Vinyl Boneyard – The Dells Give Your Baby A Standing Ovation

There is so much to like about this album, I’m not really sure where to start. Just check out the dress that is on the cover. Have you ever seen anything more quintessentially vintage than that pattern? Part of why I like vinyl so much is that you get great music, but you also get a chance to appreciate the artwork that goes along with the album.

In today’s day and age, people are more focused on the thumbnail, so the details get left out. On the vinyl albums, they really took the time to use all of the space that they were given. It’s makes if even more fun to flip through them and adds something to the experience.

Like a lot of albums I’ve owned, this one has been autographed by the original owner. I used to wonder why there were so many albums that people put their names on and then my father in law told me that they used to bring their records to the dances to be played and they wanted to make sure they got it back. While some collectors see these signatures as flaws, I view them as reminders that someone else got to enjoy the sweet tunes as well.

If you haven’t heard this album, I encourage you to check it out. It’s got a nice motown feel to it, but a little softer and a little less punch. On the first side there is a Bill Wither’s cover of Ain’t no Sunshine that is very pleasant. Ain’t no sunshine was originally released in 1971, this album came out in 1973. It’s interesting to me that so many artists in the 60’s and 70’s weren’t afraid to cover their peers. It made for lots of different versions of great songs. These days it seems like artists are mostly covering 25 year + songs. I’m not sure why the music industry made that shift, but it’s an interesting one to note.

The title track, Give your baby a standing ovation is also quite strong. It’s a great concept for a love song and is sang with lots of soul. The album was recorded at the famous Chess studios in New York. On the second side of the album, it’s gets a little more Barry White. Lots of deep voices over music that seems to swell up and overtake you. There is a cover of the glory of love that is quite interesting.

The early 70s were a tough time economically. Just like we’re seeing in 2022 inflation was running hot, fuel was running short and the nation was struggling to modernize. Throw in the war with Vietnam and you had a recipe for hard times. The Dells made an album that acknowledged these challenges in the world without being defeated by them. Their songs offer hope, love and encouragement while singing their version of the blues.

The Dells were formed in 1953, so by the time this album came out they had really perfected their craft. They retired the band in 2012 marking nearly 60 years of performances. It’s pretty hard to keep the music playing that long and is an amazing accomplishment.

Give your baby a standing ovation sold pretty well at the time and was the groups third record to go gold. In 2008 there was a fire at Universal Studios were a lot of their original recordings and unreleased recordings were destroyed, so it makes having the record all that much more special. They released 27 albums in total and this is the only one by the Dells that I have at the moment, but I’d totally snag another if I come across more in my hunt for more vinyl.