Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Smash Records: Out of Sight

He was “The Godfather of Soul,” “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business,” and one of several musicians who had records that couldn’t be played on a turntable – think about that one for a moment and you’ll get it. When James Brown began having disputes with his label, King Records, Smash was more than delighted to become his label of choice.

Smash Records released several Brown vocals in 1964 – “Caledonia” – charting at #95, “The Things that I Used to Do” – peaking at #99, and “Out of Sight” backed with “Maybe the Last Time.” While “Maybe the Last Time” got some airplay and charted at #107, the real Smash James Brown hit was “Out of Sight,” which made it to #24 on the pop charts #5 on the R&B chart.

Because the courts sided with King Records, Brown was prevented from recording any further vocals on Smash.  Brown’s further records on Smash through 1966 were all instrumentals. “Out of Sight” was credited as James Brown and His Orchestra unlike the plethora of single material King was releasing under the name of James Brown and the Fabulous Flames at the same time. Eventually some of the Smash recordings would be re-released by King.

Although “Out of Sight’s” songwriting credits went to Ted Wright, this was a pseudonym for James Brown. Why he used another name at this juncture is not known.

I really love the horns on this song. Long live “The Godfather of Soul.”

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