Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Parliaments: I Wanna Testify/I Can Feel the Ice Melting

I was recently gifted an awesome 45: The Parliaments' 1967 7-inch release, "I Wanna Testify."  As a soul/funk aficionado (and singer), it's hard not to love this song that put The Parliaments on the hit map.  It's been covered many times by many folks, most notably by George Clinton himself in 1974 after re-christening both the band and the song on Casablanca Records.  The band became Parliament, the song "Testify," and the LP was Up From the Down Stroke.  Depending on my mood, I can favor the funkier 70s vibe punctuated by Bootsy Collins' badass bass lines from the latter recording.
I have to say, among the other recorded versions of the song, not too many stand out for me, except that I do actually like Johnnie Taylor's bluesy Stax cover from The Johnnie Taylor Philosophy Continues (1969).  I like a man who can sing the blues.
The real discovery in receiving this Parliaments' 45 has been the sleeper (they often are I suppose...) B-side, "I Can Feel the Ice Melting."  I was previously unfamiliar with this tune, but boy was I was missing out.  If you can listen to this dreamy walk-about and not swoon, well... I guess I can hear the ice melting in my water.

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