Thursday, December 24, 2009

Garland Green: You Make Me Feel So Good (Ocean-Front)

All Garland Green's albums are a must for true soul lovers. This is the last one and was issued in 1983 on Ocean-Front thanks to the influence of Tyrone Davis that was under contract with the independent Californian label at the time. Enjoy this fantastic midtempo.
you make me feel so good

Bobby Story: If Every Man Had A Woman Like You/Let's Do Something Different (Proud)

This is the almighty Bobby Patterson under a different guise. The album was issued in 1982 on his own label Proud Records out of Dallas, Texas. Rare and collectable eighties Soul!
if every man had a woman like you
let's do something different

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Citation: Inspiration Of My Life (Red Line)

Originating from the Detroit area, this is an infectious stepper with great vocal harmonies. To read the full story about Terrence Forsythe and the group follow the link below
terrence forsythe
inspiration of my life

Donald Wilson: I've Gotta Get Myself Together (Columbia)

Not a floorfiller but simply a fabulous Soul record to satisfy even the most esigent listener. Written and produced in 1969 by John Hill.
I've gotta get myself together

Jean Shy: We've Got A Good Thing Going/You've Got To Take It (Fox Car)

Sweet soulful double sider by an artist still hitting the street, issued in the early 70s. Jean's voice is in great shape. Stunning!
we've got a good thing going
you've got to take it

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Original Drifters: Just Let Your Heart Be Your Guide (Sounds South)

This incarnation of the famous soul band was formed by Bill Pinkney recruiting an Atlanta group called The Teals, right before a European tour when original members left. On returning to the US The Teals broke with Pinkney and continued under the name of The Original Drifters. This 1978 recording is the only one by them and is a stomping dancer.
just let your heart be your guide

"Sensational" Little Doc: Looking For My Baby (Music-GO-Round)

A North Carolina record, issued in 1974. This is the first of four releases only by the Music-GO-Round label. Little Doc's vocals are powerful and the backing band, The Rhythm Express, do their job. Luv it!
looking for my baby

The Spaniels: Maybe (Buddah)

I used to play this record massively many years ago when I purchased a copy after listening to it somewhere. Recently I saw it in a list selling for £75 so I pick it up again, discovering that it still sounds very good. The Spaniels started their career in the '50s and had a long and successful career. This single is a one-off for Buddah and was recorded in 1969. At that time the group consisted of the great Pookie Hudson, Charles Douglas, Alvin Wheeler, Alvin Lloyd, and Pete Simmons.

Karen Small: To Get You Back Again (Venus)

Written and produced by Don Julian, a talented singer, musician, writer, arranger, producer and performer, this is a West Coast record. Set at a slow pace the song is characterized by great vocal harmonies and clean arrangements. Karen Small had another valuable single on the same label titled "Hey Love".
to get you back again

Serena Johnson: All Work & No Play (Big 2)

This is the original version of Vivilore Jordan's Stafford classic on Task. The record comes from Memphis and has a strong Southern feeling, with deep vocals and a funky guitar pushing the song all over. A long time favourite of mine.
all work & no play

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Crosswind: Fire (It's Getting Hot) (Harbor City)

A superb 12" from Philadelphia, produced by Billy Butler and arranged by Al Johnson, two old foxes with a pedrigree. Based on a catchy melody, it has written 'hit' on it but unfortunately things went different. Raved by top dj Soul Sam, a man with good taste.

Donald Albert: The Hardest Part (Run-A-Way)

This extremely soulful version of Curtis Anderson' s rarity on Brown Bag has received a lot of attention on the modern scene. It was issued in the late 80s on a 12" and like the Crosswind track of the previous review shows us how many good tracks come from that period.
the hardest part

Love, Peace & Happiness: Strip Me Naked (Rca)

Probably the best track from the classic album "Love Is Stronger" (not forgetting "Lonely Room"), this small masterpiece is starting to get the attention it deserves. The band was a trio that featured the brothers Melvin and Leslie Wilson plus Ann Bogan from Michigan. A real grower produced by Harvey Fuqua.
strip me naked

Cam Cameron: They Say (Capri)

Another fine record from this tiny label operating in Chicago. I have the red label but a cream coloured copy exists too. The song is built up on a solid drum pattern, with simple but good vocals. Occasionally played out, it is very appreciated by the crossover brigade.
they say

