Soul singer, Charles Bradley, would have turned 70 on November 5th. In celebration of the singer’s extraordinary life, Daptone imprint Dunham Records will release his fourth and final album, on November 9th.
Titled Black Velvet, the album will feature 10 studio recordings never included on any previous albums, including the single “I Feel a Change.” The video for the single was directed by Jeff Broadway and Cory Bailey, watch it below.
Black Velvet is a celebration of Charles Bradley and includes lesser know songs from the singer’s catalog, co-written with his longtime friend and producer Tommy “TNT” Brenneck. It features new songs recorded during the sessions from each of his three albums. Included on the album is a duet with LaRose Jackson called “Luv Jones,” an alternate full band electric version of “Victim of Love” and covers of Nirvana’s “Stay Away” and Neal Young’s “Heart of Gold.” The title track is a Menahan Street Band instrumental, to which Charles was never able to cut a vocal.
Brenneck spoke about the song “I Feel A Change,” recorded during the Victim of Love sessions. He said, “Horns and organ were recorded later adding a haunting beauty to the otherwise a cappella intro. The lyrics are 100% Charles. Personal yet abstract. Directly from the heart. He truly loved the expression ‘going through changes’ and this was a few years before we would record our rendition of Sabbath’s ‘Changes’ with Budos. Sadly, Charles never got to hear the finished version of this beautiful song.”
Charles released three albums, all critically acclaimed, during his career. His debut album released in 2011 called No Time for Dreaming, 2013s Victim of Love and 2016s Changes. The title track for Changes was the Black Sabbath cover.
Charles Bradley got his start performing as a James Brown impersonator and found success later in life. In 2016, Charles was forced to cancel his tour after being diagnosed with stomach cancer. He returned to the road last year after treatments forced the cancer into remission, only to cancel that tour when more health complications arose. On September 23, 2017, Charles lost his battle with stomach cancer and passed away at the age of 68.
Black Velvet Track List
1. Can’t Fight The Feeling
2. Luv Jones
3. I Feel A Change
4. Slip Away
5. Black Velvet
6. Stay Away
7. Heart Of Gold
8. (I Hope You Find) The Good Life
9. Fly Little Girl
10. Victim Of Love (Electric Version)
Photo Credit: Brett Padelford