Guide to British Music of the 1960s

February 2024

CD Review: PP Arnold - Kafunta

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PP Arnold (Pat Arnold) arrived in the UK as an Ikette, a member of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. She was persuaded to remain in London by Mick Jagger and Ian Stewart of the Rolling Stones. Following their recommendation to Andrew Loog Oldham he signed her to his new label Immediate as a solo singer. She made an impact as the "First Lady of Immediate" and reached the charts on a number of occasions, the best-known of which was an incredible cover of Cat Stevens' First Cut is the Deepest.

PP Arnold's second LP for Immediate was Kafunta, released in 1968. This included covers of some established as well as tracks that Pat has made her own. The highlight has to be the stunning Angel of the Morning. This was written by Chip Taylor who also wrote Wild Thing. The contrast between the two songs can hardly be greater!

Eddie Phillips was her bass player as a member of TNT, her regular backing band. He had previously been in the Creation. Coincidentally, her driver at the time was Kenny Pickett, Phillips' co-writer and lead singer in the Creation. Although TNT backed her on this LP, there are several songs that have full orchestral backing with arrangements by John-Paul Jones.

Some of the tracks included would be viewed today as pop classics. It is interesting that these were fairly new songs at the time, the oldest being Yesterday and As Tears Go By. The Bee Gees classic To Love Somebody is perfectly suited to Pat and it remains in her live set today as does Angel of the Morning. A second Lennon-McCartney track is Eleanor Rigby. This is another one of the stand-out tracks on the album and she has been singing this in recent years too. The choice of covers is brave as they are not only great songs but the originals have become pop classics. However, Pat has the ability to take a great song and put her own take on it. Clearly you cannot improve on the Beach Boys' original version of God Only Knows so the answer is to sing it differently. The result is not a copy of the Beach Boys track but a new version with unmistakable PP Arnold vocals.

Kafunta is a classic album of the late 1960s from the songs down to the iconic Gered Mankowitz cover photography. With more tracks in the Immediate vaults it would be great to see a reissue of her debut LP, The First Lady of Immediate.

Immediate

Original release: 1968

Reissue: January 2024 (Also available on CD)

Essential Tracks

  • To Love Somebody
  • Angel of the Morning
  • God Only Knows

Track Listing

Side One

  1. Letter to Bill

  2. God Only Knows

  3. Eleanor Rigby

  4. Yesterday

  5. Angel of the Morning

Side Two

  1. It'll Never Happen Again

  2. As Tears Go By

  3. To Love Somebody

  4. Dreamin'

  5. Welcome Home

  6. The Time has Come

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