Margie Joseph – 1974 – Sweet Surrender
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A truly excellent Soul album, sumptuously produced, arranged and orchestrated by Arif Mardin. It sounds on par with the best Aretha Franklin’s albums, due to the musicians involved: Cornell Dupree, Richard Tee, Chuck Rainey, Bernard Purdie, Ralph MacDonald … The back singers include artists who recorded their own solo albums: Cissy Houston, Judy Clay, Gwen Guthrie … Margie Joseph recorded some excellent albums for Stax/Volt and Atlantic before slipping down to inferior material ; they are worth discovering. Her forte was to cover other artists’ songs in her own idiosyncratic way, here Billy Joel, Bread, Wings, Paul Kelly and Jerry Butler.
A1 Come Lay Some Lovin’ On Me 3:55
A2 (Strange) I Still Love You 3:30
A3 Come With Me 3:13
A4 Baby I’m-A Want You 3:03
A5 To Know You Is To Love You 3:28
B1 If I’m Still Around Tomorrow 3:09
B2 My Love 3:45
B3 Ridin’ High 3:24
B4 He’s Got A Way 3:45
B5 Sweet Surrender 2:55
“Sweet Surrender” came out in 1974 under Arif Mardin at Atlantic. This is one of my favorite albums by Margie Joseph, aside from “Margie Joseph”(1973). I like every song om this album, whether Margie is doing a cover or an original song, her strong, soulful, yet mellow sound with it’s gospel undertones is intoxicating. Not to mention the wonderful background vocals done by The Sweet Inspirations. I also love the way the album mixes one song into the next taking you on a spiritual musical journey through time and love.
The album opens with Paul McCartney’s “Come Lay Some Lovin’ On Me” highlighting strong instrumentals and voacals to match, reaching #32 R&B in late 1973. Grooving right into “(Strange) I Still Love You“, which is simply soulfull through and through, and then the mellow “Come With Me“.
I love Margie’s interpretation of Bread’s “Baby I’m-A Want You“, along with the bluesy teasing fun she displays on “To Know You Is To Love You“. “If I’m Still Around Tomorrow” is as poignant as it is melodic. Margie’s rendition of “My Love” is soulfull and climbed to #10 on the R&B chart and #69 Pop during the summer of 1974. It segues nicely into an original song called “Riding High” which has great music and lyrics. Switching genders on her cover of Billy Joel’s “He’s Got a Way” is uplifting and mesmerizing. The album closes with another Bread cover “Sweet Surrender” which is delivered in pure Margie Joseph style; sweet, soulful and solid!
I really enjoyed listening to this album and I never tire of of it. Margie’s vocals are superior, coupled with excellent musicians and the backed by The Sweet Inspirations, it doesn’t get any sweeter than this!!!
You can also enjoy her 1971 album “Makes a New Impression” in our back pages here