Lorraine Ellison – 1969 – Stay With Me
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Prepare yourselfs for a record which blows your mind.
I keep listen to it and every time i love it more and more.
Quite simply, the title track will make your hair stand on end. Think of Aretha Franklin crossed with the “River Deep, Mountain High”-era Tina Turner, and then multiply your conception by 10. You still won’t have come close to imagining Ellison’s power and expressiveness. On technical terms, her performance is breathtaking. As emotional expression, it is nothing less than ravishing; it sounds as though her heart is being torn out of her while she sings. But the surpise is that the rest of the record is great too,
You absolutely have to hear this.
1. Only Your Love 3.24
2. Try (Just A Little Bit Harder) 2.59
3. I’m Gonna Cry Till My Tears Run Dry 3.30
4. I Want To Be Loved 2.52
5. The Hurt Came Back Again 2.46
6. Stay With Me 3.36
7. You Don’t Know Nothing About Love 4.31
8. You’re Easy On My Mind 2.20
9. No Matter How It All Turns Out 3.09
10. A Good Love 2.40
11. A Heart Be Still 3.51
Lorraine was a true treasure. This is real R&B soul sung the way it is supposed to be sung. Lorraine was a “belter” who could deliver a song in a most profound and powerful, yet sweet manner. Aretha and Patti LaBelle had success, Lorraine had cancer and she checked out too soon. Thank heaven that Lorraine made these recordings.
Stay with Me was produced by Jerry Ragovoy and includes the title track, covered by Terry Reid; “Try (Just a Little Bit Harder),” covered by Janis Joplin; and “You Don’t Know Nothing About Love,” covered by Irma Thomas. Few soul albums have ever matched the intensity of this one.
Lorraine Ellison is best known for her hit ballad “Stay With Me” and her cover of Jerry Butler’s “I Dig You Baby.” She originally recorded “Just a Little Bit Harder,” later covered by Janis Joplin. She’s also a favorite with U.K. Northern soul devotees. Born in 1943 in Philadelphia, PA, the deep soul vocalist first recorded with the gospel groups the Ellison Singers (who recorded for Sharp/Savoy in 1962) and the Golden Chords (who recorded for CBS in 1963). By 1964, she began recording R&B music, and her first hit was the 1965 R&B hit “I Dig You Baby” (later made into a pop smash by Jerry Butler).
One year later, she released her signature song — the intense, symphonic-drenched ballad “Stay With Me,” written and produced by Jerry Ragovoy and issued by the Warner label. It hit number 11 on the R&B charts in the fall of 1966. Some of her other singles were “Heart Be Still,” “Don’t Let It Go to Your Head,” “Try,” and “I’ve Got My Baby Back.” Songs that she wrote with her manager Sam Bell (of Garrett Mimms & the Enchanters) were recorded by Mimms and Howard Tate. Ellison’s Warner LPs include Heart and Soul (1966), Stay With Me (1969), and Lorraine Ellison (1974) and the compilation The Best of Philadelphia’s Queen (1976). Lorraine Ellison died on 1983.
Mojo (p.131) – 4 stars out of 5 — “Ellison’s vocal range is astounding, her ability to tap into and asseverate the agony of love falling apart exquisite.”
No Depression (p.103) –“Ellison seems to be prying the words from a place in the soul even deeper than where anguish lives….[With] gutsy, versatile vocals.”
Remastered three-disc box contains all three of Ellison’s Warner Bros. albums, as well as 23 previously unreleased tracks, including 14 demos from 1972, a recent vault discovery.
Sister Love: The Warner Bros Recordings is available as an individually numbered limited edition of 5,000 copies.