The Shirelles, from Passaic, NJ (holla!), are best known for their string of hits in the early 1960’s. Songs like “Mama Said“, “Dedicated to the one I Love“, “Soldier Boy“, and “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” were chart toppers pre-dating the Motown sound. In the later part of the 1960’s, the British invasion was fully rocking and soul took on a harder sound, driven by the Civil Rights movement. Like many other groups at the time, The Shirelles had trouble keeping up.
Many labels gave them a second shot during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s in hopes they would return to their previous glory. Unfortunately, that never really happened. One of their later attempts was a self-titled album released on RCA in 1972. While it didn’t chart, it’s ripe with cover versions of dope Soul cuts (many of which were sampled). Songs include Joe Simon‘s “Drowning in a Sea of Love“, Al Green‘s “Let’s Stay Together“, and Marvin Gaye‘s “Inner City Blues / What’s Going On“.
My personal favorite is a cover of the Bill Wither‘s classic, “Ain’t No Sunshine“. The song starts out with some bongos and leads into a very Alchemist-ish horn loop. Not sure if it’s been sampled or not? Once the song kicks in, it has a slightly reggae feel to it. Check it out.