CD Hard to Stop (CD 982367),
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Hard to Stop
1. I Am Woman
2. Sweet Wonder
3. Experts, The
4. We the Two of Us
5. Let Me Go Down
6. Gimme Back My Man
7. Who'll Be the Fool
8. Babysitter, The
9. If You Think You've Got Soul
10. It's Hard to Stop (Doing Something When It's Good to You)
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 141
Willie Clarke; Steve Alaimo; Clarence Reid; Willie Clarke; Steve Alaimo; Pat Thomas (Reissue)
Personnel: Betty Wright (vocals); Betty Wright; Joanne Shelby (vocals, keyboards, background vocals); Philip Wright, Willie "Beaver" Hale, Phillip Wright (guitar); Gerald "Eli" Smith (saxophone); Gerald Smith, Mike Lewis, Vinny Tano (horns); Bobby "Birdwatcher" Pucetti, Bobby "Birdwatcher" Pucetti (keyboards); Ron Bogdon (bass guitar); Ivan "Breeze" Olander, Ivan "Breeze" Olander (drums); Simon Taylor , Simeon (congas); Me, Harry Wayne "K.C." Casey, The Perfections, H. W. Casey (background vocals); Joey Murcia (guitar); Clarence Reid, Fred Bogert, Al Kooper, Benny Latimore, Arnold Albury (keyboards); Fermin Goytisolo (congas); Jeannette Holloway (background vocals).
Liner Note Author: Tony Rounce.
All tracks have been digitally mastered using 24-bit technology.
Photographer: Joel Brodsky.
Arrangers: Betty Wright; Willie "Beaver" Hale; Clarence Reid; Joanne Shelby; Al Kooper; Billy Kennedy.
While Hard to Stop lacked a big classic hit on the order of "Clean Up Woman," it was a very solid and varied platter of early-'70s soul. Distinguished by the tight, lean Miami funk-soul of the backup players (particularly guitarist Willie "Little Beaver" Hale), it did offer a couple of pretty big R&B hits with the jittery rhythms of "The Babysitter" and "It's Hard to Stop (Doing Something When It's Good to You)," which was about as bluesy as soul got in 1973. A far more off-the-wall highlight was the radical reinterpretation of Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman," which changed it from a hokey pop tune into something that sounded far more grittily proud and defiant. However, it's a pretty consistent record throughout, with other cuts of note including "We the Two of Us," which has a great effervescent Miami organ, and "If You Think You've Got Soul," which weaves in and out of a quasi-tropical groove. The "Clean Up Woman" guitar rhythm is reprised on "Gimme Back My Man," though to less memorable effect than on the hit single. ~ Richie Unterberger
Uncut (p.122) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[The album] finds her growing effortlessly into her role as the leading lady of Miami soul with powerful treatises on love and womanhood..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.116) - "[A] solid example of pre-disco Miami soul, featuring rubbery grooves much looser than Memphis stuff."
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Water Music Records WATER 141
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