Lou Pride, 1944-2012, deserved better from the music buying public. During the course of his five decade career, he produced a number of albums that featured his brand of smooth soul and rhythm & blues, which found limited commercial success. His final album, recorded shortly before his death, will be released October 15; under the title Ain’t No More Love In This Place.
From the opening blast of classic-style Motown horns on the title track, to the funky vocal on “I Didn’t Take Your Woman,” to his buttery smooth vocals on such tracks as “Never,” “Take It Slow,” “Love Come To Me,” and “Key To The World,” to the poignant farewell of the last track, a cover of Simply Red’s “Holding Back The Years;” it is a wonderful journey through the voice and style of a many times underappreciated artist.
It is an album that benefits from the production as they get the mix just right. It allows the instruments and vocals to each have clarity but not intrude upon each other.
Pride is a son of Chicago’s North Side and began singing in his local Baptist Church, while absorbing the local rhythm & blue scene. He spent more time on the concert stage than in the studio, which may have hindered his commercial success, but it enabled him to develop a sound and style that was among the best in the business.
Ain’t No More Love In This House is a fitting epitaph for a an artist who plied his craft for years. Hopefully it will bring him some belated notoriety.