Graham Reid | | 1 min read
In this column about shameful record covers I'm proud to own, I noted you should never judge Eastern European -- or bellydance -- albums by their covers. They are often an afterthought and the contents can be often much more interesting and exciting than the kitsch covers might suggest.
You'd guess perhaps only soul singer Howard Tate's family though the cover of his self-titled '72 album was any good, and it wasn't that he was such an established artist he didn't need to "present" himself.
Tate -- who only died in December 2011 -- released two albums prior to this one on Atlantic which was produced by Jerry Ragovoy in New York's Hit Factory. Ragovoy wrote almost everything on the album -- there's also a soulful cover of Dylan's Girl From the North Country and the Band's Jemima Surrender -- and he seemed to have had an ear for exactly the right emotion and lyric which Tate could wring out.
There was a lot of country-blues alongside soul in Georgia-born Tate and he should have been a major contender. But a couple of decades od drug dependency and homelessness meant he disappeared from the mid Seventies until he was rediscovered in the last decade of his life.
By then he'd cleaned up and was a preacher.
But in those many years of his absence, people searched out this album. And not for the cover.
For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.