Linda Lewis FUNKY BUBBLES 5xCD BOX SET + ** Free Hampstead days CD + ** with Free DVD
TRBCD050 Barcode 5060446071717
Disc 1. 'LATIN QUARTERS' 52:00
- So Sixties
- Love Inside
- Do ya know Dino
- In the Heat
- Love Plateau
- Sweet to do nothing
- What's all this About
- All my Laugh
- Our day will come
- Born Performer
Disc 2. 'FUNK-EH' 53:00
- For Love Sake
- Don't Come Crying
- Breathing Space
- Too Good to Be True
- He's a Diamond
- More than enough
- Wearing Wings
- Darlin’ (Groove)
- Nobody but you
- Soon Come
- Makes you Wonder ( Linda Lewis / Robert Ahwai/ Lynton Naiff)
- Last Call
Disc 3. 'BUBBLES' 47:00
- Sideway Shuffle
- Far Cry
- Like I Dance
- Mr Respectable
- Earthed Again
- Kiss of Life
- (You are an) Angry Young Man
- Doin’ The Right Thing
- He's a diamond (Calypso)
- Don't Come Crying (Acoustic)
- And of The Sun.
Disc 4 ‘First and Last Borne’ (Rarities)
- When the Lights Go Down with Basement Jaxx
- You Turned My Bitter into Sweet (Pipkin /Gordon)
- Do You Believe in Love?
- Song for Alice by Ferris Wheel
- I Know You Well by Ferris Wheel
- Can't Stop Now by Ferris Wheel
- Little Indians by Ferris Wheel
- I Don't Do Don't
- I keep a wish
- I’m In Love again Unreleased TV session
- Wise eyes Unreleased TV session
- It’s the frame Unreleased TV session
- What are you asking me for? Unreleased TV session
- Rock a doodle do Live broadcast version
- Light Years Away- The Basement sessions
Disc 5 - "Little Diamonds”/ rare - Live at Pauls Mall Boston 1973* Unreleased Live concert *
- Feel the Feeling
- Spring Song
- It’s the frame
- What are you asking me for?
- Unknown Blues
- Funky Kitchen
- Little Indians
- Gladly give you my hand
- If I could
- I’m in love again
- Old Smokey
- Rock a doodle doo
- On the stage
* Recorded on a reel to reel this was not recorded on Multi track equipment
All Songs by Linda Lewis except where stated
· To Commemorate 50 years of recording and releasing records in the music industry we present a box set of rarities hits and jewels of one of Britain’s most talented singer - songwriters
· Co- Compiled by Linda herself the box set features UNRELEASED tracks including a recently discovered reel of tape recorded live in Boston USA, An exclusive interview with Linda by Liverpool DJ Jon Kirkman, Unpublished Photographs
· Linda is embarking on a UK tour during August & September 2017 before returning to the studio to record brand new material
· Features classic tracks Sideway Shuffle, Rock a doodle do, You turned my bitter into sweet (which has become a much sought after northern soul collectible 45) originally issued in 1967 plus one of the songs in the collaboration with Basement Jaxx When the Lights Go Down
Artwork by Les 'livin in a bubble ' Clark
It remains something of a perplexing mystery as to why an artist as talented as Linda Lewis is not a household name in her own country, though recent collaborations with the likes of Basement Jaxx, Common, Turin Brakes and Jamiroquai, shows how highly regarded she is by our hottest chart acts.
Linda was way ahead of her time, fusing seemingly disparate musical elements together - folk, soul, pop, rock and reggae - into a totally unique signature sound. With the recent emergence of black female artists cast in a similar stylistic mould to Linda Lewis, the kind of cultural and musical cross-pollination that Linda Lewis pioneered some 30 years ago is now an accepted part of the popular music landscape. There couldn't be a better time for a re-evaluation of the remarkable contribution Linda Lewis has made to the UK music scene.
The oldest of six children, Linda Ann Lewis was born in West Ham, East London, into a close-knit community of mostly mixed-race families. From an early age, Linda displayed a precocious vocal talent and would often sing in public. She was only three-years-old when her mother decided to send Linda to a local stage school. Over the next few years, Linda was regularly cast in non-speaking TV and film roles, in 1961 appearing in the film, "A Taste Of Honey," and in 1964, she played the role of a screaming fan in the first Beatles' movie, "A Hard Day's Night".
At the beginning of the 1970s, she moved into a house in Hampstead that was run on the lines of a hippy commune. "It was an amazing place," she remembers, "and there was a big creative thing going on there." The house was almost always full of artistic people and amongst its permanent residents were producer, Ian "Sammy" Samwell (who had also become an A&R representative at Warner Brothers' Records), Soft Machine drummer and vocalist, Robert Wyatt and DJ turned concert promoter, Jeff Dexter (he also managed the American soft-rock trio, America). Musicians like Cat Stevens, Marc Bolan and Elton John were frequent visitors.
It was whilst living in Hampstead that Linda took up the guitar and began composing songs in earnest. She used to perform openly in front of the other residents and one day, an influential Warner Brothers' executive overheard her. "There was a guy called Ian Ralfini," she recalls. "He was head of Warner's in the UK. I remember he came to the house once for dinner because Sammy (Ian Samwell) worked for him. I was just playing guitar and singing that night in the living room and the next day, he wanted to sign me up."
Linda inked a contract with Warner in 1971, signing to the company's Reprise imprint. Unsurprisingly, Ian Samwell produced Linda's first recording sessions for the label, which were released as the album "Say No More" the same year.
