Madeline Bell


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1  

- Madeleine Bell (aka Madeline Bell Brodus) -- vocals

 

 

 

- Bad News Travels Fast

- Blue Mink

- The Bradford Singers

- Judd 

- Space

 

 

 


 

Genre: soul

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  I'm Gonna Make You Love Me

Company: Philips

Catalog: PHS 600-271
Year:
 1968

Country/State: Newark, New Jersey

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: small punch hole top right corner

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1749

Price: $30.00

 

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 ...

 

Philips catalog number SBL.7818

 

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'" and three earlier 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 quickly comes 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 wasinterested 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 and straightforward soul numbers.  Check out 'Picture Me Gone', 'Can't Get Used To Losing You', and 'One Step at a Time'.

 

"I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) I'm Gonna Make You Love Me   (Kenny Gamble - Jerry Ross - J. WIlliams) - 2:40

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 Dusty Springfield pop 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 provides 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    rating: **** stars

2.) What the World Needs Now Is Love   (Hal David - Burt Bacharach) - 2:57

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.   rating: *** stars

3.) Climb Ev'ry Mountain (form "The Sound of Music"    (Oscar Hammerstein - I. Rodgers) - 2:10

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.  Terrible waste of her talents.   rating: ** stars

4.) Mercy, Mercy, Mercy   (V. Levy -  Joe Zawinul - G. Levy) - 2:48

Like most folks my age (I'm a baby boomer), I grew up with Julian "Cannonball" Adderley jazz version.   I've also heard versions done by The Buckinghams, The Mauds, and even 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.    rating: **** stars

5.) One Step At a Time   (Valerie Simpson - Nickolas Ashford) - 2:13

One of the best performances on the album - Bell's version was slinky and slightly ominous at the same time.   Maxine Brown's version was good, but bell's cover tore it up.  rating: **** stars

6.) The Last One To Be Loved  (Hal David - Burt Bacharach) - 2:28

'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 recorded the tune here.  That means some folks are going to find it too MOR-ish for their tastes.   rating: *** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) Picture Me Gone    (Chip Taylor - Al Gorgoni) - 2:50

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 ? The Beat Club television program also filmed a promo clip for this one  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIy6aadKElg    rating: **** stars:

2.) I'm Gonna Leave You   (Dusty Springfield - Lesley Duncan - Madeline Bell) - 2:59

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'".    rating: **** stars

3.) Can't Get Used To Losing You   (Mort Shuman - Doc Pomus) - 2:22

Always liked the Tijuana Brass-styled opening section.   Very '60s flavor.   Another tune that appeared on her 1967 solo debut "Bell's a Poppin'".       rating: **** stars

4.) Mr. Dream Merchant   (Jerry Ross - L. Weiss) - 2:34

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 oevr orchestrated and overly-sentimental, but nice.   rating: *** stars

5.) Baby, I'll Come Right Away    (Valerie Simpson - Nickolas Ashford) - 2:18

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.   rating: *** stars

 

 

For anyone interested, Bell has an interesting website at: http://madelinebell.com/



 

 

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