Laura Lee – 1972 – Love More Than Pride
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After Etta James’ highly successful trip down South, Chess Records decided to send another one of its finest female soul vocalists to Muscle Shoals. Laura Lee possessed some huge pipes, perfectly suited for the raw soul & roll that was dominating the scene in the late 1960s – yes, the LP was recorded in 1967-68 but, for reasons unknown to me, not released until 1972.
A1 Mama’s Got a Good Thing 2:11
A2 Another Man’s Woman 2:41
A3 It Ain’t What You Do (But How You Do It) 2:04
A4 She Don’t Love You 2:43
A5 It’s All Wrong But It’s All Right 2:26
A6 Need to Belong 2:53
B1 Dirty Man 2:54
B2 But You Know I Love You 2:50
B3 That’s How It Is 2:31
B4 It’s How You Make It Good 2:39
B5 Love More Than Pride 2:32
Her big, storming the gates of heaven voice is best on display as she rips through the lamentful “Another Man’s Woman, Another Woman’s Man” – later also recorded by Candi Staton, and the hit “Dirty Man“, a slow grinding country soul work-out drenched in blaring horns and crackeling guitar riffs. And she’s definitely belting on a ‘Bama-inspired version of “It’s All Wrong But It’s All Right“, where she goes from a low whisper to full scale gospel wailin’ at the drop of a hat.
Miss Lee could get down hard and funky as well, as is proven by the album’s opener “Mama’s Got a Good Thing” and the equally fierce stomper “It Ain’t What You Do (It’s How You Do It)“, the latter submerged in downhome, dirty guitars, fat horns and buzzing Hammond organ.
Jerry Butler’s “Need to Belong to Someone” is given the country church treatment as well, adding a buzzing, droning organ to the mix and gospelfide backing vocals. More poppy is her take on the old country chestnut “But You Know I Love You“, popularized by Bill Anderson and Dolly Parton, but it’s right back raw Southern goodness with the self-written, devastatingly intense mid-tempo ballad “That’s How It Is“, later covered by Otis Clay.
Before ending the LP in typical fashion with the heartbreaking, organ-dominated slowie “Love More Than Pride“, Laura boards the Soul Funky Train once more as she struts through the delicious, deep fried groove fest “It’s How You Make It Good“.