Week 30: Paydirt

By: Lafayette

Jul 24 2009

Tags: ,

Category: 1979

110 Comments

Hello, friends!

Week 30 offers y’all something special…real special. One of my favorites from the last couple of years, Lee Fields, and his really rare debut album “Let’s Talk It Over” from 1979. Never thought I would own a copy of this beauty – but damn, thanks to my 5-year old son, now I do! So before we get down to business, let me tell you a little something about digging for rare vinyls…bear with me for just a minute, OK?!.

Crate digging is one tough mistress. Always done best haphazardly…on a whim. Try and plan a great day of digging, and you always come home empty handed. Chance is an important factor – blind luck even more so. Just the other week I was out and about on the town, doing some errands with my 5-year old Cal in tow. In a weak moment I had promised him a visit to the vintage comic book store, which was where we were heading when we were surprised by some heavy rain. Looking for shelter, we ran into the closest store – a small, hole-in-the-wall World Music record store (OK, that was a lie…it was like the ninth closest…always wanted to scratch this place off my list for possible digging grounds – let’s just say we got pretty wet, without me being outed as a bad dad or anything like that, OK).

Walking inside, wiping my fogged up glasses, I did a quick look-around and pretty much saw disappointment everywhere I looked, thinking “Yeah, this pan flute shit just isn’t my thing.” Cal on the other hand excitedly let go of my left hand and ran down a narrow aisle and out of my sight. When I caught up with him, he’d found some weird looking instruments of some sort…a russian Balalaika, a couple of African drums in various sizes, some weird looking Tunisian woodwind instruments – and a big sign saying “Do not touch!”…so of course, when Cal started drumming away, the bulky lady at the counter came running like a lightning.

So while waiting for the rain to stop, and to keep Cal from those instruments (and that scary lady), I told him he could pick out an album or two. And right there, at the back of the store, we found a table with some dollar bins…I started leafing through some LPs with hideous Irish Ballads, Austrian medieval choir works, rainforest muzak etc…while Cal found two milk crates under the table, in a perfect digging angle for his height. After like a minute he said “Dad, can I buy this one with the nice flowers?”, and I distractedly said “Sure thing…as long as it isn’t too expensive!”…and after another minute or so I was done with what was on the table, and I bent over for a quick glance at Cal’s crates…and to my surprise I found that both of them held some nice old jazz and soul albums. In the meantime, Cal had grown restless and was jumping around the store, getting mean looks from the lady at the counter…so I just grabbed a fistful of the better-looking LPs, picked up Cal and headed for the checkout.

And that’s where I notice what album Cal picked out for himself – a factory-sealed, never played, super-mint copy of Lee Fields debut album “Let’s Talk It Over” on Angle 3 Records from 1979. So I just stood there…for what felt like an eternity, with my mouth open…doing my famous birdfeeder imitation…like in a coma or something, probably drooling too. Then I heard Cal saying something, so I leaned over to him, still in a haze and heard “Dad! Dad! Dad! The raining has stopped!” which had me coming back to my senses somewhat, and I gave the lady at the counter the LPs I was clutching to my chest. I heard her murmur something and I forked over some money, and all of a sudden me and Cal were outside again.

The sun was glaring now and we’re standing there on the sidewalk – me with a plastic bag holding 7 LPs in one hand and in the other I had a receipt saying that I just paid like $12 for all of them. And then Cal slowly started dragging me towards the comic book store…

Apparently that’s how crate digging is supposed to be done. Cal’s Lee Fields find cost about $1…and has been “drawing four digit bids from collectors worldwide” – I actually did good too, scoring some rare and valuable vinyls (check back next week and I’ll show you). All in all, we invested our $12 wisely – that days catch was worth at least $1200! That’s like an percentage making even a 80’s Wall Street broker jealous!

The best part is (for both you and me) that I’m more into listening and sharing music than selling it. So when we got back home, I swiftly cut the Lee Fields albums market value by 2/3 when ripping it open, and to Cal’s delight (before he ran to his room with a box full of old Incredible Hulk magazines), played it real loud three times in a row – and it was definitely worth every cent! :¬)

For those of you who don’t know about Lee Fields, here’s some useful info to handle that. First, let’s have a look at a snippet from his bio – taken from his current recording labels website, Truth & Soul….

