Tyrone Davis

Band members                              Related acts

- Tyrone Davis (RIP 2005) -- vocals



- none known





Genre: soul

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Turn Back the Hands of Time

Company: Dakar

Catalog: SD 8027

Year: 1970

Country/State: Greenville, Mississippi

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: original copy, still in shrink wrap (opened); small cut out notch on edge

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6102

Price: $40.00



There aren't many albums out there that I'd buy just to hear one single song, but 1970's "Turn Back the Hands of Time" is one of those rarities.  Produced by Willie Henderson, these nine tracks were simply among the cream of the crop in terms of early 1970s Chicago soul.  Virtually every one of these songs had commercial potential, or some performance characteristic that kicked them far above the competition.  Regardless of whether he was playing the love damaged loser ('Let Me Back In'), the silky smooth love man ('Undying Love'), or  the gritty R&B guy ('Love Bones'), the album found Davis turning in some of the best performances across his lengthy recording career.  Those performances were so good you even managed to overlook most of the over-the-top arrangements Henderson and Tom Washington had slapped on tunes like the breezy ballad 'I'll Be Right Here'.  In contrast to Davis, I suspect lesser singers would have been overwhelmed by the arrangements.  Nobody served as a victim of love's sligs and arrows better than Davis.   Six words - Classic soul album; buy a copy !!!


"Turn Back the Hands of Timer" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Turn Back the Hands of Time   (Jack Daniels - John Moore) - 2:36   rating: ***** stars

As mentioned above, the title track stands as a soul classic.  Autobiographical in the sense songwriter Jack Daniels based it on personal relationship problems he'd been facing, Davis nailed this one perfectly, giving the song a sense of urgency and longing you simply couldn't fake.  Great melody with a hook that you simply couldn't shake out of your head (I've been trying for years), it was easy to see why it topped the R&B charts and went top ten pop.  My only complaint was that the song was too short.  Shame there wasn't an extended album version.  (I'm sure someone out there knows the story, but the liner notes carry the wrong writing credits.  The song was actually penned by Jack Daniels and Bonnie Thompson.  I fact, if you own the single, it carries the correct writing credits.)

- 1970's 'Turn Back the Hands of Time' b/w 'I Keep Coming Back' (Dakar catalog number 45-616)

2.) The Waiting was Not In Vain   (Carl Davis - Eugene Records) - 3:27   rating: **** stars

'The Waiting was Not In Vain' opened up with one of those jazzy-soul intros that sounded like it had been copped from Ramsey Lewis, or the Young-Holt Trio. Very cool, but the song got even better when Davis steered it in a more conventional soul ballad direction.  Silky smooth and sporting another highly commercial hook, this one would have also made a dandy single.    rating: **** stars

3.) Let Me Back In   (Cash McCall) - 2:37

A broken heart has seldom sounded as catchy as on 'Let Me Back In' and another great single:





- 1970's 'Let Me Back In' b/w 'Love Bones' (Dakar catalog number 45-621)






4.) Love Bones   (Isabell Alvertis - Donald Davis) - 3:07   rating: **** stars

Opening up with a nice horn arrangement, 'Love Bones' found Davis underscoring his ability to handle tougher R&B-tinged material.  It was actually nice to hear him utilizing his tougher, lower vocal registers and the nods to James Brown, Wilson Pickett, and Johnnie Taylor were hysterical.   

5.) I'll Be Right Here   (Jack Daniels - John Moore) - 2:38   rating: **** stars

For some reason, 'I'll Be Right Here' has always registered with me.  While the melody wasn't nearly as memorable as some of the other tracks, Davis turned in one of those heart aching performances that was simply breath taking.  Guess that was one of the reasons Dakar tapped it as a single.  





