Stacy Lane seems to have spent his entire recording career under the supervision of Ray Harris. Now Harris was, of course, one of the founders of Hi records, but for Lane he often used other local facilities – but the results were still first class. Lane’s gruff growling tones are reminiscent of Wilson Pickett’s style of singing – in your face, up hard and insistent. And like Picket he was generally more impressive on uptempo material. The sassy “No Brags Just Facts”, based on a “She's Looking Good" riff, made a very strong side and “I’m Out To Win You Over”, cut at Hi, is another unstoppable toe-tapper. But for us old deep hands the slow burn soul of The Lifetime Of A Man is the cream track, yet another of those wonderful ballads in the 12/8 format that the world seems to have lost the knack of writing these days. Why was it never issued when it was cut?
The Lane 45 that everybody wants is the rare one on Bar. The funky “No Ending” is the track they crave, but the gentler No Love Have I is much more suited to these pages. Stacy’s last 45 for Playboy, still with producer Harris, “Goin’ Down The Drain” is a really first class piece of funky Memphis music, far better than the Bar cuts, but for some reason it seems to have passed the DJs by. Their loss.
No love have I / No ending ~ BAR 102 (1967)
African twist / I’m out to win you over ~ EXCELLO 2293 (1968)
No brags just facts / Funky little train ~ EXCELLO 2302 (1969)
Goin’ down the drain / You're not getting older (you're getting better) ~ PLAYBOY 50041 (1973)
1. The Ace UK CDs in the “Heart Of Southern Soul” series contain several Stacy Lane cuts. In particular they are the only place you will find the excellent The Lifetime Of A Man and Gonna Need Somebody. We should all be grateful to my Friend John Broven for finding these cuts in the tape vaults.
2. I’ve never seen an issue copy of the Playboy 45. Does anybody know what the other side is called?
UPDATE ~ Thanks to every body who sent me details of the Playboy 45 - too many to mention but I'm grateful just the same. Thanks to Bob McGrath for the dates.