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Black Music Legend Billy Griffin and his new album "LIKE WATER"
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LISTEN TO: Billy Griffin - "Like Water"

Soul-Patrol.Net Radio Introduces Billy Griffin - "Like Water": Claudette Robinson - Intro, 1. Like Water, 2. All The Way To Love, 3. Forgive Me If You Can, 4. Livin’ Deja Vu, 5. Oxygen, 6. Weak, 7. Be Unto Me A Lady, 8. Oblivion, 9. It’s Bad Karma, 10. Joy And Happiness, 11. Sincerity, 12. Like Water (Reprise)...PLUS A SPECIAL 'MIRACLE' AT THE VERY END

Billy



Click Here For Billy Griffin on the Web


Soul-Patrol Newsletter Headlines:

* BIOGRAPHY - Billy Griffin
* CD REVIEW: Billy Griffin - "Like Water"
* ON THE HISTORICAL TIP: "I Love You Secretly" (and more)



Welcome To The Soul-Patrol Newsletter


Billy Griffin and Bob Davis @ Roscoe's
Billy Griffin and Bob DavisBilly Griffin the legendary former lead singer of the Miracles (Billy wrote/sang lead on the Miracles ONLY #1 pop hit song - "Love Machine") has told me that he doesn't like the picture to the left. I'm not really sure why. Maybe it's because his hair isn't combed? (Neither is mine cuz we were both wearing baseball caps just before the picture was taken?). However I wanted to use it anyhow because I want to make a point. Billy Griffin is one of the best friends that Soul-Patrol has and that is something that means a lot to me. The picture speaks volumes to that fact, so here it is :-) And that shouldn't be any surprise to anyone who knows just how big a fan I have been of the Miracles over the years.

I first met Billy Griffin here online seven years ago; the picture was taken 3 years ago when I "snuck into" the state of California and as you can see we had breakfast at the world famous "Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles". One of the things that he and I discussed when we first met was how the internet could be used by artists to empower themselves. Billy and I discussed many different strategies for doing just that. Today he is among the most "internet savvy" artists that I know. He's got multiple websites all serving different purposes that I would like each and every one of you to consider visiting and contacting him:

- Billy's Historical Site: http://www.billygriffin.ws

- Billy's Love Machine Site: http://www.lovemachine-griffin.com

- Billy's Myspace Site: http://www.myspace.com/billygriffin

He's got a SLAMMIN new album called "LIKE WATER" which we are going to give you all chance to check out from beginning to end so that you can hear for yourself that Billy Griffin in 2006 is a force to be reckoned with. Take a listen to it by clicking on the links contained within this issue of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter and let me know what cha think?



--Bob Davis
earthjuice@prodigy.net


LISTEN TO: Billy Griffin - "Like Water"

Soul-Patrol.Net Radio Introduces Billy Griffin - "Like Water": Claudette Robinson - Intro, 1. Like Water, 2. All The Way To Love, 3. Forgive Me If You Can, 4. Livin’ Deja Vu, 5. Oxygen, 6. Weak, 7. Be Unto Me A Lady, 8. Oblivion, 9. It’s Bad Karma, 10. Joy And Happiness, 11. Sincerity, 12. Like Water (Reprise)...PLUS A SPECIAL 'MIRACLE' AT THE VERY END

BIOGRAPHY: Billy Griffin


Billy GriffinBilly Griffin is a producer, vocal arranger and singer who, as the lead vocalist of the Miracles in the 1970's gave the group a second unprecedented popularity following the departure of Smokey Robinson. In modern day pop history this is an unparalleled feat.

The Miracles, featuring Billy Griffin, scored two instant gold 45's, a platinum single, one gold album and one platinum LP. The soul opera "City Of Angels" which contained the world-renowned classic favorite; "Love Machine" was written and performed by lead singer, lyricist and composer Billy Griffin.

After leaving the Miracles in the early 1980's Billy went on to record three solo albums for Columbia Records (now Sony Entertainment), establishing himself as an international star in London. With the success of the English top twenty hit "Hold Me Tighter In The Rain" Billy earned the English "Silver Record Award" comparable to the coveted Gold Record here in the United States. In 1990, Billy co-produced fifty-two Motown artists along with English producer Ian Levine in response to an overwhelming outcry from Motown fans across the globe to revisit the days of their childhood (the 60's and 70's). Their collaborative work in a "reunion" series of videos, LPs and CDs featuring The Originals, The Fantastic 4, Lamont Dozier, Edwin Starr and The Supremes for the European dance market was a historic event unlikely to ever be repeated again.

