August 1, 2005 – August 10, 2005
September 7, 2005 album arrived at Tuition Records
These liner notes were updated on January 5 and 6, 2016 for the new edition of That's All I Wanna Know. They were originally written between August 1-10, 2005, the completed CDs arrived on the desk of Tuition Records, Germany, September 7, 2005.
This writer remembers Bobby Hebb heading to Germany to record around the week of U.S. President
George W. Bush’s Iraq war, on or around March 20, 2003. There were thoughts about whether or not Bobby should go during such a tense time. The universe is quite fortunate that he did as producer Rüdiger Ladwig’s superb production work captures the essence of Bobby’s extraordinary voice and intuitive approach to the material.
The composer/singer of "Sunny" recorded much, much more than his 1966 debut album and the 1970 release, Love Games. There are the Fleetwood Recording sessions from around 1979 featuring the single "Judy" as well as what we call the Brass Album from circa 1981. In 2003 Bobby recorded a distinctive and beautiful album of standards with Bernard Pretty Purdie, (the drummer on the original 1965 demo of "Sunny" – a demo which also featured the great Ben Tucker on bass,) along with the posthumous boxed set, Sunny: The Bobby Hebb Story, and an album of music without voices called Instrumentalist, also posthumous. There are various live recordings that exist and about two dozen publishing demos as well as material in the UMG (Universal Music Group) vaults. Which, of course, makes That’s All I Wanna Know so very special. It is truly the singer/songwriter giving an overview of his career as well as being the only full album release from Bobby Hebb at the dawn of the new millennium. The Mojo and Purdie sessions, though recorded shortly before That’s All I Wanna Know, are as of this writing in early 2016, unreleased.
"Love Games" producer James Flemming Rasmussen says that when he thinks about Bobby Hebb "I think of a wonderful human being, a warm and kind person with amazing talent. All that Bobby is - is so special" - and that sentiment from one of Bobby’s producers is so accurate.
Walking through the lovely town of Rockport, Massachusetts on Cape Ann one summer day with Mr. Hebb, it was amazing to see the amount of people who would wave to him and stop him in the street to chat. He could have run for Mayor -if towns in Massachusetts had mayors! And that's a big part of why these recordings are so very special, because they have that uptempo optimism which makes you feel happy - like when you hear the re-make of "Love Love Love" or what this writer feels deserves to be a future Northern Soul classic, the moving and very danceable "Don't Tear Me Down". It took a musical movement like Northern Soul to re-discover "Love Love Love" from the original 1966 Sunny album, the song charting in Europe in the early ‘70s five to six years after its original release.
In search of more Hebb music the rabid Northern Soul fans discovered the Gamble & Huff gem, "You Want To Change Me” but it is “Sunny,” of course, that is the constant and paved the way from song to song, the thread that brings us all together and which opens the door to discovering the genius of its creator, Bobby Hebb.
This now classic “third” Bobby Hebb album should satisfy those who hit the dance floor and who want to move and groove. The two versions of "Sunny", a duet in English and a second duet in French, are the first instances where the original songwriter/singer of the classic is singing with someone else. The French version features Pat Appelton of De-Phazz while the English is a duet with Astrid North of Cultured Pearls. Bobby recorded “Sunny” in a studio only one more time after this album, with jazz artist Denny Jiosa.
SOME BACKGROUND ON ‘THAT’S ALL I WANNA KNOW’
Back in 1962 Bobby recorded a single, "I Wanna Know", with Sylvia Robinson (formerly of Mickey and Sylvia, who hit with “Love is Strange,”) under the duo name of Bobby & Sylvia. There are actually over a hundred songs with that particular title, “I Wanna Know,” this one credited to a composer by the name of Lovettes. There’s a Northern Soul favorite, Carnival Recording artist The Lovettes with a W. Lovette writing for them, but it may or not be the composer of the Bobby and Sylvia single and now we’re getting into deep catalog territory. The point is that there’s a similarity between the title of a 1962 Hebb release and the title of his 2003 recording released in 2005, an observation for history’s sake. "That's All I Wanna Know" is a different song from Bobby and Sylvia’s Battle Records 45 rpm, and to further add to the legacy, it was originally titled “That’s What I Want To Know”, performed by James Carr and written by James Carr / Roosevelt Jamison composition. Bobby’s rendition updates it and is a groove. Also splendid is the Dr. Rubberfunk dance mix available on the cd single initially released in 2005.
Rüdiger Ladwig, who had released two volumes of "Sunny" cover versions on the Trocadero label, conceived this 13 song disc after he first met the artist during Bobby Hebb's June 2002 tour of Germany. "I had the idea doing an album when Bobby played "Cold Cold Night" live at Radio 1in Berlin while promoting "A Collection of Various Interpretations of Sunny, Part 2", Rüdiger noted.
