Flashback Soul: Esther Phillips Knows That “Home Is Where The Hatred Is”

The late Esther Phillips was an expressive vocalist who used her versatile instrument across a variety of genres, from R&B to country to pop and jazz. She scored her first #1 R&B hit, “Double Crossing Blues,” in 1950 with the Johnny Otis Quintet and reached perhaps the height of her career with her album From a Whisper to a Scream, which was nominated in 1972 for a Grammy Award. Phillips lost to Aretha Franklin in a close race that year for best R&B vocal performance, although Franklin graciously tried to give Phillips the trophy.  

We feature here from that album its lead track, “Home Is Where The Hatred Is,” an elegant, horn-propelled and poetic piece written by Gil Scott-Heron about an addict’s fear of returning home. Phillips beautifully renders the addict’s pain with an authentic, powerful vocal that soars above the swelling strings. Enjoy. 

By Robb Patryk

The late Esther Phillips was an expressive vocalist who used her versatile instrument across a variety of genres, from R&B to country to pop and jazz. She scored her first #1 R&B hit, “Double Crossing Blues,” in 1950 with the Johnny Otis Quintet and reached perhaps the height of her career with her album From a Whisper to a Scream, which was nominated in 1972 for a Grammy Award. Phillips lost to Aretha Franklin in a close race that year for best R&B vocal performance, although Franklin graciously tried to give Phillips the trophy.  

We feature here from that album its lead track, “Home Is Where The Hatred Is,” an elegant, horn-propelled and poetic piece written by Gil Scott-Heron about an addict’s fear of returning home. Phillips beautifully renders the addict’s pain with an authentic, powerful vocal that soars above the swelling strings. Enjoy. 

By Robb Patryk

 

 Listen to this and all other tracks featured in this series on the Flashback Soul playlist at Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/user/robb.patryk/playlist/1DDb0sGAD1uAhVVACKWq7M

 
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