………………………………………………………………

“Lee was born and raised in the small town of Wilson, North Carolina, one of 4 children. He spent his adolescence years singing in church and listening to R&B artists such as James Brown, The Temptations, Eddie Floyd, Otis Redding and the classic sound of 60’s Memphis. He joined a few racial balance groups in the South and began playing college circuits that included East Carolina University, Duke University and Georgia Tech. By the late sixties,  Lee began his singing career, working with bands which would lay the foundation for funk music including Kool and the Gang, Sammy Gordon and the Hip-Huggers, and Little Royal.

Renowned throughout the global Funk community,  Lee Fields has poured his grunts and screams over a legacy of funk and soul hits from the early seventies, including such 45 rpm classics as She’s a Lovemaker, The Bullis Coming, and The Funky Screw, not to mention his well sought after Let’s Talk It Over LP. This LP draws four digit bids from collectors worldwide. His recordings with the hard funk purists at Truth & Soul, Desco, and Daptone Records in recent years has solidified his place as the King of contemporary funk music as well.”

………………………………………………………………

And here’s an excerpt taken from Soul Tracks review of Lee’s 2009 release “My World”…

………………………………………………………………

Lee Fields may well owe his musical life to James Brown. Early on, Fields was dubbed Little J.B. because of his uncanny ability to channel Brown’s growl and grunt trademark sounds. Even his debut single from 1969, “Bewildered” was cut in the same studio where Brown’s calling card – “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” – was birthed. Over a career that has spanned almost four decades in near obscurity, Fields has always managed to keep a small but devoted fan base by keeping the soul funk movement ablaze. With a series of singles released on independent labels, Fields’ underground hits stamped with the spirit of James Brown stand out today as rare soul music collectible treasures.

The song that broke Fields was “Let’s Talk It Over,” even though it was not a big seller upon its initial release in 1973. What was remarkable is that he was able to tour for several years on the strength of his singles without the benefit of a full-length album. His string of minor singles such as “Everybody Gonna Give Away Their Love To Somebody” and “The Bull Is Coming” continued through the 1970s. Finally, Let’s Talk It Over was released as his first album in 1979.

When the eighties arrived, disco and new wave pretty much ruled the charts, and Fields found himself taking a recording break. For his so-called comeback in the nineties, he changed musical gears somewhat, from the tight funk grooves to a prominently Southern Soul/R&B style made famous by vocalists like Tyrone Davis and Denise LaSalle – not a surprising move since Fields appreciated all various forms of urban music. His three albums on Mississippi-based Ace Records and Avanti Records included some soul-funk classics, including covers of King Floyd’s “Groove Me,” Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” and one of Fields’ biggest hits during the nineties, the contemporary blues flavored “Meet Me Tonight.” Fields also reprised “Let’s Talk It Over” on his 1992 project Enough Is Enough.

A fresh appreciation for the raw soul-funk of the 60s and 70s brought newfound recognition to Fields just before the millennium, Let’s Get A Groove On, released in 1999 on retro-soul label Desco, signified Fields’ return to his first love. Fields and Sharon Jones (Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings) were two influential artists that made the reemergence of the old-school deep funk era possible. An up-and-coming vocalist who backed Lee Fields on a 1996 recording session, Jones was on the Desco roster until its demise in 2000. The former owners of the defunct Desco each branched out with new retro soul companies; one with Jones’ current label home Daptone, the other with Soul Fire, which released Fields’ funk-filled Problems in 2002.  Soul Fire dissolved a short time later and changed over to Truth & Soul, the label behind Fields’ latest My World.

………………………………………………………………

For more information on Lee Fields and his later albums, check out Oliver Wang’s walk-through on NPR (including some sound previews) or the Lee Fields story on his own website Soul Sides.

