Friday, 13 November 2009

Erma Franklin '(Take A Little) Piece Of My Heart'

Chart Peak: 9

YouTube

As the single cover makes plain, this is another case where the Now series doesn't live up to the first word of its name, but rather an 25-year-old track revived after its use in a TV commercial. This was obviously a common phenomenon at the time - to some extent it still is, but of course the instant availability of downloads allows many a featured track to trickle sales over a long period rather than showing up more dramatically when the record company are persuaded to reissue a single.

Anyway, this proved to be the only UK hit for Aretha's big sister (or, indeed, for anyone called Erma) and rather a belated one at that, but if you're only going to have one hit, it might as well be a classic, and this is a brilliant example of how to make soul music, every note exactly where it needs to be. Franklin and the producers are confident enough in the song's own drama not to keen banging you over the head with it. Respect is also due to whoever played the key piano line on this track. There have been many versions of this song and will doubtless be many more, and several are good - but for me none has ever beaten this original. By far my favourite Now 23 track so far.

Available on: The Pop Years 1992-1993

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