First Listen: Merry Clayton – Emotion (DJ Reverend P Re-drum Edit) (G.A.M.M.)
Emotion is most likely what we’re up to expect from a one of a kind singer. With this most definitely applying to Merry Clayton. A performer whom you might remember for her contribution to ‘Rock Creek Park’ along with the Blackbyrds. But also for scoring her biggest success while singing ‘Yes’ from the ‘Dirty Dancing’ OST. If not for sharing the bill with The Rolling Stones on the seminal ‘Gimme Shelter’ among many other things.
The opening track to her 1980 album of the likes, ‘Emotion’ just speaks for itself as a matter of fact. Bringin’ us into sophisticated Soul territories with stellar arrangements courtesy of Webster Lewis. With the whole runnin’ over a nice swingalong.
Hard not to find some connection with the Salsoul Sound. But also with Linda Clifford‘s classic ‘Runaway Love’. This when givin’ a listen to Reverend P‘s brilliantly bringin’ the whole to another dimension. Meanwhile enhancing the beauty of its original flow and givin’ it an irresistible jazzy/funk flow! Something that shouldn’t come as a surprise for those of you already knowing what this Parisian DJ/Producer is about.
Mind you, we’re speakin’ not only of ‘Emotion’ there, but also elegance and timelessness at the end…
A native of New Orleans, LA, Merry Clayton began her recording career in 1962 at the age of 14. This while duetting with Bobby Darin on ‘Who Can I Count On? (When I Can’t Count on You)’ from his ‘You’re the Reason I’m Living’ album. This being the first in a series of countless collaborations with other artists. From Ray Charles to Burt Bacharach, Joe Cocker, and Carole King. This in addition to appearing on several tracks from Neil Young’s debut-album.
Merry Clayton is probably more remembered though for her duet with Mick Jagger on The Rolling Stones‘ 1969 ‘Gimme Shelter’. A classic she would cover the year after as a part of her debut-album of the likes. Then, five years later, she joined The Blackbyrds on the memorable ‘Rock Creek Park’ among others. As many collaborations which didn’t get her from regularly putting out music on her own. Thus releasing three solo albums on Ode Records between 1970 and 1975. Then delivering a one-off – ‘Emotion’ – on MCA five years later. With its title track comin’ up with arrangements courtesy of Webster Lewis. Then eventually getting an outstanding edit treatment by the likes of Reverend P in 2013 on G.A.M.M. records.
Merry Clayton released her last album to date – ‘Miracles’ – back in 1996 on CGI Records. Last but not least, a ‘Best Of’ saw the light more recently, in 2013, on Ode Records via Legacy…