Howard Tate - “Baby I Love You” (1967)
In the 60s, great soul music was everywhere: Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, and the like were all on the charts, in the concert halls, and over the airwaves. Moreover, they were all in the prime of their careers, hitting the sweet spot of writing/recording songs that would quickly become anthems, at a time when people were figuring out how to get pristine sounds onto vinyl.
There was so much good music, in fact, that even some great cuts got lost in the mix. Howard Tate, who released one truly excellent long-player (Get It While You Can), was one of those soul-shouters who somehow slipped through the cracks. Blame it on being signed to a smaller label, or the lack of a significant PR push to the radio stations, or the fact that so much great music was being released all at once, but Tate never took off the way he should’ve.
The track linked to above, “Baby I Love You,” is not a cover of the old Ronettes classic, but rather a tune written by Tate’s producer, Jerry Ragovoy. It has all the elements of a mid-60s classic: mean and dirty rhythm section, beefy brass propelling it along, and Tate’s powerful falsetto, crying out for love. Unless you’re a soul connoisseur, you probably haven’t heard it. It’s a stand-out track on an album full of ‘em - click here for the rest.