Timmy Thomas : Why Can’t We Live Together and Rainbow Power
taken from the album “Why Can’t We Live Together” on Glades (1972)
Darker Than Blue: Soul From Jamdown happens to be one of my all-time favorite compilations (look to the last post if you’re confused). It has all the right elements- superb soul songs, done in cover version (which always adds a point of interest for me), and all the selections (big up to Mark Ainley & Steve Barrow) had barely seen the light of day prior to re-release. Don’t hesitate if you see that album, splurge, and buy an extra copy to give to the person you choose to marry. My post is related as follows, Tinga Stewart’s extended disco version of “Why Can’t We Live Together” appears on the comp that I’ve just been exalting. I’m not giving it to you because the OG really stands in a league of it’s own. Sade did a cover version too on her “Diamond Life” album, but you don’t need me to give you that one either.
The album is simply Timmy and his organ. No frills, no backup, no production know-how. With the possible exception that he knew how to freak the organ drum machine like no one I’ve heard since. There’s also that moment in “Rainbow Power” when he takes his hands off the keys to clap, that gets me good. RAWness. The LP plays like a jawdroppingly powerful demo reel from a guy who’s about to blow up. But Timmy never really did blow up. His story leaves much to the imagination for those of us on the outside. I’m left wondering if there exists in his basement some stack of un-released recordings that Timmy made during lonely, dreamy hours that passed with as much potency as the moments which produced this bit of genius. I’m thinking there must be. A profoundly simple and piercing sound like his doesn’t slip away in the night. If Syl painfully presents the problem, Timmy proclaims the solution: “Rainbow Power”. Nuff said.
Gotta give respects to Pandamonium Jones for introducing me to Timmy via “Funky Me” 45 – I feel like you were mixing it with some crazy 60’s pop record at the time?