09 Oct Tyrone Davis – 1970 – I Had It All the Time
Whereas Tyrone Davis would never reach the same dizzying pop heights after “Turn Back the Hands of Time”, the man remained a R&B hitmaker, and a very consistent one at that. He was, by the time of the release of ‘I Had It All the Time’, truly the King of Chicago Soul.
It wasn’t only Tyrone’s deep, rich, gospel-inspired voice, it was also the brilliant arranging and producing skills of the Dakar Records team. The epitome of Chicago Soul – hard, raw driving grooves with beautiful, sophisticated orchestration on top – can be found on this, and the following, album by Davis.
A1 Your Love Keeps Haunting Me 3:50
A2 Was It Just a Feeling 4:11
A3 This Time 4:43
A4 How Can I Forget You 4:06
A5 After All This Time 3:23
B1 Was I Just a Fool 4:01
B2 Come and Get This Ring 2:54
B3 You Wouldn’t Believe 4:03
B4 I Had It All the Time 5:22
Kicking off the disc is the LP-only, heavenly funky “Your Love Keeps Haunting Me“. Busy drums and bass, cooking up the funk, while those blaring horns, chanking guitars and divine strings are everywhere. A superb, plaintive lead by Tyrone, and incessant, catchy female backing vocals.
Those big horns, sweeping strings and pounding drums are just as up front on the stuttering “Was It Just a Feeling“, a refined bit of Chi-Soul heavy on dynamics. It’s teasing, hesitant on the opening verses, while it works its way up to a grand, heavily orchestrated finale. Amazing… Check the echo on Ty’s vocal on the chorus, as those guitars keep bubblin’ under.
“This Time” gives room for a breather; a sumptiously arranged, sweet ballad. The angelic backing vocals accompany another one of Tyrone’s best bits of pleading, which is at its most gorgeous during the minor keyed chord progression.
It’s back to the dance floor with “How Can I Forget You“, not to be confused with the single-only smash “Could I Forget You“, which, strangely, was omitted from this album.
Beautiful melodies, a huge string section, vibes, and quirky stabs at the Hammond set off the wistful, melancholy “After All This Time“. Again, the backing vocals really add to the richness of the tune. But it really reaches soul heaven on the indescribably deep “Was I Just a Fool“; a richly layered, devastating ballad riding a slow, waltzing groove. The ending is some of the most haunting soul music you’ll ever hear, as Tyrone and his gorgeous backing singers seem to transform into one big washing whirlpool of divine vocalizing. Truly the highlight of this album.
But let’s not forget the FUNK… And man does Ty deliver… “Come and Get This Ring” is a juggernaut of funk… the hardest, sweatiest jam here. The drums are heavy and loud, the brass thick and soulful and then there’s some infectious chirping courtesy of those fabulous sisters backing Davis up.
As if all this wasn’t enough, Tyrone then slips into the second most tantalizing ballad here, the lamenting, teary-eyed “You Would’t Believe“… Southern Soul meets Chicago sophistication equals soul brilliance…
Ending this perfect LP is the title track, a cleverly executed, stomping song celebrating good love at home, that actually incorporates a bit of Tyrone’s 1970 hit “Is It Something You Got“, after which we can hear airport noises and Tyrone picking up the phone, calling his lady after another one-nighter. Romantic and soulful, without getting syruppy. Tremendous.
Tyrone Davis’ career didn’t end with “Turn Back the Hands of Time”… The man put out some of the finest soul music well into the mid seventies, and this album may well be his greatest.
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