Week 38: Lovely, Baby!

By: Lafayette

Sep 20 2009

Tags: ,

Category: 1970


Focal Length:6.3mm
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Welcome to Week 38, or what’s left of it anyway! :¬)

Yesterday I was almost done with an extensive write-up for something completely different, when our old friend and collaborator Paros sent me a fresh rip of Alex Brown’s 1970 album “In Search Of Love”, which had me changing my game plan at once!

This damn album is so rare it doesn’t even really exist…only promotional copies are in circulation, since this recording for the Sundi Records label never was released properly. The last time a copy of this LP showed up in an online auction, it was sold for $564…and the 7″ release off the album, “I’m Not Responsible”, has been sold for the staggering sum of $1225!!! So before going any further, we gonna stop right here and offer you a truly golden listening experience – let’s have a quick listen to what kind of music you get for that kind of money:

Just plain lovely music, right!? This track, and seven more of them on the album, was written by Alex herself together with Monk Higgins, who also handled the production and the arrangements on the album – with the able help of top notch session musicians such as Wilton Felder and Joe Sample.

OK…so who is this Alex Brown? Well, according to The Soul Guy, in the late 60’s Alex (or rather Alexandra) was one of the Raelettes, Ray Charles designated backing vocal girl group…but during this time, for some odd reason, renamed Brandi Alexander by Joe Adams, Ray’s manager.

Later she went on to become one of both Stevie Wonders and Diana Ross long-time background singers…but that’s not all – her list of credits over at AMG is breathtaking…just have a look at this and this right here…she has worked with all the greats; Norman Connors, Quincy Jones, Bill Withers, Leon Ware and Anita Baker (for whom Alex also wrote the 1988 hit “Just Because“) – just to mention a few!

But in the early 70’s, it was all about Alex Brown and Monk Higgins! Alex was in on both of Monk’s classic 1972 albums on United Artists, “Heavyweight” and “Little Mama”…co-writing most of the songs and handling all vocal arrangements. Both of the albums have been sampled heavily…think Big Dady Kane’s “Ain’t No Half Steppin’” from 1988, but also The Dust Brothers, who sampled some for Beck’s “Hotwax” on the “Odelay” album from 1996.

In 1975, Monk Higgins and Alex Brown also wrote the soundtrack to the Pam Grier flick “Sheba, Baby”! OK, so it’s not one of Pam’s finest moments, but the score is nothing short of fantastic – definitely one of my favourites in the Blaxploitation genre…with a fabulous theme song sung by Barbara Mason…just listen to this! If you don’t already own it, do yourself a favour and pick it up! (If it’s not already on the blogs, I’ll rip my copy…definitely worth a post of it’s own!)

Unfortunately for all of us, the 1970 LP “In Search Of Love” is Alex Brown’s only solo album. She tried once more in the mid-80’s, with the semi-succesful single “(Come On) Shout”, featured on the soundtrack for the chick flick “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”…damn, 1985 was a scary year – have a look here, if you got the stomach for it!

I’d rather remember Alex for this week’s featured album…10 perfectly lovely songs, all sweet and mellow – and definitely rare enough! The cuts “I’m Not Responsible”, “China Doll” and “I’m In Love” are my personal favourites…but Alex’s rendition of The Beatles “Something” is a keeper as well! Keep looking for this album…not for sale anywhere right now, but keep an eye open right here – you never know, you just might get lucky one day!

Big thanks to Paros for the grand gesture, but first and foremost, Alex Brown – thank you for the music!

(Ps. I’m still switching things up a bit regarding the 4BB beat intro on the downloads – this week features CraigB’s entry in the 4BB Beat Competition of 2008. More info on the upcoming competition will follow shortly. Right now I’m kept busy hunting for sponsors for this years grand prize…it will be something special for sure! :¬)

48 comments on “Week 38: Lovely, Baby!”

  1. Can’t thank Paros enough for this one – enjoy!
    Please, leave a comment on the post, and while at it, leave some love for the contributor!

    http://lix.in/-5d5b20 (ShareBee)
    or http://lix.in/-5ee1c1 (MirrorCreator)

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  2. Wow… how’d you make that fine video clip?!?!

