Friday, 21 August 2009

Timmy Thomas - Why Can't We Live Together (Glades 1972)


The title track from this album is probably familiar to many, its deep, minimal gospel inflected
soul sound is striking and stays with you long after the song finishes. Like many 'message' songs (from the sublime 'Imagine' to the ridiculous 'Where is the Love?') this one proved popular with the record buying public, making the top 3 in the US and the top 10 in many European countries in 1972 and '73. What struck me when I first heard it was the inventive use of an early drum machine and the rudimentary production that lends the song a weird, otherworldly quality. I picked this album up at a boot sale last sunday and was unsure as to whether it would be any good, but was really surprised to find that the otherworldly reverberations seep across the whole album. Some of it comes on like someone spiked the drinks at the tea dance on the end of Blackpool Pier. The album is entirely solo. Timmy Thomas is the only musician on the album; the beatbox is built into the keyboard and he squeezes out bass lines with the foot pedals. Here he is in action (try to ignore the out of step go-go girl):

Hope you enjoy this one as much as I have.

Tracklist:

01 Why Can't We Live Together
02 Rainbow Power
03 Take Care of Home
04 The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
05 The Coldest Days of My Life
06 In the Beginning
07 Cold Cold People
08 Opportunity
09 Dizzy Dizzy World
10 Funky Me

Get the goodness HERE.

11 comments:

Simon666 said...

Fascinating to finally hear this whole album - I was 10 when that song came out, and it's stuck in my head as a memory of time and place. Thanks!

Mr Tear said...

Glad you enjoyed it. The album certainly is a bit of an oddity with those mad bursts of static noise on 'In the Beginning' and the crazed bontempi rhythms on 'Funky Me'...I imagine the title song struck some resonant chords in the early '70s.

Spinning said...

I imagine the title song struck some resonant chords in the early '70s.

It did, for certain.

Re. "Where is the Love?," I agree on the lyrics being not so great, but the melody and the vocal harmonies are (imo) lovely.

Xenia said...

I saw the album at a music store 3 weeks ago and bought it,only because my dad used to play it when I was 5. Now it's almost 20 years later and I never forgot a single song on that album. The music is just beautiful.

jackflash59 said...

thanks for putting this on, I dated a dancer in the early 70's and she played this constantly, god, to be young again.

Anonymous said...

just found an original vinyl of this wonderful album....sad that the music industry wasn't following the groove and decided to promote other milking cows....or maybee it just saved Timmy a lot of trouble......

Anonymous said...

Hi would like thank you for wonderful sharing, unfortunately link appears to be dead could you please re-post
thank you.

Mr Tear said...

Hi, the link should work now. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Hi thank you again the link did work and I really didn't expect you to respond or reup so quickly. I really admire the work you do this site and your love of great music. Now this is not a complaint because I'm grateful this lp is fairly hard to find. Since you have a hi fi source did you put it up in 128 by accident or is there another reason? Isn't 320 or flac better sound quality?But I really appreciate just want to know what you think about this. Thanks again.

Mr Tear said...

Hi anonymous,
When I first started doing this blog I was fairly ignorant about mp3s and bitrates and all that technical stuff (I still am really). Initially I was posing stuff at very low bitrates and this is one of those early recordings.
Now I try to do 320 rips but I don't do flac as I can't put them on my mp3 player, and that is one of the main reasons for ripping the vinyl in the first place.
Hope that answers all your questions.
Thanks for dropping in.
X

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