P. P. Arnold

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P. P. Arnold
P. P. Arnold, July 02 2006.jpg
P.P. Arnold at Roskilde Festival in July 2006
Background information
Birth namePatricia Ann Cole
Also known asPat Arnold
Born (1946-10-03) October 3, 1946 (age 72)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
GenresRock, pop, soul, blues rock, gospel
Years active1966–present
LabelsImmediate Records
Associated actsIke & Tina Turner, Barry Gibb, The Nice, Small Faces, Rod Stewart, Freddie King, Catch My Soul, Roger Waters, The Who, Eric Clapton, Starlight Express, David Bowie, The Kinks, Ocean Colour Scene

Patricia Ann Cole (born October 3, 1946),[1] known professionally as P. P. Arnold, is an American soul singer who enjoyed considerable success in the United Kingdom from the 1960s onwards.

Early life[edit]

Arnold was born into a family of gospel singers and performed as a vocal soloist for the first time when she was four years old. Her family lived in the African-American Watts ghetto of Los Angeles.[2]

Arnold married early and had two children, Kevin and Debbie. She worked two jobs, one in an office and the other in food manufacturing, until 1964, when Maxine Smith, an ex-girlfriend of her brother, contacted her with an offer. Maxine and her friend Gloria Scott had managed to arrange an audition for three girls to replace the original Ikettes, the dancer/singer troupe that provided vocal and dance accompaniment for the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Smith contacted Arnold, whom she knew to be a singer. At the audition the three young women were offered the job on the spot, but Smith convinced Arnold to attend a concert in Fresno that night before making a final decision. When she arrived home at 6:00 the next morning, Arnold's furious husband struck her. Arnold left him immediately, and after placing her children in the care of her parents, joined the Ike & Tina Turner Revue.[2][3]


Arnold quit the Turner band in 1966 while on tour in the UK in order to remain in London and establish a solo career, with the encouragement of Mick Jagger. She noted the difference between how she had been treated in America and how she was received in England, saying, "A young black woman on her own in America in a white environment would not have been treated as well as I was in England."[2] She enjoyed several major British hits on Immediate, including songs written for her by Paul Korda, who wrote "The Time Has Come." She also recorded songs written by Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane from labelmates Small Faces, who also backed her on several recordings, and Arnold had a brief romantic liaison with Marriott in 1967.[4] She toured with the Small Faces during 1967-68, made several TV appearances with them, and featured as backing vocalist on two of the group's biggest hits, "Itchycoo Park" and "Tin Soldier". Other credits in this period include her duet with Rod Stewart on the single "Come Home Baby" (produced by Mick Jagger on Immediate Records, with Ron Wood on guitar, Keith Richards on bass, Nicky Hopkins on electric piano, Keith Emerson on Hammond organ and the Georgie Fame Brass Section), as well as Chris Farlowe's version of the Motown standard "Reach Out (I'll Be There)" (with Albert Lee on guitar and Carl Palmer on drums).

P. P. Arnold (1967)

Her first backing band, the Blue Jays, had been inherited from American soul singer Ronnie Jones and included former Bluesbreakers guitarist Roger Dean. This was followed by the Nice, led by Keith Emerson on organ who had just quit from the VIPs (later to be known as Spooky Tooth), David O'List on guitar, Lee Jackson on bass and Ian Hague on drums. During this period she scored several hits including the original version of the Cat Stevens song "The First Cut Is the Deepest"[3] and "Angel of the Morning", plus the Marriott-Lane song "(If You Think You're) Groovy".[5]

After the collapse of Immediate Records in the late 1960s, Arnold signed a production contract with the Robert Stigwood Organisation and released two singles on the Polydor label, produced by Barry Gibb, but a planned album with Gibb was never completed.[1] Between 1969 and 1970, she recorded eleven songs which were produced by Gibb himself but only two of the songs "Bury Me Down By the River" and "Give a Hand, Take a Hand" were released. In February 1970, she sang harmony vocals on the song "Born" which was included on Gibb's debut solo album The Kid's No Good.[6]

P. P. Arnold (Dutch TV, 1968)

In 1970 she moved to the musical stage, appearing alongside P.J. Proby in the rock musical Catch My Soul. She then formed a new backing band that included the future members of Ashton, Gardner and Dyke, plus Steve Howe, who would soon join Yes. During this period she renewed her association with Steve Marriott, recording and touring with his new band Humble Pie (Rock On), as well as contributing session musician backing vocals for many notable UK and US recordings including the original 1970 album recording of the rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar, Nick Drake's "Poor Boy", and recordings by Dr. John, Graham Nash, Gary Wright, Manassas, Nektar, Jimmy Witherspoon, Nils Lofgren and Eric Burdon.[7] She toured with Eric Clapton, who also produced a number of unreleased sessions with her; during these sessions she met American bassist Fuzzy Samuels of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and they subsequently became involved romantically and had a son, Kodzo.[2] In 1974 she sang on the Freddie King album Burglar[8] and feeling out of place in the rapidly changing British music scene of the mid-1970s, Arnold and Samuels returned to her hometown of Los Angeles. While living there, Arnold's relationship with Samuels ended and just two weeks after the split, her daughter Debbie was killed in a car accident. After her daughter's death, Arnold withdrew from public life for some time, not re-emerging until 1978. At this time she was reunited with Barry Gibb, who wanted to complete the never-finished solo album for her. Unfortunately PP Arnold was able to release these recording only in 2017 in her album The Turning Tide.[9] In 1981 she moved to Hollywood but returned to England the following year to raise her younger son there. She began working with leading British reggae band Steel Pulse and returned to the charts in both the UK and Australia on the hit 1983 cover version of the Staple Singers "Respect Yourself", recorded with British electropop group Kane Gang, which reached #21 in Britain and #19 in Australia.

