Edna Wright – 1977 – Oops! Here I Go Again

A stunner of a solo set from Edna Wright – once the lead singer for Honey Cone, but almost even better on this smooth soul masterpiece from the 70s! The album’s got an immediately recognizeable moment in the leadoff cut “Oops Here I Go” – sampled famously by De La Soul and others – but the whole thing’s amazing, a killer bit of warm, modern soul put together by the legendary Greg Perry – who makes the whole thing shine every bit as much as his own great Smokin album of the time!

Edna’s vocals are wonderful – more mature than before, and really stepping out with a proud, sophisticated sort of groove – almost in territory of Jean Carn or Gloria Scott, particularly the latter on some of the album’s more grooving cuts. 

Tracks
A1 Oops! Here I Go Again 3:52
A2 Spend The Nights With Me 4:02
A3 Tomorrow May Never Come 3:35
A4 Nothing Comes To A Sleeper (But A Dream) 4:05
B1 You Can’t See The Forrest (For The Trees) 6:12
B2 Come Down (Get Your Head Out Of The Clouds) 5:44
B3 If The Price Is Right 6:24

Edna Wright’s idiosyncratic “Oops!” is one of the most sublime vocal refrains in soul music history. Anchoring its host album’s leadoff cut, it sets the tone for a uniquely satisfying modern soul LP. Indeed, whilst many of its ilk come laden with filler, Wright’s one solo record is an exercise in elegant restraint; a concise killer.

Originally released in 1977 on RCA, this rare and sought­after album followed the 1973 disbanding of Edna’s much­loved Honey Cone. Produced by her husband, legendary producer/songwriter Greg Perry, the album was somewhat of a risk; a deep soul album released during the period when disco was altering the landscape of popular music. And perhaps inevitably, despite the stellar production and spine­tingling vocals throughout, the album glided gracefully under the radar, spawning only one single and seeing no chart action. That single the magnificent title­track ­ soon became a notorious rare groove stepper in its own right. However, in the years since, it has become a crate diggers classic. Its fame was elevated among hip­hop heads when Prince Paul memorably looped the shimmering intro when crafting the melodic hook for De La Soul’s late­summer­stunner “Pass The Plugs”, a wistfully melancholic back-porch nostalgia trip. And, more recently, Leon Vynehall liberally lifted the same intro for his sepia-tinged “Midnight On Rainbow Road” to augment the excellent Rush Hour compilation Musik For Autobahns 2.

Yet this album is so much more than its most famous song. An assuredly lean masterpiece from start­to­finish, the album features a further six dynamite tracks of warm, smooth soul. As such, it’s an impossible task to choose certain tracks to highlight alongside the mighty title track. Throughout, Edna’s strikingly mature vocals are wonderful, proudly stepping out with a sophisticated groove reminiscent of Jean Carn or Gloria Scott, whilst Greg Perry’s gorgeous string-drenched backdrops add a rich depth. So much so, many of the other tracks have been sampled by producers with impeccable taste, from 9th Wonder to The Alchemist for songs featuring Nas and Talib Kweli.

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