Thursday, November 06, 2008
Soul Men: Together, Yet Apart
Sam & Dave - Don't Pull Your Love
Sam Moore must be one of the most litigation-minded soul singers out there. On the right side of justice, he's lobbied for better royalties for classic soul artists, but on the other hand he's taken possessory stances about songs like "Soul Man" which are not legally tenable and make him look, in my opinion, somewhat foolish. His newest foray is a lawsuit against the makers of the Bernie Mac-Samuel L. Jackson movie Soul Men, which opens this weekend. He takes umbrage at the title, of course, but also the story, which he claims is based on the Sam & Dave story. Naturally, there are some parallels (two estranged soul singers who were once very close), but a look at the movie's trailer makes that whole argument sound foolish: at most, this movie is probably going to be a "black Blues Brothers" type of thing. Fortunately, we can always turn to Sam & Dave's music, which is awesome regardless of Moore's quixotic courtroom activities.
"Don't Pull Your Love," a cover of the Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds hit, was a 1971 Atlantic single for Sam & Dave, whose relationship by that time was strictly personal, as the two were not on speaking terms. The estrangement almost shows in the record, as the two men sound as if they recorded their parts separately: Dave handles all of the verses and the song's bridge, and Sam sings the choruses. The arrangement choice was wise, as the brassy groove of the Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds record was replaced by a slower, churchy sound (dig the piano opening). It's a fine recording, certainly better than the record's flip, an answer record to Johnnie Taylor's "Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone" called "Jody Ryder Got Killed"!