Friday, November 23, 2007
Wilson Pickett - Only I Can Sing This Song
Although Wilson Pickett had extended his hitmaking ways into the '70s on Atlantic thanks to hits like the #1 Billboard R&B hit "Don't Knock My Love" and "Call My Name, I'll Be There," by the end of 1972 he left the label (whose focus, to be honest, had moved away from Southern soulsters like Pickett toward Philly acts like the Spinners and Blue Magic) and signed to RCA. Pickett's first LP for the label was 1973's Mr. Magic Man, which yielded a minor hit with the title track. Although Pickett would hit the charts a few times during his two-year tenure with the label, it's safe to say that changing times caught up with Pickett despite his recording high-quality material with top-notch producers (like Brad Shapiro and Dave Crawford, who helmed Mr. Magic Man), so the RCA era is generally overlooked when looking at Pickett's career.
Today's selection came from Mr. Magic Man, and is one of my favorite RCA Pickett recordings. The fantastic ballad "Only I Can Sing This Song" finds Pickett bringing a very nice reading of the story of lost love and starting over, keeping things nice and conversational through the first few verses and then opening up in the last verse. The country soul arrangement is really the icing on the cake, though, as it gives Pickett sufficient room to work his magic. It's a powerful recording, to be sure!