Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The Impact Of R&B and Soul On British Recording Acts

Thom Bell working Elton John and Joss Stone:

Elton John’s corporate alliance with Sky Sport television has produced a UK football Premiership commercial, using a single dating from 1977, when it was produced by Thom Bell for the album entitled “Thom Bell Sessions”, supported by a multi-racial studio band consisting of Bobby Eli (guitar), Bob Babbitt (bass), Tony Bell (guitar, background vocals), Thom Bell (piano, keyboards, conductor, arranger and producer), M F S B (Mother, Father, Sister, Brother orchestra), Charles Collins (drums), Larry Washington (percussion), with additional background vocals provided by Bill Lamb, Carla Benson, Evette Benton, Barbara Ingram and The Detroit Spinners. Bell taught John how to breathe more effectively while singing, further enhancing the singer’s extraordinary gifts and talents.

This particular single featured on the project entitled “Are You Ready For Love?”, which peaked on the UK Pop single chart at number one, occupying that position for two weeks in August 2004. The track also reached number one on the US billboard dance chart listings for one week. .This is another way of using media exposure to market a re-released single from the height of the Philadelphia Sound era, which UK-based label Southern Fried Records used effectively to give the single a good start on the road to success. Out of that same project Elton obtained a gold single certification for one million copies sold for “Mama Can’t Buy You Love “(co-written by Leroy Bell and Casey James, a black and white song-writing team).The single peaked at number one on the US Pop Adult Contemporary charts on 25thAugust 1979 for one week and received a Gammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male in 1979. Such projects may reawaken people’s interest in good quality Soul and R&B music.

In 2004, Thom Bell repeated his success yet again by collaborating with Joss Stone on her multi-platinum album “Mind, Body & Soul”, which debuted at number one on the UK Pop album charts in 2004. He conducted the string arrangement on the track “Spoiled”, which sees Stone co-writing with the legendary Lamont Dozier and his son Beau Dozier. The legendary Miami R&B rhythm section, consisting of Timmy Thomas (organ), Willie “Little Beaver” Hale (guitar) and Benny Latimore (keyboards, piano), played on this session at the famous Hit Factory/Criteria Studios, where Aretha Franklin recorded her “Young Gifted and Black” gold album in the early 1970s, co-produced by Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd and Arif Mardin, the same producers as on the late Dusty Springfield’s album “Dusty In Memphis”.

©2009RCM Music Ltd

Strings Arranged By Thom Bell


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About Me

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Old Harlow, Essex, United Kingdom
Kevin Tomlin has over 34 years of teaching experience in Jamaica, England and America, including 15 years teaching music history of black origin and visual art in South Florida, U.S.A., through Arts in Education. Tomlin created special training programmes and workshops for music teachers in South Florida schools, using music history as the foundation, to build exciting programmes of study and support materials for education professionals. Since 2000, he’s taught music history, geography, religious education, history, visual arts and performing arts at schools in Hertfordshire and Essex, at both primary and secondary levels. He conducts research and provides consultancy services for multi-media organisations, schools, recording artists, cultural and faith-based groups and entertainment professionals.

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