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29 Apr 2017

Lee Fields "Let’s Talk It Over" 1979 US Soul Funk
















Lee Fields  "Let’s Talk It Over" 1979 ultra rare US Soul Funk
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Lee Fields re-imaged his career in recent years as a sweet-voiced R&B soul singer, complete with lush, orchestrated arrangements, and he’s done pretty well at it. But back in the early 1970s, after a stint with Kool & the Gang, Fields released a series of hard-hitting, James Brown-influenced funk singles on assorted small labels, over-seeing all the arranging, production, and promotion on his own. He never really sought any kind of major-label deal, and his debut LP, 1979’s Let’s Talk It Over, was self-released, with distribution essentially amounting to Fields selling copies at shows and out of the trunk of his car as he navigated the bar tour circuit. Times change, and things change, and eventually copies of the LP became highly sought after by collectors, a kind of Holy Grail for funk fans, and a favorite sample set for the hip-hop era. This reissue finally brings Fields’ lost gem into the digital world, adding in seven additional tracks that were released as independent singles. The end result is a treasure chest of funk and soul, with hard-hitting production and mega-tons of energy and verve. It’s a wonderful resurrection for a lost gem in a new century, and proves once again that funk and soul never die………by Steve Leggett …. 

Holy grail soul album from Lee Fields, originally released in 1979 reissued by Truth & Soul. 

“Let’s Talk It Over” was his very first full-length - a faultless upbeat collection of pulsating funk and heartfelt ballads. Our favourites have to be “Wanna Dance”, which sees Lee almost going disco, with a funky as hell driving tight beat with groovy twanging guitar and Lee’s gritty James Brown urgent yelps; is his biggest hit of the era “She’s a Lovemaker”; and “Flim Flam”, a funky hammond-led ‘Green Onions’ style instrumental. ……………….. 

I fully agree with SoundWord Enthusiant in regards to both the high quality of music on this CD and the shockingly shoddy packaging. If it wasn’t for the main editorial review on Amazon, I would have had no idea when this album was first recorded and released, or anything else about it. On this so-called “Deluxe Edition” you get the 8 tracks that apparently comprised the original album, plus 7 bonus tracks. All of which makes for a terrific listening experience. These are killer tunes, much more raw and funky than the retro soul found on the two excellent albums that Fields has put out recently, “Faithful Man” and “My World.” Fields definitely exudes a James Brown vibe, especially with his vocals, on these songs. 

Too bad that we have no idea who is playing these instruments or who wrote the songs. This “Deluxe Edition doesn’t tell us that either. Like the other reviewer said, we don’t need a big thick booklet with copious photos and essays. But some basic information and the history of this album and about Lee Fields (great cover photo!) would have been nice. More than that, it should have been required! No booklet, no recording year listed, no musicians listed, no songwriters listed, no liner notes … who dropped the ball on this one? It almost makes you wonder if Lee Fields will get any royalties from the sale of this reissue. A shame about the dearth of information on this CD, but if you are looking for sincerely great soul and funk with that vintage late 60s/early 70s vibe to it, you’ll be mightily impressed with the music on this album…..ByDonald E. Gilliland………. 

Over the past four years, Lee Fields has released two critically acclaimed full lengths on the Truth & Soul label, which have secured him a younger and extremely dedicated audience. He has been touring the world, gaining new fans that now know Mr. Fields for the tough-as-nails, lushly orchestrated sweet soul music that is featured on the My World and Faithful Man records. However, Mr. Fields musical career goes far beyond those two records. A quick rundown: In 1967, with twenty dollars in his pocket, Lee left his hometown of Wilson, North Carolina to pursue a musical career in New York City. He eventually made his home in Brooklyn, where he cut his teeth performing in some of the hottest clubs in the borough: Tempo Soul City, the Fulton Terrace, the Boston Road Ballroom and 521, where the owner, Gene Goldstein, allegedly ran numbers when we wasn t booking Wilson Pickett and Joe Tex. In 1969, Lee met Ray Patterson, a promoter and club owner, who released his very rst single, "Bewildered” b/w “Tell Her I Love Her”, on the Bedford label. In the early 70’s, after a brief stint as an auxiliary member of Kool & the Gang, Lee released a series of hard-funk singles on various long-gone labels. But instead of chasing the ever-elusive major label deal, Lee released these singles by himself and oversaw all aspects of production and promotion. Lee released his very first full-length LP in 1979 entitled, “Let’s Talk It Over”. It featured his most successful song of the era, “She’s a Lovemaker”, which was at one time licensed and promoted by London Records. Mint copies of “Let’s Talk it Over”, which was self released by Mr. Fields and mostly sold at shows and out the back of his car, can fetch four digit numbers on eBay. Even the bootleg version from the early nineties sells for up to four hundred dollars. Truth & Soul is proud to present the deluxe re-issue of Lee Fields’ “holy grail” album, “Let’s Talk it Over”. The CD and double LP also features songs from his singles catalogue including “Funky Screw”, “We Fought For Survival”, “Bewildered”, “Meet Me Tonight”, “The Bull Is Coming”, “Everybody’s Gonna Give Their Thing Away”, and many more. The deluxe re-issue is also repackaged with a new cover and never-before-seen photos of Lee Fields….. 

