musicology #499

SoulBoy #18

(Bobby Womack – Tried and Convicted)

Final week of the Soul theme and who better as far as themusicologist is concerned to bring us down the final furlong than one of my most cherished artists Bobby Womack. As I have mentioned before, along with Curtis Mayfield it was Bobby Womack who had the most influence on a young child running wild on the streets of South London in the 1970’s. Cuts like I Can Understand It, If You Want My Love, O.V Wright’s That’s The Way I Feel About Cha, Stop On By, A Woman’s Got To Have It, Communication, (to name a few)…are all integral parts of the soundtrack to my existence. In fact often when I hear, (early 70’s), Bobby, Curtis, Bill Withers, Stevie and Marvin I can view the world through the eyes of a child once more. Music does that for me like nothing else can. I don’t think of what I was doing or wearing to identify the stepping stones in my life it’s ALWAYS what I was listening to and no doubt always will be. So without further delay, (and before I get all misty eyed),  hold this late 60’s slice of the Bobby Womack pie recorded for and released on the, (New Orleans powerhouse), Minit Label. Produced by Chips Moman


musicology #404

Catharsis #2

(Bobby Womack – Games)

While listening to a series of lectures on the subject of Ancient Greek philosophy one of the threads focused on the opposition between Plato/Socrates and the Pre Socratics particularly the ideas of the Sophists. According to the lectures the Sophists, (in debate), are not concerned with the Truth but rather the art of persuasion while Socrates/Plato hold that it’s the Truth that matters most when determining the outcome of a debate. To put it another way Politics, certainly in the current age, is Sophistic and deals in rhetoric while Science is Socratic.

I find myself in agreement with certain aspects of each method but also refute just as much which I found confusing but yesterday I came to a realisation that much western Philosophy builds arguments on the underlying concept of Right and Wrong. Socrates for example invites opponents to play the game using his rules, (question/answer), and then proceeds to beat his opponent using logic and reason. For example Socrates might start the game by saying “Do you agree that….” and once the opponent answered would tear down the Relativist/Sophist argument based on the answer given. But there is one Sophist in Plato’s Republic who doesn’t play Socrates’ game and what this highlights is that there is of course more than one game and each one has their own set of rules.

Problems arise when we find ourselves in dialogue with those whose game and rules are different to our own. My experience is that games and rules only become clear when one or both parties are trying to base their argument on ‘Right and Wrong’ which is a concept that personally  I don’t accept.

Today’s cut is courtesy of ‘the Poet’ a.k.a Bobby Womack a Cat who triggers many memories for themusicologist due to his music and message being a constant during my formative years with a piece taken from the 1981 set that was the man’s response to how life had, in his own words “turned on him”.

Just like to make clear that each slice of this cathartic pie is inspired by instinct and as such is nothing more than part of the process so bear in mind that interpretation is wholly subjective.

musicology #237

inmodwetrust #4

(The Valentinos – Lookin’ For A Love)

today’s slice of the mod/ernist pie, (written by J.W Alexander and Zelda Samuels), features one of themusicologist’s all time favourite, inspirational and also influential artists…Robert Dwayne, (Bobby), Womack who played a BIG part in my musical upbringing back in the early 70’s (continuing up to today). The cat’s career stretches back into the 50’s when as a member of family Gospel group the Womack Brothers he was spotted by none other than the Lion, (Sam Cooke), who was so impressed he remembered them when setting up his ground breaking Sar label and brought them in to record, as well as hiring Bobby as a guitarist and important member of the Sam Cooke ‘family’ both on tour and in the studio. This one is their third recording on the label but their first as the Valentinos.

musicology #145

SpectrumOfLove #5

(Bobby Womack – That’s The Way I Feel About ‘Cha)

todays cut comes from one of themusicologists foundation artists who didn’t feature in the sixsixsix only because Curtis and Sam Cooke took the top two ‘Soul’ spots, but this cat runs them both all the way..

the album this is taken from, (I Can Understand It), played a BIG part in my ‘education’. I know it so well that the track order is part of my unconscious. I know every tune and almost every note and word on it…back to front. for me every cut is a winner and to choose one is almost impossible but I’m going with this one, first released on his ‘Communication album’ in 1971, as it may go some way to explaining my attitude to affairs of the heart, (especially as music has ALWAYS been my primary guide). I would have been about 5 years old when I first heard it and I have been listening to it ever since…

“ha, you know life is funny when you look at it,
everybody wants love but everybody’s afraid of love,
you know I’m a true believer of that,

if you get anything out of life,
you got to put up with the toils and strife

now listen…

your’e pushing my love a little bit too far,
I don’t think you know, I don’t think you know how blessed you are,
and your friend Annie Mae, tell you all she see,
have you ever thought she was trying to get close to me,

think it over, think it over girl, think it over,
look..thats the way I feel about ‘cha,
and if that’s being weak for you darling,
I dont mind, I dont mind, I dont mind, I don’t mind,
thats the way I feel about ‘cha, (wooohhh)
that’s the way I feel about ‘cha,

please, please, please answer love,
if it ever come knocking at your door,
’cause what’s out there knocking baby,
the world don’t give enough of, don’t give enough of

I know you been hurt, and so have others too,
but all you got to do is think about the changes,
in life have put them through,

lord have mercy, that’s just the way it is,

don’t take my love as a sign of weakness,
check into the situation girl, dig a little bit deeper,

that’s the way I feel about you yeah,
ohh that’s the way, (that’s the way I feel about ‘cha),
that’s the way I feel about cha (oohh lord)
thats the way, that’s the way, that’s the way I feel about you yeah,
that’s the way I feel about you, (I wanna testify this evening),
that’s the way I feel about ‘cha, (wooooohh)
that’s the way I feel about cha,
so if I’m weak for you I don’t mind,
that’s the way I feel about cha,
let me say it say it say it, say it, say it, say it,
that’s the way I feel about cha,”