Freddie North – 1971 – Friend

Rip and research  by Mr.Moo

Review by Soulmakossa

Posting & additional info’s by Nikos

Freddie North, a superb singer with a great, smokey, baritone voice, will forever be linked to his biggest hit, the all-time soul smash “She’s All I Got“, the brooding, lamenting country-soul dirge from the pens and minds of two Soul geniuses, Gary U.S. Bonds and Jerry ‘Swamp Dogg‘ Williams.

But North had been around: he had already cut a now highly sought after Southern Soul disc for the Abet label in 1970 (‘The Magnetic North‘) and had been a record pusher for years himself.

He cut two albums for Swamp Dogg; the stupendously rare ‘Cuss the Wind‘ in 1975, and the album in question here, which, in my opinion, is one mightily overlooked juggernaut of superior Soul.


A1 She’s All I Got 2:39
Raining On A Sunny Day 3:36
Sweeter Than Sweetness 3:01
Sidewalks Fences And Walls 2:54
I Did The Woman Wrong 2:42
Yours Love 3:00
Laid Back And Easy 2:29
You And Me Together Forever 3:12
Ain’t Nothing In The News (But The Blues) 2:46
Did I Come Back Too Soon (Or Stay Away Too Long) 3:07

A side the big hit “She’s All I Got“, there’s plenty to groove on here. In fact, it’s the bittersweet, lightly arranged, brooding ballad “Raining on a Sunny Day” that is the prime cut. North’s earthy vocal, tied to a slow grinding beat and shimmering violins equals bliss…

But the man could get down and boogie as hard as the rest of ’em as well. The rocking “Sweeter Than Sweetness“, with its blaring horns and incessant country barn stompin’ rhythm and the blazingly funky socio-political “Ain’t Nothing in the News (But the Blues” are proof of that.

Nonetheless, when he gets in that ‘Brook Benton Gutbucket Style’-bag, the results are goosebump inducing: the incredibly gorgeous ballad “Sidewalks, Fences and Walls” just oozes melancholy. Swamp Dogg’s in his element here with the flourishing strings, country-soul guitar fills and quirky chord progressions

The same goes for “You and Me Together Forever“, another tastefully arranged (French horns!) love song that demonstrates just how powerful a singer Freddie actually was.

Then there are those delicious mid-tempo waxings: the horn heavy, introspective “I Did the Woman Wrong“, the bluesy “Yours Love” and the super funky “Laid Back and Easy“, which carries a groove that’s as thick as molasses.

A cover of Whitehead‘s gently rollicking “Did I Come Back Too Soon (Or Stay Away Too Long?)” keeps the album’s general mood blue but in the groove (again Swamp Dogg adds some great strings, which never gets syruppy or over-the-top) and is the perfect finish to this coherent, warm, BRILLIANT record.

Currently available on a twofer with Z.Z. Hill’s ‘The Brand New Z.Z. Hill’, where North’s album is included whole, along with two bonus tracks; “Cuss the Wind” and the devastating “My Whole World Ended (When You Left Me)”.

Don’t miss his 2nd Swamp Dogg 1975 LP “Cuss the Windon our back pages here

Buy the AlbumFreddie North – 1971 – Friend


Conversation for album: Freddie North – 1971 – Friend

  • zand
    Posted at 16:17h, 27 December 2011 Reply

    Thank You very much! Great album!

  • rich
    Posted at 21:43h, 27 December 2011 Reply

    thank u mr. moo and nikos

  • Alexia
    Posted at 22:30h, 27 December 2011 Reply

    Have a peaceful New Year’s Eve with lots of music… and don’t forget the true meaning of it 🙂

  • Paul
    Posted at 15:13h, 28 December 2011 Reply

    Wow! Thank you for both rare gems. Happy New Year.

  • Mafu
    Posted at 18:25h, 28 December 2011 Reply

    nice one bruva! i love cuss the wind such smooth production, much respect for sharing some more

  • mark mathew
    Posted at 20:18h, 28 December 2011 Reply

    a great album indeed. CHEERS – you did it again, surprised me with a great Southern Soul gem completely new to me. Love it. Thanks a million and wishing you a happy new year Mate

  • SwedSoul
    Posted at 22:46h, 28 December 2011 Reply

    Thanks for sharing this great album.

  • Holly
    Posted at 23:10h, 28 December 2011 Reply

    Many, many thanks! Wonderful research & review.

  • Irene
    Posted at 00:19h, 29 December 2011 Reply

    Absolutely great. Thank u.

  • Ben Wallas
    Posted at 15:26h, 29 December 2011 Reply

    Another ace. Much appreciated.

  • Thomas
    Posted at 22:03h, 29 December 2011 Reply

    Powerful singer. Great production.

  • Jose
    Posted at 12:46h, 30 December 2011 Reply

    Keep posting the Rare tunes.

  • Rod
    Posted at 16:57h, 01 January 2012 Reply

    this is some cool stuff. Happy 2012.

  • Da Man
    Posted at 12:06h, 03 January 2012 Reply

    One of a kind sound !!!

  • Mirna
    Posted at 17:17h, 03 January 2012 Reply

    Wow! If this blog is a dream… I don’t wanna wake up! 🙂

  • Gerard
    Posted at 10:57h, 04 January 2012 Reply

    still sounds wonderful – every play :))

  • andreas
    Posted at 11:47h, 04 January 2012 Reply

    Superb post! Thnks so much.

  • mick
    Posted at 13:48h, 04 January 2012 Reply

    Fantastic. Best wishes for the new year

  • hooch
    Posted at 15:22h, 04 January 2012 Reply

    What a lovely lp – thank you mr moo and nikos – have a super new year guys..peace!

  • whoknows
    Posted at 01:35h, 05 January 2012 Reply

    Thanks for this great album, look forward to listening to it!

  • Kirk
    Posted at 02:53h, 05 January 2012 Reply

    Had to listen to this twice before commenting… Just fab!!…xx

  • NJ
    Posted at 13:33h, 08 January 2012 Reply

    it does not get any better than this. Thnx u.

  • Brother Erl
    Posted at 16:47h, 08 January 2012 Reply

    Awesome blog. Very informative and great rip. Thanks.

  • Gustavo
    Posted at 20:45h, 08 January 2012 Reply

    Excellent records. Keep goin’ on

  • Chato
    Posted at 13:03h, 09 January 2012 Reply

    Never get tired of this northern soul absolute classic

  • Appreciative Visitor
    Posted at 20:50h, 09 January 2012 Reply

    I’m looking forward to this, thank you. And welcome back!

  • Pierre
    Posted at 12:35h, 10 January 2012 Reply

    Delicious. Much appreciated.

  • W
    Posted at 22:32h, 13 January 2012 Reply

    Freddie North + Swamp Dogg + Muscle Shoals = great! Thanks. W

  • Frankie T
    Posted at 00:09h, 19 January 2012 Reply

    Anything the Dogg touches is magic. Thank you so much for this!

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