Lost & Found is a new series to start the week..music from the 60s by South African white artists. Maybe these songs and sounds were lost for years but not forgotten. Today I want to present a record by beat girl Wanda Arletti; “Love Power!!!”, easily one of the best albums of the 60s. ‘Love Power’ holds all the elements of a true classic pop record, a tour de force of soulful beat music made in South Africa.
There is a certain reminiscence of the silky soul of Dusty Springfield in covers of ‘I Think It’s Gonna Rain Today’ and the inevitable “Son of a Preacher Man“ but the repertoire and vocal excellence is powerfully defined by Wanda Arletti. She covers these well known songs very well and makes them her own.
She was born Wanda Arletowicz in Hackney, England of Polish parents and as a teenager sang for South Africa’s beat group The Staccatos, later married the group’s guitarist, Richard Crouse and recorded a few memorable albums like “Love Power’, a record that has well aged and on review here today.
Motown, Phil Spector, Dusty Springfield, Burt Bacharach are just a few of the many other influences that show through on the 12 tracks presented here.
The production holds it own and adds a mesmerizing sound played by competent musicians.The album is packed with powerful vocals that are emotional, over a lush and minimal orchestration by one of South Africa’s most popular and talented composers and artists; Art Heatlie, who also produced this album.
Wanda Arletti -Love Power!!!
Release info: Wanda Arletti “Love Power!!!” NEM, nems 301, May 1969
And as a bonus to today’s post here is a later single “ZANZIBAR” originally released in South Africa in October 1970 to reach nr.2 in the worldwide charts to stay in the highest regions for another 13 weeks. The single pictured here is the 1971 Belgian release. Surely a well deserved hit but it’s the B-side that counts, ”Walk Us Round A Rainbow”. The song is a soulful big ballad that grows and grows into a divine vocal seduction by one of South Africa’s greatest voices in pop.
Release info: Pink Elephant PE 22.558Y Demo production copy. Belgium 07-04-1971
Thanks to Tertius Louw at the online South African Rock Encyclopedia