There isn’t much more to tell on the album itself…Lee Fields kicked ass already back in 1979 – 8 tracks, all killer, no filler material. My personal favourites are the instrumental “Flim Flam”, the sweet ballad “You’re My Weakness”, the two part album closer “Everybody Gonna Give Their Thing Away” and the wicked “She’s A Lovemaker”…check out the preview clip below:

It’ll probably be hard to locate a copy of the original vinyl for yourself, but keep trying – you just might get lucky like I did (correction, like Cal did). But go get his newer releases right now! “Let’s Get A Groove On” on Desco from 1999, “Problems” on Soul Fire Records from 2002, and his latest My World” on Truth & Soul from 2009 are all wicked good!

Props to Cal for this great find, I’m real proud of you, son! (But I still don’t think that digging skills can be considered hereditary…then again, maybe dumb luck can?!). And last but not least – Lee Fields, thank you for the great music!

(Ps. As usual, the link is in the comments…and while you’re  there – LEAVE A COMMENT! What’s being offered this week is a great, rare album, not to be found on any other blog. Almost 300 downloads later, there’s only like 7 comments…c’mon, people – it’s both fast, simple and rewarding…I promise! :¬)

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110 comments on “Week 30: Paydirt”

  1. Listen up! And don’t forget to show some love for little Cal! Please, leave a comment – share your opinions, on the post and/or the album, with us!

    LISTEN:
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    DISCLAIMER:
    17 U.S.C. 107 permits copyrighted material to be used under the “fair use” doctrine without any permission from the copyright owner. As such, as far as these files are concerned, they are clips and/or low quality reproductions of material; As such they should not be used as substitutes for retail copies of the material contained within. No currency or materials in-Lieu of same has changed hands during the download and/or distribution of these files. No monetary reward is expected and/or accepted for the content of these files. No pretense has been, nor will ever be, made that these files and their contents have ever been, or ever will be, of retailable quality.

    Still, any artist or legal copyright owner who whould rather not see their music or other creations on this blog, please leave a comment with a valid e-mail address and we will sort things out A.S.A.P. If you do download any music or any other copyrighted material, please delete download within 24 hrs and hit the record shop. Always support the real artists whenever possible!

    • Your son is your good luck charm!!!!!!
      Peace Lafayette and the rest of the 4BB squad!!!
      It has been a min since I check the site … but as always, so grateful that ya’ll do what ya’ll do….
      Stay up !!!

    • What a wonderful story. Thank you for you generosity. I play your music on my radio show Gummy Soul.

  2. Your son rocks!

    Nice story… The best my kid could do was to be in Mays Used Records in Hazel Park, MI (now long gone) holding the jacket to Thriller with the LP in hand, gaping inside & saying “Dad… there’s no CD in here!”

  3. damn. thats some nice diggin.

    • Yep…especially for a 5-yearold! 😉

      And, yeah, I’ve been back to that store looting it some more…crazy cheap stuff! But last time I was there, the lady actually refused to sell me two albums…she said she had to check the price with her husband and told me to come back next week….I think my ear-to-ear smile gave me away! Hehehe!

  4. can you tell your son i will swap him 6 superman comics and a yellow chopper bike for the lp…. thanks for the share. especially the storey.

    • Hehehe…I think you have to do better than that…he’s hip to the market value by now. Yesterday he talked about buying a motorcycle…hehehehe!

  5. Wow…Family diggin’.
    Maybe there is some sort of genetic transmission !
    Congratulations and thank you for the share.

    • Yeah…but make that accidental family diggin’! If I would’ve told him we were going vinyl shopping, he’d refuse to go…he’s way to smart for that…he knows how long time it can take…he just haven’t got that sort of stamina…yet! 😉

  6. This is strong!
    Thank you for the great share, Fam!
    Peace

  7. Sweet album Laf. I think you better keep Cal by your side when you go out. He’s like a human vinyl heat-seeking missile! 😉

  8. Nice post Brothers…”She’s A Lovemaker” thats the cut!!

    Peace
    Blak

  9. THANK YOUUUU

  10. Much Thanks Laf and Son!! Children always amaze me. I can’t wait to hear this LP. I love the Lee Fields LP Problems that I checked out a few years back over at Dr. OK’s Spot. I hope this one is just as good. Peace!!

