The Whatnauts – 1970 – Introducing The Whatnauts
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A sweet soul masterpiece.
If you like soulful harmony vocals, you won’t find a better album than this one! This is a stone cold group soul album, and the whole thing is a stunning bunch of cuts with beautiful George Kerr production, and incredible soaring harmonies.
Living so far away from America, my vinyl collection has become more extensive the last 5 years thanks to internet (mostly from ebay). I like and collect a lot of genres. My psych – prog section is important too. But the last few years I am fully dedicated to Soul and Funk. I am not a soul guru as a lot of you might believe. There’s many of you with more knowledge than me and I learn everyday…
I like sweet soul so much. I think it is obvious in my posts. I was after “introducing the whatnaus” for a few years. It was always getting high (70 to 120 $) and it was also very difficult to find a NM copy. I think I’ve seen only 3 pieces. Finally I won this one and was so happy but…. When it came to my hands it was visually Near Mind but had a background noise and a lot of scratches. I asked for help and I have to thank our regular visitor cafecafecafe who clean it perfectly and here it is ready for you to enjoy it.
This is a @320 vinyl rip of the original Stang Records including covers.
There’s an LP reissue only in Japan (P-Vine records – 1989) but never in America or Europe. Never released on CD.
A1 I Just Can’t Loose Your Love 3.42
A2 Tweedly Dum-Dum 3.07
A3 She’s Gone To Another 2.11
A4 What’s Left To Give (After Giving It All) 3.40
A5 Fall In Love All Over 2.27
A6 Just Can’t Leave Me Baby 3.08
B1 I’ll Erase Away Your Pain 3.15
B2 Please Make The Love Go Away 3.15
B3 Souling With The Whatnauts 1.55
B4 Dance To The Music 2.43
B5 Message From A Black Man 3.01
Introducing the Whatnauts is the kind of hard-to-find album that makes you pee in your pants when you uncover a copy withering away at some Goodwill, yard sale, or flea market. Scavenging for their recordings is what you had to do until the late ‘90s when no fewer than three CDs of the Whatnauts’ music finally hit the streets. Obscure beyond reason, the Whatnauts were comprised of Garnett Jones, Billy Herndon, Gerald “Chunky” Pinckney, and a guy identified only as Ray, who disappeared after this album. They were masterful purveyors of heartache-soul.
They were also producer George Kerr’s pet project. A short list of Kerr’s previous credits includes: the O’Jays’ (“Look Over Your Shoulder” and “I’m So Glad I Found You”), the Moments (“All I Have” and “Lucky Me”) and Linda Jones’s “Hypnotized“. He later produced the Skull Snaps’ acclaimed album on GSF Records.
Introducing the Whatnauts features the Baltimoreans’ first four singles (from 1969 to 1971) plus three other tracks, all recorded on Sylvia and Joe Robinson’s Stang label. This is wrist-slitting, throat-cutting, misery-loves-company music. The crawling “I’ll Erase Away Your Pain” (#14 R&B/1971) is the centerpiece, with lyrics like “Little girl, please stop your crying / Cause I’ll erase away your pain.”
Breaks in the pain come with “Message From a Blackman,” (their debut single on All Platinum/Stang’s subsidiary A&I Records) with its accompanying B-side “Dance To the Music,” and “Souling With the Whatnauts,” a frolicking instrumental. Those songs had many, who never saw the Whatnauts’s perform, believing that they were strictly a funk band. Radio DJ’s in the ’70s frequently used “Souling”—the B-side of their Stang debut “Please Make the Love Go Away,”—for bumper music.
But the LP’s main theme is pain, pain and more pain. Garnett wails like he’s being tortured on “What’s Left To Give (After Giving It All)”; you can’t help but empathize with him as he sob-sings Wesaline Kerr’s heartbreaking lyrics. As pitifully poignant is the stark, wistful “I Just Can’t Lose Your Love.” And “She’s Gone to Another” is the mother of pain; the 2:11 tear-jerker floats precariously on a gloomy rhythm bed topped by morose harmonies and a wretched lead vocal—it’s probably so short because Garnett broke down in the studio (if he didn’t, he sure sounds like he did). Songs like this make Introducing the Whatnauts a must hear for falsetto lovers and smooth harmony aficionados.
Since they didn’t write their own songs, studio skills and a hot live act were essential in getting others to craft material for them. Michael Watson (guitar), Curtis McTeer (bass) and Donald McCoy (drums) buoyed a sizzling Whatnauts’s band that was more advanced than All Platinum’s original house band. George Kerr used them in the studio on the Whatnauts’ and his own recordings (remember ‘3 Minutes 2 Hey Girl”); which is why the Whatnauts’ recordings are more polished than early tracks of their label mates, the Moments.
Of their three albums (and 10 singles) on Stang Records from 1970 to 1974, Introducing the Whatnauts is the creamiest. All three albums plus six bonus tracks, two versions of their number 25 R&B hit with the Moments, “Girls” (English and French), and a 1982 single “Help Is On the Way” that sold 90,000 copies are now available on The Definitive Whatnauts Collection on Deep Beats Records. For smaller doses of their unique heartfelt soul check out either of their two Collectables Records’s CDs: “Message From a Blackman” or “I’ll Erase Your Pain”.