In 1984, she returned to the stage in the cast of the musical Starlight Express as Belle the Sleeping Car, after which she worked with a number of noted British acts including Boy George as well as working on several film soundtracks.[citation needed] Weeks before beginning a tour with Billy Ocean, her legs were badly injured in a car accident. She went ahead with the Ocean tour, at first appearing on crutches, but her injuries eventually forced her to leave the tour after ten weeks. Without a record contract and unable to play live, Arnold survived by doing sessions for advertising jingles. In 1986 she returned to the rock scene, featuring prominently as a backing vocalist on Peter Gabriel's worldwide hit "Sledgehammer". This was followed by a successful collaboration with The Beatmasters on the retro-styled Acid House hit "Burn It Up", which reached #14 in Britain in October 1988, and became her third hit to spend 10 weeks or more on the UK Singles Chart.[5] "Burn It Up" was included on the Beatmasters' album Anywayawanna. During the late 1980s and 1990s Arnold resumed an active career as a session vocalist, and her credits in this period included The KLF ("What Time Is Love?", "3 A.M Eternal"), Nina Hagen, Roger Waters (Amused To Death), and Graham Parker. In 1989 she reunited with her old friend Steve Marriott to record his solo album 30 Seconds to Midnite, which proved to be their final collaboration before Marriott died in a house fire in 1991. She then later worked with the UK Hardcore group Altern 8 on their single “E-Vapor-8” in 1992.

In 1994, she joined the cast of the award-winning musical Once on This Island as Erzulie, beautiful Goddess of Love. While the production was playing in Birmingham she met leading UK band Ocean Colour Scene, one of the new wave of latter-day mod groups who (like their mentor Paul Weller), idolised the Small Faces.[1] In 1995 Arnold joined forces with Primal Scream to record a blistering cover version of the Small Faces' song "Understanding", the opening track of the various artists Small Faces tribute album, Long Agos and Worlds Apart.

Arnold joined forces with Chaz Jankel, former pianist with Ian Dury and the Blockheads. This was followed by an invitation to tour widely with Roger Waters. She was a backup vocalist on his 1999–2002 tour In the Flesh (also on the CD and DVD of the same name), as well as the 2006–2008 tour, Dark Side of the Moon Live. Her version of "The First Cut is the Deepest" was featured in the soundtrack of the 2012 movie Seven Psychopaths.[10]

In 2001 PP Arnold release her full discography of Immediate Record - album The First Cut (The Immediate Anthology). It includes her famous albums "The First Lady of Immediate" and "Kafunta" as well as few additional singles. A chance encounter at a party led to Blow Monkeys frontman Dr Robert on their 2007 album Five In The Afternoon. In 2009 she toured the UK with Geno Washington and Jimmy James on the Flying Music ’This Is Soul Tour’ and has since toured around the UK in her own. In 2012 she toured the UK with Maddy Prior, Jerry Donahue, Dave Swarbrick, Thea Gilmore. In 2013 PP did a project The Band of Sisters with David Mindel a British songwriter, jingle writer and composer of music for film and television. It brings together PP Arnold, Mim Grey, Tessa Niles, Lynda Hayes, Stevie Lange Mandy Bell in the album called "Issues". In 2015 PP Arnold did her first solo tour in Cape Town, South Africa. PP Arnold is featured in the Small Faces Musical -All or Nothing’ at the Vault Theater Waterloo in which her love affair with Steve Marriott is so beautifully documented. [11]

PP Arnold finally released her Heritage recordings in album. 'The Turning Tide' is a collection of songs recorded between ’68 and ’70. Produced by Barry Gibb and Eric Clapton, the album was aborted and remained unfinished until 2017. [12] In 2017 she celebrated her 50th Anniversary in the music industry with a fall tour that coincided with her album ‘The Turning Tide’.

