Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TVD Class of '71 | The Chi-Lites, "(For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People

(Before we begin, a bit of explanation again about what we do here. We reach into the racks behind us and pull out a vintage slice of vinyl from the '70s. The records aren't meant to represent the best of a particular year. They're simply interesting records, so let's listen to them again together. On to the grooves!)

Much of what I know about about soul music comes from listening first to AM radio in the early ’70s, then FM radio for the rest of the decade. That left me with a wide but sometimes shallow pool of knowledge. I'm working on it, even now.

I plead guilty as charged when it comes to the Chi-Lites. I long knew this Chicago soul group for only its radio hits, those smooth, gentle love songs—“Have You Seen Her” from 1971 and “Oh Girl” from 1972.

Then, a couple of years ago, I heard “(For God’s Sake) Give More Power To The People” and was taken to school again.

It's a funky, nasty protest song featuring Creadel “Red” Jones’ deep bass voice. I'd thought the Chi-Lites, were just that—lite—and man, was I wrong.

That tune—off the 1971 album of the same name—is done along the lines of the harder-edge stuff done by the Temptations for producer Norman Whitfield at the time, and oh, how I dug those Temptations.

Another of today's tunes, "We Are Neighbors," brings to mind an only slightly gentler "Psychedelic Shack."

(And, yes, just in case you haven't heard the sweet, timeless "Have You Seen Her" in a while ...)

The liner notes suggest you “stoke up your stereo and treat yourself to a generous helping” of the Chi-Lites. So please do.

The Chi-Lites - (For God’s Sake) Give More Power To The People (Mp3)
The Chi-Lites - We Are Neighbors (Mp3)

The Chi-Lites - Have You Seen Her (Mp3)

Buy (For God’s Sake) Give More Power To The People here.

1 comment:

cthomson said...

Lee Perry did a great version of both "We Are Neighbors" and "For God's Sake.." It's worth checking out.