Hotline - Help

album cover

Tracks:

  1. Help (Lennon/McCartney) [5.32]
  2. Feel So Strong (Powers) [3.58] with Steve Kekana
  3. Give Me Your Love (Powers) [6.33]
  4. You're So Good To Me (Powers) [3.57] originally released on Burnout
  5. Baby It's You (Bacharach/David/Williams) [3.15]
  6. Burnout (Powers/Coakley/van Dyk/Brettell/Lieberman) [3.56]
  7. One More Night (Powers) [4.08] originally released on Burnout
  8. Feel So Strong (reprise) (Powers) [1.10]

Musicians:

  • PJ Powers: Vocals
  • Alistair Coakley: Lead guitar
  • George van Dyk: Bass
  • Larry Rose: Drums
  • Ron "Bones" Brettell: Keyboards

  • Ron "Bones" Brettell, Greg Cutler and Alistair Coakley: Producers

Release information:

November 1982, MFM (distributed by Gallo), ML4654

Comments:

'Help' literally gives me a shivering chill -- possibly the best Beatles cover I've ever heard, certainly one of the few at the top.
- Kurt Shoemaker, September 1999
'Help' was released on CD in an edited version on The Best Of PJ Powers and Hotline in 1991, however the full-length album version is the one to hear...
'You're So Good To Me'
... I'm not supposed to be alone with you..." sings the 20 year-old PJ Powers (born Penelope Jane Dunlop in Durban in 1960). Is he married? Or is she? More likely the lyrics refer to a inter-racial relationship which was illegal under the Apartheid system of the time. A powerful song which never fails to stir the emotions. 'You're So Good To Me' was an SA #8 in February 1982.

Review:

SA Rock Digest, Issue #114, July 2001

PJ Powers (dubbed "Thandeka", the loved one, by her fans) was born PenelopeJane Dunlop in Durban on the 16th July 1960 and has been making a name forherself in the music world since 1979 when she sang in an all-girl groupPantha which also included Debbi Lonmon (later of Little Sister) on guitar.

When John Lennon sang 'Help me if you can I'm feeling down', it wasdifficult to believe that he really wanted help as it was sung to thestandard Beatles upbeat, cheeky grin moptop sound. When PJ Powers wraps hernicotine stained vocal chords around this classic, your guts starttingling, then you realise that your guts have been wrenched from you andyou're left wandering where the hell that tingling sensation is comingfrom. You also wander how you can possibly help someone who has justdelivered such a powerful, passionate and emotional plea.

The title track to Hotline's second album which also opens the album setsan incredibly high standard and one feels that after that, the rest of thealbum is bound to disappoint, but it doesn't. Following close on its heelsis the hit single 'Feel So Strong' sung in collaboration with Steve Kekana.PJ's Bonnie Tyler vocals act as a counterpoint to Steve's fragile falsetto,weaved around a swirling organ sound, this is pop perfection.

There are more blazing rock tracks to follow. 'Give Me Your Love' poundsalong at pace, while 'You're so Good To Me' with it's hushed, almostwhispered verses and lungs-in-overdrive chorus make you want to grab yourlighter and rush to the nearest stadium.

There are hints at the Afrorock sound that the group, and in particular PJas a solo artist would embrace later on, but on the whole this is purerock. Some highly charged guitar and drum work accompanied by the texturedkeyboard sounds from Bones Brettell form the solid pedestal on which thevoice of PJ is proudly exhibited.

'Help' is a rock album that cries out to be heard, at times full on stadiumrock; sometimes hints of Fleetwood Mac or a Foreigner ballad show through,and there are pauses for a few pop sensibilities, but the power and passionof the delivery, both vocal and instrumental, make this a South Africanclassic.
-- John Samson

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