    Damn, she actually did THAT other clip in ’85? Skurrrrrry 😛

    Thanks Paros…

    Top work as always, Laf.

    Peace and blessings.

  3. Sweet Sweet Sweet Sweet Sweet!!!!!!

    Wow, thanks Paros! Excellent post Laf!

  4. hey sorry lafayette i know ive asked this before but im downloading on a Mac and the .zip file isn’t unarchiving…any help?

  5. Gotta go back and spin “Little Mama” now. Amazing resume for sure.
    Monk was the producer for two of my favorite Three Sounds lp’s…..”Elegant Sou”l and “Soul Symphony”.
    “Symphony” was said to have been used for Higgin’s “doctorial dissertation, so I’m gonna check to see if Alex is one of the voices on those two..
    Paros, gotta give it to you. Big UP’s. Oughta be a delight…tonight Laf. Thanks all.

    • Yep!
      Alex is mentioned in the AMG write up but not in the credits on Symphony. Makes me think she was one of the voices on Elegant Soul too, all they taks about is… “un-named singers”. 🙂

      • If there’s background vocal credits for “The Specialities Unlimited”, then Alex was involved for sure! 😉

  6. Thanks 4BB

  7. thanks Lafayette!

  8. What a great record. Thnaks for the opportunity to listen to it.

  9. Dang…I just found the entire “Sheba, Baby” flick posted on YouTube…first part right here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=773cMUc_K_0

  10. Absolutely brilliant post. Thanks to Paros and your hard work Laf!

  11. Great post, many thanks for this! What happened to My Favourite Sound blog? Has it gone private? I,ve used it for quite a while & have always left comments if I download anything.

  12. I LOVE IT!!! Thanks Guys.

  13. Thank you very much for posting this Great Album!

  14. FANTASTIC find!!!

    Thank you for this.

  15. WOW this record is incredible! just gave it a quick listen and this one is a really special post. thanks so much for this rare treat Laf & Paros!

  16. Thanks Lafayette & Paros. Real good one.

  17. Awesome LP!! Much Thanks Laf And Paros for this beautiful piece of music

  18. We are on a loooong hiatus….
    See ya & good luck.

    • OK, Jazzy! Take all the time you need…you’ve earned some time off! 🙂
      And say hi to Celo from all of us!


  19. It must have taken all of 15 seconds playing that clip for me to confirm what everybody else already knew – this is Something Special. (Better late than never I guess!). Thankyou sooo much to Paros and you guys for this outstanding share.

  20. Thanks so much. I can’t wait to listen to this one.

  21. Many Thanks.

  22. Fantastic share! You really rock with this one, I’ve heard the excellent “I’m not responsible” on a compilation before and it´s great to finally be able to hear the whole album. Thanks again!

  23. Thanks realy great post you make my week !!!

  24. Very, very sweet soul… Thanks Laf, another great post (as usual) 😉

  25. Thank you for this contribution Paros!! Great post Laf!!! Sorry it took me so long to get to this amazing album. Been extremely busy. Peace & Blessings

  26. Thank you Laf and Paros! can’t wait to listen!

  27. thanks for this album, the cover and her bio make me curious about it….

    • Hey, Kosta….long time no hear! 🙂
      Yeah…the cover is almost as awesome as the album itself!


  28. damn this is great! thats a whole lot of dough for a 7 inch tho! thanks fellas!

  29. eager to check this one out….much appreciated!!!

  30. Paros – man you treat us !! Never heard of her – not that that means much, but Laf – you could make a blank piece of paper worth risking on my turntable !! But one word – ‘Paros’ – is all I need to hear to know this is gonna sting my conscious real bad for it never getting more credit. And all credit to all you guys at 4BB for helping these unsung heroes shine again !!

  31. Did she worked with all that monsters ? Norman Connors, Quincy Jones, Bill Withers, Leon Ware and Anita Baker ,wow .This album can’t be bad ,the video is the proof.
    Thanks for sharing ,i didn’t know this one.

  32. thanks for this one another near on never heard sound rediscovered thanks again pedro

  33. Sweet..Good looks fam

  34. Man, this is hard SOUL>>>>>truly for the purest.

    Big UP1@1

  35. Wow, great post. Thanks a million

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