PP Arnold - The Turning Tide album review

The best Blues you can get this month

Cover art for PP Arnold - The Turning Tide album

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It’s a shit business, as The League Of Gentlemen’s Les McQueen had it, and PP Arnold might recognise the sentiment.

Spotted by Jagger, signed to Immediate Records and groomed for stardom, the US soul singer’s 60s fairytale turned grim when her RSO label debut was shelved, leaving the tracks scattered or gummed in red tape. Cue the wilderness years…

Was it worth Arnold sacrificing four decades of her life to reclaim The Turning Tide? Christ, yes. This is a stomping, hollering soul-blues master class, with a tag-team production by Eric Clapton and Barry Gibb that’s younger than yesterday. Lift-off is achieved with the heartbeat bass and stinger guitars of Medicated Goo, and Born is even better, racing to a roaring finale that lets Arnold clean her vocal chords. Elsewhere the tears are still wet on torch songs like If This Were My World and Brand New Day, and there’s no cobwebs on a punched-up You Can’t Always Get What You Want.

It’s the happiest of endings.

Henry Yates

Henry Yates has been a freelance journalist since 2002 and written about music for titles including The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Classic Rock, Guitarist, Total Guitar and Metal Hammer. He is the author of Walter Trout's official biography, Rescued From Reality, a music pundit on Times Radio and BBC TV, and an interviewer who has spoken to Brian May, Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie Wood, Dave Grohl, Marilyn Manson, Kiefer Sutherland and many more.