This music is freakin’ faultless: pulsating funk, pleading ballads, gritty grooves. It’s no wonder this album has been a cherished rarity for years. Unlike most such coveted scarcities, this one fully lives up to the hype. By all means, now that it is both affordable and widely available, there’s NO EXCUSE to not snatch it up. Fields’s urgent vocals perfectly convey both intensity and melody, and the backing musicians are tight without being slick. It’s captured in an atmospheric, mid-fi sound quality that only adds to the sincerity and convection on display. This is classic music, period, and it’s good to have it at my fingertips at long last. The bonus of several rare single sides only sweetens the pot. 

But, I have to say, the presentation is VERY disappointing. No amount of neglect could tarnish the magic of these tunes, but this could have been a slam dunk if a little more care and effort had been put into the packaging. Mostly, I was bummed to find there were absolutely no liner notes…this album was the product of a struggling, hardworking talent, and the story behind its creation should have been told. There are very few photos. The original album cover is not represented anywhere. Backing musicians are not credited. Songwriters and producer(s) are not cited at all. I don’t need a twenty-page book or anything, but a few nice paragraphs would go a long way. 

I don’t mean to nitpick, but the standard of reissues has escalated considerably over the past ten or fifteen years, and I’m sad to see Truth & Soul not rising to the occasion. Still, even this degree of indifference can’t degrade music this radiant. BUY IT……..ByLeopold Stotch………. 

An old-school soul man whose career stretches back to the late '60s, Lee Fields is probably best known for his more recent work with the Brooklyn-based throwback label Truth and Soul Records. He’s released exceptional albums with the label’s house band The Expressions, including My World and Faithful Man. Blessed with a gritty and instantly likable voice that recalls a young James Brown, he’s experiencing a late-career renaissance that’s rare in modern music. Let’s Talk It Over was first released sometime in the '70s on the microscopic Angle 3 label. It finds him in top form, singing his heart out over some absolutely top-shelf indie-funk instrumentation. Enhanced with a bunch of great bonus tracks, this is ideal listening for anybody who misses the good old days of R&B music, before the machines took over. Everything here’s fantastic, but “Wanna Dance,” “Take Me Back,” “The Bull Is Coming,” and “Flim Flam” are especially awesome…………… 

There aren’t too many artists making soul music today who had a release in 1969, back when R&B was first beginning to give the drummer some. Lee Fields, however, is one such artist - or maybe he’s better labeled a phenomenon. With a career spanning over 45 years, releases on a dozen different record labels, and having toured the world over with his raucous-yet-tender voice, it’s mind-blowing that the music he’s making with Brooklyn’s Truth & Soul Records is the best of his career. With The Expressions - Truth & Soul’s house band, Fields continues to evolve, enmeshed into the group’s sweeping, string-laden, cinematic soul sound. 

However, Mr. Fields’ musical career goes far beyond this newfound resurgence. Lee released his very first full-length LP in 1979 entitled, Let’s Talk It Over. It featured his most successful song of the era, “She’s a Lovemaker,” which was at one time licensed and promoted by London Records. Mint copies of Let’s Talk it Over, which was self released by Fields and mostly sold at shows and out of the back of his car, at one time fetched four digit numbers on eBay. Even the bootleg version from the early-90s sold for up to $400. 

Truth & Soul proudly presents the deluxe re-issue of Lee Fields’ “holy grail” album, Let’s Talk it Over. This double LP edition augments the original album with bonus tracks from his singles catalogue including “Funky Screw,” “We Fought For Survival,” “Bewildered,” “Meet Me Tonight,” “The Bull Is Coming,” “Everybody’s Gonna Give Their Thing Away” and more. The deluxe re-issue is also repackaged with a new cover and never-before-seen photos of Lee Fields…… 

Tracklist 
Wanna Dance 5:35 
Let’s Talk It Over 3:09 
Mighty Mighty Love 3:15 
Flim Flam (Instrumental) 3:37 
She’s A Love Maker 4:15 
You’re My Weakness 3:40 
Everybody Gonna Give Their Thing Away, Pt.1 3:00 
Everybody Gonna Give Their Thing Away, Pt.2 4:30 

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