Saturday, October 18, 2008

Vale Levi Stubbs

Obituary for Levi Stubbs

Not as mellifluous as Smokey Robinson nor as street-tough as the Temptations, the sound of Stubbs' voice , and the songs it was used on, seemed like an early example of a masculinity in crisis. Reach Out relied for its impact on his extraordinary tussle with the lyrics, driving them foreward with that resonant "hup and holler" - the sudden "work shout" - rare for the white pop charts of the 60s, but familiar to black record buyers raised on churchgoing and gospel, and hence soul music's mix of the sacred and profane. Yet ironically, when Holland, Dozier and Holland had first played the song to the group, Stubbs had disliked it and initially pressed for one of the others to sing lead.

Reach Out I'll be There

Same Old Song

& Billy Bragg's Levi Stubbs's Tears

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