    • Hmmm…not really the same thing as the Problems album…this is the real deal…the true Lee…all the later albums are done to emulate a specific sound of a specific era – still good of course, but more in a replica kind of way. The real deal always kicks replicas ass! 🙂

  11. LOve the work you do . This is a prime example.

  12. Thanks Lafayette, just got his new album – My World.

  13. Nice drop.

    Love the gems of music.

  14. Thanks for this gem!!!

    Big Up!@!

  15. Thank you for my weekly fix!!

  16. Whoa!! Hot fire, what a record coming from 1979!! This is a stone fire gem!!

  17. I’ve heard about the greatness and rarity of this record, have searched high and low even for snippets of tracks inside with no luck…thank you so much for what I hope will be a great listening session.

    • Yeah…that about sums up my situation before wonderboy Cal found it for me! I had only heard the instrumental groover “Flim Flam”…which just made me want it even more. Crazy!

  18. Respect to Cal, the new king of diggin’!

  19. Thanks. Much appreciated.

  20. Wonderful job as always! Thanks a lot for the ultra-rare gem guys – and Cal, of course!

  21. Yes indeed… Keb, Ian, Tobias and all the rest, you have competition…

    You let a FIVE YEAR OLD kick your @$$!!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! 😀

    Here’s my public thanks, to you Laf for the sneak preview and to you Cal for your impeccable digging expertise. Keep on schoolin’ ’em, kid!

    Peace and blessings.

  22. What an amazing story – and album.
    Thanks, Lafayette & Cal, for this absolute treasure. You brought a smile to my face at a very rainy time.

  23. Amazing record and story. Thanks to the prince and king of diggin! Laf, I’ve forgot that feeling lately as there no vinyl in our records shops here. Diggin through internet isn’t the same……. And i cancelled the visit to London (family vacations) cause of the flue…Ahhhhh!!!!

  24. You guys are the best. Thanks for this hot SEALED LP. 😉

  25. I haven’t been visiting for a minute and that’s a great story!! Man,that’s what digging is all about,the hunt and the dollar bin discoveries.
    thanks for this lp!!

  26. WOW! haha what a story!!! Guess it was meant to be raining at that moment huh?!!? I can’t wait to listen to this! I heard a Truth & Soul podcast featuring Lee’s new My World album cuts on it and it blew my mind!!! What a voice! Thanks again for the hard work yall put in and also for the entertaining stories about the diggin!

    • You’re so very welcome…and yeah, My World is this years best new album so far…all categories!

  27. great up this one a clone J B sounds like early to mid 7t’s

  28. Fantastic story, I hope my lil’ digger finds gold like that for me one day.

    • Hey Slay’d, good to see ya! WHEN are you gonna start posting again, bro?
      I miss your great selections. 😦

  29. thanks brothers!

  30. I think you guys are better than ever! Thanks for the great music but I have a hard time with the new download pages(usenext?). Why not go back to the old way? Just a thought. Peace!

    • Hey, K…there shouldn’t be any problems…no usenext, just using mass mirrors to prevent the link death (that almost killed us last time around)!
      Choose the Sharebee link up above…then you just type in the “captcha” code at the Lix.in jumpstation, and then you get to choose from 4-5 different link hosts (all of them pretty familiar I think) – now pick the one you like the most, and in 5-10 minutes you have that sweet album on your desktop! 😉

      And if the problems persist, drop me a line…and I’ll sort you out on the down low! 😀

      /Laf

  31. Yo, been away for a minute.. came back and LOOK AT ALL THIS DOPE SHIT YOU GUYS HAVE POSTED!! Damn, it’s like Christmas in July! Now I can’t say if maybe I should do it like this more often! On the one hand, I fiend to hear new joints so I tend to check everyday and pounce on the new shit.. on the other, Getting 5 or 6 at one time is the bomb diggy..

    ..I’mma go try to dig THIS one up too..

    Thanks fellaz!

