Album Review: Lou Bond

i swear to Black Dynomite, i’m thinking about giving up this whole blogging thing and trying to score a gig at Light in the Attic Records. As near as i can figure, they get to spend all day crate digging and discovering largely unheard gems from days long since past, and then letting the world know all about their newly rediscovered treasures. Kind of like LET, i guess, but they get paid and have far deeper libraries to excavate than i do. Some cats have all the luck, i guess.

And as luck would have it, they’ve done it again, this time unearthing and unleashing Lou Bond onto an otherwise unsuspecting populace. Originally released on Stax subsidiary label, We Produce, this was Bond’s only recorded output for Memphis’ finest, but man alive, what a record.
With a voice that falls somewhere between Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, his orchestral flourishes throughout feel more like Isaac Hayes. At times, he rants against the man (“To The Establishment”), while other times, it’s all about the love (“Let Me Into Your Life”). Don’t think these are banal romantic pleas, though. Bond goes deep, trying to make sense of a world that obviously is perplexing at best, attempting to balance the realities of life with the romantic ideal. This, children, is what Soul is all about, and Bond is a more than worthy torch bearer for a sound that has largely been forgotten in today’s musical landscape.

Most interesting to me of all, though, is the fact that seemingly nobody remembers a damn thing about the guy. And i don’t mean music nerds like myself, i mean people who worked at the label on the damn record itself! A quick Google search will show the guy is a seeming ghost, and the CD’s liner notes don’t do much to disavow the notion. One look at that crushed big apple chapeau he’s sporting on the cover, though, and it’s clear he’s one bad mother. (side note: i used to have that same hat in red, but lost it years ago. Damn, i loved that hat.)

Of special note, LITA has unearthed a handful of bonus tracks that are more interesting still. His take on Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” (coupled in a live take with the traditional “Motherless Child”) proves it’s a damn shame this cat didn’t get more love back in the day. Thanks to LITA, however, maybe we can rectify that situation in the here and now.
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