SHIRLEY BROWN: Shirley Brown (Label: Soul Brother)

  • Home
  • Reviews
  • SHIRLEY BROWN: Shirley Brown (Label: Soul Brother)
SHIRLEY BROWN: Shirley Brown

Arkansas-born/St. Louis-raised soul chanteuse, Shirley Brown, made a huge impact in 1974 with her memorable chart topping R&B smash, ‘Woman To Woman,’ issued on the Stax subsidiary, Truth. A song about an adulterous relationship, it featured Brown uttering a straight-talking monologue to the so-called ‘other woman’ in a hurtful love triangle. Sadly it was the last hit Stax experienced before the company went belly up due to financial problems. Lured by producer, Don Davis, Brown joined the roster at the nascent Arista label in 1977 and cut this self-titled sophomore album, which included the US Top 20 hit, ‘Blessed Is The Woman.’ Regarded by some soul connoisseurs as Brown’s best album – arguably eclipsing her ‘Woman To Woman’ debut – ‘Shirley Brown’ has never been issued on CD before. That lamentable situation has been rectified thanks to Putney’s Soul Brother label, which specialises in bringing rare and in-demand soul albums to CD. Remastered from the original master tapes, this first reissue features the original 9-track album – a mixture of soulful ballads and uptempo dancers – helmed in Memphis by Bettye Crutcher and Jeff Stewart plus three non-album 45s which have been appended as bonus cuts. Cult singer DJ Rogers appears as a backing vocalist alongside bassist Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn (of Booker T & The MGs’ fame) and keyboardist Lester Snell. All in all, a reissue that soul connoisseurs should savour.
(CW) 4/5