Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

P.P. Arnold

P. P. Arnold (born Patricia Ann Cole, 3 October 1946, Los Angeles, California), is an American-born soul singer who enjoyed considerable success in the United Kingdom in the 1960s and beyond.

After several years touring the United States with the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, she came to England in 1966 when the Revue toured there in support of The Rolling Stones. Impressed by her powerful and soulful voice, Mick Jagger convinced Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham to sign Arnold to a recording contract with his newly founded Immediate Records record label. Arnold quit the Turner band to remain in London and establish a solo career.

She enjoyed several major British hits on Immediate, including songs written for her by Paul Korda, who wrote “The Time Has Come.”

She recorded songs written by Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane from labelmates The Small Faces, who also backed her on several recordings including this track written by Marriot/Lane.

Arnold also provided backing vocals on the group’s hit “Tin Soldier” as well as touring with them during 1968.

Her first backing band, The Blue Jays, had been inherited from American soul singer Ronnie Jones. This was followed by The Nice, led by Keith Emerson on organ who had just quit from The VIP’s – later to be known as Spooky Tooth – on organ and piano, David O’List on guitar, Lee Jackson on bass and Ian Hague on drums. During this period Pat toured alongside Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Kinks, Blind Faith, David Bowie and others, and she scored several hits including a cover version of “The First Cut Is the Deepest” and “Angel of the Morning“.

After the collapse of Immediate in the late 1960s, Arnold signed a production contract with the Robert Stigwood Organisation and released two singles on the Polydor label, produced by Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees, but a planned album with Gibb was never completed, though she had prevously recorded this my favourite Bee Gees song.

In 1970 she moved to the musical stage, appearing alongside P.J. Proby in the rock musical Catch My Soul. She then formed a new backing band that included the future members of Ashton, Gardner & Dyke, plus Steve Howe, who would soon join Yes. During this period she contributed session musician backing vocals to many notable UK sessions (including the Nick Drake song “Poor Boy”) and she toured with Eric Clapton, who also produced a number of unreleased sessions with her.

During these sessions she met the American bassist Fuzzy Samuels of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and they subsequently married and had a son. In 1974 she sang on the Freddie King album Burglar and feeling out of place in the rapidly changing British music scene of the mid 1970s, Arnold and Samuels returned to her hometown of Los Angeles.

While living there, Arnold’s marriage to Samuels ended and just two weeks after the split, her daughter Debbie was killed in a car accident. After her daughter’s death Arnold withdrew from public life for some time, not re-emerging until 1978. At this time she was reunited with Barry Gibb, who wanted to complete the never-finished solo album for her. Again this did not materialise, but Arnold was eventually teamed up with Barry’s youngest brother Andy Gibb for a duet recording of the Carole King song “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”. Arnold subsequently formed a new band, Inner Circle, but this was not successful.

In 1981 she moved to Hollywood, where she won minor roles in popular TV series including St. Elsewhere and Knots Landing. She returned to England in 1982, wishing to raise her younger son there. She soon began working with leading British reggae band Steel Pulse and returned to the charts in both the UK and Australia thanks to her unmistakable vocal contributions on the hit 1983 cover version of the Staple Singers “Respect Yourself”, recorded with British electro-pop group Kane Gang, which reached #21 in Britian and #19 in Australia.

Without a record contract and unable to play live, Arnold survived by doing sessions for advertising jingles. This eventually led to a successful collaboration with The Beatmasters on the retro-styled hip house/disco hit “Burn It Up”, which reached #14 in Britain in October ’88 and became her third hit to spend 10 weeks or more on the UK singles chart.

Little over a year later she worked with The KLF on the tracks “3 a.m. Eternal” and “Last Train to Trancentral” and Altern-8 on “Evapor 8” (credited as Altern-8, guest vocal P.P. Arnold).

She appeared on Roger Waters‘ album, Amused to Death, in 1992, providing vocals on the song “Perfect Sense”.

Growing dissatisfied with her session singer role, she returned to the musical stage with work in a theatre workshop project.

In 1994 she joined the cast of the award-winning musical Once On This Island as Erzulie, beautiful Goddess of Love. While the production was playing in Birmingham she met leading UK band Ocean Colour Scene, one of the new wave of latter-day mod groups who (like their mentor Paul Weller), idolised The Small Faces.