Eddie Bo: Our Love (Will Never Falter) (Blue Jay)

Eddie Bo passed away on March 18, 2009. As a tribute to his unbelievable career nothing can be better than this record. Issued in 1965, it sums up all the ingredients of Eddie's work. Led by a funky guitar that explodes in a wild solo near the end, this is the cream of New Orleans Soul. Rest in Peace, Eddie.
our love (will never falter)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Junei: You Must Go On/Let's Ride (Pharaohs)

From 1987 a quality indie soul record out of Gary, Indiana (by coincidence the city where Michael Jackson was born). While "You Must Go On" is an atmospheric midtempo number, the flip is a crazy instrumental affair that will stay in your head forever.
you must go on
let's ride

Momie-O: You're Welcome, Stop On By (I Dentify)

A groovy version of Bobby Womack's 1974 hit, sung by Vickie Anderson (real name Myra Barnes), one of the first female singers to work with James Brown. Her husband Bobby Byrd is also backing. With such big names involved, the result could not be anything less than a masterpiece.
you're welcome, stop on by

The Ascots: Let's Seranade Our Love/She's So Indifferent To Me Now (Crazy Cajun)

The Ascots were a trio based in Texas. The album "Color Me Soul" was produced by the veteran producer Huey P. Meaux and was issued in 1978 on his Crazy Cajun Records. Besides the two excellent tracks "Let's Seranade" and "She's So Indifferent", there is more stuff to investigate. Not to be missed by crossover soul enthusiasts.
let's seranade our love
she's so indifferent to me now

Skip Jackson & The Shantons: Promise That You'll Wait (Dot-Mar)

Oh yes, this record is sooo good!!! On side 1 there is a great late 60s Northern Soul dancer, very indemand in the last years. Flip it over and things are even better with this sumptuous ballad. Skip Jackson (real name Tommy Brown) was from Jersey City, NJ and started his career with the Shantons at the end of the fifties, during the Doo-Wop era (and it doesn't sound strange if you listen closely to the backing vocals of "Promise").
promise that you'll wait

The Festivals: Checkin' Out (Blue Rock)

The Festivals were a trio from Dallas discovered by Jerry Ross, one of the key figure in the creation of the Sound of Philadelphia. Earl Moss, the lead singer, did most of the writings. "Checkin' Out" is hidden on the flip of the Northen Soul classic "Hey Girl" but should get more exposure. They had other fine material on Smash and Colossus.
checkin' out

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Jaisùn: Keepin' It To Myself (Jett Sett)

Jaisun McGillian was born in San Antonio Texas, daughter of a New York jazz singer. In 1966 she moved to Los Angeles and became a member of the World Famous Platters. Later she joined Martha Reeves and The Vandellas. Her album is produced by legendary Motown writer and producer William "Mickey" Stevenson. The single "I Fall In Love Everyday" was a hit in 1977 but the best effort is definitely this side. Recently she wrote and directed "The Anatomy of a Woman Abused", a play based on her life.
keepin' it to myself

Band Of Thieves: City Slicker/I'm In Love (Ovation)

Super Funky Soul from an obscure Midwest group that originates from lead singer and keyboard player Napoleon Crayton, assisted by arranger Herb Pilhofer. This is their premier and only album. If you want to save money, a reissue should be available on the market.
city slicker
I'm in love

The Seven Souls: I'm No Stranger (Italian CBS)

This is the original top side of the Northern Soul monster "I Still Love You". It was written by saxophonist (and lead singer in this occasion) Henry Moore and by guitarist Bob Welch, who later reached success with Fleetwood Mac. An ace double sider, produced by Larry Williams. The Italian copy is highly collectable for the amazing picture of the band.
I'm no stranger

Jon Lucien: Search For The Inner Self (Ampex)

The debut record of this cult artist native of the island of Tortola, the largest of the British Virgin Islands. Produced by Beau Ray Fleming (Zulema, Mandrill, GQ), the song is driven by the percussion of Bernard Purdie. For those interested, it is a long time Paul Weller's favourite too.
search for the inner self

Shirley & The Shirelles: Never Give You Up (Bell)

A classic side written by Philly Soul masters Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Jerry Butler and interpreted by of one the most famous female vocal groups of all times. It was cut in 1969 when Doris Coley had left and they were a trio.
never give you up

