Laura Nyro: La-La (Means I Love You)
This nonsense song title includes its own handy parenthetical interpretation for those of us who aren't quite sure what "la-la" actually means. Now we know.
There's not a cover of this song that I don't love, which lets me know right away that I need to be checking out the writer – Thom Bell. Just as the songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland defined the Motown sound in the 60's, the same is true for Thom Bell and the Philly Soul sound. Bell was an influential session pianist, songwriter, and producer who, with partners Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, was instrumental in some pretty awesome hits by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, the Spinners, Billy Paul, and the O'Jays.
This cover of the 1968 Delfonics tune is by one of my favorite vocalists and a superb songwriter in her own right. She's performed a number of 60's soul hits over her too-short career. This one's from the posthumously released Angel in the Dark and was recorded around 1995.