guilty pleasure monday: in the midnight hour (wilson pickett)

it’s time for another soul edition of guilty pleasure monday, which means its time for wicked pickett:

gee, so this must be the video that inspired the brady bunch’s dance moves in sunshine day! the bradys probably ditched the tambourines for safety reasons, i’m sure.

grammy legend wilson pickett, raspy-voiced devil known for land of 1,000 dances, BS’s favorite mustang sally, and funky broadway (a song that has driven me, at times, to substitute anything but funky, funky broadway in the lyrics. f’rinstance, instead of:

Every town I go in, there’s a street
Name of the street, ha
Funky, Funky Broadway
Down on Broadway
There’s a nightclub
Now, now, name of the nightclub, now baby
Funky, Funky Broadway

substitute, hell, anything:

Every football team I see, there’s a player
Name of the player, ha
Funky, Funky Broadway
Down on Broadway
There’s an plumber
Now, now, name of the plumber, now baby
Funky, Funky Broadway

and so on, nonsensically. it drives me insane in a bad earworm way.) wicked pickett had a troubled life, from start to finish. you could hear it in his voice, a voice you could imagine screaming at you in a smoky bar as you gingerly moved away from him for fear of getting your ass kicked.

but it’s a voice that emoted. it’s a voice that pleaded to be heard, a voice that growled at you, and not always in a malevolent way. in the midnight hour, written by pickett and stax backup legend steve cropper, is a song which moves the emphasis onto the second beat, a bit of a revelation in the 1960s. it wasn’t the first to do that, but it is one of the earlier hit songs demonstrating that that i can think of. it’s just a great hip-shaker.

and oh my LORD, open your ears and listen to that horn section. it’s not a technically complex line, but it kicks. admittedly, add the memphis horns to mary had a little lamb and i’ll adore it. but they open the song up into a new level of soul transcendence.

if only they could have lifted pickett’s soul.

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2 Responses to “guilty pleasure monday: in the midnight hour (wilson pickett)”

  1. I truly believe I was born in the wrong era sometimes. Great song pick!

  2. FFS, I kept reading that as Wilson-PHILLIPS and I kept thinking “does not compute…” both for the song and for something you’d consider a Guilty Pleasure as opposed to Someone-Going-At-Your-Ears-With-An-Icepick Monday.:-)

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