My latest podcast guest is the first lady of London Soul – P.P. Arnold and what an honour it was to chat with Pat on the podcast.
There have been so many ‘pinch-me’ moments on this audio journey – and this is right up there for me.
Check out our podcast chat below, then come back to watch the video and listen to the various playlists that I’ve added below – you won’t be disappointed…
Her story is that of a rich and varied life. From her early musical origins in powerhouse church gospel, the talented singer’s career began when she joined the Ike & Tina Turner Revue at the age of just seventeen. But little did the young Ikette know how much her world was about to be turned upside-down…
Upon arriving in London in 1966 to support The Rolling Stones, the shy but vivacious nineteen-year-old caught the eye of frontman Mick Jagger. He would persuade her to stay in the city and record as a solo artist, ultimately leading to a five-decade career working with everyone from Jagger, Rod Stewart, the Small Faces, Eric Clapton and Nick Drake to Barry Gibb, Peter Gabriel, Roger Waters, the KLF, Primal Scream, Steve Cradock and our podcast subject matter – Paul Weller…
However, it has been far from a gilded life for the musical star, who, after being forced into marriage at the age of fifteen upon becoming pregnant, went on to endure a string of personal traumas, including physical abuse from her husband, sexual abuse at the hands of her one-time musical mentor and, later, the tragic loss of her young daughter in a road accident.
Yet the legendary musician survived it all and has continued to reinvent herself throughout the years, be that as a West End actress, a much-sought-after backing singer or a renowned pop and soul star in her own right.
We’ll hear all about Soul Survivor, her autobiography that has just been published, and how she came to create music with Paul Weller for his album A Kind Revolution (the majestic Woo Se Mama), along with tracks for her most recent album, The New Adventures of… her first LP of new material in 51 years…
Click your preferred podcast platform to listen…
EP103 – P.P. Arnold -The First Lady of London Soul… ”Remember when our love could fly, we gave it wings and it took to the sky” – Desperately Seeking Paul : Paul Weller Fan Podcast
2017 – Woo Se Mama – Paul Weller
2019 – The New Adventures of… P.P. Arnold
In 2019, P.P. Arnold released an album of stunning new material, her first in 51 years! The LP features contributions from Paul Weller who wrote Shoot Your Dove and When I Was Part Of Your Picture (for which he also played Bass and sang Backing Vocals), he also plays Electric Guitar with Lynval Golding from The Specials on Hold On To Your Dreams (You’ll also find Paul’s bandmates – Steve Pilgrim and Ben Gordelier on this track too).
Paul’s right hand man for the past 30 years, Ocean Colour Scene’s Steve Cradock, produced, engineered and arranged the album, and mixed it at Black Barn Studio with Charles Rees. Steve also contributes several songs and plays on the majority of the album too.
His son, Cass plays flute on Baby Blue and The Magic Hour and his daughter, Sunny plays clarinet on Shoot the Dove, and sings backing vocals on Baby Blue.
Here’s a fun fact too – Track 12 , Daltry Street was written by Jake Fletcher, who has been filling in on bass with the Paul Weller band for their Summer 2022 dates.
It’s a very special album – have a listen!
2017 – P.P. Arnold – The Turning Tide
The Turning Tide is an album of unreleased recordings from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. It was meant to be P.P. Arnold’s third album.
These recordings were left sitting on shelves for many years due to industry politics, and still after all these years, PP could never fathom the thought that nobody would be able to hear them. It became her mission to let these recordings see the light of day, and not let this incredible piece of music history stay buried. With the help of PP’s manager, Sally Cradock and music industry veteran Bill Levenson, whose past history includes putting together compilations for Bob Marley, Donna Summer and Jerry Lee Lewis, they began to recover these lost gems and fight for the right to release them, from various publishers who were not keen to part with them. Steve Cradock began mixing the tracks, calling upon his old friend Paul Weller, who gladly allowed them to use his Black Barn Studio, and also his long time engineer, Charles Rees. The results were remarkable; after all these years, pieces of history were brought back to life again. “These recordings document my growth and development after the ‘Immediate’ years and my struggle to survive being a relevant solo artist during a lot of lost years in my career. It’s an amazing trip down memory lane that I am so thrilled can be experienced in the here and now”.
In her autobiography, Soul Survivor, Pat writes “Fifty years after recording some of my most important music, produced by Barry Gibb and Eric Clapton, I finally acquired the licence to release it. In 2017, with the help of Steve Cradock, Paul Weller and my supportive solicitor Simon Long, these recordings were made public.”
2007 – Dr. Robert & P.P. Arnold – Five in the Afternoon
Originally released in 2007, with a re-issue in 2017, Dr Robert, The Blow Monkeys main man and Paul Weller friend and collaborator, teamed up with soul legend P P Arnold for this brand new album of duets, recorded near the Andalusian port town of Motril in southern Spain.
“I met P P Arnold at a party up here in the mountains near Granada. I was playing some acoustic guitar – a few old tunes, some Curtis songs and stuff – she jumped up on the tiny makeshift stage and blew the place apart. We sang some Hendrix, some soul and then ‘First Cut Is The Deepest’. It was so good. We went away that night determined to make a record. This is that record.”