Filed under: the Notations
With today’s release of the Notations’ Still Here 1967-1973, we thought it would be interesting to share some of the ways in which the title track of this long-awaited compilation has been embraced outside of Chicago.
Ken Boothe is one of Jamaica’s greatest vocalists, so when he recorded a version of Syl Johnson’s “Is It Because I’m Black?” in 1973, it gave Twinight 125 a second life in the Caribbean. Much less is known about singer Bobby Dee and his rendition of Twinight 141, better known to Numero Groupers as “I’m Still Here” by the Notations.
By the time the 1980s rolled around, reggae was being conceived inna more digital style. Versions are an essential part of Jamaican music’s evolution. But could we have expected Junior Moore to revisit this Twinight/Regina curiosity? And to do so on 12-inch?
While Bobby Dee fails to capitalize on the most infectious quality of “I’m Still Here,” Junior Moore hits this lick on his very first pass over the bridge. Plus, the group harmony on Moore’s version more closely resemble the Notations original than Dee’s queasy cover. Did Junior Moore’s camp draw inspiration from the aging Twinight single (as opposed to that Dee single, already in the Jamaican marketplace)? Also, can we spend a moment with this label? Tanka: “Blackness In Motion”?
Then imagine, a few decades later while digging through a flea market kiosk in Tennessee, you find a translucent purple tape called Chopped And Screwed Oldies. Alongside classics by Teddy Pendergrass and Curtis Mayfield, there are your old friends, The Notations, immortalized in yet another musical universe.
But let’s not forget why we’re still here—to pay homage to one of Chicago’s greatest vocal groups, the Notations. Never before available in one place, Still Here 1967-1973 is now available on LP and CD. Both the Cd and the download come with a few unreleased tracks. Stream the whole thing below if you think we’re playing.
Filed under: the Notations
“I’m Still Here” by the Notations is as close to a hit (in the classic sense) as anything in the Numero catalog. In Chicago, the Notations are played on the radio—the actual radio! The jubilant chirp that punctuates “I’m Still Here” is to the Southside what Otis Redding’s dockside whistle is to Georgia. The White Sox of group souls, the Notations have performed at a majority of our Eccentric Soul Revues, and always deliver. We like this group a lot, and have wanted to compile their sweetest tunes for a long time, and so we did. The Notations Still Here 1967-1973 is available March 17th, 2015. If you want an affordable long-player—all killer/no filler—look no further than this gem.