<iframe width="640" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/dxWoP1v4rKI?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
April 9, 2012
In 1978, Lily Pearson, Annette Warren and Avetta Henry walked into Cleveland's Boddie Studios and recorded a six-song rehearsal reel. The group's ambitions never came to fruition, though, and their tapes ended up languishing in the studio's vaults for the next 30 years until the Chicago reissue label, Numero Group, rediscovered it in the process of compiling a Boddie anthology.
Finally released on vinyl-only, the Love Apple project may be acoustically primitive, but by all other measures, it's high-quality soul. In honor of the mysterious trio's serendipitous return, here is one of its recordings, as well as four more soul songs — all performed by women — which have emerged from the shadows of history in recent years.
For its rehearsal session, Love Apple was backed by the sparsest of bands — producer Lou Ragland on guitar and drummer Tony Roberson, whose heavy backbeat lends this ballad unexpected gravity and contrasts with the sublimely sweet harmonies of the singers. Unlike other groups made up of a lead and back-ups, each Love Apple member was given a solo on which to shine, revealing three different voices which blended together beautifully in the choruses. If you listen closely during Roberson's breakbeat bridge around 2:40, you can just make out Ragland giving direction to the group before the ladies of Love Apple swing back in.
This album is available from Numero Group. (
all and more at NPR