Zulema – 1972 – Zulema
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I finally obtain this vinyl after a long time searching.
This is the debut LP for Sussex records in 1972. Very rare even to find it on mp3. Not to be confused with 1975 RCA album with only her name too.
Even All Music is wrong having 1975 songs in this album’s song list.One of the most amazing singer/songwriters of the 1970s. Sometimes funky, sometimes sensitive. Zulema’s distinct style of soul is always dramatic, passionate and unapologetically in-your-face. This lady doesn’t play around! Like her lyrics, her voice is powerful, holding nothing back. At times, her full-blown delivery is similar to the style of Chaka Khan, yet Zulema’s fire is distinctly her own.
A1. I Leave It Up To You
A2. This Child Of Mine
A3. If I Loved You
A4. Maybe I’m Amazed
A5. If This World Was Mine
B1. Don’t Be Afraid
B2. Why Do I Love You
B3. American Fruit, African Roots
B4. Ain’t It Sad
B5. I Remember Mama
Like many Soul singers past and present, Zulema had a strong gospel base in her singing. She also was multitalented, playing piano and writing most of her own material. Before releasing this, her first solo album, Zulema was a member of the singing group Faith, Hope and Charity. The 10 songs contained within the album are a mix of ballads and up-tempo Soul songs. This Child of Mine stands out for its moody instrumentation. The versus of If This World Were Mine are in a similar vein, but the song overall is a ballad. Zulema was a pioneer of sorts in that she was a ’70s black R&B singer who wrote much of her own material, and was able to assume some of her own production chores. The records themselves were forerunners of urban contemporary music, occasionally reaching the lower parts of the R&B charts, Zulema’s vocals betraying a strong Aretha Franklin influence.
Born Zulema Cusseaux in Tampa, FL, she was a member of the Lovelles in the late ’60s and early ’70s. A Van McCoy produced Lovelles single (“So Much Love“) became a Top 20 R&B hit in 1971. She was later a member of Faith Hope & Charity which began recording for Maxwell in 1970, produced by Van McCoy, who wrote their first three singles. Zulema left the group after the “Heavy Love” album, some sources say 1971 but it may have been in ’72. Her first solo album was issued
on Sussex while the label was still issuing FHC singles which had been recorded before she left.
She assumed her highest profile with a series of LPs for RCA in the mid-’70s, reaching the middle of the R&B charts in 1975 with “Wanna Be Where You Are.” Her recording career ended after an album for LeJoint in the late ’70s.
You can also enjoy her 1973 “Ms. Z” album here.