Monday, March 27, 2017

Gladys Knight – It’s A Better Than Good Time

Most Wanted! Gladys Knight & The Pips ‎– It’s A Better Than Good Time (Buddah Records)

Most likely a pîvotal song in the career of Gladys Knight & The Pips. The leading track to their 1978 released ‘The One And Only’ album. Its title almost sounding like an irony, marking what would soon after be the end of their relation with Buddah Records.
I never understood why their label shortened Walter Gibbons‘s mix that much… To almost half of what he did on the very rare acetate (*) he initially came up with!!! Therefore reducing his vision and the brilliant emphasis he brought with additional drum parts and keys. Not to mention the guitar solo! Nuff reasons to have had this absolute genius pissed off and mainly work for Salsoul Records and associates from then on.

(*) An acetate, although using a different support as compared to vinyl, was like a test pressing. Given to a handful of happy few to measure the reaction / feedback of the crowd, be it in a club or on a radio station. This makin’ them so hard to find. With a warning though as someone repressed the latter a few years ago. As you may expect, it has absolute no value as compared to the original!

Overview
Kinda hard to believe the first version of the band – simply called The Pips at the time – dates from the early 50’s.
The debut of Gladys Knight And The Pips didn’t happen to be like a simple ballad. Considered for some time as a second-string act by Motown where they got signed back in 1966, this didn’t get them from scoring their first hit the year after. This, with their version of ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’. The first of a series including ‘If I Were Your Woman’ and ‘Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)’ and ‘Midnight Train To Georgia’ on Buddah Records.
They then signed with Columbia by the end of the 70’s. ‘Taste Of Bitter Love’, ‘When You’re Far Away’ and ‘Save The Overtime For Me’ completing their already impressive list in adition to ‘Love Overboard’.

Gladys Knight also delivered material on her own, most likely due to contractual reasons. This resulting in the release of extra gems such as ‘You Bring Out The Best In Me’. But also the ultra sought after ‘It’s A Better Than Good Time’ as remixed by Walter Gibbons. No to mention ‘License To Kill’ among others.

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4 Comments on Gladys Knight – It’s A Better Than Good Time

    • Indeed, Gene. The song of course was released as a part of the ‘The One & Only’ album, and from then received various treatments for some reason. There’s the US promo release which is 5:53 long, meanwhile there would be a couple of commercial releases both in Canada (6:53) and in the UK (6:30) but nothing compared to the acetate extended version (12:30)… 😉

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