Who Is PP Arnold? A Legend, That's Who!

Who Is PP Arnold? A Legend, That's Who!

Posted 1 Mar 2018

PP Arnold is a legend!

She has worked with everyone from Ike & Tina Turner to Mick Jagger to the Small Faces to Barry Gibb to Roger Waters to Oasis to Paul Weller, and was a guest in the final episode of Absolutely Fabulous. This week, she announced her first Australian tour, and her band will include Tim Rogers and other members of You Am I, as well as James Black from Rockwiz and Mondo Rock, and vocalist Talei Wolfgramm.

Best known for her beautiful and classic mid-to-late ‘60s hits including “The First Cut Is The Deepest”, “(If You Think You’re) Groovy” and “Angel of the Morning”, as well as the power chorus of the Small Faces’ iconic hit “Tin Soldier”, PP was the Los Angeles teenager who became London’s First Lady of Soul after hitting town in 1966 with Ike & Tina Turner – PP was an Ikette – to go on tour with the Rolling Stones.

PP’s tour down under will follow the release of The Turning Tide, an album of unreleased recordings from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. It was meant to be her third album. The bulk of it was recorded with Barry Gibb producing (Barry also contributed a few new compositions) and Bee Gee’s long-time arranger Bill Shepherd arranging. It was 1968; PP had recently recorded a beautiful version of the Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody”, as the Bee Gees had momentarily broken up. As Barry tells his part in the PP story:

“We made some beautiful records together and had some wonderful times together.  This was the late sixties and none of us knew where we were going. My brothers and I were experiencing a period of pain, not really speaking to each other, and I was looking to continue making music no matter what.

When I first heard Pat sing I felt, and I still feel, she is one of the great female singers of all time. This album could not be more timely. Songs like ‘Happiness’, ‘Give a Hand, Take a Hand’, and ‘The Turning Tide’ should’ve been heard a long time ago. I’m delighted that they will be heard now.

Pat was a girl inside a woman. Childlike in many ways and yet her voice was somehow ancient. It’s time for her to be recognized and I’m extremely proud to have been a part of her life. For Linda and I, she will always live in our hearts. “

Barry got busy with the Bee Gees, and the project was eventually picked up by Eric Clapton, who played on and produced a handful of tracks. Clapton used a band that would soon become the basis for Derek & The Dominos.

The Turning Tide includes superb Clapton-produced interpretations of Traffic’s “Medicated Goo”, Van Morrison’s “Brand New Day” and the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” in addition to the aforementioned Gibb songs and more. It is an incredible album!

Although this will be PP’s be first concert tour of these parts, she has previously performed here as a featured singer with Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters in 2002 and 2008.

PP has worked with numerous other artists in both a live and studio context too – from Nick Drake to Boy George. Her voice has graced numerous hits including Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” and the KLF’s "What Time Is Love”. She sung on the Kane Gang’s hit 1989 hit cover of the Staple Singers’ “Respect Yourself”, which reached #19 in Australia. More recently she has recorded with Primal Scream and Oasis, and she has worked extensively with Ocean Colour Scene. She appears on Paul Weller’s 2017 album “A Kind Revolution”. She has a voice that other artists love to work with; her first duet was with Rod Stewart on a single produced by Mick Jagger, “Come Home Baby”, way back in ’67.

It was Jagger who saw the potential in PP in 1966. He convinced her to stay in the UK and his manager Andrew Loog Oldham to sign her, and she had her first smash with the first recording of the now legendary Cat Stevens’ song “The First Cut Is the Deepest”. (It was her version that Rod Stewart remembered when he recorded it some years later.) She worked with Immediate Records’ labelmates the Small Faces, including on the classic “Tin Soldier”, and recorded two superb albums of material that included bold interpretations of the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” and the Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody” and much more. This timeless work has earned PP an ardent following amongst fans of ‘60s British rock and pop in addition to lovers of classic soul, and a number of her early dance numbers are considered Northern Soul classics. Her status as an icon of her era when she starred alongside old friend Marianne Faithful in the final episode of the original series of Absolutely Fabulous in 1996 (for which she and Marianne especially recorded a new version of the program’s theme song “This Wheel’s On Fire”).

With her memoir soon due for publication and a new album in the can, co-written and produced by the Ocean Colour Scene’s Steve Craddock and also including a couple of tracks written by long-time supporter and fan Paul Weller (who also sings on one of the tracks), 2018 promises to be a big year for PP Arnold.

She gets right into the swing of it in May with Tim, Andy Kent and Rusty from You Am I and James and Talei. All five love PP and her music – Tim and Talei recreated Steve Marriot and PP’s vocal parts for a duet of “Tin Soldier” on Rockwiz some years ago (and Tim will do the same with PP for this tour!).

This is a dream band backing an extraordinary vocalist in what will undoubtedly be amongst the most talked about tours of the year.

Catch PP ARNOLD in Australia in May...

Thursday 17th May - Memo Music Hall, St Kilda

Friday 18th May - Thornbury Theatre, Thornbury

Saturday 19th May - Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan

Wed 23rd May - Factory Theatre, Marrickville

Sat 26th May - Fly by Night Club, Fremantle

Sun 27th May - Rosemount Hotel, North Perth

Tickets here. 

 

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