Monday, September 7, 2015

Carl Hall's rare deep soul recordings compiled by Omnivore

The 19-track Carl Hall retrospective You Don't Know Nothing About Love includes 13 unissued tracks.

Carl Hall’s four-octave range first came into prominence on the gospel sides he cut in the 1950s for labels like Vee-Jay and Savoy. His later acting work on Broadway (Inner City, The Wiz, and Truly Blessed: A Musical Celebration Of Mahalia Jackson) and in the film version of Hair was renowned. But it’s the soul sides he cut for the Loma and Atlantic labels, with producer Jerry Ragovoy, that are most sought after. You Don’t Know Nothing About Love: The Loma/Atlantic Recordings 1967-1972 recirculates Hall's best work and true to Omnivore's deep digging style, uncovers a few recordings from the vaults which many deep soul collectors never knew existed.

The Omnivore label's 19-track CD, out now, collects the singles from this era and adds an astonishing 13 previously unissued tracks. In addition to the title tune, “I Don’t Wanna Be (Your Used To Be),” and Hall’s take on Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody To Love,” You Don’t Know Nothing About Love gathers unreleased versions of hits from The Beatles (“The Long And Winding Road”), Broadway’s Stop The World — I Want To Get Off (“What Kind Of Fool Am I”)… and even The Rolling Stones, who themselves had a hit with their cover of Ragovoy’s “Time Is On My Side,” represented here in a pair of unissued versions.

You Don’t Know Nothing About Love acts as both a primer and a definitive statement on Hall’s six years under the Warner Bros. umbrella. The mystery of why so much of this music lingered in the vaults for so many decades is discussed by Bill Dahl in his liner notes which includes a a historical overview of both Hall’s and his colleagues’ careers.

Writes Dahl: “The stratospheric four-octave vocal range of Carl Hall was truly a gift from on high. No less an esteemed authority than Anthony Heilbut declared him the finest male soprano in gospel. But after establishing himself in the sacred field, Hall crossed over to the secular arena, cutting a series of mesmerizing soul singles that showcased his uncanny vocal mastery just as vividly as those spirituals had.”

You Don't Know Nothing About Love: The Loma/Atlantic Recordings 1967-1972
1. You Don’t Know Nothing About Love*
2. Mean It Baby*
3. Just Like I Told You
4. He’ll Never Love You
5. It Was You (That I Needed)
6. The Dam Busted*
7. I Don’t Wanna Be (Your Used to Be)*
8. Dance Dance Dance
9. What Kind of Fool Am I?
10. Sometimes I Do
11. The Long and Winding Road
12. It’s Been Such A Long Way Home
13. Time Is on My Side
14. Need Somebody to Love*
15. Change With the Season*
       Alternate Takes:
16. Just Like I Told You
 (Take 7)
17. It Was You (That I Needed) (Take 12)
18. The Dam Busted (1971 Remake)
19. Time Is on My Side (Takes 1 & 2) 

       All selections previously unissued except *

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