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mel & Tim: Forever And A Day/It's Those Little Things That Count (Stax)

Mel Hardin and Tim McPherson were cousins from Holly Springs, Mississipi, who traveled to Chicago where they were discovered by Gene Chandler. With the big hit 'Backfield In Motion' behind them, in 1972 they recorded in Muscle Shoals the second album, written and produced by Phillip Mitchell. The good tracks are too many to mention so I have selected a couple as appetizer.
forever and a day
it's those little things that count

Leon Ware: Journey Into You (Gordy)

The title says it all: we are treated with a tonic massage of astonishing soul music. Leon Ware had several great LPs but try to find this one because it is probably his best. Year 1976 was so special for Leon, he had written the 'I Want You' album fo Marvin Gaye plus his debut for Berry Gordy's label. Immense!
journey into you

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Spyder Turner: I've Been Waitin' (Whitfield)

Taken from the album 'Music Web' (1978) and produced by Norman Whitfield, this powerful dancer is getting popular between modern soul lovers. Skilfully arranged with strings, horns and female backing vocals, it should easily find a place next to Motown's best efforts of the period.
I've been waitin'

Sundray Tucker: If It Was Me (T.K.)

Written and produced by Clarence Reid on the legendary T. K. Records, this lovely early 80s groover has received attention over the last months. Sundray, a Philadelphia singer, also performed under the name Cindy Scott and her most notable single was the Northern Soul classic 'I Love You Baby' on Veep.
if it was me

Friday, June 19, 2009

Patti York: He's Coming In The Morning (United Artists)

I found this record, a midtempo female dancer simple but rather infectious, several years ago, after reading about it in a magazine. If my memory serves me right, it was a Blackpool Mecca spin. Patti had another record on United Artists that is much more common.
he's coming in the morning

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dee Dee Warwick: Fire In My Heart/What Does It Take (Sutra)

Dee Dee has always been a favourite of mine. Even if she had a great voice, at least as good as that of Dionne, she never received the acclamation of her famous sister. The album was recorded at Nashville in 1984 and is worth a listening, not just for the nice cover of an all time classic.
fire in my heart
what does it take

City Limits: Words Without Love (Tsop)

Another gem born at Sigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia. City Limits were a quartet consisting of Terri Wells, Clayton Wortham, Ronald Richardson, and Vickilyn Reynolds. This album only track comes from their sole album "Circles" and is a superb mid-70's dancer.
words without love

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Billy Boomer: You Can't Hide/I Like What She's Doin' (Blast)

If you are into 80s soul this marvellous double sider should not miss in your collection! Beside the super cool label, both sides are good enough to attract the attention of a discernig crowd. The use of electronic is competent and does not collide with the intensity of vocals.
you can't hide
I like what she's doin'

Gene Middleton: No One To Love Me (Funk Factory)

According to Sir Hambling's Deep Soul Heaven, Gene Middleton was from Florida. This is the 4th and last single of his short career. The sound is raw and funky as suggested by the name of the record company on the label. His warm voice is very appreciated by Southern Soul lovers.
No one to love me

The Profiles: I Still Love You (Bamboo)

This is the best release by the Profiles on Bamboo. The label was located at 1321 South Michigan, Chicago, and had a big hit in 1969 with Mel and Tim's "Backfield In Motion". Issued in the same year, "I Still Love You" is a good example of what was going on in the soul land at the turn of the decade. If you are into crossover this little great record should satisfy your soul.
I still love you

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Odyssey: Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love/Battened Ships (Mowest)

Not to be confused with the New York based group of the same name, this Odyssey were a small band out of California. The album is sought after for these two movers, especially the latin-tinged "Battened Ships" that was not released on 45. The Mowest label was handled by the West Coast office of Motown.
our lives are shaped by what we love
battened ships

Popcorn Wylie: How Did I Lose You (Abc)

A Detroit legend on his only album, issued for Abc records in 1974. The name on the credits are the best of the Motor City soul scene (Lamont Dozier, Dennis Coffey, Davit T. Walker, etc.). The track list is fabulous so do not hesitate to search for an original copy or the recent reissue on CD thanks to Dusty Groove America. Richard ‘Popcorn’ Wylie passed away in 2008, aged 69.
how did I lose you

Eddie Billips & The C.C.C.'s: Shake Off That Dream (Gar-Pax)

