The Ghetto Vol. 2
Like the first mix of The Ghetto, the second mix has some serious soul, with S.O.U.L. paying tribute to the sounds of the ghetto, including by sampling the track that follows theirs. And after Donny Hathaway‘s anthem comes Ruth McFadden‘s breathtaking Ghetto Woman, produced by Gamble & Huff of Philadelphia soul fame and released on the obscure Huff Puff label.
Tony Clarke, featured here with 1967’s Ghetto Man, had a solitary hit with The Entertainer. He was more successful as a songwriter; among his credits were the Etta James hits Pushover and Two Sides To Every Story. Clarke died in 1971 at the age of 31, killed by his estranged wife in apparent self-defence.
The most bizarre track here is Ghetto Kung Fu by Mody-Vation, a cash-in on the martial arts craze of the mid-1970s, apparently recorded by a bunch Germans led by a long-haired guy called Thomas Glanz for the Hansa label, home to many Euro-disco artists. It’s catchy stuff.
There were several versions of Woman Of The Ghetto on my shortlist; I went for Marlena Shaw‘s original, because Marlena Shaw tends to trump everyone. But if there is a third mix, one of the contenders might make the cut.
The first mix was firmly set in the 1970s; this one strays into the 1980s. Sylvia St. James was a member of the Mike Curb Congregation and then the singer of disco outfit Side Effect before she went solo, without great success.
The eagle-eyed reader will notice that one song here lacks the word “ghetto” in the title. But Isaac Hayes‘ Soulsville, from the Shaft sountrack, is very much set in the ghetto.
The ghetto is a common and obvious theme of social consciousness songs, but a few songs here note that the people of the ghetto also have normal lives which include romance and sex — and who better to deal with these subjects than Marvin Sease and Rick James?
As always, the mix is timed to fit on a CD-R, and includes front and back covers. Do I still need to post the PW in the comments? It’s always the same.
1. S.O.U.L. – Down In The Ghetto (1971)
2. Donny Hathaway – The Ghetto (1970)
3. Ruth McFadden – Ghetto Woman (Parts 1 & 2) (1972)
4. Tony Clarke – Ghetto Man (1967)
5. Carlos Malcolm – Busting Out Of The Ghetto (1970)
6. The Mody-Vation – Ghetto Kung Fu (Part 1) (1974)
7. Gil Scott-Heron – Sex Education Ghetto Style (1972)
8. Marlena Shaw – Woman Of The Ghetto (1969)
9. Sylvia St. James – Ghetto Lament (1980)
10. Stevie Wonder – Village Ghetto Land (1976)
11. Isaac Hayes – Soulsville (1971)
12. Phillip Bailey – Children Of The Ghetto (1985)
13. Marvin Sease – Ghetto Man (1986)
14. Rick James – Ghetto Life (1982)
15. Luther Ingram – Ghetto Train (1972)
16. Boris Gardiner – Rough & Tough In The Ghetto (1973)
17. Jackie Mittoo – Ghetto Organ (1972)
18. B.B. King – Ghetto Woman (1971)