The late Dee Dee Warwick, Dionne’s younger sister, had two
recording spells with Mercury, the first with its Blue Rock
subsidiary in 1965 and the second on the main imprint
between 1966 and 1969 when she hit initially with ‘I Want
To Be With You’ and ‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me’.
‘In The Basement’ first caught up with Dee Dee when she was in
Los Angeles in early 1999 to accept a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation. It led to a feature in issue #14 of the magazine and I am going to throw in some bits of that feature as a part of the review... ‘Dee Dee was a popular touring artist and, on a trip to London, recorded a version of the film theme, ‘Alfie’, with Johnny Franz producing and the orchestra of Peter Knight in support. It was actually her first recording outside of New York and, although Mercury eventually issued it on single in America, by then sister Dionne had also recorded the song and scooped the US hit. Mercury’s delay in holding back Dee Dee’s version understandably aggrieved her...
Although Mercury issued three singles between December 1967 and the latter part of 1968, none charted and only two of the six sides appeared on any album, the subsequent ‘Foolish Fool’ set, issued in 1969. The title track, an intense ballad penned and produced by Ed Townsend, had taken Dee Dee back into the r&b charts, hitting a ‘Billboard’ peak of #14 and going a full ten rungs higher with ‘Cashbox’. A stunning outing, it was matched equally by its flip, the deep ‘Thank God’, supported by strong choral work and taking the lady close to her gospel roots. Again it was from Townsend’s pen, as was the follow-up single, ‘That’s Not Love’, although the flip, ‘It’s Not Fair’, marked itself as a Kenny Gamble/Leon Huff production...’
Despite this not being the first reissue of Dee Dee Warwick’s Blue Rock/Mercury material, it is actually the first time the ‘Foolish Fool’ set - a #30 peaker on the ‘Billboard’ r&b album chart - has appeared in its entirety and thus the ballads, ‘You Taught Me To Love’ and ‘Thank You Love’ and the slight, drum-supported beater, ‘Where Is That Rainbow’ are appearing on (legitimate) cd for the first time.
The five ‘bonus’ tracks that supplement the album represent three later singles and include a remake of ‘I (Who Have Nothing)’ - which she previously cut for the indie Hurd label between Blue Rock and Mercury - and two film themes: Thom Bell and Kenny Gamble’s ‘Ring Of Bright Water’ and Sammy Cahn and George Barrie’s ‘All The Love That Went To Waste’.
David Cole - In The Basement CD Reviews
About the Writer
David Nathan is the founder and CEO of SoulMusic.com and began his writing career in 1965; beginning in 1967, he was a regular contributor to Blues & Soul magazine in London before relocating to the U.S. in 1975 where he served as U.S. editor for the publication for several decades and began being known as 'The British Ambassador Of Soul.' From 1988 to 2004, he wrote prolifically for Billboard, has penned bios, produced and written liner notes for box sets and reissue CDs for over a thousand projects. He returned to London in 2009 where he has helped create SoulMusic.com Records as a leading reissue label.