By the time of her second outing for Reprise, 1972's "Lark," Linda had accrued sufficient confidence and experience to produce her own records (she was assisted by her then boyfriend and future husband, guitarist Jim Cregan, erstwhile member of the group Blossom Toes).
Despite the fact that they were both inexperienced as far as producing records was concerned, the duo discovered a potent creative chemistry and delivered an acclaimed album. Linda concurs that "Lark" represents one of her best pieces of work. "I think the vibe of that album is fantastic," she enthuses. "It has a happy, joyful vibe because I was in love with Jim and it was summertime. It was all magical and I was full of creativity."
Perhaps the most significant aspect of "Lark" was the fact that it heralded Linda's transformation into a fully-fledged composer. As a songwriter, she drew almost exclusively on autobiographical experience as the source of her material, distilling her own sound from musical influences as diverse as Joni Mitchell, Harry Nilsson, Billie Holiday and Smokey Robinson.
A year later, in 1973, Linda released "Fathoms Deep." It was an album that not only consolidated her status as one of Britain's most promising young female singer/songwriters but also evidenced her singularity as a recording artist. Her seamless synthesis of pop, folk, rock, funk and soul resulted in a refreshingly original sound that found favour with the critics but experienced a disappointing public response. Key tracks from "Fathoms Deep" include the dreamy title track with its shimmering orchestration (a rare co-write between Linda and Jim Cregan), the poignant "Guffer," "Wise Eyes," the funky Marvin Gaye-esque soul of "On The Stage," "Goodbye Joanna," "Red Light Ladies" and the whimsical "Moles." To support the album - which was released, incidentally, on a short-lived UK-only Warner imprint called Raft Records - Linda embarked on an extensive American tour with Cat Stevens.
Linda's growing band of admirers included Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell and Eric Clapton. During this period, she contributed vocals to albums by David Bowie ("Aladdin Sane"), Cat Stevens ("Catch Bull At Four"), Al Kooper, Chris Spedding, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel and Rick Wakeman.
In 1974, Reprise issued a compilation entitled "Heartstrings," which comprised tracks from Linda's previous two albums, "Lark" and "Fathoms Deep." Significantly, it was enhanced by the inclusion of two songs previously unissued on album: "Rock-A-Doodle-Doo" and "Sideway Shuffle." The former, in which Linda utilises her five-octave vocal range to the full, is characterised by an infectious chorus and became the singer's first UK hit when it reached Number 15 in the singles chart in the summer of 1973. As a result of her newfound chart status, she also appeared several times on Britain's premier pop music TV show, "Top Of The Pops."
"Heartstrings" turned out to be Linda Lewis's final album for Reprise. Still under contract to the label, in 1975 she had been recording a Cat Stevens' song, "The Old School Yard," with Jim Cregan producing. As Linda recollects, the song came to the attention of Arista Records' supremo, Clive Davis:
Linda signed to Arista in 1975 and released her debut album for the company, "Not A Little Girl Anymore," later that year. The album yielded a massive international hit in the form of a disco-fied version of "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)" originally recorded by soul singer Betty Everett in 1964. Linda's rendition peaked at Number Six in the UK singles chart. Aiming to cash in on her newfound success, Linda released another disco-oriented album, "Woman Overboard," in 1977. However, during that period, Linda became profoundly disenchanted with the way her career was developing. Furthermore, Linda's own creativity and confidence was being undermined by the insipid, anonymous kind of pop-tinged material her record company wanted her to sing.
Despondent, Linda joined her then husband Jim Cregan on a tour of America with Rod Stewart. The couple moved to LA and after much soul searching, Linda went back home to England in 1979. She made one album for the Ariola label entitled "Hacienda View," which was largely written and produced by Mike Batt. At the beginning of the 1980s, Linda moved back to Los Angeles. She cut an album for Epic Records, "A Tear And A Smile," in 1983, but by her own admission, lost interest in music for a long period, preferring to devote her time to bringing up her young son.
Linda moved back to England in the mid-1990s. After lying dormant for several years, the desire to make music was re-awakened in her and she made an album called "Second Nature" for Turpin Records in 1995. The album became a hit in Japan, a place where Linda's popularity has never diminished. Other albums for Turpin followed in 1997 ("Whatever") and 1999 ("Kiss Of Life").
In 2002, Warner Music released "Reach For The Truth - The Best of The Reprise Years", an anthology covering Linda's work during the Seventies.
In 2003, BMG also released a retrospective including all her hit singles for the label, entitled "The Best of Linda Lewis" and in 2005 released a 3 CD box set which includes all her hits plus several rarities. To her delight, Linda's song "Old Smokey" was used by hot R&B artist, Common and his producer Kanye West on the track "Go!", the single from the No.1 R&B album, "Be".
Linda continues to record and perform live, appearing at Glastonbury Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival and London hot spots, Ronnie Scott's Club and The Jazz Café. She was also the special guest of George Benson at the famous Monte Carlo Sporting Club.
Her album "Live In Old Smokey" (recorded at Ronnie Scotts in London), was released in March 2006, together with the single "I Keep A Wish".
In 2017 Linda celebrates 50 years in the record Industry from her first Northern Soul smash “You Turned my Bitter into Sweet“ in 1967. A boxed set “Funky Bubbles “will be issued in tandem with a UK Tour during August & September