Monday, March 20, 2006

Hard Times!

Gene Chandler - In My Body's House

When Constellation Records folded in 1966 or so the company sold Gene Chandler's contract to Chess Records. Gene Chandler, however, had individually signed to Brunswick. What could have ended up in litigation and acrimony was avoided, however, when the two companies agreed to both record Chandler with Carl Davis producing and alternate single releases. Both Chess (via its Checker label) and Brunswick did well with the arrangement, scoring hits with Chandler solo and, in Brunswick's case, with duets between Chandler and Barbara Acklin.

Today's selection was one of Chandler's last Checker releases before he left both labels to sign with Mercury as an artist and producer. "In My Body's House," a Curtis Mayfield composition, is better known under the title "Hard Times," where it was recorded by Baby Huey & The Babysitters and by Mayfield himself. Although Baby Huey's version, with its heavy beat and intense arrangement, is probably the most popular, Chandler's Chicago soul treatment of the song is also very good. Chandler's high tenor effectively delivers the paranoia of the lyrics and the band turns in a top-notch performance.


Anonymous said...

Most of what ive heard of Chandler came from the mid sixties. This one sounds like early 70s, which makes sense cos you say its the same song as Hard Times by the great Curtis Mayfield. Whats the year, do you know? Great blog by the way. You choose good stuff on a consistent basis. I appreciated the Kelly Brothers stuff.

The Stepfather of Soul said...

This song, if I recall correctly, came out in 1969. In 1970 Chandler would hit with "Groovy Situtation" on Mercury.

Thanks for your comments.