Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Change Is Gonna Come?

I've been quiet this evening as I've been playing in two pub general-knowledge quizzes at once. The nearer pub is some twelve miles away and the other about 150 miles away but I'm at home. I simply can't be in two places at once and anyway it is a great deal cheaper this way!

That is largely irrelevant except that I've just just been asked the following question in what is a quiz with a definite music bias: Who was Wolverhampton's end of last century 'Prodigal Sista'?
That is the sort of question that can be exceedingly annoying unless you remember that this was the title of Beverley Knight's second album. That was interesting in itself but it also reminded me that I should listen to her third album Who I Am (2002) again and when I did I had forgotten just how good it is. What is more important it remains so despite the massive increase in popular interest in UK soul and blues in the intervening years.
There is nothing poor on it but , for me at least, the stand-out tracks are still Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda and Fallen Soldier.

That said it is now available so cheaply on Amazon Marketplace that it is probably cheaper to buy the whole album than pay to download even two tracks, not least because my favourites might not be yours! What is more, for all of you who want the lyrics too, Parlophone CD 7243 536032 0 5 has them printed in full in the cover booklet. There is nothing wrong with her subsequent albums, Affirmation (2004) and Music City Soul (2007) either.

Although slightly different, and coming from the other side of the Atlantic, it prompted me to listen to this again. It is another album that, like some others that I have mentioned before, I bought in a frenzy of enthusiasm that had worn off by the time it arrived. It seems that when I felt inclined to give it another chance I rediscovered what it was that inclined me to buy it in the first place.

A Change Is Gonna Come - Leela James (2005)

The album has two cover versions, the title track (originally by Sam Cooke) and a rather surprising but, for my money, extremely successful version of the 1996 hit-single Don't Speak by No Doubt and from the album Tragic Kingdom. It was a brave idea, to cover a Gwen Stefani classic that spent a then record of sixteen weeks at the top of the 'Billboard 100', and I still very much like the original, but I can't say that she messed it up. I know that not everyone will agree but that is how it is for me.

No comments: