Thursday, November 11, 2004:

Souled Out

Tyrone Davis -- I Wish It Was Me
Bill Withers -- Heartbreak Road
So I finally got a belt on the turntable and after a bit too long trying various things I figured out how to record from it without the signal being always too hot (has to do mostly with not sending the amp's out into the microphone in, boosting the signal a second time).

Now: I need tips on how to get cleaner sound (aside from having a clean record and cartridge). I tool around with the audio file a bit in audacity, and quickly reach the point where any more work on it makes it sound underwater. So I need more sophisticated software, or a better sense of what to do.

But you come here for music, and it's music you shall have. Two tracks from a record I discovered in my roommate's crates: Souled Out, K-Tel, 1975. Out of print, yes. Track list here. That circled bit in the top left is proudly informing you "As advertised on T.V." Well, I missed the commercial, but the program is great. Not all of these are obscure--Tarantino picked up one for Pulp Fiction and a few others are in print on various compilations, but as far as I can tell these two aren't. And that's a sign that things aren't right in the music world, because these tracks are great, and they deserve more attention than some random music fan putzing around with them on his computer after digitizing them from a slightly warped 33. They need professional tender loving care.

But I think they're worth listening to anyway--the pluses come through loud and clear in spite of the format limitations.

Tyrone Davis is singing a song here of wistful jealousy--keeping maybe too close tabs on a woman he's in love with: he sees her kiss someone; he wishes it was him; she goes to someone's house and stays for an hour; he wishes it was his. Cousin to Ray Charles' "It Should Have Been Me"? Maybe, but it's its own song.

The Bill Withers track is about the lonely road you're on until you find the right person--"it's a road we all must travel," Withers says, positive that love isn't easily understood but that pain does not last forever. I wish this song were available on CD; I'd snatch it up in a heartbeat.

update: Rhineman tells me that the Tyrone Davis track is available on CD on the Dakar Hit Single A's & B's compilation (and the audio is undoubtedly in better shape there).


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