Sugar Billy – 1975 – Super Duper Love
Sugar Billy’s 1974 original recording of “Super Duper Love (Are You Diggin’ on Me)” released in as a single from his 1975 album Super Duper Love. It was made famous when English soul singer Joss Stone covered the song’s part one for her debut album, The Soul Sessions (2003), from which it was released in May 2004 as the second and final single under the title “Super Duper Love”
A supremely funky slice of soul, sounding a few years earlier (or rawer) than the 1974 copyright would suggest. Not much is known about Sugar Billy/Willie Garner other than he seems to have hailed from Detroit, where he laid down a couple of funky scorchers for Dave Hamilton on the New Day label in 1971. He recorded an entire albums worth of material for the FastTrack label in 1975, and then promptly disappeared.
The album is a classic indie cooker from Sugar Billy – a bit funky, a bit clubby – and a really great batch of grooves done in a pre-disco mode! The tracks are all pretty darn upbeat, somewhat warmer than the funk of Fatback or Kool & The Gang, but still with a nicely rough-edged feel overall, one that mixes snapping rhythms with Billy’s slightly raspy vocals, all in a groove that’s somewhat unique, and which is almost a hybrid of southern soul modes and some of the indie styles bubbling out of the New York scene in the early 70s. Arrangements are by Jimmy Roach, who definitely helps the group groove and a young Marcus Belgrave is actually in the group on Trumpet!
It includes the classic “Super Duper Love (parts 1 & 2)“, plus “Treat Me Like You Don’t Know Me“, “Love Bug“, “Sugar Pie“, “Too Much Too Soon“, and “Believe In Me“.