In 1971, Richard Perry was at the beginning of his long ascent to superstardom as one of popular music’s most legendary and successful record producers. During the previous 12 months, he’d struck gold with Barbra Streisand (Stoney End), produced two albums by the groundbreaking all-female rock band Fanny, and finished his masterwork, Harry Nilsson’s Nilsson Schmilsson, an album that would receive worldwide critical and commercial success with Top 10 singles (“Without You,” “Coconut”), Grammy® Awards and Gold- and Platinum-certified records.
Bobby Hatfield achieved huge success as a member of the Righteous Brothers. In the mid-’60s, with partner Bill Medley, Hatfield scored numerous Top 10 records (most produced by the iconic Phil Spector), among them one of rock’s true great standards, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” a song that has amassed a record eight million performances according to BMI. By early ’71 Hatfield had left the Righteous Brothers looking to establish himself as a solo artist.
So it was fortuitous that these two popular music heavyweights should meet and record together. Unfortunately, most of what they did in the studio was never released — until now.
Omnivore Recordings’ Stay With Me: The Richard Perry Sessions is a collection of material recorded by Hatfield and produced by Perry that was primarily recorded at Apple Studios in December of 1971 with an all-star cast of musicians that includes Ringo Starr, Klaus Voormann, and Al Kooper. Street date for the CD is February 14, 2019.
The two singles that were released in the spring and fall of 1972 (“Stay With Me” and “Oo Wee Baby, I Love You”) are here in addition to multiple takes of six additional songs, including R&B-tinged versions of George Harrison’s “What Is Life” and “Sour Milk Sea,” a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Baby Don’t You Do It,” and a stunningly gorgeous version of the Cole Porter classic “In The Still of the Night.”
Stay With Me: The Richard Perry Sessions is primarily a collection of previously unissued work. Some tracks are complete, some are works in progress. But the record gives the listener an opportunity to be a fly on the wall while great music is being made.
So sit back, and return to December, 1971 — you are there!
1. Stay With Me (Take 1)
2. Oo Wee Baby, I Love You (Take 2)
3. Run to My Lovin’ Arms
4. What Is Life (Take 7)
5. In the Still of the Night
6. Sour Milk Sea
7. Baby Don’t You Do It (Takes 4 & 11 – Edit)
8. Oo Wee Baby, I Love You (Take 3)
9. What Is Life (Take 4)
10. Baby Don’t You Do It (Take 2)
11. Stay With Me (Single Version)
12. Oo Wee Baby, I Love You (Single Version)
13. Rock’n Roll Woman