Charles Cherell – 1974 – For Sweet People From Sweet Charles

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sweet charles for sweet people frontA supremely fantastic album by Charles Cherell, one that’s always woefully overlooked in discussions of James Brown’s incredible People label! Sweet Charles, Charles Sherell, was a great lost soul vocalist who had a voice that was warm and mellow, with a sweetness that was often missing from James’ singing – but which sounded great with his arrangements and production. Fred Wesley and Dave Matthews arranged this one and only album, and the record’s a great blend of sweet soul tracks, funky numbers, and other stellar grooves. There’s a killer version of “Soul Man“, that begins with a very tasty break; the monster “Yes, It’s You“, which has a sweetly sliding intro that’s ripe for sampling; the righteous political “Why Can’t I Be Treated Like A Man“‘; and lots of other nice ones too!

Tracks
A1 Strangers in the Night 3:32
A2 Soul Man 2:57
A3 Dedicated to the One I Love 3:55
A4 I’ll Never Let You Break My Heart Again 3:22
B1 Why Can’t I Be Treated Like a Man 4:03
B2 I Like It Like That 3:18
B3 Give the Woman a Chance 3:33
B4 Yes It’s You 3:02
B5 Outa Sight – Outa Mind 3:33

sweet charles for sweet people backCharles Sherrell climbed on board the James Brown soul train back in 1968, acting as bassplayer/singer and organist. He got thrown out of the band even before the major ‘Maceo & Co.’ walkout in 1969, but he evidently fell back in grace with the Godfather, who pulled him back in in 1974.

Sherrell’s bass chops are stupendously funky, as is displayed on such Brown classics as “Say It Loud, I’m Black & I’m Proud”, “I Don’t Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing” and, post-reconciliation, “I Can’t Stand It ’76” and “Get Up Offa That Thing”. On his own, however, Sherrell traded in much of the vicious FONK for a slicker, more sophisticated bag of soul, going for a Marvin Gaye/Love Man approach.

Dubbed Sweet Charles by the Boss himself, his sole solo LP is more sweet, lavishly arranged soul than lowdown, dirty funk. But it is appealing all the same.

sweet charles for sweet people label1A Latinized version of Sam & Dave’s “Soul Man” is the most well-known cut here. Sherrell’s take on the chestnut “Strangers In the Night” is more of a schmaltzy, jazzy affair whereas “Why Can’t I Be Treated Like a Man” surely ranks as the most controversial, political tune here, even if the music still is more akin to Philly Soul than JB funk.  

Sweet Charles really stretches out on such orchestrated luv ballads as “Dedicated to the One I Love”, “Give the Woman a Chance” and “Outa Sight – Outa Mind”.

Most funky of all are the mid-tempo, uplifting romper “Yes It’s You”, the busy, pacey “I’ll Never Let You Break My Heart Again”, and, especially, “I Like It Like That”, the only track here that oozes with that James Brown vibe of rollercoastin’ funk.

A great soul album, to be sure, but for those strictly into funk, Sweet Charles’ effort may be a tad too polished.

Buy the AlbumCharles Cherell – 1974 – For Sweet People From Sweet Charles

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22 Comments
  • Luis
    Posted at 22:35h, 09 November 2014 Reply

    Very cool! Very soulful stuff. Thanks.

  • Grumpy
    Posted at 09:34h, 10 November 2014 Reply

    This seems interesting …

  • Riga
    Posted at 12:35h, 10 November 2014 Reply

    absolutely fabulous!

  • Zion
    Posted at 22:11h, 10 November 2014 Reply

    totally new for but you always keep educating me on this soul music….

  • Gary
    Posted at 18:25h, 11 November 2014 Reply

    Such beautiful music!!! Thank you for sharing.

  • Corey
    Posted at 10:20h, 12 November 2014 Reply

    WOW. simply brilliant. …ageless..

  • Michael
    Posted at 18:35h, 12 November 2014 Reply

    ♥ Lovely ♥

  • Teddy
    Posted at 18:40h, 12 November 2014 Reply

    Music at it’s FINEST!

  • Merl
    Posted at 23:20h, 12 November 2014 Reply

    Amazing LP

  • Rondo
    Posted at 10:45h, 13 November 2014 Reply

    As always, wonderful to check out your updates on the blog. This is new to me.

  • d0dge57
    Posted at 12:17h, 13 November 2014 Reply

    Thank you so much, absolute classic album. I have the vinyl but it is about time it was issued on cd.

  • Lauren
    Posted at 20:31h, 13 November 2014 Reply

    I’m absolutely diggin’ this gem

  • Mr. Smith
    Posted at 21:09h, 13 November 2014 Reply

    Soulful

  • Ace Ha
    Posted at 00:32h, 14 November 2014 Reply

    Thank you so much for this blog.. it rules. I really appreciate the time and effort you guys put in to not only sharing the music, but also sharing the stories behind it. Y’all rule!

  • Clive
    Posted at 10:45h, 14 November 2014 Reply

    This is heaven.

  • Angela
    Posted at 19:59h, 14 November 2014 Reply

    Oldies but Goodies at its best….its been a long time since i heard this one.

  • Edgar
    Posted at 12:44h, 15 November 2014 Reply

    A smooth gem. Thanx.

  • Cesar
    Posted at 20:04h, 16 November 2014 Reply

    Damn I’m feeling this! Smoooooth……

  • Adrian
    Posted at 10:06h, 18 November 2014 Reply

    Keep the jams coming

  • Greg
    Posted at 13:47h, 21 November 2014 Reply

    music that keeps you haunted…lifetime…

  • Joy
    Posted at 10:29h, 26 November 2014 Reply

    I’m really feelin’ this one thanks!

  • Reggie
    Posted at 13:13h, 28 November 2014 Reply

    A must… Every one should have this one in their collection. 

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