Brand New Day: Lenox/Atlantic & Roulette Recordings (1962-1970) 5CD
- Order number: 31312
- Band/Artist: PHILLIPS, ESTHER
- Format: CD
- Genre: BLUES
- Erscheinungsdatum: 21.08.2020
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”.