What an exciting mix of a Modern Soul classic! The version on Seventy Seven is great but this one makes me crazy. Solid drum patterns, slap bass lines, horns and there you go, we are in heaven. A rare record to obtain on the original label. Eddie is the same artist a Shorty Billups.
shake off that dream

Jimmy Norman: I'm Leaving (This Old Town)/If You Love Her (Show It) (Mercury)

The best term to describe Jimmy Norman's music is "powerful". With a long list of excellent 45s in his curriculum, the man played with Jimy Hendrix and wrote the lyrics of "Time Is On My Side". This double sider was issued in 1967. Beside the Northern Soul classic "I'm Leaving" the gritty "If You Love Her" stands on its own.
I'm leaving
if you love her

Amanda Love: You Keep Calling Me By Her Name (Chess)

A 1967 record issued by Chess after being originally released on the indie label Starville. Hidden on the flip of a poppish uptempo number, this side is much better. Set at a pace good for the Popcorn scene, the song has great vocals and subtle hammond chords.
you keep calling me by her name

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tony Fox: Love Let Love And Be Loved/I Wanna Get Next To You (Blaster)

A legendary LP on the funk and soul scene, issued in 1981. Apparently Tony Fox was a taxi driver in New York, who financed the record himself. Both sides we have selected appeared also on a ridiculously rare 45 to promote the album, with slighty different versions. "Love" is a frantic funky affair, with tremendous bass lines.
love let love and be loved
I wanna get next to you

Zingara: I Surrender/You Sho' Know How To Love Me (Wheel)

This fantastic album was written and produced by Lamont Dozier on the independently distributed Wheel label. Other tracks worth a mention are the ballad "Love's Calling", with James Ingram on lead vocals, and the dancer "Wonder Love". Zingara was a Los Angeles based quartet.
I surrender
you sho' know how to love me

Jimmy McCloud: Don't Make The Angels Cry/I Blew It (Tribe)

A Motor City record with great vocals and sophisticated arrangements. Side one is more uptempo while the flip is built on a funky guitar that stands out with a jazzy solo in the middle of the song. Jimmy McCloud has another classy single on Corn.
don't make the angels cry
I blew it

Maurice Jackson: Forever My Love (Weis)

Weis Records operated out of Chicago around 1968-1969 and was distributed by the Stax label. Maurice Jackson's "Forever" is a catchy midtempo, that has not received the attention it deserves (Irish Greg gave it a try at the Capitol Soul Club many years ago). Without doubt a quality tune.
forever my love

Eldridge Holmes: Lovely Woman (Deesu)

Uptown, Down South! This is one of my favourite sounds from New Orleans and was produced by Allen Toussaint and Marshall Sehorn. Eldridge Holmes had a bunch of 45s for different labels like Alon, Jet Set, Sansu, Deesu, Decca, Atco, Brown Sugar and Kansu. From the opening guitar riff to the end, two minutes of pure magic.
lovely woman

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spanky Wilson: Easy Lover (Westbound)

A legendary vocalist with a cult following between jazz, funk and soul fanatics. "Easy Lover" was written and produced by Al Kent and has a strong Detroit connection. A top tune, huge at Soul Essence. Another goodie from the album is the title track "Specialty Of The House".
easy lover

The Voices Of East Harlem: Take A Stand (Just Sunshine)

Formed in East Harlem (that's simple!), The Voices Of East Harlem were a vocal group made of up to 20 members. This album only track comes from the stunning 4th LP "Can You Feel It?" and it was written and produced by his majesty Leroy Hutson.
take a stand

The Tams: This Precious Moment (Sounds South)

Rare modern soul from this group who had several R&B hits in the 60s. This one was recorded in 1978 at Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and became a firm favourite in South Carolina. The flip side is a decent remake of the classic "Hey Girl Don't Bother Me".
this precious moment

Arthur Adams: I Can't Believe My Eyes (Blue Thumb)

A record available for a few dollars but quality wise a true gem. It is from Arthur's first album "Private Tonight". Arthur Wright was born in Tennessee but in the late 60s moved to Los Angeles where he begun his career.
I can't believe my eyes

Judson Moore: Everybody Push And Pull (Capri)

This powerful crossover from the Windy City has received regular air plays over the years. It was recorded in 1970 and with its funky rhythm and catchy vocals still sounds great. The label had other interesting releases.
everybody push and pull