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Butler, George - Doin' It Doin' It

Butler, George - Doin' It Doin' It

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Title:  Doin' It Doin' It
Company: Dellwood
Catalog: DLD 56003
Year: 1977
Country/State: US
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+
Comments: small cut out notch top edge

I'll readily admit that tax scam albums remain a mystery to me. Some of the genre's worst releases are high-priced collectables, while at the other end of the spectrum some really good releases are all but ignored.

So where's George Butler's "Doin' It Doin' It" fit in the spectrum? In a nutshell. high priced collectable that's not a masterpiece, but ranks pretty high on the scale.

I do know that at least a couple of these songs were previously released. The leadoff track 'Betty Lou' and 'She Called Me Baby, Baby (All Night Long)' came out on a single released by the small Henderson, Tennessee-based Million label:

- 1972's 'Betty Lou' b/w 'She Called Me Baby, Baby (All Night Long)' (Million catalog number MIL # 9)

Other than that Butler's a complete mystery me and as you'd expect from a tax scam release, and other than listing him as the prime writer, this album provided virtually nothing in terms of biographical information. I don't even know if same guy who recorded as George 'Wild Child' Butler ... someone out there probably has the answer.  

Musically most of the album didn't sound like it was recorded in the mid-1970s. Of course that wouldn't be a surprise for something released on Dellwood. Judging by tracks like 'You've Got To Pay' and 'Gotta Go To Memphis' my guess it that is was an early-1970s product. Enough speculation. So what did this thing actually sound like? Well Butler was clearly a talented writer, capable of penning stuff across a wide spectrum of genres. He also had a nice and versatile voice that allowed him to handle old school ballads ('Bad Girl') , commercial soul ('She Called Me Baby, Baby (All Night Long)'), and even higher energy funk romps ('Betty Lou'). In fact the album was so versatile, it almost came across as a demo package intended to showcase Butler's versatility.

- 'Betty Loy' opened the album with a pounding slice of old school soul. Imagine Clarence Carter cutting a truly rocking song and you'd get a feel for this one. One of the best songs on the album and it could have generated some radio play with exposure. rating: **** stars
- A slow, jazzy-tinged ballad, 'Bad Girl' was probably a little too slick for its own good. Butler's polished, MOR delivery sounded like something Wilson Picket might have done on a bad day. rating: ** stars
- 'You've Got To Pay' exhibited a nifty early-Motown feel. Probably just my weird senses, but every time I hear this track it reminds me of early Smokey Robinson. Fantastic melody and Butler sounded quite impressive using the higher end of his vocal range. rating: **** stars. 
- Recalling something Robert Cray might have done during his commercial years, 'She Called Me Baby, Baby (All Night Long)' found Butler back in a 1960's soul groove. Complete with some tasty horns, this was another track that was quite commercial. rating: **** stars
- 'Gotta Go To Memphis' reminded me of one of those story-teller tunes that Clarence Carter did so well. So what do you do when you're in jail and discover your lady is pregnant ? Not sure his decision to break out of jail is the smartest approach, but then what do I know ... Another album highlight. rating: **** stars
- The jazzy instrumental 'No, No, Joe, Joe' was clearly a piece of filler, but it sported one killer bass solo. rating: *** stars
- The title track has always struck me as one of the clumsiest songs I've ever heard. The title refrain was extremely awkward with Butler having to breathlessly race through it time and again. By the end you were left to wonder whether he was going to collapse or just throw in the towel. Add to that the basic melody wasn't particularly complex, or catchy and you were left to wonder how the parts came together to make this such an amazing song. Along with a great 'cheating hearts' lyric, all hyperbole aside, the result was a lost classic slice of 1960s soul. rating: ***** stars
- Another 'love man' ballad, 'Today, Tomorrow and Always' was professional, but other than the prominent wood block beats and a tasty jazz guitar solo, didn't have anything to distinguish it from hundreds of other genre ballads. rating: ** stars  
- 'Standing Alone' was another track that had a 1960s vibe to it - in this case a jazz-soul vibe sounding like something The Young-Holt Trio might have recorded. That comparison wasn't meant as a criticism, as this was one of the album's most commercial and catchy efforts. Great track. rating: **** stars  
- A duet with an anonymous female singer, 'I Can't Let You Go' wasn't about to win anything in the lyrics department - the title track lyric was repeated 17 times in just over two minutes. Again, maybe just my ears, but musically the song sounded a little bit like Brook Benton's 'Rainy Night In Georgia'.  rating: ** stars 
- The Butler original 'Light Brown Skin' was unlike anything else on the album. Exhibiting an unexpected sense of social activism, Butler combined some wonderful lyrics addressing bigotry and racism to an otherwise routine MOR ballad and ended up with a fantastic song. If you want to make a change to the way people think, this is the way to do it !  rating: **** stars  
- Complete with a busy bass line that sounded like it was swiped from a James Brown tune and some killer lead guitar fills, 'Wrap Your Love Around Me' was a funky workout that would have made Brown proud.   rating: **** stars  

A touch too versatile and sporadic to be a true classic, this one was still pretty friggin' impressive. If you're a soul fan, this one's well worth looking for. 

"Doin' It Doin' It" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Betty Lou (George Butler) - 2:41
2.) Bad Girl (George Butler) - 3:17
3.) You've Got To Pay (George Butler) - 2:11
4.) She Called Me Baby, Baby (All Night Long) (H. Howard) - 2:56
5.) Gotta Go To Memphis (Al Gore - Rayburn Anthony) - 2:36
6.) No, No, Joe, Joe (George Butler) - 2:31

(side 2)
1.) Doin' It Doin' It (George Butler) - 2:30
2.) Today, Tomorrow and Always (George Butler) - 2:39
3.) Standing Alone (George Butler) - 2:24
4.) I Can't Let You Go (George Butler) - 2:19
5.) Light Brown Skin (George Butler) - 3:17
6.) Wrap Your Love Around Me (George Butler) - 2:38
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