Charles Bradley was 63 years old when his first full-length album, No Time For Dreaming, was released via Daptone Records in 2011. Despite its title, the old school soul and R&B vocalist had spent much of his life chasing dreams, including his dream of putting out a record and performing for packed audiences night after night. These aspirations were what kept Bradley going during what was often a very difficult journey to stardom. Sadly, Bradley passed away at the age of 68, having relished every moment in the limelight that eluded him for most of his life. While we won’t get to see his infectious smile on stage anymore, his music will always be here for all of us.
A month before what would have been his 70th birthday, Daptone and their Dunham Records imprint announced the posthumous release of The Screaming Eagle of Soul’s final album, Black Velvet. Officially released today, Black Velvet features ten previously unreleased tracks, pulled from the recording sessions for Bradley’s three albums, including No Time for Dreaming, 2013’s Victim of Love, and 2016’s Changes.
The new album includes covers of Nirvana‘s “Stay Away”, Neil Young‘s “Heart of Gold”, and Rodriguez‘s “Slip Away”, as well as a duet with LaRose Jackson called “Luv Jones”, a full-band take on “Victim of Love”, and more. The album’s title track is an instrumental by Menahan Street Band, for which Bradley never got the chance to record vocals. Listen to the full record below:
Charles Bradley – Black Velvet