Lee Moses "Bad Girl (Pt.I)" single for Musicor Records

Lee Moses “Bad Girl (Pt.I)” single for Musicor Records

This entry of the Hard To Find 45’s series showcases Atlanta based guitarist and singer, Lee Moses – an under appreciated soul artist whose recorded catalogue begins in the mid-60’s with a handful of unsuccessful singles and covers for the Musicor label (including “Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix, “Reach Out, I’ll Be There” by The Four Tops, and “Day Tripper” by The Beatles) and ends in the early 70’s with a collaboration with fellow Atlanta native, The Mighty Hannibal, on his 1973 album, Truth.

Moses short-lived recorded output wasn’t cut short due to an untimely death (he died in 1997), but due to a self-imposed decision to stop putting out records and singles. Whether this was due to his frustration over his unsuccessful career or simply because he was fed up with going through the ringer of the industry, Moses spent the rest of his life keeping clear of the studio (although he did continue to perform live around Atlanta until his death).

Like many before and after him, Lee Moses music wasn’t fully discovered and appreciated until after his death. His 45’s were commercial failures at the time of their release, but are now considered by soul aficionados as “revered and highly sought-after lost treasure for deep soul fans and collectors” (Steve Legget from AllMusic.com)

In 2007, Castle Music issued an anthology of all Moses’ recordings, under the title Time and Place. This anthology has since become a kind of holy grail for soul and R&B lovers, as well as the only definitive collection of Moses music from his brief career. Sadly, this anthology is once again out of print and difficult to come across.

Currently out of print: Castle Music's 2007 anthology, "Time & Place" by Lee Moses.

Currently out of print: Castle Music’s 2007 anthology, “Time & Place” by Lee Moses.

Although Moses was primarily a session guitarist, his deep, powerful voice is what I find most appealing about his music, specifically his 1967 double part single, “Bad Girl (Pt. I and Pt. II).” There is a certain amount of unrestrained passion and frenzied energy leaking from “Bad Girl (Pt.I),” lead primarily by Moses fervor vocals, which are constantly saturated with distortion (most likely due to the levels peaking during the recording). I love the looseness of this recording; one of the favorite soul 45’s of all time, and one of the greatest vocal performances ever captured.

(If you dig, seek out “Bad Girl Pt. II.” Not as striking as Pt. I, but equally as groovy.)


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