I've been looking for a copy of Latimore's superb Lets Straighten It Out since I first heard it on a cassette back in 1994/1995 that thankfully made its way into my grateful possession courtesy of a school friend's brother who had just returned from a year in England. If I remember correctly it was taped off one of the specialist shows on KISS FM, possibly Patrick Forge's, and this was the first track on the second side of what otherwise was a forgettable set of music. The tape didn't last long and tragically it was mauled by a faulty tape deck, which almost left me in tears as distraughtly I had to cast its unsalvageable beauty towards the big cassette player in the sky. (Yes, yes I know that is probably a bit too much of a poetic/cringeworthy way of saying 'I got a bit mardy and chucked it in the bin' but I'm setting a mood, see?)
I have spent the last 12 years describing it, and even in some cases singing it, to record dealers the world over with no dice but a few months ago I had a bit of luck when Fabric resident DJ, Craig Richards, stuck it on his podcast and the moment I heard those first few bars I was beaming, my quest for arguably one of the greatest records I have ever heard was about to come to a satisfying end. A quick scan on the net and within minutes I had a copy for the not too princely sum of $16, but truth be told I would've easily paid 10 or 20 times that much for it.
We can all sympathise with Latimore's need to find out what is going on with his girl and especially the immortal line, "How in the hell do you expect me to understand when I don't even know what is wrong?', which we've all uttered in one or two relationships. Whatever Latimore did to her must have been rough as he put up with the cold shoulder for five long days and nights and only then did he feel the need to plead with her for forgiveness or answers. On the cover Latimore looks like a bit of a pimp, so I'm assuming either he got caught with a bit of fluff on the side or maybe she cheated on him and was trying to raise the courage to tell our hero. Either way I'd be willing to bet a Grant or two (that's a $50 bill to you non-Americans) that they didn't last much longer but if the song was the legacy of their relationship then from where I am sitting in the cheap seats it was worth every bit of heartache they may have had to endure.
As you can tell I've clearly listened to this track a few times too many and I can't see my daily plays dissipating anytime soon. Superb doesn't even begin to describe it. You need this.
(I have no idea what the video is about and it's probably best that you don't watch it)