Dionne Warwick

From Within

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Released in 1972, From Within is one of a few fascinating compilations by Scepter Records in the wake of Dionne Warwick's departure from the label, which she'd recorded 15 albums for in less than eight years. Over half of this two-LP set boasted a healthy sampling of otherwise unavailable sides circa the Chips Moman-produced Memphis sessions that yielded 1969's Soulful. The rest came from a wide variety of sources, including the Magic of Believing collection of spirituals issued in 1968, the title song to the 1969 film Slaves (which had featured Warwick), and an odd assortment from much earlier in her career. The dearth of any hits is likewise conspicuous for those seeking any semblance of a retrospective. The Moman cache is of particular interest because the songs were only offered here. Warwick was teamed up with the American Studios house band: Gene Chrisman (drums), Bobby Emmons (keyboards), Tommy Cogbill (bass), and Reggie Young (guitar). However, rather than working up arrangements of fresh material, Moman's direction would center around Warwick's interpretations of then-recent rock and soul entries. Several of these were more obvious choices, such as "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" or the Motown classics "You're All I Need to Get By," "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever," and "Someday We'll Be Together." Warwick's formidable skills are best utilized on her renditions of the Rascals' "People Got to Be Free" and Robbie Robertson's "The Weight," and perhaps most striking of all is the socially oriented "Give a Damn," a significant side for Spanky & Our Gang. Additional highlights include a pair of Sly & the Family Stone covers: "Stand" and one of the effort's superlative offerings, a groovy "Everyday People." Either would have made a perfect entrée for conservative MOR listeners who might have found Sly and company a bit too funky and could possibly have identified with Warwick.