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The shy but vivacious 19-year-old caught the eye of Mick Jagger, who would persuade her to stay in London and record as a solo artist – ultimately leading to a five-decade career working with everyone from Jagger, the Small Faces, Rod Stewart, Barry Gibb and Eric Clapton, to Nick Drake, Peter Gabriel, Roger Waters, the KLF, Paul Weller, Ocean Colour Scene and Primal Scream, to name a few.
Steve Cradock got in touch in 2015 to say he’d rediscovered demos that he and the singer had made in the mid-’90s. This led to the idea for ‘The New Adventures Of PP Arnold’ album (a double LP, no less), the making of which involving PP travelling from her home in southern Spain to Cradock’s studio near Totnes, Devon, for several week-long vocal sessions, in between which Steve worked on producing and recording the backing tracks.
The record – spanning emotive orchestral soul, sunshine pop, house music, an epic, edgy reading of Bob Dylan’s poem ‘The Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie’, two Paul Weller original compositions and an extraordinary, soulful elegy to the singer’s lost daughter Debbie, recorded with a choir and pipe organ in Exeter Cathedral – finally represents the truly magnificent album that fate denied PP in the decades following her solo success on Immediate in the late ’60s.
“I’ve got to thank Steve for pulling this record together,” concludes PP. “It’s soul music, really, I can’t get away from my gospel roots. My whole sound, my soul and expression is coming through my spirit. I’m a vehicle, God gave me a gift. I’m a gospel singer. Making this album now is destiny.”