Tuesday, May 08, 2007

carl and the passions (so tough)

I might not have the largest collection of LPs in the state of Texas, but there are a few hundred here stacked in old Sound Warehouse crates and many of them worth listening to now and again. By the way, I never have bought into the argument that CDs sound any better than LPs. They just sound different. Try looking at it, or hearing as it were, like the difference between videotape and film.
Sunday mornings in this humble apartment by the bay usually consist of cooking a nice light breakfast while gently sipping on a cold beer and putting the turntable to good use with the likes of the Velvet Underground or perhaps an occasional movie soundtrack.
All my records are pretty much in alphabetical order and last Sunday found me perusing near the front of the alphabet and coming across something almost forgotten.
Forgotten probably by me as well as most anybody on the planet. And that factor would depend upon how many people have even ever heard the thing. I put it on and let it go for a blissful Sunday morning spin.
The album is titled “So Tough” and was recorded by a little known band that called themselves Carl and the Passions. If you are fortunate enough to be able to find this jewel, by all means snag it. Then light some candles and incense and play it while doing whatever it is you are doing with anyone you happen to be with or if alone.
There are no hits on this record. No. This is just a good solid collection of very easy-to-listen-to tunes. There exists a plodding beauty within each song and they blend into one another like various hues offered by a cloudy sunrise.
Think along the lines of a cross between The Band and Leon Russell. The lead vocals are a bit rough, but with a tender touch. The background vocals are sung sweet and to perfection and there is a reason for this as will be revealed in just a second.
Pop soul is not a regular if ever used term, but this is what we are speaking of here.
Okay, the way I came across “So Tough” was by being lucky enough to visit some friends who were having a sort of garage sale of old records. The record in question, by the way, was released in 1972 on Warner Bros.
It is part of a double LP set with another, more well known record that goes by the title of “Pet Sounds.’
Yep! Turns out that Carl and the Passions have a pseudonym. That other name would be The Beach Boys. Go figure.
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