Her friendship with OCS led to her singing the lead vocal, backed by Primal Scream, on a cover of The Small Faces’ “Understanding”, which was included on a successful Small Faces tribute album. She also worked extensively with Ocean Colour Scene on their 1997 album Marchin’ Already. This was followed by numerous TV appearances including Later with Jools Holland and touring with Ocean Colour Scene in 1997-98.

This success led to plans for her to record her first solo album in decades, but once again it was not completed. Deciding to put together a new band to promote her material, Arnold joined forces with Chaz Jankel, former pianist with Ian Dury and The Blockheads. This was followed by an invitation to tour widely with Roger Waters. She was a backup vocalist on his 1999–2000 tour In the Flesh, (also on the CD and DVD of the same name) as well as the 2006–2008 tour, Dark Side of the Moon Live.

In mid 2007 she released her first recorded work for several years, Five In The Afternoon. The album is a duet with the Blow Monkeys frontman Dr. Robert and has been met with critical acclaim, as have their live performances at several venues.

To buy the music of P.P. Arnold click HERE


February 3, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Cover Stories, Mod, Old Music, R&B, Soul, Video | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Humble Pie – Unplugged

For my earlier appreciation of Humble Pie click HERE

For this post we will stick to some “unplugged” performances.

……………….and the rest

Steve Marriott a God amongst mere vocalists

November 27, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Video | , | Leave a comment

Humble Pie…………..Eat It

eat it

I have just finished reading the Steve Marriott biography “All Too Beautiful” written by the brilliant Paulo Hewitt and John Hellier.

all to beautiful

It was therefore no surprise that I picked up one of my favourite albums from the past at Sunday’s Record fair “Eat It”

Humble Pie were one of my early seventies introduction to “rock music” via their legendary album “Performance – Rockin’ The Fillmore”

Performance Rockin The Fillmore

Despite Humble Pie’s success in the US as a rock act, both with and without Peter Frampton as a guitarist, Marriott never strayed far from his R&B roots which acted as such an influence for him and the rest of the Small Faces.

The album title Eat It means ‘dig it’. Each side of this double album is different: Side 1 features Steve Marriott penned rock and roll; Side 2 has classic R&B covers; Side 3 is a collection of acoustic Steve Marriott songs; finally Side 4 features Humble Pie live in concert.

This album showcases the dynamic diversity and talent of Steve Marriott’s gritty bluesy vocals with some funky soul mixed in throughout along with straight ahead blistering rockers. The band is right on and they deliver an extremely energetic powerhouse combination on this double album that overall ranks with their best along with Smokin’ and Performance Rockin’ The Fillmore.

Eat It was the band’s seventh official album release and their fifth for A&M Records. [This was also their 3rd double LP (2-record set) within 18 months, the other 2 being 1972’s Performance Rockin’ The Fillmore and the late 1972 A&M compilation – Lost & Found.]

Steve Marriott produced this album and it was the first album recorded in Marriott’s newly-built home recording studio he titled Clear Sounds, in a converted barn at Beehive Cottage, Moreton, Essex.

Ray Charles was his all time favourite with “Drown In My Own Tears being played at his funeral after his life was cut short by an accidental fire in his home in 1991.

“Eat It” featured Humble Pie’s version of Ray Charles’ “I Believe To My Soul”

“I Believe To My Soul” – Humble Pie

One of these days and it won’t be long,
You’re gonna look for me and I’ll be gone
‘Cause I believe (I believe, yes I believe)
I say I believe right now (I believe, yes I believe)
Well I believe to my soul now,
Tryin’ to make a fool of me (I believe it, I believe it)

Well you’re goin’ ’round here with your head so hard,
I think I’m gonna have to use my rod
‘Cause I believe (I believe, yes I believe)
I say I believe right now (I believe, yes I believe)
Well I believe to my soul now
Tryin’ to make a fool of me (I believe it, I believe it)

Last night you were dreaming and I heard you say
“Oh, Johnny” when you know my name is Ray
That’s why I believe right now (I believe, yes I believe)
I say I believe right now (I believe, yes I believe)
Whoa I believe to my soul now
Tryin’ to make a fool of me (I believe it)

Here is a highlight from the Fillmore the brilliant “I Don’t Need No Doctor”

Finally you can find this cover of “Drown In My Own Tears” on the compilation “Natural Born Bugie – The Immediate Anthology”

“Drown In My Own Tears” – Humble Pie

natural born bugie album

To buy the music of Humble Pie click HERE

September 17, 2009 Posted by | Books, Old Music, Video | , , | 2 Comments


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