Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

July 8, 2020

RONNIE JONES, “Satisfy My Soul: The Complete Recordings, 1964-1968” (RPM, UK) CD

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RONNIE JONES–Satisfy My Soul: The Complete Recordings, 1964-1968 (RPM, UK) CD

album issued in 2015

1 Night Time Is The Right Time

2 Let’s Pin A Rose On You

3 I Need Your Loving

4 My Love

5 It’s All Over

6 Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)

7 Nobody But You

8 You’re Lookin’ Good

9 I’m So Clean

10 Satisfy My Soul

11 My Only Souvenir

12 Little Bitty Pretty One

13 Put Your Tears Away

14 In My Love Mind

15 Mama Come On Home

16 Without Love (There Is Nothing)

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Once again, RPM has assembled a first-rate album containing the complete UK 60’s recordings of a valuable artist who was limited to singles and compilation tracks back in the day. Vocalist Ronnie Jones was serving in the US Air Force, stationed in England, and as with many R&B loving African-American servicemen at the time, he gravitated to the Flamingo Club when on leave. Having sung  back home in the US prior to his military service (praised by no less than Sam Cooke), Jones soon became vocalist for Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, and the album leads off with their fine bluesy take on “Night Time Is The Right Time,” featuring a blistering sax solo by Dick Heckstall-Smith.

 

Jones returned to America after his military service, but was invited back to the UK by fans who remembered his time with Korner’s group, and he then toured the club circuit extensively and recorded a number of singles in a wide variety of styles, the most successful of which are in the purer R&B and soul veins where Jones is a master. He also had the opportunity to work with well-known producers such as Les Reed and Andrew Loog Oldham on what could be described as “big-beat ballads” (which Jones’s labels no doubt saw as possible hit material), the kind of material one might associate with a P. J. Proby, and some tracks also resemble the pop-soul that Clyde McPhatter was recording for Mercury at the time, though (fortunately) less over-produced. While those tracks will not be the favorite of the blues-loving listener, they do prove that Mr. Jones is a singer who can handle any kind of material, from old-school R&B in the Jimmy Witherspoon vein to contemporary soul in the Otis Redding vein. He is a pleasure to listen to in any style.

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After the last of these UK recordings came out in 1968, Jones relocated to Italy, where he has continued to have a successful career as both broadcaster and vocalist. While it’s regrettable that Jones did not record a full album with the Korner band, what we do have here is proof that Ronnie Jones was one of the great R&B voices of 1960’s Britain.

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PS, you have not lived until you’ve heard Ronnie Jones’s theme song to the late 60’s Italian mind-fry of a film MICROSCOPIC LIQUID SUBWAY TO OBLIVION (there’s a snippet of another song first….you’ll know when the MLSTO theme song starts!). Jones also does three other songs in the film. This is a film that cries out to be restored–someone like Severin or Arrow or Vinegar Syndrome need to search for the negative or at least a quality 35mm print, rather than this awful pan and scan, chopped-up version from a Greek 80’s videotape, which is the only copy circulating among collectors for the last 30 years (the whole film is on You Tube, if you’re so inclined or a fan of Ewa Aulin or Alex Rebar). I wonder how much psychedelic material he did after the move to Italy? Now there would be another compilation I’d love to hear….Ronnie Jones, the Italian Psychedelic Years.

 

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