HAROLD MELVIN & THE BLUE NOTES – Wake Up Everybody (1975)

Review by: Syd Spence
Album assigned by: Lex Alfonso

Ah just look at that gorgeous album cover with its proud nubian earth warrior! He’s ready to defend the beauty of nature. He’s not gonna take no guff from any big polluter. No, he’s going to fight for you and me and all of us here on this pale blue dot. WHAT A GREAT COVER! 

Naturally when I first set my eyes on this beaut, my mouth instantly started salivating. I was certain this album was going to be some psychedelic soul like Undisputed Truth or Funkadelic. I mean how could it not, when it features a jolly green giant with a flower in its afro??? So I was really disappointed when I put this on and got really overorchestrated pop soul, that was so damn prevalent in the mid 70s. WHY THE HELL didn’t they just get Harold Melvin in a dapper suit, sweating next to microphone? Are you telling me there were more Funkadelic fans than Isaac Hayes fans in 1975??? 

Anyways, the music is overproduced with all these tacky hollywood strings which make the whole thing sappy as all hell. WHERE IS THE RHYTHM IN THIS ‘R’N’B? If i wanted Disney music, I’d put on the Mary Poppins soundtrack and not a soul record. Though, with that said, this album does have one all-time classic on it, which is “Don’t Leave Me This Way”. If you are at all a fan of Western media, I guarantee you’ve heard this track in some movie somewhere, but I guarantee you’ve only heard the chorus and not the totallity of its six minutes. It begins with this haunting electric piano and then Harold (what kind of soul singer keeps Harold Melvin as his stage name???) starts pleading slowly and then BAM, we get to the galloping disco chorus where Harold goes “AH BABY MY HEART IS FULL OF LOVE….” It’s pretty orgasmic. It’s a shame the rest of this album doesn’t have that soul-disco awesome going on. 

Overall you should probably skip this record and get Harold’s greatest hits or maybe a movie soundtrack that features “Don’t Leave Me This Way”. 

Author: tomymostalas


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