Tammi Lavette - Bittersweet





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Published on Dec 4, 2009

"Bittersweet" is one of the first songs that I ever recorded with Tammi Lavette, way back in 1993, when she was a teenager. We called her Tamla Tyrell initially. I co-wrote this with John Reid of The Nightcrawlers, and years later, I still think it sounds amazing. My fabulous Tammi performed at the Blackpool Mecca Reunion in 1998 and wowed everyone. We filmed her there singing "You Tore Apart My Broken Heart" and the video of that song captures it for posterity. Although Tammi was so very young when I first discovered her, I have watched her blossom into the most fabulous soul diva. Her version of "No Way Out" is my favourite track off my album "Yesterday And Tomorrow". Tammi also sang that huge 1970's Northern Soul classic recorded by Bettye Swann, "Kiss My Love Goodbye". As great a Philly song as you could ever wish to hear. It had such a dreamy, timeless, smooth orchestrated feel, that I always planned to cut it on someone one day. And also she tackled Barbara Acklin's timeless classic "Am I The Same Girl", all of which can be seen here on my YouTube channel. Tammi Lavette's real name was Tamla Dhani and when I first met her in 1993, we cut this song to try once again, to capture the sound we hit with it in 1991 with Frances Nero on a song called "Footsteps Following Me". We recorded it along with another song called "My Heart Keeps Saying No", and I initially named her Tamla Tyrrell, which, on reflection, sounds quite nice in itself. But in the end we settled on Tammi Lavette. I discovered her in time for the Blackpool Mecca Reunion in 1998, and we took her up there to perform on the Saturday night in the Highland Room in front of a thousand people. She was actually born in Africa, but from the age of four, she spent most of her life in New York and now lives in England. Tammi sang the theme song "Seven Days", for my massive documentary "The Strange World Of Northern Soul". The video for that can also be found on my YouTube channel. We also cut a song called "Too Much Too Late" with her, a song which was discovered by my mentor Chris Hill when he was head of Arista records. It was an obscure single in the early nineties by a group called Rufus Doors, a brother/sister act, but he left Arista before ever signing them. I snatched up the song and did it with Tammi. That video can also be seen on here too. We cut a whole album on Tammi, but it's never yet been released on CD although it is on iTunes.

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