I Shall Be Released #1: Sharon Tandy — “One Way Street”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — February 21, 2023


741) Sharon Tandy — “One Way Street”

Today, I’m rebranding my unreleased (in the ’60’s) “greatest songs” as I Shall Be Released. I’m sure I have Bob’s full backing!

Ah, Sharon Tandy (see #371, 441, 442) — that “[m]od goddess, psychedelic priestess, blue-eyed queen of soul” (Alec Palao, liner notes to the CD comp You Gotta Believe It’s . . . Sharon Tandy) Here she not just doing soul –but DOING soul: recording a song for Stax in Memphis with Booker T. & the MG’s that was written just for her by Isaac Hayes and David Porter. The song was incredibly unreleased at the time and not recorded by anyone else. (see Richie Unterberger, https://www.allmusic.com/album/you-gotta-believe-its-mw0000741620) This “superlative Hayes/Porter tune . . . has a gem-like quality.” (Alec Palao, liner notes to You Gotta Believe) and Tandy noted that the out of this world “backing vocals were put on afterwards, I didn’t know about them.” (liner notes to You Gotta Believe)

As Steve Leggett explains:

Tandy already had a career as a singer and performer in South Africa before relocating to England in 1964 at the suggestion of Frank Fenter, then the U.K. head of Atlantic Records and soon to be her mentor, manager, and husband. Pairing her with the British mod group Fleur de Lys, Fenter used his clout to land her an opening slot on the 1967 Stax-Volt U.K. tour and, also convinced Stax to sign her as an artist . . . .


Leggett expands on Tandy’s legacy:

[While her] recorded legacy doesn’t contain any big commercial hits, [Tandy’s] unique phrasing and passionate vocal style suggest things could easily have been different. . . . Her output during the U.K. years, which saw her delivering sides that were mod-tinged and sometimes lightly psychedelic pop-soul, and sounding at times like a hipper, tougher version of Dusty Springfield, remain at the heart of her legacy.

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