Monday, April 24, 2017

Lamont Dozier – Going Back To My Roots

Most Wanted! Lamont Dozier – Going Back To My Roots (Warner Bros.)

“Zippin’ up my boots, goin’ back to my roots. To the place of my birth, back down to earth…” Chances are great a big majority of you should be familiar with these lyrics… By one of the most prolific and successful songwriters in the history of contemporary music, as a matter of fact. In other words, Lamont Dozier who probably didn’t figure he would score his most famous song ever when he delivered ‘Going Back To My Roots’. A gem which expresses themes such as self-identity, but also family and soul fulfillment that he wrote for the African-American market.

An Afro-tribal infused gem which he recorded as a part of his 1977 released ‘Peddlin’ Music On The Side’ album. With rhythm arrangements courtesy of Hugh Masekela and McKinley Jackson. Featuring luminaries such as Ray Parker, Jr. and Arthur Adams (guitar). But also Joe Sample (electric piano) and Bill Summers along with Paulinho Da Costa on percussion…

Quite influential, ‘Going Back To My Roots’ has been the subject of worth the check cover versions. From Odyssey to the late Richie Havens. Not to mention Italian House outfit F.P.I. Project who retitled it ‘Rich In Paradise’…

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Overview
Detroit, MI native Lamont Dozier released his first vocal performance – ‘Gone, Get Away’ – as a member of The Romeos back in 1957. He then would deliver a follow up with them before joining The Voice Masters for a couple of years. He then dropped 3 songs as Lamont Anthony by the beginning of the 60’s. Making his first apperance as Lamont Dozier in 1962 with ‘Dearest One’. A song which he co-wrote with Brian and Eddie Holland

The latter opened a impressive series of collaborations. With the then threesome delivering a series of standards which helped define the Motown Sound in the 60’s. Among their biggest classics, ‘Baby Love’ and ‘Stop! In The Name Of Love’. But also ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On’. Not to mention ‘How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)’.

In 1967, Lamont Dozier and the brothers Holland entered into a dispute with Berry Gordy, Jr. over profit-sharing and royalties. A situation which led them to leave Motown the year after. Eventually launching their own labels, Invictus Records and Hot Wax Records, which received modest following. Such as the underrated although worth the listen ‘I Got It’ by the likes of Funk outfit New York Port Authority. Their biggest success from that time being ‘Why Can’t We Be Lovers’ which they released as Holland Dozier Holland.

Dozier left Holland–Dozier–Holland Productions, Inc. in 1973 and released a total of 15 albums from then. Beginning with his solo debut – ‘Out Here On My Own’ – back in 1973 on ABC Records. He then scored his biggest success with ‘Trying To Hold On To My Woman’. Although his most famous cut is probably ‘Going Back To My Roots’, from his 1977 ‘Peddlin’ Music On The Side’ album on Warner Bros. A classic which Odyssey and Richie Havens among others covered respectively in 1977 and 1980.

He is also remembered for the 1988 #1 hit ‘Two Hearts’ which he penned for Phil Collins as a part of the ‘Buster’ OST. Meanwhile, he also wrote ‘Invisible’ for Alison Moyett in 1984. And he co-wrote a bunch of songs for Simply Red with band leader Mick Hucknall

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