Donnerstag, 19. März 2020

Richie Havens ‎– Richie Havens' Record (1968)

This was one of two albums comprised of overdubbed solo demos, probably from sometime between 1963-1965, that Havens had done prior to recording for Verve and making his official recording debut. In the late '60s, as Havens rose to stardom, producer Alan Douglas took the original solo demos and overdubbed them with electric instruments. The albums were pulled from circulation and are today hard to find. One would understand why Havens might have disapproved of their release, but "The Richie Havens Record", like its companion "Electric Havens", really isn't bad. The result of the late-date overdub created the misleading impression of an artist caught between the transition from folk to rock music, sometimes awkwardly so, as if he or the producers couldn't decide whether to be one or the other. There's some organ, backup vocals, and light drumming on some of the songs. But essentially this is an album that probably reflects his live sets in folk clubs, mixing covers of folk tunes ("I'm on My Way," "Babe, I'm Leavin"), blues ("Daddy Roll 'Em"), soul ("Drown in My Own Tears"), and material by then contemporary singer/songwriters (Fred Neil's "The Bag I'm In"). 

It convincingly establishes Havens as a talented singer and interpreter, making songs his own with his gritty soul-folk voice and urgent guitar strums, and also conveys the ecumenicism of his repertoire. There's a low-budget feel to the production and arrangements, though, not to mention the packaging: no songwriter credits are given, and the album title is misspelled as "Richie Haven's Record" on the spine.


A1 I'm On My Way
A2 Babe, I'm Leaving
A3 Down In The Valley
A4 Nora's Dove
A5 I'm Gonna Make You Glad
B1 Chain Gang
B2 Drown In My Own Tears
B3 Daddy Roll 'Em
B4 It Hurts Me
B5 That's The Bag I'm In

(320 kbps, cover art included)

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