Lee Dorsey - Yes We Can (1970)

Lee Dorsey was an American R&B singer, mostly active during the 60s.

1970's Yes We Can was Lee Dorsey first album since 1966, though in the intervening years he had released a series of increasingly funky singles (available here). His first album of the 70s was, as to be expected, produced and almost entirely written by Allen Toussaint, with instrumental backing from The Meters. Compared to his 60s music, Yes We Can had a more modern funk sound, sly and sophisticated. Toussaint penned all the songs, with the exception of an almost unrecognizeable cover of Joe South's "Games People Play". Indeed it was a real triumph for Toussaint as a producer, and can be seen as a stylistic blueprint for his own solo career which began the next year with his debut album Toussaint. The album gave Dorsey his last modest chart hit, the title track getting to #46 on the R&B singles chart. After this album he retired from music, returning to his car repair business. 
In the 70s the sound of R&B music changed drastically, which perhaps accounts for why Dorsey saw no more success in this decade. He was also well into his forties by this point. Despite its lack of chart successes, Yes We Can nevertheless remains fresh today as an all-time classic funk/R&B album.

The New Lee Dorsey (1966) <|> Night People (1978)
More from Lee Dorsey


1 comment:

Dave said...

This is a record I was turned on to by a review, probably in the Boston Phoenix. It's my favorite by Lee Dorsey, a great sound and the songs flow perfectly.

As far as I know, these are the first versions of several songs which would become classics performed by other artists: "Yes We Can" was a Pointer Sisters hit, and more importantly, theme song to a successful presidential campaign. "Occapella" has been re-recorded, and "Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley" was a hit for Robert Palmer.

If "riverboat", "Tears, Tears and More Tears" and "O Me-O My-O" haven't been hits, they are ripe for new versions.