Sunday, 10 March 2013

Chris Clark - 'Dream Or Cry'

Chris Clark, Motown legend and Northern Soul goddess, has released her first new music in decades and it is good. Her EP, 'Dream or Cry' includes three songs: 'Dream or Cry', 'Sleepin'' and 'Hang It Up', all of which explore the blues rather than the soul music she sung in the 1960s. Her voice is in top form and perfect for these songs. I hope this means there's a full album on the horizon

The record came out in November 2012 but I've only just come across it. You can hear the record streaming on Chris's website. There's also a short write-up about her background and the new record that opens with a quote from Berry Gordy:

"I told you the bitch could sing"  -  Berry Gordy
Coming from legendary composer, producer and founder of Motown Records, Berry Gordy, after hearing Chris Clark’s first recording in over 30 years that’s a pretty nice compliment.

Clark, the first female white artist ever to record for Motown, enjoyed cult success in the ‘60s with her singles “Love’s Gone Bad” and “I Want To Go Back There Again”, along with the “Soul Sounds” album, re- released on CD by P&C’s sister label Reel Music.
From singing, she moved to an executive role at Motown, was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the screenplay to the blockbuster movie “Lady Sings Blues” starring Diana Ross and ended up a Vice President at Motown Films.
More recently, she enjoyed great success in  2009’s “Divas of Motown” concerts at London’s Jazz CafĂ© and Hammersmith’s Apollo.
For this new single, Clark worked with a number of well-known musicians including members of the Tower of Power horn section. The result is three new  recordings, all of  which show that Chris Clark still has her vocal chops intact.  The Christine Cale song “Dream Or Cry” has a vintage ‘70s feel to it, whilst the old Diana Ross MOR album cut “Sleepin’” comes alive with its tale of a lover who od’s on heroin. The CD EP features a neat cover of the ‘60s R&B obscurity “Hang It Up”, written by Chess Records’ Bobby Miller. Both 7” and CD are released in individual picture sleeves.


I was lucky enough to see - and meet - Chris as the Jazz Cafe and Hammersmith Apollo shows back in 2009 (see here and here). They were both great shows and it was great to see Chris up there on stage along with Brenda Holloway. Come back soon Chris.

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