Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Guilty Pleasures – Elkie Brooks

 

To be honest it was touch and go as to whether I thought I had to declare Elkie Brooks as a Guilty Pleasure, however, I decided this post might be an educational one for many who regard her as member of the scampi in a basket set.

Without doubt she isn’t, however, her mainstream image remains from that period where she logged a few Top 30 singles such as “Fool If You Think This Is Over”, “Pearl’s A Singer” and of course her best from that period “Lilac Wine” (see HERE).

However there is more to her than meets the eye as she has one of our best R&B voices up there with Scotland’s own Maggie Bell.

Elkie was born in 1945 as Elaine Bookbinder to a Jewish father and Catholic mother in Broughton and raised in Prestwich.

A professional singer since she was fifteen her debut recording was a cover of Etta James’s “Something’s Got A Hold On Me”, which was released on Decca in 1964. She spent most of the 1960s on Britain’s cabaret scene, a period of her life that she did not particularly enjoy.

In the early 1960s she supported The Beatles in their Christmas show in London, then, as an established act, helped the Small Faces in their early career by introducing them at several venues. She went on to tour the United States with several bands including the Animals.

It was however with Vinegar Joe that she, and her co-singer one Robert Palmer who sadly passed away back in 2003,  made her name.

Their self titled debut album was released in 1972.

The same year saw this released as a single.

“Speed Queen Of Ventura” – Vinegar Joe

Next up, the same year, was the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Gypsies” album

which featured a great version of the Jimi Hendrix classic “Angel”.

Their last release arrived in 1973 with the album “Six Star General”

Here is some rare footage of them performing a track from the album titled “Proud To Be (A Honky Woman)”

Here is a bonus before we move on.

and yes Robert Palmer did sing as well

let’s leave the Vinegar Joe era with some blues.

After a time as backing singer with the American southern boogie band Wet Willie, she returned to England. Her first solo album on A&M records was Rich Man’s Woman (1975). Elkie was given a hard time due to the album’s cover, which was considered outrageous for the time.

It came before a run of sixteen UK hit albums in twenty-five years, starting with Two Days Away released in 1977 and produced by the legendary duo Leiber & Stoller, who had also worked with Elvis Presley and many others.

Brooks wrote some tracks with Leiber and Stoller. The hits “Pearl’s a Singer”, “Sunshine After the Rain” came from this album.

“Sunshine After The Rain” – Elkie Brooks

In 1981 her record company, noting declining sales, decided to release a compilation album made up of her hits to date plus some new material, the album was titled “Pearls” it peaked at #2 staying in the charts for 79 weeks.

At the time it became the biggest ever selling album by a female vocalist in the UK, selling over 1.2 million copies (10,000 copies per week on average). Pearls remains Brooks’ biggest selling album and is the only album by her that A&M continue to release on CD.

One of the new tracks was the Chris Rea song “Fool If You Think It’s Over”

Pearls II (1982), Minutes (1984) and Screen Gems the first album to be produced on CD in the UK (1984) were all UK chart successes.

In 1986 No More the Fool gave her biggest hit single to date while the parent album reached the top 5. Following chart success ensued with the albums The Very Best of (1986), Bookbinders Kid On Bookbinders Kid, she covered “What’s The Matter Baby” previously recorded by Timi Yuro (1988), Inspiration (1981), Round Midnight (1993), Nothin’ But the Blues (1994), Amazing (1996) and The Very Best of (1997). In 1980 Brooks performed at the Knebworth Festival with The Beach Boys, Santana and Mike Oldfield.

It was the “Electric Lady” album released in 2005 which brought her back on to my radar as it was a great return to her R&B roots.

It featured both self penned and cover versions including these Dylan and Doors  classics

I will leave you with what Elkie does best, singing the blues with a tribute to Muddy Waters written by Paul Rodgers.

“Muddy Water Blues” – Elkie Brooks

To buy the music of Elkie Brooks click HERE

To buy the music of Vinegar Joe click HERE

July 15, 2010 Posted by | Guilty Pleasures, Old Music, Video | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Fiona Friday – Paul Rodgers

Paul_Rodgers

The news item below reminded me that it was a Paul Rodgers, or perhaps a Bad Company re-union  concert that Fiona and I first saw together.

Speaking to VH1, the ex-Free frontman hinted that their five year collaboration may have come to an amicable end: “Well, you know, we did a world tour, we did a second tour of Europe and the Far East and Eastern Europe and we did a studio album and I think we’re kind of leaving it there gently,” he revealed. “It’s out there for us to do things in the future if there’s something, a huge charity say like Nelson Mandela, I’m always open to that, but I think we are pretty much done.”

Rodgers is now set to embark on a 10-date US tour with his old cohorts in Bad Company. For more, head over to www.badcompany.com.

From www.mojo4music.com

“Weep No More” – Bad Company

May 15, 2009 Posted by | Fiona, Mrs D, Old Music | , , | 1 Comment

Thanks For Caring

Thanks to everyone on and off line who have taken the time to care about the situation I am currently enduring.

Below is a poem which Smiler posted via the Comments section…many thanks

You can shed tears that she is gone,
Or you can smile that she has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her,
Or you can be full of the love you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember her and only that she’s gone,
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

 

Here is Paul Rodger’s “All I Want Is You” the first of many of our own “Our Songs”

fifi1


January 5, 2009 Posted by | Mrs D, Old Music | , | Leave a comment

   

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