1970's 'I'll Be Right There' b/w 'Just Because of You' (Dakar catalog number 45-618)








(side 2)
1.) Something You Got   (Barry Dispenza - Carl Walfolk) - 2:38   rating: **** stars

Propelled by a killer bass line, 'Something You Got' was another track that found Davis leaning towards a tougher soul edge.  The result was another overlooked album highlight.    

2.) Undying Love   (Willie Henderson - Willie Hatcher) - 3:26   rating: ** stars    

Anyone who's heard Davis earlier work knows he started out as more of an imitator than an originator.  Complete with Hammond B3, the slow groove ballad 'Undying Love' found him reverting to that characteristic; this time out sounding like he was trying to channel Solomon Burke.  Not bad for a piece of imitation. 

3.) Just Because of You   (Jack Daniels - John Moore) - 2:58   rating: **** stars

 In spite of Tom Washington's big horn and string arrangement, 'Just Because of You' was one of Davis' toughest performances.  Whereas many other singers would have been overwhelmed by the arrangement, Davis didn't let it phase him in the least.     

4.) If It's Love That You're After   (Barry Dispenza - Carl Walfolk) - 2:;45   rating: **** stars

I'm a sucker for harpsichord and banjo so 'If It's Love That You're After' had me from the opening chords.  Perhaps the most melodic song on the album this one was a joy to hear.  Besides, how many soul performances can you think of that incorporate a Baroque flavor?     

5.) I Keep Coming Back   (Leo Asteil - Leo Graham) - 2:37   rating: **** stars

Not sure who provided the tasty blues guitar runs that opened the track (and dominated the song), but it set the stage for 'I Keep Coming Back'.  Easily the best slow groove ballad on the album and Davis' James Brown screeches was worth the admission price.        




Genre: soul

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Home Wrecker

Company: Dakar

Catalog: DK 76915

Year: 1975

Country/State: Greenville, Mississippi

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: cut top left corner

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5028

Price: $20.00


1975's "Home Wrecker" found Davis working with a series of five separate producers and production teams.  To be honest, most of the ten tracks didn't mark a major change from his earlier catalog, but then you probably already knew what to expect if you were looking at buying a Tyrone Davis LP.  That said, there were a couple of standout exceptions ...  Songs like 'Homewreckers' , 'Is lt Something You've Got' and the Stax-flavored 'I Got a Sure Thing' surrounded Davis with a tougher, blues oriented sound that was a welcomed change of pace from his standard 'love man' moves. Davis himself seemed to enjoy the change of pace turning in some of his most impressive performances on those up-tempo numbers, including the sizzling blues number 'A Woman Needs To Be Loved'.  (Nice polyester suit there guy ...)


Elsewhere the album was tapped for a pair of singles:





















- 1975's 'Homewreckers' b/w 'This Time' (Dakar catalog number DK-4541) 
- 1975's 'A Woman Needs To Be Loved' b/w 'Just Because of You (I Can See My Way Through)' (Dakar catalog number DK-4545)

"Home Wrecker" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Homewreckers   (Sam Dees - David Camon - Tyrone Davis) - 3:00

2.) This Time   (Johnny Moore - Jack Daniels) - 4:15

3.) Is lt Something You've Got   (Carl Wolfolk - Barry Despensa) - 2:34

4.) After All This Time   (Richard Parker) - 3:14

5.) Was I Just A Fool   (Leo Graham - George Davis - Raymond Haley) - 3:47

(side 2)
1.) lt Ain't Me No More   (L. Williams - L. Anderson - D. Oldwin - Tyrone Davis) - 2:45

2.) I Got A Sure Thing   (Booker T. Jones - William Bell - O. Hoskins) - 3:14

3.) You Don't Have To Beg Me To Stay   (Ricahrd Parker) - 3:05

4.) A Woman Needs To Be Loved   (Willie Henderson - Floyd Smith - Carl Davis) - 2:38

5.) How Could I Forget You   (Richard Parker) - 4:04





Genre: soul

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Turning Point!

