Chopper 1979 / Angel Air 2013
The sole mirror ball from the R&B princess who shied away from the spotlight to remain brilliant in her own right.
By the time THE THREE DEGREES played at Prince Charles’ 30th birthday bash in 1978, their most prominent vocalist Pinkney – whose voice took “When Will I See You Again” to the Top 10 worldwide and made the protagonist of “Kill Bill” name it his favorite soul song of the ’70s – had already split and turned her back on showbiz. But industry wasn’t done with her, and, sensing Fayette’s popularity in the UK, Geoff Morrow, formerly of AMMO writing team, offered the American a deal with the freshly formed Chopper Records. The result, cut in London with such seasoned sessioners as guitarist Paul Keogh and drummer Barry Morgan, was this, the lady’s only album under her own name.
Style-wise, it conforms to the order-of-the-day disco groove, but with a creative twist from the man whose concoctions found their way into set-lists of Elvis and Cliff. So, although tracks like vibrant “Light In The Window” or the ska-kissed “Half Of Love” are typical for their era, if infectious, “The Other Side Of Me” wafts delicately on the acoustic wave, while other ballad, “Nothing Lasts For Ever”, reveals all the strength of the singer’s pipes. Yet “Tearaway” truly transcends the temporal shackles with its transparent funk and gentle synthetic undercurrent that Les Hurdle’s bass punctures in all the right places, as it does in the sweet, romantic “Mine Is Not To Reason Why” the full-on soul sway of which makes one long for more. Sadly, there’s nothing more, Fayette Pinkney died in 2009, having left this as a lasting legacy.