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1 Sep 2016

Marie “Queenie” Lyons “Soul Fever” 1970 US Funk Soul

Marie “Queenie” Lyons “Soul Fever” 1970 US Funk Soul ultra rare private lp 


This is an essential lp to get in any funkysoul collections. Raw bass, crazy beat with many breaks. Really killer. 

A holy grail of funky music the one and only album ever cut by Marie Queenie Lyons, a heck of a hard soul single who’s best known for her rare funky 45s! The album is stunning every bit as great as any of Marie’s singles, and with an incredibly unified sound that should have made the album an instant soul classic as soon as it was released. Think Marva Whitney, Vicki Anderson, Lyn Collins, and other sock-soul divas and you’ve only got part of the picture! Plus, some of the tracks on the set were written by a young Don Pullen, who supposedly also played on the record in a rare funky appearance in his pre-avant jazz days. 

Released in 1970 on James Brown’s King/Deluxe label, this album was Marie Queenie Lyons first and last effort—she disappeared shortly after its release. That’s unfortunate, because Lyons had an exceptional voice, able to instantly shift from a sultry croon on “Daddy’s House” to the gospel shout of “I’ll Drown in My Own Tears“. Another strength is her unbridled fury, which keys ribald tracks like “Your Key Don’t Fit It No More” and “I Don’t Want Nobody to Have It but You“. Plus, her take on the Godfather’s “Try Me” aches to the bone. These days, such truthful artistry is long gone: 38 years later, Soul Fever’s cover—a beautiful black face, surrounded by encroaching darkness, struggling to be seen—has become a sadly apt metaphor for modern-day soul. …. 

Marie “Queenie” Lyons is the sort of artist soul collectors salivate over – she paid her dues on the Southern chitlin’ circuit, shared stages with the likes of King Curtis, Jackie Wilson, and James Brown, scored a record deal with the King Records subsidiary DeLuxe Records, and after a few singles cut an album, 1970’s Soul Fever, that sank without a trace. As far as anyone can tell, Lyons never made another record after Soul Fever, making her obscure enough to please even the most finicky British R&B archivist, and as luck would have it Lyons was also a gifted singer whose sole LP is a fine piece of work. Lyons manages to show a very Southern variety of passion and fire along with a big city sense of showmanship and control, and her vocals reveal an impressive balance of sass and skill, knowing when to play it subtle and when to open up and wail. Lyons was well served in the studio on these sessions; the production and arrangements are solidly soulful but imaginative, with just the right amount of sweetening from string and horn arrangements that don’t undercut the steady groove of the rhythm section. And while Lyons didn’t write her own material, she and her handlers knew how to pick songs that fit her talents, and from the lean funk of “See and Don’t See” to the gospel-influenced Black Power anthem “I Want My Freedom” and the polished heartache of “We’ll Cry Together,” every song on this set fits her like a glove. Soul Fever is a better than average soul obscurity that will please fans of the golden age of R&B, but while this is a good album, it’s not a great one, and more casual observers may want to give it a listen before they invest. …by allmusic…. 


A1 See and Don’t See 3.20 
A2 Daddy’s House 3.14 
A3 You Used Me 3.38 
A4 Your Thing Ain’t No Good Without My Thing 2.27 
A5 Snake in the Grass 2.42 
A6 Your Key Don’t Fit It Anymore 2.38 
B1 Fever 5.25 
B2 I Don’t Want Anybody to Have It But You 3.02 
B3 We’ll Cry Together 3.15 
B4 I’ll Drown in My Tears 3.50 
B5 I Want My Freedom 4.35 
B6 Try Me 2.38 

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