Don Covay – 1966 – See-Saw
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Another great contribution by Mr.Moo.
Excellent Atlantic soul from Don Covay! Don was one of the label’s biggest soul talents in the mid 60s — and he not only cut some great work on his own, but also penned some tunes that have become some of the most enduring soul numbers of his generation — like the cuts “Mercy, Mercy”, “Sookie, Sookie”, and “See Saw” — all of which are on this LP! Don’s band the Goodtimers back him up — and other cuts include “The Boomerang”, “Fat Man”, and “Iron Out The Rough Spots”.
A1 See-Saw 3:00
A2 The Boomerang 2:03
A3 Everything’s Gonna Be Everything 2:33
A4 Fat Man 2:35
A5 Precious You 2:43
A6 Iron Out the Rough Spots 2:56
B1 Please Do Something 2:51
B2 I Never Get Enough of Your Love 2:46
B3 The Usual Place 2:08
B4 A Woman’s Love 2:37
B5 Sookie Sookie 2:45
B6 Mercy, Mercy 2:26
Review by Soulmakossa
Don Covay… the man who was being funky when funk still was a bad word. The pleasantly crazy Wildman of Soul, the inventor of dozens of the genre’s classics and an ecclectic, spellbinding guitarist who recorded some of the rawest, least polished slabs of down and dirty Soul. No matching suits here, nor synchronized dance steps.
The Don’s second Atlantic LP, ‘See Saw’, is a masterpiece pure and simple. While not a huge hit upon its release, the LP has rightfully been reappraised since.
Wacky as ever, Covay struts through “See-Saw” providing his own – hilarious, full-throttled, turky-like – backing vocals. Aretha Franklin’s cover, recorded two years later, may have been the big hit, but it’s Covay’s original version that you’ll want to check out first.
The title-track is followed by the sped-up, fastpaced dance hall favorite “The Boomerang“, another perky ‘n’ quirky Covay original that starts out with the ‘is it a bird, is it a plane?’ catchline and is gradually immersed in thick layers of Chi-sounding brassy goodness (also, two verses of Martha & the Vandellas huge “Dancing in the Street” are snuck in, heh!)…
Maintaining a mid-tempo, loping beat on the funky and fierce “Everything’s Gonna Be Everything” (that tambourine is hittin’ something nasty), Covay launches into another high-energy soul romp with “Fat Man“, namechecking one of his heroes, Fats Domino, in mid-song.
Donning the balladeer’s hat, Covay gets sweet ‘n’ sensitive Percy Sledge-style on the slow-grinding “Precious You“, featuring his snappy guitar pluckings, only to put the mood into a decidedly bossa-nova by way of Stax Studios groove with the smouldering “Iron Out the Rough Spots“.
Hard sockin’ tambourines, punishing horns and a relentless backbeat provide another funky background for the Don on “Please Do Something“, after which he dips into one of his most beautiful ballads, “I Never Get Enough of Your Love“, co-written with Steve Cropper, whose inimitable guitar style is all over the tune.
Country-esque guitar noodling accompany Covay next on the all-out belter “The Usual Place“, while “A Woman’s Love” probably is the most sophisticated ballad here.
The Don goes out on a rawkus, however… Aside the “Mercy, Mercy” classic, his first hit that was added here for good measure, it’s the fiery, stompin’ gutbucket proto-funk of “Sookie Sookie” that musta raised quite a few eyebrows back in ’66. I mean seriously, that tune is just outta there…
Don Covay Came, See-Saw and Conquered with this peerless collection of rougher-than-rough, earthy and sweaty Southern Soul.