Saturday, 28 June 2014

REWIND: Bobby Womack - 'Across 110th Street'

Yesterday the world lost a legend. While watching Glastonbury coverage, I heard the sad news on Twitter that soul legend Bobby Womack had passed away aged 70. I first discovered Bobby's music after hearing the timeless 1972 classic 'Across 110th Street' on a great compilation CD called 'Essential Soundtracks', and fell in love with the song immediately. A couple of years ago I was stunned by his 2012 album 'The Bravest Man In The Universe', his first LP of original material in 18 years and sadly the last to be released during his lifetime. After longtime fan Damon Albarn tempted Womack out of retirement to sing vocals on the Gorillaz hit 'Stylo', the pair worked with XL Records boss Richard Russell on the powerfully confessional album, which led me onto Bobby's other work.

No cause of death has been revealed yet, though Womack has, in recent years, suffered from ailments that include colon cancer, diabetes, pneumonia, and the early signs of Alzheimer’s. He was working on a new album, tentatively titled 'The Best Is Yet To Come'. Womack said: "I told Damon and Richard that whenever they're available to record I will make myself available but I was already working on a new album. I have Stevie Wonder on it, I have Rod Stewart, Levert, Snoop Dogg is on it, this lady from Motown – now what was her name? I have a lot of songs where you hear Stevie Wonder singing the song and you hear me on the same song, so you really get the style, because I think that’s important. You don’t get that style anymore. Like Sam Cooke and Ray Charles."

Rest in peace Bobby, and thank you for the music.

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