Company: Dakar

Catalog: DK 76918

Year: 1976

Country/State: Greenville, Mississippi

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1774

Price: $20.00


Tyrone Davis' last release for the about-to-collapse Brunswick/Dakar label.  Produced by Leo Graham, who also wrote the majority of the nine tunes, 1976's "Turning Point!" marked a nice way to end this chapter of Davis' recording catalog.  There was no denying the man had a classic soul voice and he seldom sounded as consistent as on this collection.  Admittedly, musically the set wasn't a classic release.   Certainly not Davis' creative zenith, but it was a professional and largely enjoyable set.   Split between silky "love man" ballads ('It's So Good (To Be Home with You)', 'Forever' and 'Saving My Love For You'), and more up-tempo tunes (the title track and 'I Can't Bump It'),  It may not have been the most original album of the year, but song-for-song there were way more winners than losers - witness Dakar released three charting singles off the parent album.  

"Turning Point1" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) It's So Good (To Be Home with You)    (Leo Graham) - 5:19   rating: **** stars

If you thought old school soul was dead and done by the mid-'70s, check out this slow burn ballad.   With Davis effortlessly cruising through this eulogy to hard work and fidelity, it was one of his finest offerings.  Dakar justifiably tapped it as a single:





1976's 'So Good (To Be Home With You)' b/w ' I Can't Bump' (Darkar catalog number DK 4553)







2.) Turning Point    (Leo Graham) - 4:39   rating: **** stars

Ah, '70s soul philosophy at it's very best - yeah his vision of domestic bliss probably died with your grandfather.   Still,  you simply had so smile and dance around to this one.   Some of the best female backing vocals you'll ever hear.   Dakar tapped it as a single, Davis enjoying his third and final number 1 R&B hit with the tune:

- Turning Point' b/w 'Don't Let It Be Too Late' (Dakar catalog number DK 4550)  

3.) Forever    (Leo Graham)  - 4:25  rating: ** stars

Pretty enough  melody, but it lacked a killer hook and ultimately the song simply didn't stand out amidst the rest of the album    That didn't stop Dakar from releasing it as another single:

- 'Forever' b/w 'Ever Lovin' Girl' (Dakar catalog number DK 4561) 

4.) I Can't Bump, Pt 1     (Leo Graham) - 3:22   rating: *** stars

Even though ' I Can't Bump, Pt 1' was listing as an instrumental, it wasn't ...  instead it featured a likeable, light dance oriented tune.

5.) Saving My Love For You    (Sherman Johnson) - 4:35   rating: *** stars

Standard old-school ballad that was professional and quite pedestrian.  

(side 2)
1.) Ever Lovin' Girl   (Albert Green -  Leo Graham - Tyrone Davis) - 3:05
    rating: **** stars

Not sure who played bass on this one, but their melodic moves might have been worth the price of admission for the whole album.   Davis at his slinkiest.   Hard to believe this was relegated to being a "B" side.    One of the album highlights.

2.) Don't Let It Be Too Late     (Leo Graham - Dennis Miller) - 2:35    rating: **** stars

Breezy, radio friendly ballad with some first-rate horn charts.   This is the tune I would have tapped as the leadoff single.  

3.) I Can't Bump, Pt 2     (Leo Graham) - 2:57  rating: ** stars

Part 2 was essentially a continuation of the earlier track with a more dance-oriented feel, with Davis endlessly repeating "while the music's playing." 

4.) Turn Back the Hands of Time   (Jack Daniels -  Bonnie Thompson) - 5:01  rating: ** stars

Hearing an artist revisit an earlier hit is normally not a good thing, so you had to approach this remake of 'Turn Back the Hands of Time' with a bit of trepidation.   And as you'd expect, the remake paled in comparison to the original.  Slowed down to a crawl, this version all but discarded the originals killed melody, trying to substitute a hardcore "love man" delivery for the earlier versions pop charms.   Disappointing way to end the album.