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Yes We Can / Night People

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 21, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Soul/R&B chart star LEE DORSEY'S two legendary 1970's albums on one CD, with three rare bonus tracks. Songs produced and mostly written by New Orleans' incomparable Allen Toussaint, with backing by The Meters, James Booker, Irma Thomas. Original versions of Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley (Robert Palmer), On Your Way Down (Little Feat), Yes We Can (Pointer Sisters) and Riverboat (Van Dyke Parks). The classic '70s recordings of one of the finest black voices of his generation. Detailed liner notes and over 77 minutes of music - superb audio quality. Raven. 2005

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Yes We Can - Part I
  2. Riverboat
  3. Tears, Tears And More Tears
  4. O Me-O, My-O
  5. Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley
  6. Yes We Can - Part II
  7. Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further?
  8. Games People Play
  9. When The Bill's Paid
  10. Occapella
  11. Gator Tail
  12. Would You?
  13. Bonus Track: When Can I Come Home?
  14. Bonus Track: On Your Way Down
  15. Say It Again
  16. God Must Have Blessed America
  17. Soul Mine
  18. Keep On Doing It To Me
  19. Thank You
  20. Night People
  21. Can I Be The One
  22. Babe
  23. Draining


Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 21, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Raven [Australia]
  • ASIN: B0007KIFL4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,035 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By J P Ryan on October 21, 2005
Format: Audio CD
New Orleans has always produced more than its share of truly singular music greats, many eccentric enough that they never hit outside of the region. But Lee Dorsey produced a considerable body of work, including several several national hits. Twenty years after his death Dorsey remains a vastly underrated vocalist - by turns soulful, wry, converstional, playful, and bemused. By the time he made his first record ("Rock") for Ace in 1957 he was already 30 years old, and the following year began a longstanding collaboration with producer/writer Allen Toussaint ('Lottie Mo'). It wasn't until 1961 that he hit big on Bobby Robinson's Fire label with 'Ya-Ya', followed by 'Do-Re-Me' and several other less successful singles eventually collected on an album called "Ya Ya". In 1963 Lee recorded a terrific single for Smash that went nowhere, and this was followed by two more 45s released by the Constellation label. Finally In 1965 Toussaint signed him to his Sansu Enterprises and for the next five years Dorsey hit his stride on the Amy label with a string of classic singles and two great albums, "Ride Your Pony" and "The New Lee Dorsey", both beautifully remastered and expanded by Sundazed for CD in 2000. Next, Toussaint produced Dorsey's classic album for Polygram, "Yes We Can" in 1970. This is one of the seminal funk/soul albums of the '70s, capturing Lee and Toussaint at their mature peak. "Yes We Can" was first reissued on CD in the mid '90s, on a generous set that included bonus singles and outtakes from the 1970 - 73 Polydor period, plus a pair of rarely reissued gems recorded for the Smash label in 1963. The original album is essential, combining great songs, a mature delivery, and funk backing by the Meters and other N.O. greats.Read more ›
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I ran into this reissue because I'm a fan of the Meters, Allen Toussaint and a number of other New Orleans funk/r&b groups from the 70's and beyond. The obvious connection is that the great Toussaint produced and wrote all the songs on both albums, and members of the Meters perform on Yes We Can. So, I was hoping this two-on-one reissue would give me a little extra shot of that early 70's New Orleans funk that I've been craving, and it sure does! However, I would say that the first album is significantly better than the second, and they vary in style enough that it's a slight mismatch to have them on the same disc.

Yes We Can has become a classic album in New Orleans music circles, thanks I think to a few of Toussaint's fine songs and Lee Dorsey's raspy, soulful, and honest vocals. "Yes We Can" is a classic song in its own right, recalling a time when soul songwriters like Toussaint were actually interested in saying something with their music. The music backing Dorsey is laid-back, stripped down, and hard-on-the-one funky--just what I was hoping for! "Tears Tears and More Tears" is another favorite, with Dorsey desperately wailing amid a driving, horn-filled chorus. The spoken bridge of "Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further?" is almost as priceless as the filthy, gnarly guitar, bass and drums that form the song's backbone. "Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley" has become something of a funk standard, and Dorsey's version is a bit more playful than, say, Robert Palmer's.
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