This partnership later resulted in Ian & Billy's coming together to produce the "boy band" Take That and score the group's first worldwide hit "I Found Heaven" sung by Superstar, then lead singer, Robbie Williams written by Billy & Ian. Later that year the duo hit pay dirt again with their production of The Pasadena's Silver Record "I'm Doing Fine Now."

Billy later teamed with jazz saxophonist Gerald Albright for his long awaited debut album, while simultaneously guest-starring on the debut solo project of Japanese jazz drummer Akira Jimbo of Cassiopea. Both of these records resulted in instant chart-topping success for the two talented rookies. This was certainly a fun departure from the R&B competitive world Billy was used to. The smooth collaboration with Jimbo also resulted in a Gold Album and introduced Akira to the American Smooth jazz market. Billy's rendition of "Olivia" placed Akira's album at the top of the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart for four exciting weeks.
Today Billy is a part of the RNB Entertainment Group, a new venture created by a collection of experienced music industry executives who believe the business of music begins with the music (wow, profound, huh?). Check out RNB Entertainment at the following link: http://www.rnbtunes.com


LISTEN TO: Billy Griffin - "Like Water"

Soul-Patrol.Net Radio Introduces Billy Griffin - "Like Water": Claudette Robinson - Intro, 1. Like Water, 2. All The Way To Love, 3. Forgive Me If You Can, 4. Livin’ Deja Vu, 5. Oxygen, 6. Weak, 7. Be Unto Me A Lady, 8. Oblivion, 9. It’s Bad Karma, 10. Joy And Happiness, 11. Sincerity, 12. Like Water (Reprise)...PLUS A SPECIAL 'MIRACLE' AT THE VERY END

CD Review: Billy Griffin - "Like Water"
(Soul/Go and Git You Some Tonight)

Billy Griffin - Like Water When it comes to Billy Griffin, I am extremely biased (so I may as well tell you that up front). In my opinion, he is one of the most underrated and under recognized artists in the history of Soul music.














Here are some of the facts that you need to know about Billy Griffin:

Motown

"Don't Let It End ('Til You Let It Begin)" (1973) R&B: #26 US: #56
"Give Me Just Another Day" (1973) R&B: #47 US: #111
"Do It Baby" (1974) R&B: #4 US: #13
"Don't Cha Love It" (1974) R&B: #4 US: #78
"Gemini" (1975) R&B: #43 US: #101
"Love Machine - Pt. I" (1975) R&B: #5 US: #1 UK: #3
"Night Life" (1976) R&B: #60

Columbia

"Spy for Brotherhood" (1977) R&B: #37 US: #104
"I Can Touch the Sky" (1977)
"Mean Machine" (1978) R&B: #55


How many other artists do you know of who sang lead on ten charting hits that get as little respect as...

"Mr. oh I can't remember his name but he is the guy who took smokey robinson's place"...




LISTEN TO BILLY GRIFFIN - LIKE WATER: Billy Griffin - Like Water - 1. Like Water, 2. All The Way To Love, 3. Forgive Me If You Can, 4. Livin' Deja Vu, 5. Oxygen, 6. Weak, 7. Be Unto Me A Lady, 8. Oblivion, 9. It's Bad Karma, 10. Joy And Happiness, 11. Sincerity, 12. Like Water (Reprise)



Well now history and popular sentiment have the opportunity to make a long overdue correction with the release of Billy's awesome new album called "LIKE WATER". If all was right with the world (and music industry politics) Billy Griffin is a name that should never have left our consciousness. By all rights, after the commercial demise of the Miracles in the late 70's Billy should have by all rights been one of the top "soul men" of the 1980's right along with names like Luther, Teddy, Peabo and the rest of his peers. Oh that's not to say he didn't have solo success with hits like "Hold Me Tighter in the Rain", but it wasn't enough for him to remain in the public consciousness and after a while he simply became...

"Mr. oh I can't remember his name but he is the guy who took smokey robinson's place"...




(well now you know his name...)


