Doris Duke – 1969 – I’m a Loser (plus 2nd album & bonus)

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This album is considered by many – including the soul expert Dave Godinto be the greatest deep soul album of all time.

A masterpiece of soul singing, song writing and production. Jerry Williams Jr wrote ten of the 12 songs (with either Gary Bonds or George Jackson) he produced with such artistry.

The lyrics are hardly pleasurably amusing if anything, they’re a dark vision into an equally-disturbed mind. However, this is southern soul music done the correct way, and the result is amazing.

The second album is a bonus along with the tracks she made in the sixties as Doris Willingham. When the album was first release in 1970 on Canyon records US it was only available as an import in the UK.

it must be part of EVERY soul collection.

1. He’s Gone (4:36)
2. I Can’t Do Without You (2:10)
3. Feet Start Walking (2:29)
4. Ghost of Myself (3:08)
5. Your Best Friend (2:49)
6. The Feeling Is Right (2:47)
7. I Don’t Care Anymore (3:10)
8. Congratulations Baby (2:06)
9. We’re More Than Strangers (3:32)
10. Divorce Decree (2:31)
11. How Was I to Know You Cared (2:39)
12. To the Other Woman (I’m the Other Woman) (2:58)

The Reviews

In a lot of ways, I’m a Loser feels like the hidden blueprint for all the deep soul that followed. The vocals are cut free of the ’60s pop aspirations of Motown and even their rougher Southern counterpart, Stax. They’re earthy, gritty, and soulful and as close to the church as you can get without getting up Sunday morning. The music is simple, polished, and reserved, jumping into the spotlight only when necessary. Listen to the understated guitar solo on “Ghost of Myself” for proof. By 1969 standards, the lyrics are sobering in their candor and, considering that this is loosely a concept album about the darkest facets of love and secret relationships, quite relentless, too. Credit is due to legendary soul eccentric Swamp Dogg, who produced and wrote most of I’m a Loser and a good deal of the follow-up, A Legend in Her Own Time. Legend isn’t as intense as its predecessor and really, how could it be? It’s an excellent companion, though, and its lighter tone and punchy horn arrangements are a welcome reprieve from the weight of I’m a Loser.

This is true Southern Soul music. Doris doesn’t impress you so much with the range of her voice, just her conviction. You feel every word she sings, and this to me makes for the best vocals. Want to also praise the Swamp Dogg production. Lots of nice touches and embellishments that makes this not only a great soul album, but a pop gem as well.

If you love classic Memphis soul of the 60s-70s (Bettye Swann, Candi Staton, Ann Peeples, Syl Johnson, Al Green), you’ll love this disc.

I have waited for this album for many years. I used to sell records in the early 1970’s and the shop where I worked specialized in soul music. The 45 “To The Other Woman” was the epitome of the soul ballad in my opinion and I played it frequently in the store. Men liked it and women LOVED it. We were able to get a few copies of the LP when it was released and luckily I saved one for myself because it went unavailable for the next 30 years. Her singing is so plaintive you must tear up if you have a heart. I can’t believe she never got famous. If you enjoy artists like Ann Peebles, give this one a listen.



consists of 26 songs, comprised of the 1969 Canyon LP “I’m a Loser” (tracks 1-12), the 1971 Mankind LP “A Legend in Her Own Time” (tracks 13-23), and three Jay Boy recordings fromΒ 1967 (tracks 24-26).

Some of the greatest female soul from the southern scene at the start of the 70s — two monumental albums from singer Doris Duke, both produced by Swamp Dogg and packaged here with some rare bonus cuts too! Doris’ work has always been some of our favorite from the deep soul scene — honest, personal, and earthy — with a quality that goes way beyond the cliches of other female soul singers from the south — an aspect that’s even more surprising, given that Swamp Dogg was in on the mix! Doris has a way of putting over a tune that’s really incredible — that kind of intimate, one-on-one mode that brings to mind the kind of chills we first felt when hearing Otis Redding on Stax — and which somehow manages to hold on strong over all the tracks on the set. At 26 numbers in all, the package is a tremendous rare soul treasure — and features the full tracks from the album I’m A Loser and A Legend In Her Own Time — plus some rare singles cut by Doris under the name Doris Willingham.

13. I Wish I Could Sleep (3:42)
14. It Sure Was Fun (2:40)
15. I Don’t Know How (To Fall Out of Love With You) (2:58)
16. He’s Everything I Need (3:25)
17. I’d Do It All Over You (2:22)
18. If She’s Your Wife (Who Am I) (3:58)
19. Since I Fell for You (2:52)
20. Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You (2:21)
21. Let Love Touch Us Now (2:31)
22. Bad Water (3:22)
23. By the Time I Get to Phoenix (4:01)

Bonus as Doris Willingham
24. Too Much to Bear (3:25)
25. You Can’t Do That (2:54)
26. Lost Again (3:32)

Buy the AlbumDoris Duke – 1969 – I’m a Loser (plus 2nd album & bonus)

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Conversation for album: Doris Duke – 1969 – I’m a Loser (plus 2nd album & bonus)

  • Brain Damage
    Posted at 01:00h, 27 November 2008 Reply

    Splendid… This music is so intense emotionally, I’m speechless.

    I agree, this record should be in every soul music collection. Thank you so very much.

  • David
    Posted at 03:16h, 29 June 2009 Reply

    Thank you thank you thank you, this album is heartbreakingly good. I really appreciate what yall are doing with this blog, thanks for the great music!

  • raggedy
    Posted at 20:58h, 17 October 2009 Reply

    Thanks for sharing these albums. Doris Duke is a wonderful singer.

  • Sly don
    Posted at 16:37h, 30 October 2009 Reply

    Wonderful, thank you for introducing her to me..

  • SPC
    Posted at 01:22h, 20 February 2010 Reply

    Amazing! This is soul! There’s just so much power and emotion packed into these songs – thank you so much for introducing me to this!

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 04:08h, 18 April 2010 Reply

    This is one where the hyperbole surrounding it doesn’t even come close to illustrating it brilliance. Her voice is an astounding gift.

  • Kyle
    Posted at 07:22h, 13 July 2010 Reply

    I just listened to “I’m a Loser”, and it was great. Thanks so much for sharing it. I really like this blog btw, πŸ™‚

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