360 Degrees of Billy Paul

360 Degrees of Billy Paul

by Billy Paul
     
 

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Paul's first album for Philadelphia International was straight club jazz; sales were slow. This time, Gamble & Huff gave Paul material strong enough to make his sophomore release a viable commercial entity. "Brown Baby's" speaks of people of color making their parents and others proud. "I'm Just a Prisoner" is real, but would have been better served without the string

Overview

Paul's first album for Philadelphia International was straight club jazz; sales were slow. This time, Gamble & Huff gave Paul material strong enough to make his sophomore release a viable commercial entity. "Brown Baby's" speaks of people of color making their parents and others proud. "I'm Just a Prisoner" is real, but would have been better served without the string section. It's a stark depiction about a man who has served five years and is contemplating his future. It is about the unsettling fact that he's just a prisoner. Its chilling chorus tells it all -- "The cell is cold as hell, you'll never get use to the smell, my bed is hard as wood, I got to fight to keep my manhood," the riveting saga doesn't just end, the fade is lengthy, and features a dejected Paul woefully mourning the conditions, the situation, and the turmoil of prison life. He sounds believable and frustrated belting out "Me & Mrs. Jones," a classic that many relate to, and those who don't have no problem being down with the passionate singing and clawing lyrics describing the unapologetic infidelity. His "It's Too Late" is a fine rendition of Carole King's classic. You might not recognize "Let's Stay Together," popularized by Al Green. Paul does it it MOR/Jazz style, with a lot of improvising before crooning the original lyrics. It shows versatility, but it's unlikely that people who bought Green's "Jones" appreciated it. A version of Elton John's "Your Song" introduced the Brit to fans of soul music. Vince Montana's magical vibes punctuate the rhythm, which turns into a lightweight gospel revival. "Am I Black Enough for You" fit in with the times of overt black consciousness, a social message moved along by a perky bongo and clavinet-dominated beat, and well-spaced, brassy horn hits. A too staid "I'm Gonna Make It This Time," co-written by Bunny Sigler, marked Paul's second adventure in urban club jazz on 360 Degrees; this one has bite, and Billy sings it with fire.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/01/2008
Label:
Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC:
0886972442822
catalogNumber:
724428
Rank:
7525

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Billy Paul   Primary Artist,Vocals
Bunny Sigler   Guitar
Roland Chambers   Guitar
Bobby Eli   Guitar
Norman Farrington   Drums
Eddie Green   Piano
Norman Harris   Guitar
Leon Huff   Piano
Anthony Jackson   Bass
Vince Montana   Vibes
Lenny Pakula   Organ
Larry Washington   Conga
Earl Young   Drums
David Bay   Guitar
Ronnie Boker   Bass
Ronnie Baker   Bass
Eddie Green   Piano

Technical Credits

Green   Composer
Billy Paul   Arranger
Bob Hall   Engineer
Willie Mitchell   Composer
Kenny Gamble   Producer,Reissue Producer
Norman Harris   Arranger
John Hudson   Packaging
Leon Huff   Producer,Reissue Producer
Ed Lee   Cover Design
Jay Mark   Engineer,Remixing
Joe McEwen   Producer,Liner Notes
Lenny Pakula   Arranger
Joe Tarsia   Engineer
Al Jackson   Composer
Leo Sacks   Producer,Reissue Producer
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Michael Kull   Tape Research
Bobby Martin   Arranger,Producer
Dan Hunstein   Cover Photo
Louise Williams   Liner Notes

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