LISTEN TO BILLY GRIFFIN - LIKE WATER: Billy Griffin - Like Water - 1. Like Water, 2. All The Way To Love, 3. Forgive Me If You Can, 4. Livin' Deja Vu, 5. Oxygen, 6. Weak, 7. Be Unto Me A Lady, 8. Oblivion, 9. It's Bad Karma, 10. Joy And Happiness, 11. Sincerity, 12. Like Water (Reprise)


One of the things that we understand as we get older is that everything happens for a reason and somewhere there is in fact a "master plan" etched in stone for all of us. Maybe in Billy Griffin's "master plan" it says that "in 2006 he is supposed to pick up where artists like Luther, Teddy, Peabo, etc. left off and become the guy who resurrects from the dead, the whole tradition of "Black Male Solo Singers".

On the album "Like Water", Billy Griffin does exactly that! Those fans that are only superficially familiar with Billy's group work with the Miracles are going to be in for a pleasant surprise. Here are two facts about Billy Griffin that most people have forgotten: 1) Billy did one of the first concept albums at Motown ("Love Machine") and 2) Billy Griffin was a protégé of Marvin Gaye, who in fact was the producer of the song "I Love You Secretly", which just happens to be one of the most romantic songs ever laid down on wax. (From the Miracles legendary "Renaissance" LP).


Once you remember those two facts, "Like Water" makes all of the sense in the world. It's a "concept album", with a thread that runs through all of the songs. The album is designed to be listened through without interruption.

Check out the track listing for "Like Water":


Like Water
All The Way to Love
Forgive Me If You Can
Livin Déjà vu
Oxygen
Weak
Be Unto Me Lady
Oblivion
It's Bad Karma
Joy and Happiness
Sincerity
Like Water


Now go back and read those titles again, only this time in your mind take all of the titles and put them together into a single statement and you can clearly see (without even hearing the music) as you move from song to song, that a cohesive story is being told in this album and that the songs are intended to be listened to as an entire suite of music.

"The whole is more than the sum of it's parts"

The idea of telling a whole story being told in an album is not a new concept in Black music. Billy's mentor, Marvin Gaye was a master at it and here on the album "Like Water", Billy Griffin demonstrates that he took his lessons well. In fact I can't remember listening to an album quite like this in a long time. As I sat here and tried to separate the songs on the album to try and figure out which ones I liked best, I am unable to really do it. There are several songs that are great and could easily become "instant classics" ("Like Water", "Forgive Me if You Can, "Like Water", "Oblivion") but honestly in my opinion it almost does a disservice to the album to separate these songs from each other.

So what's the bottom line here, whose gonna dig this album?

1. If you were a fan of Marvin Gaye's romantic/concept albums, then you will be a fan of "Like Water".

2. If you were a fan of the R&B Sounds of artists like Luther, Teddy, Peabo, then you will be a fan of "Like Water".

3. If you are young lady who longs to be swept off her feet by an album of "romantic intelligence", then you will be a fan of "Like Water".

4. If you are a brotha on the make, it's a Friday night and you will be entertaining a young lady that your "just not sure of yet", then "Like Water" may just be what you need to "tilt the odds in your favor".


And if you should suddenly discover yourself in the position on a Saturday morning, that the odds were "tilted in your favor" on a Friday night by "Like Water".... Be sure to log on to your computer and send Billy Griffin an email to thank him, since he wrote the lyrics and crafted the story that just "got you over" the night before...

And be sure that while you are thanking him; tell him thanks also for creating one of the best albums of the decade (so far)



--Bob Davis
earthjuice@prodigy.net


LISTEN TO: Billy Griffin - "Like Water"

Soul-Patrol.Net Radio Introduces Billy Griffin - "Like Water": Claudette Robinson - Intro, 1. Like Water, 2. All The Way To Love, 3. Forgive Me If You Can, 4. Livin’ Deja Vu, 5. Oxygen, 6. Weak, 7. Be Unto Me A Lady, 8. Oblivion, 9. It’s Bad Karma, 10. Joy And Happiness, 11. Sincerity, 12. Like Water (Reprise)...PLUS A SPECIAL 'MIRACLE' AT THE VERY END

ON THE HISTORICAL TIP: "I Love You Secretly" (and more)

Billy Griffin and the Miracles (circa 1970's)
Billy Griffin A few points I want to make here....

1. The song "I Love You Secretly" originally appeared on the Miracles debut LP (without Smokey) entitled "Renaissance". "I Love You Secretly" is in my opinion of the most beautiful love songs I have ever heard, and I rank it right up there "I Only Have Eyes for You" by the Flamingos. The LP "Renaissance" (long out of print) up till this point in time has been one of the great "lost" albums of the 70's Soul Music Era. We have discussed it many times here on Soul-Patrol since we first started and lamented it's being overlooked for re-release on CD. The release of the new CD "Miracles: Love Machine, the 70's collection" finally at long last corrects that oversight.

