- Artist: Billy Washington
- A Side: Lover's Footsteps
- B Side: The Rule Book
- Label: Tag
- Format: 45s
Unlisted in books, no Youtube soundfile, no Discogs images, this disc is early 60's Northern Soul Ghost!
Billy Washington usually worked under the guidance of New York Jazz musician, producer, label owner Larry Lucie, a man involved in a plethora of Northern Soul productions through the early 60's. On this disc Larry is nowhere to be seen, the catchy topside written by Billy himself and the flipside constructed by a prolific Californian trio who also contributed to the very fabric of Northern Soul. Hal Winn, Joe Hooven and Eddie Alperson a tight team who's main Soul artist under their wings was Brenton Wood. Notably crafting that cool dance tune by The Newports - Dixie woman - Kent on which Brenton sang lead.
"Lover's Footsteps" has that "Another Saturday Night" feel, but more optimistic, Billy's reaching vocal cradled by a chirping "Ha-Ha Pop-pop" chorus that becomes totally addictive with the "Footsteps" theme seamless woven into the saxophone peppered arrangement. A truly narcotic mid-tempo I'd never heard before, one that has burrowed under your skin, demanding I take much more than one listen.
With no indication of the producer either side, but both are heavily influenced by the style of Sam Cooke, you could be right in thinking this was a Californian session that never got past the promo stage on the East coast. Either way its extreme rarity has deprived the rare soul collector /DJ of hearing it's narcotic charms x 2.
A squealing saxophone kicks off the flipside "The Rule Book" with memorable lyrics from Hal Winn, Joe Hooven and Eddie Alperson catching the ear. Strong strolling dance beat carries Billy edgy vocal strolls through the constraining "rules of love". Even though his woman is a liar and a cheat, he just has to "keep on keeping on" and certainly at no point can he ever afford to cry. The age-old story of the man's struggle coping with the challenges of being in love.
What I really adore is finding seriously rare 45's, that are new to my eyes and ears, you would have thought after over 50 years of digging around I may have encountered this "vinyl unicorn" before...but I haven't.
This is Rarest of the Rare, a 45 aimed at DJ/collectors who are seeking the insanely elusive, validate here by its near ungooglable status...
Condition ReportTwo clean promo labels, full gloss vinyl, reveals only the merest storage hairline.
- Title: Lover's Footsteps
- Title: The Rule Book
- Year: 1964
- City: New York, N.Y.