Oscar Weathers is one of those artists who made several strong 45s but never really hit the big time. But that shouldn’t blind us to the vocal talents the man had – which were considerable. His first tracks are amongst his best. Bad Woman is an excellent deep track complete with a well judged rap at the start. From then Weathers sings his heart out – lovely high baritone voice with a very fine sense of timing. Super playing by some Philly session men with well arranged horn support – and the fact that there aren’t any strings makes the cut far less sweet than his subsequent sides recorded at this location.
His second 45 Your Fool Still Loves You is a Philly ballad in the grand manner – swirling strings, female chorus, solid rhythm, and unobtrusive horns. Lovely. And while “The Spoiler” has some fans amongst the dancers the other side You Wants To Play is another good ballad with some nice guitar touches and more fine horn charts. The high quality was maintained by When You Steal a fine sweet ballad beautifully arranged. It shows once again just how much great soul came out of the City Of Brotherly Love during the early 70s.
I suspect one of the reasons he wasn’t as successful as his abilities warranted could be the fact that he recorded too many covers like “Pledging My Love” the 2 sided “Tell It Like It Is” and “Let Them Talk” which are pleasant but not different enough to make them stand out from the crowd. Weathers’ first Blue Candle 45 was recorded at Philly and may even have been brought down to Florida by the singer looking for a new contract. But the funky “Save Me” and the rather disco flavoured “When You See What You Want” were cut in Miami. And this appears to have been his last 45.
UPDATE ~ Dave Chichester has written to point out that the original US version of "You Wants To Play" is about a minute longer than the version here. I took that soundclip from my English 45 on Mojo. I wonder if John Abbey knew - or cared. Very interesting - I'm grateful to Dave for spotting this.
Bad woman / Contract of love ~ TOP & BOTTOM 400 (1969)
Your fool still loves you / Just to prove I love you ~ TOP & BOTTOM 402 (1970)
The spoiler / You wants to play ~ TOP & BOTTOM 405 (1970)
I’m scared now / When you steal ~ TOP & BOTTOM 410 (1971)
I’m your good thing / Pledging my love ~ TOP & BOTTOM 412 (1972)
Tell it like it is / Pt 2 ~ BLUE CANDLE 1498 (1973)
Let them talk / Save me ~ BLUE CANDLE 1502 (1973)
When you see what you want / Pt 2 ~ SIRLOIN 009 (1975)
Let's get high / Lets get high (2nd version) ~ SIRLOIN 011 (1976)
Countdown / We're running out of time ~ LIQUID WAVES 700 12"
Thanks to Bosko Asanovic for additions to the discography.