West END Record sleeve

Bettye LaVette – Doin’ The Best That I Can (remix) #18

Artist Track Label
Bettye LaVette Doin’ The Best That I Can (A Special New Mix) West End
Year Format Country
1978 12" Vinyl USA

Thanks to Blackpool’s Steve Jones for sharing this West End gem with us

Written by Mark Sameth // Produced by Eric Matthew and Cory Robbins // Arranged by Eric Matthew
Drums by Gary R. Turnier // Remixed by Walter Gibbons

Around the mid 90s I started seeking out older Funk, Soul and Disco records. I think a lot of people into House, Hip Hop and Trip Hop were inspired to seek out the originals that had been sampled on so many of these tracks.  Initially I hunted down a lot of the Salsoul releases based on hugely sampled tracks like Love Sensation by Loletta Holloway, First Choice’s Let No Man Put Asunder and Inner Life’s version of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.  Alot of these brilliantly crafted tracks were produced or mixed by Shep Pettibone and Walter Gibbons, so in my hours of scouring second hand record shops and car boots I kept my eyes out for anything with their names on.

I picked this Bettye LaVette 12″ up from Cash Converters in Blackpool after I’d starting working but before I left home so it would have been around 1997. Walter Gibbons name on the label made it a worthwhile gamble of 99p and when I got the record home I wasn’t disappointed with Walter Gibbons 11 minute “Special New Mix”.

The track builds with driving percussion layering in the rest of the track, just vocal and xylophone firstly then the full on orchestration until as it hits the full on peak before breaking down to the rhythm and percussion with some great effects and overdubs. It’s hard to believe that this mix is 39 years old but at the same time the late 70’s was a great time for music as producers started to experiment expanding songs with loops of the breaks layering the live instrumentation overdubbing effects.

Is this record lost: YES!

The Lost Record is the endless search for vinyl tracks not available (at time of publish) on iTunes/Apple Music or Spotify

Words: Steve Jones