Freda Payne – 1971 – Contact

A totally great album from Freda Payne – a set that moves strongly past her initial early hits for the Holland Dozier Holland team, into a realm that’s even more sophisticated overall! There’s a full approach here that’s really wonderful – almost a higher-concept version of soul music, yet still with all the punch that Payne packed on her key singles from the first album!

Strings and larger arrangements really round out the sound in a very unique way – but the whole thing’s still plenty soulful all the way through, with a righteous undercurrent that definitely lives up to the HDH legacy – thanks to arrangements from McKinley Jackson and HB Barnum. Freda’s vocals are wonderful – even more powerful than before.

Tracks
A1 I’m Not Getting Any Better 6:45
A2 Suddenly It’s Yesterday 4:24
A3 You Brought The Joy 3:00
A4 Bring The Boys Home 3:22
A5 You’ve Got To Love Somebody 3:01
B1 Prelude 0:53
B2 The Road We Didn’t Take 4:17
B3 Odds And Ends 3:50
B4 Cherish What Is Dear To You (While It’s Near To You) 3:56
B5 I Shall Not Be Moved 2:43
B6 Mama’s Gone 3:23

Contact was Freda Payne’s fourth American released album and her second for Invictus Records. The majority of the material on this album contains sad themes, with the exception of “You Brought the Joy.” The album begins with a dramatic 11-minute medley of “I’m Not Getting Any Better” and “Suddenly It’s Yesterday“, both of which were written by Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier. Some people thought that Holland and Dozier were trying to compete with Diana Ross’s hit “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” as both songs contain spoken segments and dramatic musical arrangements. The only cover song is “He’s in My Life“, which was an album track by The Glass House featuring Freda’s sister Scherrie Payne.

It was written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland (under their common pseudonym “Edythe Wayne” to avoid copyright claims by their former employer Motown), jointly with Ron Dunbar. Three singles were lifted from this album: “Cherish What Is Dear to You (While It’s Near to You)“, “You Brought the Joy” and “The Road We Didn’t Take“. The anti-war protest song of “Bring the Boys Home” was released before the latter two to high demand and was not included in the first 50,000 copies of this album. After it became a hit (giving Payne her second gold record), it replaced “He’s in My Life” as the album’s fourth track.

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