Ladwig´s general idea for this music, recorded in March of 2003, was to re-record earlier Bobby Hebb material, track the first ever "duet" of "Sunny" by the original artist, and follow Bobby's musical paths. From "Proud Woman", the Fred Burch/Skip Gibbs tune that Johnny Adams put on disc, to Hank Williams "Cold Cold Heart", which was in the repertoire of Roy Acuff, the man a thirteen year old Bobby Hebb toured with in the early 1950s, "That's All I Wanna Know“, is an audio journey touching various aspects of this legendary performer's career.
"Cold Cold Night" was written by Bobby and Phil Medley. Phil is most famous for "A Million To One", the hit for Jimmy Charles and Donny Osmond, as well as "Twist & Shout" (Shaking Up Baby...), which charted by The Isley Brothers in 1962 and The Beatles in 1964. This is the first time the Phil Medley/Bobby Hebb collaboration has ever been put on an album!
Since Lou Rawls won a Grammy with Bobby Hebb and Sandy Baron's classic, "A Natural Man", Hebb wanted to return the favor - so Bobby performs a Lou Rawls staple, "When Love Goes Wrong", in this collection. Song selection runs the gamut - contemporary music like "Willow Tree" (from the catalogue of Philadelphia's G. Love & Special Sauce) to the tried and true - a cover of Richard Shann's "Don't Tear Me Down", made famous by Charlie Rich.
"That's All I Wanna Know" also gives the world updates on Hebb's other chart recordings starting with a very funky reworking of "A Satisfied Mind", the song Roy Acuff loved to play. Joe "Red" Hayes/Jack Rhodes composed this popular title which hit for Porter Wagoner in 1955 and broke the Top 40 in America for Bobby in November of 1966. Also re-cut for this disc is the 1972 sleeper hit in the U.K., the fantastic "Love, Love, Love", composed by "Sunny" arranger Joe Renzetti and producer Jerry Ross. The Northern Soul classic charted in the U.K. six years after it was initially released. A surprise bonus is a re-make of Darryl Carter's "Bound by Love", a Philips 45 that came after "Sunny", but has yet to be on any album.
This third full-length commercial release from Bobby Hebb also has the songwriter/interpreter playing with a new set of musicians, their names available in the credits. Bobby has always performed with grade-A musicians, gifted musicians from Nashville, New York, Boston, Japan and other places. This new set of performers gives the album a uniqueness and special vitality, a different perspective on Hebb’s musical repertoire.
BOBBY HEBB on That’s All I Wanna Know
Bobby discussed these new recordings on August 1, 2005, stating: "My studies of life are basically represented here through different episodes – there are songs like these songs that help us to understand each other.
"There's a big difference between want and need; quite a few things we need that we aren't aware of, disguised as things that we want; things we need we are usually able to receive, but we don't always get
everything we want." Bobby Hebb
Bobby had a dream 25-30 years ago, and in the dream Sylvia Robinson* said: "This is a hit for you, Mojo" Sylvia telling Bobby (in his dream) how she wanted him to record the music, "so that's how I did it” the singer noted. (*Bobby known as “Mojo” to his friends on the scene which included Bernard “Pretty” Purdie and Sylvia (of “Pillow Talk” fame.)
Bobby paused, and then added: "In the Congo you would hear drums; this was done with a rhythmic expression, (But) that’s still music. This is a form of communication -in my case I'm saying "relax".
You can now relax to third album released in Bobby Hebb’s lifetime. It fits into all sorts of genres - the cool vibe of the Lounge set with their hip 'Bachelor Pad" music; the pop fans who have waited 35 years for more tunes and emotions from Bobby Hebb, and those wonderful people who dance to Northern Soul - it is all here for all of them and more, and it's in glorious stereo.
Bobby Hebb: vocals, guitars
Astrid North: vocals
Jorg Siebenhaar: hammond B3, wurlitzer, clavinet, yamaha CP70, grand piano
Markus Wienstroer: guitars
Konstantin Wienstroer: double bass, el. bass
Veit Lange: tenor sax, alto sax, bass clarinet, baritone sax
Nils Ostendorf: trumpet
Matthias Muller: trombone
Simon Camatta: drums, percussion
Jurgen Dahmen: percussion
Sam Leigh-Brown: backing vocals
Sabine Kuhlich: backing vocals
Ilka Knickenberg: backing vocals
1 Different Strokes 2:36
2 Cold Cold Night 3:21
3 A Satisfied Mind 2:41
4 Proud Woman 3:25
5 Sunny (Duet with Astrid North) 3:34
6 When Love Goes Wrong 2:56
7 We're Gonna Make It 3:09
8 Cold Cold Heart 2:19
9 Bound By Love 3:21
10 Willow Tree 2:42
11 Don't Tear Me Down 2:44
12 That's All I Wanna Know 3:50
13 Love Love Love 4:06
14)That’s All I Wanna Know – Dr. Rubberfunk Mix
15)Sunny featuring duet with Pat Appleton
total time - 40:33
nagrano: March 2003-April 2005
more info: www.intuition-music.com