Super Duper Love
I heard a record one day in 2003, and after less than a minute, I knew that I had to buy it. I expected it to be sung by a black American female artist, probably in her forties. When I researched it, I was flabbergasted to discover that the singer was not only English, but she was white. When I found out that she was only sixteen years old, I almost fell over. I didn’t even try to get the single release, instead buying the full album on CD within a few days.
The singer was Joss Stone, and the record was called The Soul Sessions. It consisted of ten tracks, all cover versions of songs by other recording artists. I loved this new CD immediately. Stone’s voice had a soulful quality and a rich tone that belied her age, and she tackled everything from emotional ballads, to the funky stuff of my chosen track. The covers were diverse too, from Waylon Jennings, to the Isley Brothers; The White Stripes, to John Sebastian. In every case, she did them justice, and in my opinion, exceeded the quality of many of the originals.
I expected this girl to be the next big thing. Watching her pop videos, the attractive young woman with the look of a 60s wild child and the voice of a Blues or Soul diva, seemed to me to be the perfect combination. But it never really happened. Despite selling five million copies of this debut album, and recording many more over the years, she never quite made it to the big time that I predicted for her. She did win a Grammy Award, and two Brit Awards, and she made it onto the Sunday Times rich list. Acting roles followed, including film and TV, with a creditable performance as Ann of Cleeves in the BBC production, The Tudors.
She continues to record, and released her latest album this year. She didn’t become the household name that I thought she would, in the way that Adele has, for instance. But I still love to listen to that first album on occasion, and relish just how good it was. I found it hard to pick a track, so chose the one I heard that day on the radio.