Band members Related acts
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- Madeleine Bell (aka Madeline Bell Brodus) -- vocals
- Bad News Travels Fast
- The Bradford Singers
Rating: 4 stars ****
Title: I'm Gonna Make You Love Me
Country/State: Newark, New Jersey
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: small punch hole top right corner
Catalog ID: 1749
Strange that this album appears to be all but unknown to American audiences. Might have something to do with the fact Madeline Bell's spent the last fifty years living in Europe. I'm sure the risque cover photo had nothing to do with it. Shame and a loss to American audiences ...
Musically 1968's "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" appeared to be a late inning and half-hearted attempt by Philips to introduce and break Bell to American audiences. Produced by John Franz, the eleven track compilation included eight tracks off her 1967's debut "Bell's a Poppin'" (Philips catalog number SBL.7818) and three earlier UK singles ('What the World Needs Now', 'Climb Ev'ry Mountain', and 'One Step At a Time'). Having heard the debut album, I 'd argue this one was inferior in a number of ways. The inclusion of a couple of MOR-ish numbers ('Climb Ev'ry Mountain' and 'The Last One To Be Loved' quickly come to mind), seemed like a shallow attempt to win over middle class American audiences. Never the less, Bell had such an amazing voice, it was easy to overlook those occasional shortcomings. So here's one of the album's most interesting things - anyone expecting to hear a soul album was going to be disappointed. Judging by these tunes, Philips was interested in marketing Bell to the same audiences that friend and former boss Dusty Springfield had won over. Exemplified by tracks like 'What the World Needs Now Is Love', 'I'm Gonna Leave You', and 'Baby, I'll Come Right Away', the result was a pop-oriented album with lots of ballads. Most were pretty good, though Bell was even better on up-tempo, more straightforward soul numbers. Check out 'Picture Me Gone', 'Can't Get Used To Losing You' and 'One Step at a Time'. Shame on Philips for messing with a good thing. And what was with the revamped cover package? I'm guessing mid-'60s American audiences were not ready for the risque cover photo on the European release?
Make You Love Me" track listing:
1.) I'm Gonna Make You Love Me (Kenny Gamble - Jerry Ross - J. WIlliams) - 2:40 rating: **** stars
It certainly took some creative and marketing guts to record a tune that so many other acts had already made their own - The Supremes with The Temptations, Dee Dee Warwick ... That said, Bell's version was easily as good; maybe even better, avoiding the dramatic excesses while adding a touch of breezy Dusty Springfield influences to the mix. The Springfield touch probably had more than a little to do with the fact the song was originally offered to Springfield, who declined and suggested it to Bell. Springfield also provided wonderful backing vocals on the song. The tune was actually tapped as a single prior to the release of the album:
- 1968's 'I'm Gonna Make You Love Me' b/w 'Picture Me' (Philips catalog number 40517) Filmed for the Beat Club television program, YouTube has a nice promo film for the tune at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uV7Msc0mZ0Y
2.) What the World Needs Now Is Love (Hal David - Burt Bacharach) - 2:57 rating: *** stars
Yeah, this won't make you forget the Jackie DeShannon hit version. The arrangement was very similar to the hit, though you got to hear Bell using her toughened-up voice. Nice, but not exactly essential. Philips released it as a UK single:
- 1965's 'What The World Needs Now Is Love' b/w 'I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face' (Philips catalog number BF 1448)
Recorded in 2021, YouTube has a clip of Bell performing the song at some restaurant with accompanyment from keyboard player David Lenker. If my calculations are right, Bell was 79 ... All I can say is she kicked the crap out of the song. OMG !!!
3.) Climb Ev'ry Mountain (from "The Sound of Music") (Oscar Hammerstein - Richard Rodgers) - 2:10 rating: *** stars
I've always wondered why labels insisted their soul acts record at least one slice of MOR-pop. Here's Bell's contribution to the genre. I understand the special place the song holds for many people, but it wasn't a great use of her talents. That said, she poured her heart into the song. YouTube has a black and white clip of her lip-synching the tune for the Beat-Club television program: (1) Madeline Bell - Climb Ev'ry Mountain (1967) - YouTube It was also tapped another UK single:
- 1967's 'Climb Ev'ry Mountain ' b/w 'It Makes No Difference Now' (Philips catalog number BF 1596)
4.) Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (Vincent Levy - Joe Zawinul - Gail Fisher Levy) - 2:48 rating: **** stars
Like most folks my age (I'm a baby boomer), I grew up with Julian "Cannonball" Adderley jazz version of this tune. I've also heard versions done by The Buckinghams, The Mauds, and even Joe Zawinul's original version. And against all of those, Bell's comes out with high marks. 'Course the song was so strong, it would have been hard to turn in a bad version.
5.) One Step At a Time (Valerie Simpson - Nickolas Ashford) - 2:13 rating: **** stars
Allowed to avoid the MOR moves, 'One Step At a Time' was one of the best performances on the album. Bell's version was relaxed, slinky and slightly ominous at the same time. Maxine Brown's version was good, but Bell's cover tore it up. Classic soul track that not enough people have heard. Another UK single:
- 1966's 'One Step At a Time' b/w 'You WOn't See Me' (Philips catalog number BF1526)
6.) The Last One To Be Loved (Hal David - Burt Bacharach) - 2:28 rating: *** stars
'The Last One To Be Loved' has always reminded me of a Dionne Warwick tune - probably not a surprise given it was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and Warwick had previously recorded the tune. That means some folks are going to find this performance too MOR-ish for their tastes. Personally I think Bell's version is superior. She injects some big time sexiness into her delivery.
One of the great "don't-screw-up" warning songs ... Bell's cutting edge warnings make this a lost soul classic. Besides, how could you not love a song that featured Juanita Bell, Roberta Flack, and Dusty Springfield on backing vocals ? Awesome choice as a single:
- 1967's 'Picture Me Gone' b/w 'Go Ahead On' (Philips catalog number BF-1611)
The Beat Club television program also filmed a promo clip for this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIy6aadKElg
2.) I'm Gonna Leave You (Dusty Springfield - Lesley Duncan - Madeline Bell) - 2:59 rating: **** stars:
Talk about a song with an impressive pedigree ... sweet heartbreak ballad with exquisite backing vocals. Interestingly, Springfield had previously recorded the tune; as had Bell herself. The track appeared on her 1967 solo debut "Bell's a Poppin'".
3.) Can't Get Used To Losing You (Mort Shuman - Doc Pomus) - 2:22 rating: **** stars:
Always liked the Tijuana Brass-styled opening section and the cool little guitar lick throughout the song. Very '60s flavor. Another tune that appeared on her 1967 solo debut "Bell's a Poppin'".
4.) Mr. Dream Merchant (Jerry Ross - L. Weiss) - 2:34 rating: *** stars
The New Birth's version of 'Mr. Dream Merchant' was the one I'd grown up with. Bell's version wasn't bad - a tad over orchestrated and overly-sentimental, but nice.
5.) Baby, I'll Come Right Away (Valerie Simpson - Nickolas Ashford) - 2:18 rating: *** stars
The album's second Ashford-Simpson composition, 'Baby, I'll Come Right Away' was one of those cocktail-jazz ballads that didn't make much of an initial impact, but grew on you with time. Another track with kind of a Dusty Springfield feel.
For anyone interested, Bell has an interesting website at: http://madelinebell.com/
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