  32. Nice One
    thx for it
    btw @ Lafayette I’m back in business 🙂

  33. GREAT POST guys!!!

  34. Thanks, Milk! Nice to have you around…and thanks for the Jimmy McGriff joints, had slept on some of them beauties for some weird reson! 😀

  35. Damn, Lafayette!! To me, this story sums up the spirit of digging, one that has served me well for almost 30 years. Dumb luck, karma, the force, subtle vibrational alignment, mojo or whatever you want to call it, THIS is what makes digging an ART instead of a numbers game.

    Like nikos1109 said above, us veteran diggers sometimes forget that straying from the beaten path and keeping our eyes and minds open is what it’s all about – there’s still all sorts of vinyl treasures out there these days.

    Thanks for sharing – the story, the music and most of all the love!

  36. man thats one crazy story. it’s kinda like the record found u. anyways im really diggin’ this record especially ‘let’s talk it over’. many thanks for this rare gem.

  37. thank you for lettin me know the new post.

    Hi-res Cover Arts are very nice.

    thanx again

  38. His new album is my pick for best of 2009-thanks for this!

  39. Many thanks for the great LP and equally great story – greatly appreciated as always!

  40. waddup family!
    thats cool as hell u got yur boy on point like that not everyone has the nack or the patience for diggin’ and for a 5 year old , i’m impressed….you know I can’t grab the link (tho I would love to hear it I’m a big Lee fan…)
    I really just stopped by to say hello to everyone, it’s been a busy path for me lately so I havent had a moment to visit any of my blog homies, and plus I got SB’s chain letter last nite, and didn’t want yall thinking I jus up n forgot about everyone,,,,glad to see yall still keepin it real & dope and REAL DOPE!
    and I second what Cheeba said…
    I’ll be easin my way back in the mix soon…ONE!

  41. Hey thanks for this awesome album! i have a Mac and i can’t get these zip files opened. I know the password just don’t know how to get it open…Please help…thanks

    • That’s real easy, Alex…go download the free Stuffit Expander here! The default unzipper on Mac’s can’t handle the password protected zip files, but the Expander handles them easily! 😀

  42. one hell of a story and hella of record
    BIG!

  43. Finally got to my turn. Whew!!
    Haven’t heard too much of Lee Fields. Only seen his name here and there, so I’m anticpating a good listen when I do.
    What a story Laf. Is he the oneresponsible for cleaning up behind Cleo? LOL
    A little inside humor here, but nevertheless, my bruh is laying sommoe goodies on us. I thank thee muchly. Keep it up fellows.

  44. I havent had a decent internet connection for the past 2 months because I have been out of town and mobile so I haven’t been downloading anything but I wanted to def come through and show some love.

  45. tankx for the “gold”….god sounds and infos.

  46. Wow, very appreciated!!… One of my faves, thanks!!

  47. Go head on Cal!! Show POP how it’s done.
    And Laf, like I wrote earlier. I wasn’t up on Lee Perry, but now I am….and what an up.
    I’m digging this album. It has that soul I grew up with in Tennessee (STAX country) as well as everything else. You stated that this was Lee Perrry in the raw. I feel ya. Like raw unrefined sugar, it’s got a flavor that lasts, with huge flavor crystals and…..it’s better for you.
    Band is kicking, trying to give something away. And like Lee says in the album…”Ain’t no need of sitting on it.” Thanks for your generosity. Be well my brother.

  48. And to you Mr Fields. Please forgive me for totally butchering and scandalizing your name.
    “Who the hell left the gate open?”

  49. THANK YOU!!! Man you guys are awesome, and the brotha’s are the gateway to great music .. I love to appreciate more great classics and this one is no exception..
    This album is great throughout, the start Wanna dance made me do just that…. Flim Flam is one of the most funky soultastic tracks i’ve heard in a while! Mighty Mighty love is really hot too Give their thing away is a great closer for a great album… I love the beat on the hi-hats thats on a few of the tracks.. I mean this is a great album!!!!!! Thanks so much for sharing

    • Thanks for the feedback, Marty! And yeah, I love the album too…it’s the real thing, for sure! 😉

