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Here's Seven: PP Arnold Shares Her Favourite Collaborative Tracks

Here's Seven: PP Arnold Shares Her Favourite Collaborative Tracks

Monday 16th April, 2018 2:44PM

London's 'First Lady of Soul' PP Arnold is heading our way for what's sure to be a spectacular show at Auckland's The Powerstation this May. With a career spanning more than fifty years, the singer has worked with a jaw-dropping range of popular music icons including The KLF, the Small Faces, Paul Weller, Roger Waters, Ike and Tina Turner and more. Arnold is visiting New Zealand in support of her new collection of previously unreleased recordings from the sixties and seventies The Turning Tide, and her current live band features You Am I members Tim Rogers, Andy Kent and Russell Hopkinson. We asked Arnold to highlight some of her favourite collaborative tracks from a fantastic discography, to help convey the scope of the artist's work and get you amped for her upcoming show. Arnold generously picked out the videos below and provided crucial insight into each tune, enjoy her selections and words below...

1. River Deep Mountain High - Ike and Tina Turner

'River Deep Mountain High' brings by great memories of my days as an Ivette with the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. We were on tour in the US en route to coming the UK. We did the video to promote the single before we actually arrived. It might have been played on Ready, Steady, Go or Top Of The Pops, popular UK T.V. shows of the time, not really sure.

2. Tin Soldier - The Small Faces

The Small Faces and I were label mates on Immediate Records. Immediate was one of the first Independent Record labels in the UK and we were all young and enthusiastic about it being a kind of Motown UK where all the artists, songwriters and producers collaborated together. The Small Faces and I were a perfect fit for one another as this 'classic' recording of Tin Soldier shows.

3. Burn It Up - The Beatmasters

In 1988, I was recuperating from a horrible car accident that I was involved in. I was unable to tour so I started doing TV jingles to survive. The Beastmasters were jingle producers who were really into the dance music that had started in Chicago, known as House Music. I did a lot of jingles with them. Their keyboard player Richard Walmsley and I were doing some writing together and they asked me if I would be interested in recording a House Music track with them. I didn't really know what House Music was at the time, but said, "as long as its funky and soulful" I'll do it. I was involved in writing some lyrics with them and a part of the creation of the track that did really well in the charts.

4. It's A Beautiful Thing - Ocean Colour Scene

I was doing a musical Once On This Island in Birmingham where the Ocean Colour Scene or from. I was called to the stage door one evening to find them all there with a lovely bouquet of flowers introducing themselves to me and inviting me to come hang out with them in their studio. As it was the last day of my show in Birmingham, I was unable to do so. They contacted me when they were recording their 'Marching Already' to do some vocals on the 'Traveler's Tune' track, which I did and this lead to me doing a duet collaboration of 'Its A Beautiful Thing' which it was.

5. Perfect Sense - Roger Waters

I first met Roger Waters back in the 60's when I was touring with my band, The Nice who although later left to do their own thing, was my band originally that Keith Emerson musical directed and put the band together for me. I actually named them The Nice. I toured alongside Pink Floyd and many other bands of the time and would meet up with them doing occasional radio promotion. He booked me for a backing vocals session when he was recording the Amused To Death album and while at that session he gave me the challenge of singing the monologue that he had written for 'Perfect Sense'. It would lead with me touring three In The Flesh and three Dark Side Of The Moon tours with him where I had the opportunity to travel to Australia with him on his 2007 world tour.

6. Woo Se Mama - Paul Weller

I love Paul Weller and was introduced to him through the Ocean Colour Scene back in the 90's. I jammed at a couple of concerts with him back then. During that time he wrote a song called 'Shoot The Dove' that Steve Cradock and I did a demo of. We've recorded it properly and along with another song 'Picture' will be on my new album that will be released later this year and is called The New Adventures Of PP Arnold. Paul was very supportive of the recordings and we mastered the whole album at his Black Barn Studios in Surrey, UK. last year. He invited Madeline Bell and I to sing on the 'Woo Se Mama' track that he recorded for his A Kind Of Revolution album last year.

7. 3am Eternal - KLF

I was introduced to the KLF through the Beatmasters. They booked me and collected myself and Katy Kisoon who I booked to do the session with me in their LA Police car. Katy and I are the Mu Mu choir as we tracked all the harmonies that created their Mu Mu choir sound. I also recorded the '3am Eternal' hook at that session.


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P.P. Arnold
Sun 20th May 8:00pm
The Powerstation, Auckland