martes, 8 de septiembre de 2009

The Flirtations: Sounds Like the Flirtations (1969) ... plus

Although they never recorded for Motown Records, the Flirtations should have, because they sounded like nothing so much as a more energetic version of the Supremes, and by all rights, this exciting vocal trio should have been continually at the top of the pop charts during the late 1960s and early 1970s. They did have a big hit with 1969's ‘Nothing But a Heartache,’ a record that has had an enduring shelf life and actually might be better known now in the 21st century than it was 40-some years ago. Originally formed in 1962 in Alabama, the three-vocalist line up (Ernestine Pearce, Shirley Pearce, Vie Billups) relocated to the UK in 1968 where they picked up with producer Wayne Bickerton and writer Tony Waddington, and a deal with Decca. They recorded the album Sounds Like the Flirtations in 1969 plus six singles released through the Deram imprint between 1968 and 1971, before leaving for Polydor Records in 1972. This set collects the Deram album and adds in four additional tracks from the same time period to make an ideal introduction to this fun group. Among the gems here are the undeniably classic ‘Nothing But a Heartache,’ the bursting-with-energy ‘Need Your Loving,’ the autobiographical ‘South Carolina’ and the why-wasn't-this-a-hit ‘What's Good About Goodbye My Love,’ but everything here falls into the same groove, with upbeat arrangements, spirited singing and insistent, racing and almost unhinged horn arrangements. I added 8 bonus tracks, consisting on three songs recorded for Josie and Festival between 1966 and 1967, two more on Polydor and RCA in the early ‘70s, plus their late disco hits, the 2008 recording of ‘Run for the Exit’ included. 27 songs in total. It's fun stuff, and fans of Motown and Northern Soul are going to love this. The Flirtations are one of my favorite ‘60s girl groups. ~,

I have three rounds of video clips from this great soul trio for you today. First of all, a rare performance of the Northen Soul classic 'Nothing But a Heartache', filmed in colour at Tintern Abbey at Monmouthshire, South Wales:

Second, a performance of 'Someone Out There' on a Spanish TV Show conducted by Joaquin Prat, who embarrass the girls asking them about their marital status and the name of the boys they have in mind (being one of The Fantastics and Steve Wonder for the Pearce sisters). This was the third time they visited Spain and, after that, probably the last one!:

And last, but not least, a clip of 1972 Polydor single 'Hold on to Me Babe'. It's anyone's guess what the girls are doing in a sawmill, but it's pretty safe to assume that health and safety regulations wouldn't enable this clip to be made these days!:

6 comentarios:


  2. i saw their show last summer in gijon, spain, in a free concert at euroyeye 2009, and they were in excellet form (great look, great voices and a good band!) The show consisted in own hits (nothing but a hearatche, somewhere aut there, etc) and soul classics (including a michael jackson´s tribute with i want you back)