  50. Just a couple of weeks after I got ‘My World’ -the perfect soundtrack for the hot nights of this summer. And out of the blue-Bang!! One of the best stories of record hunting and one of the top posts of the year!! Thank you. Greetings from Athens Greece with a warm 43C- 110F!!
    P.S. Record shops should have a small sink by the door!! After two hours of searching my fingers always look like a coalminer’s 🙂

  51. We support you and salute you all! Keep up the good work y’all.

  52. GRAZIE MILLE !!!!!!!! Very Thanks!!!!!!!!!
    Guido/LF

  53. Hell of a story right there Laf. Pretty flowers – who’d have thought ?!!!!! Just wait til it’s ‘Can i have the one with the pretty lady on ?’. And training the wee one to do that back wrenching work at the floor boxes – nice move !!

    To me this just shows what ‘digging’ is all about – grabbing an mp3 has no amount of comparative joy. And breaking that seal on Mr Fields – you can’t beat those moments, huh Laf ?

    I think you summed up Lee by mentioning the great JB – this guy is a HELL of a singer – end of. Don’t know this joint, but will definitely give those black wax reflections of your smiing face a whirls. I’m gonna go see if I can dig out a track I heard on the radio a few years back – he released a one off single I believe – pressed on vinyl (!) – it was a wonderful mellow groove.

    This just goes to show that Soul is part of life – and vise versa. Simply awesome post.

  54. Great story – great music – great site!

  55. whoa!!!! funk upon funk!!!!

  56. Great story. Can’t wait to hear this. Thanks for a heartwarming story and for the great music. I have LF’s newer releases and if this is half as good . . . Good Gawd!

  57. love the story connected with the album. thanks and keep up the selfless dedication to sharing a love of music with us all.

  58. Good job Cal. I hope my son pick a gem like you when we go digging. Of course, he has to get old enough first.

  59. Hey Laf…is that the “ghost of Otis” singing …….”I can’t stand it…put that suitcase down” ?
    The ballads sounds so much like songs he would have done….so haunting!

  60. what a story. Makes me want a kid to sniff out the gems. He’s like a little thief crawling around in the hard to reach spots finding the dustiest digs. Nice.

  61. Thanks for discovering new music (for me),i love this.Thanks for diggin’ and for sharin’ your efforts.

  62. wow! great stuff. thanks

  63. I just had a son. I hope to take him recordhunting in the future, but I doubt he’ll ever get as stoopid lucky as Your little Cal. Give him a big hug from me for being such a genius! Intuition is what gets us far in life I guess. What a beautiful story. And Funky O-Wee!! Thanx Laf & the brothers.
    /Funkback

  64. Many many thanks for sharing such rarity….

  65. Wow what a wonderful story, I was with you every minute of reading it. Thanks for sharing it and the album too!

  66. Don’t you love it when it rains?

  67. lovely..thanks again! great post

  68. Wow Laf! Your story had me leaning on the every word for the money shot at the end. Maybe digging is hereditary. One thing that is for sure is that this is one of the best posts on 4BB ever. Great music, fun story and loads of comments.

    I’ll be honest that I haven’t been visiting 4BB as often lately. This is primarily because every time I try to download the albums on here, Sharebee or Upload Jockey inundate my computer with pop-ups and the alarms start going off on my Anti-virus program. I’m surprised that more of the visitors haven’t been experiencing the same problems. Actually with upload Jockey, I am never able to download the file, so eventually I just give up.

    If I may make a suggestion for a service to use that is fairly reliable and doesn’t have any download limits, that would be Media Fire.

    I still enjoy reading the stories about the music and the digging excursions, but I don’t feel like I can really chime in unless I can listen to the albums you’re posting.

    Keep up the good work, and happy digging to everyone!

    Best, Kevin

  69. Thanks, Kev!
    It was a fun story to tell too!
    Eh, maybe you should stay away from the Uploadjockey files, and go for the more simple Sharebee alternative!
    And I think that most of PC users have something called Adblock Plus installed…a great plug-in for your browser (preferably Firefox!), free too!
    Maybe something you should look into…

    /L

  70. this made me tear up a little. ’tis true. the best digs are the ones that dig you.


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