360 Degrees of Billy Paul
Open iTunes to preview, buy, and download music.
||Brown Baby||Billy Paul||4:35||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||I'm Just a Prisoner||Billy Paul||8:04||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||It's Too Late||Billy Paul||4:33||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Me and Mrs. Jones||Billy Paul||4:45||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Am I Black Enough for You?||Billy Paul||5:16||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Let's Stay Together||Billy Paul||6:26||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Your Song||Billy Paul||6:32||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||I'm Gonna Make It This Time||Billy Paul||4:23||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Me and Mrs. Jones (Live)||Billy Paul||9:04||$0.99||View in iTunes|
Paul's first album for Philadelphia International was straight club jazz; sales were slow. This time, Gamble & Huff gave Paul material strong enough to make his sophomore release a viable commercial entity. "Brown Baby's" speaks of people of color making their parents and others proud. "I'm Just a Prisoner" is real, but would have been better served without the string section. It's a stark depiction about a man who has served five years and is contemplating his future. It is about the unsettling fact that he's just a prisoner. Its chilling chorus tells it all — "The cell is cold as hell, you'll never get use to the smell, my bed is hard as wood, I got to fight to keep my manhood," the riveting saga doesn't just end, the fade is lengthy, and features a dejected Paul woefully mourning the conditions, the situation, and the turmoil of prison life. He sounds believable and frustrated belting out "Me & Mrs. Jones," a classic that many relate to, and those who don't have no problem being down with the passionate singing and clawing lyrics describing the unapologetic infidelity. His "It's Too Late" is a fine rendition of Carole King's classic. You might not recognize "Let's Stay Together," popularized by Al Green. Paul does it it MOR/Jazz style, with a lot of improvising before crooning the original lyrics. It shows versatility, but it's unlikely that people who bought Green's "Jones" appreciated it. A version of Elton John's "Your Song" introduced the Brit to fans of soul music. Vince Montana's magical vibes punctuate the rhythm, which turns into a lightweight gospel revival. "Am I Black Enough for You" fit in with the times of overt black consciousness, a social message moved along by a perky bongo and clavinet-dominated beat, and well-spaced, brassy horn hits. A too staid "I'm Gonna Make It This Time," co-written by Bunny Sigler, marked Paul's second adventure in urban club jazz on 360 Degrees; this one has bite, and Billy sings it with fire.
They forget every song's got an origin, and whether you fell in love with Michael's version or Syesha's American Idol version, it all roots back to this. Classical and strong. Wonderful. Simply wonderful.
I'm Just A Prisoner...
Awesome, soulful, smooth!
Me and mrs.jones
My favorite song
Born: December 1, 1935 in Philadelphia, PA
Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s