuts from the ‘live’ 1970 sessions including the previously unissued ‘Feel Like I Want To Cry’ and two outtakes without studio overdubs; and the eleven tracks from her 1970 Miami sessions originally planned as an entire LP, only issued in 1986 as part of a posthumous retrospective entitled “Set Me Free”.


    [CD1: Am I That Easy To Forget]
    Lenox Recordings (1962-63):
    1. I Can’t Help It
    2. Am I That Easy To Forget
    3. Be Honest With Me
    4. I Really Don’t Want To Know
    5. I’ve Forgotten More Than You’ll Ever Know About Him
    6. Just Out Of Reach
    7. No Headstone On My Grave
    8. Why Should We Try Anymore
    9. After Loving You
    10. I’d Fight The World
    11. Release Me
    12. A Lover’s Hymn
    13. Don’t Feel Rained On
    14. God Bless The Child
    15. Half A Heart
    16. Why Was I Born
    17. Don’t Let Me Go
    18. While It Lasted
    19. You Never Miss Your Water (Till The Well Runs Dry) – with Big Al Downing
    20. If You Want It (I’ve Got It) – with Big Al Downing
    Atlantic Recordings (1964):
    21. Hello Walls
    22. Mojo Hannah
    23. I Saw Me
    24. Double Crossin’ Blues – with Jimmy Ricks

    [CD2: Just Say Goodbye]
    Atlantic Recordings (1964-66):
    1. If You Love Me, Really Love Me
    2. Make Believe Dreams
    3. Too Soon To Know
    4. You’re The Reason I’m Living
    5. Out Of The Blue
    6. Makin’ Whoopee
    7. Shangri-La
    8. I Wish You Love
    9. ‘Tis Autumn
    10. People
    11. The Girl From Ipanema
    12. Medley: Moonglow/A Theme From Picnic
    13. And I Love Him
    14. Some Things You Never Get Used To
    15. Let Me Know When It’s Over
    16. I Could Have Told You
    17. He Touched Me
    18. You Can’t Go Home Again
    19. The Shadow Of Your Smile
    20. The Party’s Over
    21. A Taste Of Honey
    22. It’s All Right With Me
    23. Just Say Goodbye
    24. As Tears Go By
    25. Ups And Downs
    26. Every Time We Say Goodbye
    27. Let There Be Love
    28. Crazy He Calls Me

    [CD3: Too Late To Worry, Too Late To Cry]
    Atlantic Recordings (1965-67):
    1. When A Woman Loves A Man
    2. Somebody Else Is Taking My Place
    3. Fever
    4. Try Me
    5. When Love Comes To The Human Race
    6. C.C. Rider
    7. Cherry Red
    8. Confessin’ The Blues
    9. I’m Gettin’ ‘Long Alright
    10. Rocks In My Bed (Previously Unreleased)
    11. In The Evening
    12. Romance In The Dark
    13. I Wonder
    14. Cheater Man
    15. I’m Sorry
    16. Watch Dog (Previously Unreleased)
    Roulette Recordings (1969):
    17. Too Late To Worry, Too Blue To Cry
    18. I’m In The Mood For Love (Moody’s Mood For Love)
    19. Tonight, I’ll Be Staying Here With You
    20. Sweet Dreams
    21. Too Much Of A Man (To Be Tied Down)
    22. Nobody But You

    [CD4: I’m Gettin’ ‘Long Alright]
    Atlantic Recordings (1970):
    1. Don’t Let Me Lose This Dream (Live)
    2. And I Love Him (Live)
    3. I Love Paris (Live)
    4. Cry Me A River Blues (Live)
    5. I’m Gettin’ ‘Long Alright (Live)
    6. Release Me (Live)
    7. If It’s The Last Thing I Do (Live)
    8. Makin’ Whoopee (Live)
    9. Shangri-La (Live)
    10. Please Send Me Someone To Love (Live)
    11. Just In Time (Live) (Previously Unreleased)
    12. Bye Bye Blackbird (Live Outtake) (Previously Unreleased)
    13. Fancy (Live) (Previously Unreleased)
    14. Bad News Blues aka Medley: Blow Top Blues/Jelly Jelly Blues/Long John Blues (Live Outtake) (Previously Unreleased)

    [CD5: Catch Me I’m Falling]
    Atlantic Recordings (1970 Continued):
    1. Don’t Let Me Lose This Dream (Live Outtake) (Previously Unreleased)
    2. Feel Like I Want To Cry aka Feel Like I Wanna Cry (Live) (Previously Unreleased)
    3. Please Send Me Someone To Love (Live Outtake) (Previously Unreleased)
    4. It Could Happen To You Aka Look What Happened To Me (Live)
    5. A Woman Will Do Wrong
    6. Catch Me I’m Falling
    7. Some Cats Know
    8. Set Me Free
    9. Brand New Day
    10. I’m In Love
    11. Just Like A Fish
    12. Tomorrow Night
    13. All God Has Is Us
    14. He Knows What To Do For Me
    15. Crazy Love

  2. #2
    As you guys hear me say often on here, I am all in favor of any and all CD re-issues, so we can keep the format going as long as possible. I will have to think on this one. I have one or two Esther products and I remember liking her version of the song "Love Addict." I am not sure what album it came from and it would be nice to have it on CD but I see it is not included here. Anyway, keep 'em coming!!!

  3. #3
    This looks like it will be a nice set. I already have most (if not all) of these albums. But I will probably purchase it for the unreleased or new to cd tracks. Plus if this was done by the same folks who did the recent Dionne set, I'm sure the notes alone will be worth the cost.

  4. #4
    Yes, please!!!!

  5. #5
    Esther really hit her stride at CTI -- and boy did she! I haven't been able to get into her prior to those years

  6. #6
    Wow, this might be a great set to have. I like Phillips, though the raspiness of her voice wears on me after a while, similar to Dinah Washington's, whom I think she was often compared to. But what a fantastic set of material for a true fan.

    Another very beautifully curated set by Cherry Red. One of the great reissue companies.


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Ralph Terrana

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