Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Listen



I am currently crazy about this song, I love the guitar's sound, the drums, the voice...
And I love how Talib Kweli samples it in his song Listen It fits so perfectly, lyrically and musically.

13 comments:

ejaydee said...

Where is it?

steenbeck said...

Ejaydee! good to see your name again. Can't you see it? I can. It's Tell Her by Fred WIlliams and the Jewel band, and it's a gem of a song. You can look it up on youTube if you can't see it here.

ejaydee said...

Well I can now, and I love it!!
I'd like to know your process in finding samples. Do you come upon them by chance, do you hear a song you like, look in wikipedia and then check out the sampled tune?

ejaydee said...

I emailed you 2 links you might like. Or think it's sacrilege.

steenbeck said...

This one....I heard Listen in the car in an undistracted moment recently, and was really struck by the way the words from the sample become part of what he's saying, and the music fits in. It's just starting to occur to me, thanks to misadventures with garageBand, that it's a more complicated process than just taking a chunk of a song and sticking it in somewhere. So I looked in the liner notes, then I checked in youTube, and there it was. I can't seem to find anything else by them, though. They must have more songs.

steenbeck said...

I swear I don't spend my whole day trolling youTube, but I was listening to Fred Williams for the billionth time and I noticed that whoever posted it has posted a lot of old songs that were used as samples. It's a goldmine! then I followed the Space song Deliverance through T. Kweli's Hostile Gospel, which I know and love, to De La Soul & MF Doom's Rock Co. Kane Flow, which I didn't know but now love. Okay, I'm leaving the house now.

steenbeck said...

Space

Hostile Gospel

Rock Co.Kane Flow

TracyK said...

oooh, like it! there's a nice tension between the passionate vocals and the tightly controlled backing. Nice!

ejaydee said...

It's in the post.

ejaydee said...

Well that was fast! My copy of Midwest Funk arrived today. Here's what the liner notes say about the song:
"[...] Originally the band would cover many of the popular R&B songs of the day, but eventually it evolved into a more "soulful" sound popularized by [...] Al Green, O.V. Wright and Johnny Taylor. Fred's style was not flashy but he would woo the crowd with his pleading vocal delivery, sounding not unlike Syl Johnson. The song we present here was recorded in 1968, and is taken from the only 45 he made. A haunting loneliness predominates the proceedings on "Tell Her", as Williams' voice meshes perfectly with the understated funky soul provided by his band. All of the Solo Records releases have a windswept quality to them, reminding one that immense soul can come from the most unexpected locations."

steenbeck said...

Thanks, Ejaydee! Does it say who plays the guitar? I love that glowing sound. Is the rest of the album good? I feel a little foolish because I looked for it on Amazon and couldn't find it, and then-heh heh-typed in Midwest Funk and...what do you know?

When I was looking for information on Fred Williams I came across this article about how the sample was used in Listen. You can hear that they worked closely together--I guess that's what I was responding to. I want to hear more stuff produced by Kwame.

ejaydee said...

I'm just starting to listen to it now. Interesting article, I don't remember the other songs Kwame produced, but the names of the rappers certainly don't inspire me. Maybe it worked in this case because of the "organic" method.
The guitar is played by Tommy Morgan. He almost sounds like the guitar players you can hear in the Ethiopiques collections.

steenbeck said...

Yes! The ethiopiques. That's exactly what Mr. Steenbeck said the first time he heard it. I just love it.