Tag Archives: Wilson Pickett

Rocks In The Attic #674: Wilson Pickett – ‘The Midnight Mover’ (1968)

RITA#674Aside from Mustang Sally, In The Midnight Hour or The Land Of 1,000 Dances, Wilson Pickett doesn’t get half the credit he deserves.

The Midnight Mover was largely co-written with a then-unknown Bobby Womack, and finds Pickett trying his hardest to continue his successes of the previous couple of years. The title of the album – and its lead single – is a clear allusion to his 1965 hit In The Midnight Hour; he even name-checks the song in the fade-out of side-B’s Down By The Sea.

Ever since seeing Edgar Wright’s 2017 film, Baby Driver, I’ve kept my eyes peeled for songs about girls called Deborah. There’s more than you’d think! Not only did Wright overlook Pickett’s Deborah for his soundtrack – opting instead for Debora by T. Rex and Debra by Beck – but Pickett sings his song partly in Italian, something you’d never expect to hear from a soul screamer from Alabama.

Hit: I’m A Midnight Mover

Hidden Gem: I Found A True Love

Rocks In The Attic #324: Creedence Clearwater Revival – ‘Creedence Clearwater Revival’ (1968)

RITA#324Three hundred and twenty four records in, and this is the first Creedence record I’m writing about. Disgraceful! There’s a reason for it though.

Back in Manchester, I made do with a best of compilation – Creedence Gold – and just never got around to buying any of the studio records. I had to stop buying vinyl for a while – as I moved over to New Zealand, got a haircut and a real job – and during that time I listened to a lot of music through my iPod. It was during this time that I listened to lot of Creedence – probably an unhealthy amount.  A lot of 85 and 86 bus trips into Manchester, and back to Chorlton, were soundtracked by Creedence.

For me, they’re comparable to the Beach Boys. I can put them on the turntable, and it feels like slipping into a warm bath – great American music of an effortlessly high calibre. They’re the alternative Beach Boys even – the dirtier, scruffier version, with a focus on groove instead of harmony, and songs about levees and bayous instead of T-Birds and surfboards.

I had to avoid listing Suzie-Q as the hidden gem of this album – it’s a little too well-known from its appearance in Apocalypse Now to be considered ‘hidden’ – but that’s the real groove of the album; its centrepiece. Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won’t Do) is another favourite – written by Steve Cropper, Eddie Floyd and Wilson Pickett.

Hit: I Put A Spell On You

Hidden Gem: Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won’t Do)

Rocks In The Attic #293: Otis Redding – ‘History Of Otis Redding’ (1968)

RITA#293It’s funny how some musicians become saints when they die young, and others are just glossed over. I don’t think I ever want to see another t-shirt with the faces of Kurt Cobain, Bob Marley and Jim Morrison draped in moonlight, but still there they are, in the type of shops that typically attract the fat, lazy and stupid.

Perhaps Otis died too young – he was only twenty six at the time of his death, a year younger than the mythical age that might have guaranteed him a place on those t-shirts.

Redding died in December 1967, and there’s a pretty horrible photo of him being pulled out of the frozen lake that his plane crashed into. There’s an equally horrible set of photos of him, from a couple of days prior to the crash, which show Redding standing next to his new plane outside the aircraft hangar, beaming with pride over his new acquisition. These have more impact than the crash photo, if only because they paint a picture of youth and exuberance that was very soon snuffed out.

History Of Otis Redding was the very first of countless Otis compilations, but the only one released in his lifetime, just a month before his death. I often wonder where he would have ended up had he not died – there are dozens of singers from that era of soul – Wilson Pickett, Eddie Floyd, William Bell etc – that drifted into obscurity in one way or another. Who’s to say that Otis Redding wouldn’t have done the same thing? The question mark comes with his appearance at the 1967 Monterey Pop festival, and his apparent crossover into the pop mainstream. Unfortunately it’s a question that will never be answered.

I’ll just have to keep looking out for a t-shirt of Otis Redding’s’ face draped in moonlight…

Hit: Try A Little Tenderness

Hidden Gem: I Can’t Turn You Loose