When I was first introduced to this song by a friend it came with a description that goes a little something like this, “this Bobby Bland one wigged me out when I first heard it – the organ is well freaky!” And he was right because nothing quite prepares you for the way the organ cuts in over the intro of this track and it would seem that this feature has divided its listeners for many years. Reading responses to this track, some have described the organ as ‘talking to you’, whilst others have reported that it’s ‘just too much’. It took me a couple of listens to become accustomed to its rather shrill tone, especially given that the rest of the track is so smooth, but the contrast does work against Bobby Bland’s smooth, velvety vocals and almost offers a soulful call and response feel.
I’ll Take Care of You was originally written by singer-songwriter Brook Benton and was first released by Bobby Bland on the Duke label in 1959. It has been covered many times since by artists such as Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, Roy Hamilton, Etta James, Mick Hucknall, Irma Thomas and Gil Scott-Heron, but Bobby Bland was the first person to put his soulful stamp on this lovely song. Listen above.