Friday, August 04, 2006
Lonely Hearts (CLUB BAND? LOLZ)
No no no, this is in no way related to the Beatles. So sorry to get your hopes up.

This is, however, about one of the greatest soul queens who ever existed and one of her greatest, yet oh-so-sadly underappreciated, b-sides.

The Allen Toussaint penned "Lonely Hearts" (mp3) is about as catchy and funky as a depressing soul ballad can get-- the heavy bass and relentless drums chug along in a lazy swing backed up by some bluesy piano and horns that pop up every now and then...

But then there's Betty Harris... Oh, Betty! She has one of the most attitude-laden voices EVER laid to wax (she's on the same level as my baby momma, Ann Sexton, in that regard). Her vocals in this song convey SO much more meaning in their delivery than the actual words she's singing. They simmer... burn... growl... EXPLODE INTO FLAMES!

Even though it's just your everyday classic man-leaves-woman-and-woman-becomes-a-depressed-insomniac-because-of-it structured song, her self-defeating attitude ("what was confucius talkin' 'bout / every dog's got its day") and her overall sense of defeat and helplessness in the whole situation ("i was promised a ring, 10,000 things / but I'm still alone today") are sung in such a way that the listener feels crushed and desolate, left alone and cold in the meaningless void of her broken relationship (but even then, the funky drums and horns continue to play on!). Not to mention, ANY vocalist who can pull off a chorus as simple and repetitive as this ("I'm so tired, tired, tired / I just cry, cry, cry") without sounding silly, kitschy, or like they just ran out of stuff to say, and is actually able to fuel *more* emotion into it than the actual verses, deserves a gold medal.

I can't afford a gold medal, but I can give you my never-ending love and devotion, dear Betty. Thank you for sharing a piece of your soul with us.

[[also, if anyone out there in intardnetland reading this knows where I can get a copy of this 45 (Bad luck/Lonely Hearts - Sansu 461 * 1967), please tell me!]]

Posted by Lady K! : on Friday, August 04, 2006 at 6:41 PM |

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The FunkyFunky 7 Are:
A group of kids with WAY too much time on their hands.