2. The CLASSIC song "I Love You Secretly" by the Miracles (w/Billy Griffin on lead) was indeed written and produced by Marvin Gaye. Marvin Gaye was originally slated to be the producer of the Renaissance LP and the song "I Love You Secretly" was the very first song from the LP that was done. Marvin Gaye was working with the Miracles at the same time that he was also working on his own "Let's Get It On", which is the reason why the song sounds like it could just as easily have been on the "Let's Get It on" LP. Billy Griffin has described to me in detail just what went on during the recording of that song and how much it meant to him to be produced by Marvin Gaye, for his very first Motown recording session. He often refers to Marvin Gaye as his "musical father". Unfortunately due to what has been described to me as "creative differences in the studio", Marvin Gaye was relived of his duties as producer of the Renaissance LP after the completion of the song, "I Love You Secretly" and Leon Ware was assigned as producer.

3. The emergence of the newly tooled group the Miracles (without Smokey Robinson) back in 1973 is a chapter in the history of Motown Records that is often overlooked. After Smokey left the group and armed with a new set of producers, an updated sound /look and of course a GREAT new lead singer in Billy Griffin, many people forget that these "new" Miracles were actually more successful hit makers than was Smokey Robinson as a solo artist. For example, the song "Love Machine" became the NUMBER ONE RECORD ON THE BILLBOARD TOP 100. Someone will correct me if I am wrong, But I don't think that Smokey Robinson as a solo artist has ever achieved that distinction? At that time, to me and my teenaged friends it certainly looked like Smokey Robinson had made a huge miscalculation in leaving the Miracles.

3. Here is the track listing for CD "Miracles: Love Machine, the 70's collection"

1. Love Machine
2. Do It Baby
3. I Love You Secretly (Alternate Intro)
4. Up Again
5. Nowhere To Go
6. I Didn't Realize The Show Was Over
7. Don't Cha Love It
8. You Are Love
9. Give Me Just Another Day
10. Gonna Tell The World (Wedding Song)
11. Ain't Nobody Straight In L.A.
12. Can I Pretend
13. Spy For Brotherhood
14. Night Life
15. The Power Of Music (Radio Edit)
16. Don't Let It End ('Til You Let It Begin)
17. What Is A Heart Good For
18. You Need A Miracle

Taken as a whole, this is quite simply a GREAT CD (probably one of the top Soul Music releases
of 2003) and everyone here should consider buying it. It's filled with many great songs' including the highly controversial song "Ain't Nobody Straight In L.A.", which originally appeared on the "high concept" LP called "City of Angels" along with the two highly erotic/hypnotic "bookends" called "Do It Baby" and "Don't Cha Love It" and the SLAMMIN "What Is A Heart Good For".
I have been listening to it most every day since I got my copy. Pick it up and you will too...

Now you can check all of 5this out for yourselves by clicking on the following link and at the end of our presentation of Billy Griffin's "Like Water", you can listen to a special BONUS PRESENTATION featuring the "Miracles: Love Machine, the 70's Collection".…...
http://www.soul-patrol.net/mir_70.ram
--Bob Davis
earthjuice@prodigy.net


Billy



Click Here For Billy Griffin on the Web




LISTEN TO: Billy Griffin - "Like Water"

Soul-Patrol.Net Radio Introduces Billy Griffin - "Like Water": Claudette Robinson - Intro, 1. Like Water, 2. All The Way To Love, 3. Forgive Me If You Can, 4. Livin’ Deja Vu, 5. Oxygen, 6. Weak, 7. Be Unto Me A Lady, 8. Oblivion, 9. It’s Bad Karma, 10. Joy And Happiness, 11. Sincerity, 12. Like Water (Reprise)...PLUS A SPECIAL 'MIRACLE' AT THE VERY END



 

If you have a news item, update, review, commentary, etc that you would like to submit to the Soul-Patrol Newsletter, please send them via email for consideration to:

earthjuice@prodigy.net


Hopefully you enjoyed this edition of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter.
We will be back soon with the next edition, with email alerts for local events, Soul-Patrol website updates/chat sessions or breaking news in between, as required.

If you have any comments, questions, etc feel free to drop me an email and let me know what's on your mind.
Bob Davis
earthjuice@prodigy.net

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