In 2018 PP Arnold went on two tours in Australia: in May she went on first ever Solo Tour of Australia and New Zealand[13] backed by Tim Rogers the front man for the rock band You Am I with Davey Lane and Rusty Hopkinson also members of the band; in November she returned for second tour - "The Return of PP Arnold" to Australia where she performed with  "You Am I " once again with James Black & The Wolfgramm Sisters, she also was a special guest on the Rockwiz Tour 2019 where she performed with Rockwiz Orchestra.[14]


Solo Albums[edit]

  • The first lady of Immediate - 1967
  • Kafunta - 1968
  • The Turning Tide - 2017 (recorded late ‘60s to early ‘70s)

As a chorist[edit]

Charting Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions
"The First Cut Is The Deepest" 1967 18
"The Time Has Come" 47
"(If You Think You're) Groovy" 1968 41
"Angel Of The Morning" 29
"A Little Pain" 1985 93
"Burn It Up" (with Beatmasters) 1988 14
"Evapor-8" (with Altern-8) 1992 6[16]
"Different Drum" 1998 80
"Don't Burst My Bubble/Come Home Baby (with Small Faces, Rod Stewart & P.P.) 2005 93


  • There are but four Small Faces - Small Faces (1967) - American release of the Small Faces first album
  • The Art of Chris Farlowe - Chris Farlowe's Thunderbirds - (1967) with Albert Lee and Carl Palmer
  • Rock On - Humble Pie - (1971) with the Soul Sisters, Doris Troy and Claudia Lennear
  • Bryter Layter - Nick Drake - (1971) chorus with Doris Troy on Poor boy
  • The sun, moon & herbs - Dr John (1971) chorus with Mick Jagger, Doris Troy, Shirley Goodman, Tami Lynn, Bobby Whitlock
  • Songs for beginners - Graham Nash - (1971) chorus on "Military Madness"
  • Footprint - Gary Wright - (1971) with George Harrison, Klaus Voorman, Mick Jones, Alan White, Doris Troy, Nanette Newman, etc.
  • Down the road - Stephen Stills Manassas (1973)
  • Down to earth - Nektar (1974)
  • Cry tough - Nils Lofgren (1976)
  • So - Peter Gabriel - (1986) - chorus on "Sledgehammer" and "Big Time"
  • 30 Seconds To Midnite - Steve Marriott - (1989)
  • Street - Nina Hagen - (1991)
  • Amused To Death - Roger Waters - (1992) chorus on four songs
  • Long Agos And Worlds Apart - a tribute To the Small Faces - various artists - (1995) chorus on "Understanding" with Primal Scream
  • Portraits of Bob Dylan - Steve Howe - (1999) lead vocals on "Well, Well, Well"
  • Standing on the Shoulder of Giants - Oasis (2000)
  • In the flesh : Live - Roger Waters (2000)
  • Immediate Pleasure - Various Artists - (2002) compilation album of Immediate Records with the song "Come Home Baby"
  • Flickering Flame: The Solo Years Volume 1 - Roger Waters (2002)
  • Five in the afternoon - Dr Robert (2007)
  • Seven Psychopaths - original score of the movie (2012) - features her song "The First Cut is the Deepest"


  • P.P. Arnold / Chris Farlowe : (1976)
  • P.P. Arnold Greatest Hits : (1977)
  • Chris Farlowe / P.P. Arnold : Legendary : (1979)
  • Angel... : (1986)
  • The P.P Arnold Collection : (1988)
  • Kafunta - The First Lady Of Immediate: Plus : (1988)
  • The First Cut ; (1998)
  • The Best Of : (1999)
  • Rod Stewart 1964 - 1969 de Rod Stewart : (2000) - Contient la pièce Come home baby
  • The First Cut (The Immediate Anthology) : (2001)
  • Rod Stewart A Little Misunderstood: The Sixties Sessions (2001) - Come home baby
  • Rod Stewart & The Steampacket – Can I Get A Witness - Idem : (2001)
  • Immediate Pleasure - Artistes Variés (2002) - Album compilation des disques Immediate contenant la pièce Come home baby de 1967
  • Angel Of The Morning : (2006)
  • The Best Of P.P Arnold - The First Cut Is The Deepest : (2006)
  • The Best Of P.P Arnold : (2007)
  • P.P Arnold : (2008)


  1. ^ a b c "P.P. Arnold". NNDB.com. Soylent Communications. Retrieved July 31, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d Simone, Michael. "An Interview With PP Arnold". RogerWaters.org. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "P. P. Arnold". MakingTime.co.uk. Retrieved July 31, 2007.
  4. ^ Patress, Mark (March 2012). Phil, Alexander (ed.). "Heart and Soul — Steve Marriott". Mojo (222): 71.
  5. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London, UK: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 30. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  6. ^ Brennan, Joseph. "Gibb Songs: 1970". Retrieved June 11, 2013.
  7. ^ P.P. Arnold official website - Music - 1970-1980
  8. ^ Burglar at AllMusic
  9. ^ "PP Arnold - London's First Lady of Soul - Biography". pparnold.com. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  10. ^ IMDb Soundtrack
  11. ^ "All Or Nothing 'The Mod Musical'". www.allornothingmusical.com. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  12. ^ "Soul Singer P.P. Arnold's Lost Album With Barry Gibb, Eric Clapton Cleared for Release". Billboard. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  13. ^ Francis, Hannah (May 20, 2018). "P. P. Arnold review: Melbourne gets a visit from a soul treasure". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  14. ^ Grady, Ken (December 14, 2018). "LIVE REVIEW: P.P. ARNOLD AT THE GOV". The Upside News. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  15. ^ "P P ARNOLD | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  16. ^ "ALTERN 8 | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved January 26, 2019.

External links[edit]