Jean Battle was one of those wonderful female vocalists like Eula Cooper and Rozetta Johnson who worked with Sam Dees in Birmingham, AL in the early 70s. Her soft, breathy approach is perfect for the desperation and despair of Dees’ melodic Unsatisfied Woman. In addition to a super version by Barbara Stant for Shiptown this beautifully realized deep soul classic was also the subject of a gender reverse when cut by Ebony Essence on Goodie Train.
The Dees / Battle combination also made another excellent deep soul 45 for Red Lite. When A Woman Loves A Man is not just the best answer to Percy Sledge's classic it is also a sensational deep cut in its own right. For me it is one of Dees very best songs featuring a really strong lyric and a first class melody. The arrangement, full of stops and starts matches the quality of Jean heartfelt performance. For me the best she put on vinyl. The flip "Love Making" is a splendid piece of strutting southern funk equally at home for the dance floor as for the bedroom so sultry and sexy is Battle's heavy breathing vocal.
1. "Unsatisfied woman" can be found on the Kent UK CD "Good Guys Don't always Win" and on the superb Atlantic CD "Sisters Of Soul".
2. "When A Woman Loves A Man" is a different cut to the Esther Phillips track on Atlantic.