Monthly Archives: December, 2011

O.V. WRIGHT-WE”RE STILL TOGETHER.

O.V. WRIGHT-WE”RE STILL TOGETHER. I’ve always thought that O.V. Wright was one of the most underrated Southern Soul singers of his generation. In some ways, his music was overshadowed by the success of Al Green, who was on the same label as O.V. Hi Records. Whereas, Al Green had numerous critically acclaimed albums, O.V. only …

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THE TEMPTATIONS-ALL DIRECTIONS.

THE TEMPTATIONS-ALL DIRECTIONS. When The Temptations were recording what became All Directions, the group were determined not two songs that eventually appeared on the album. One of these songs was Papa Was A Rolling Stone, and The Temptations were absolutely determined not to record the song. They felt that the song wouldn’t provide them with …

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DR JOHN-IN A SENTIMENTAL MOOD.

DR JOHN-IN A SENTIMENTAL MOOD. Anyone who collects records or CDs will tell you that one of the biggest buzzes for a collector is either finding an obscure or rare album in the most unlikeliest of places. For me this has included, many years ago finding mint editions of rare soul albums in a dark …

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THE CHI-LITES-TOBY.

THE CHI-LITES-TOBY. Often an album fails to do as well as it should’ve commercially, because of a lack of promotion and advertising. This is almost becoming a recurring theme for readers of this blog. When Stax was heading towards insolvency, albums like Shirley Brown’s Woman To Woman suffered this fate, while DJ Rogers believed his …

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THE DETROIT SPINNERS-MIGHTY LOVE.

THE DETROIT SPINNERS-MIGHTY LOVE. When The Detroit Spinners signed for Atlantic Records and hooked up with producer Thom Bell there was a huge turnaround in their fortunes. Their first two albums, 1967s The Original Spinners and 2nd Time Around in 1970, hadn’t been commercial a success. Only 2nd Time Around had charted, reaching number 199 …

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DONNY HATHAWAY-DONNY HATHAWAY

DONNY HATHAWAY-DONNY HATHAWAY After listening to Lala Hathaway’s album Where It All Begins, I thought that I’d revisit her father Donny Hathaway’s eponymous second album, Donny Hathaway. Previously, I’ve written about Donny’s stunning debut album Everything Is Everything, released in July 1970. On its release, the critically acclaimed Everything Is Everything reached number seventy-three in …

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DJ ROGERS-ON THE ROAD AGAIN.

DJ ROGERS-ON THE ROAD AGAIN. Some time ago, I wrote about DJ Rogers debut album for RCA Records It’s Good To Be Alive, released in 1975, which gave him a hit album, reaching number thirty-six US R&B charts. Sadly, the story of DJ Rogers is one of an artist with a huge amount of talent, …

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THE O’JAYS-IDENTIFY YOURSELF.

THE O’JAYS-IDENTIFY YOURSELF. The O’Jays 1979 album Identify Yourself was the last in a series of eight albums the group released on Philadelphia International Records that was either certified gold or platinum. This remarkable sequence of hugely commercial and critically acclaimed albums started in November 1972, with their debut album for Philadelphia International Back Stabbers, …

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ESTHER PHILLIPS-YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY, BABY.

ESTHER PHILLIPS-YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY, BABY. Not only did Esther Phillips have one of the most distinctive voices in music, but she was one of the most versatile vocalists of her generation. Whether it was soul, jazz, blues or even funk or disco, she could handle a song with aplomb, and deliver it with …

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GLADYS KNIGHT AND THE PIPS-ALL I NEED IS TIME.

GLADYS KNIGHT AND THE PIPS-ALL I NEED IS TIME. Although Neither One of Us was Gladys Knight and the Pips final album released while they were signed to Motown, one further album was released after they’d signed to their new label, Buddah Records. This was All I Need Is Time, a hugely underrated and excellent …

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THE JONES GIRLS-GET AS MUCH LOVE AS YOU CAN.

THE JONES GIRLS-GET AS MUCH LOVE AS YOU CAN. Over the years, The Jones Girls have been compared favorably with such luminaries of soul music as The Emotions, The Three Degrees and The Supremes, and their backing vocals have graced albums by some of the biggest names in music, including Betty Everett, Teddy Pendergrass, Lou …

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MELBA MOORE-MELBA.

MELBA MOORE-MELBA. In a recent article on Deniece William’s album My Melody, I explained how sometime, I bought an album because of who’d either produced or played on an album. With Deniece William’s album My Melody, Thom Bell had produced the album, and I’ve always been a fan of Thom’s work on the many Philly …

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THE STYLISTICS-HURRY UP THIS WAY AGAIN.

THE STYLISTICS-HURRY UP THIS WAY AGAIN. The story of The Stylistics has some similarities with that of The Delfonics. Both groups were among the finest purveyors of the Philly Sound and both were produced by Thom Bell. However, when Thom stopped working with each group, their music never had the same depth or quality. Even …

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JERRY BUTLER-THE BEST LOVE.

JERRY BUTLER-THE BEST LOVE. Jerry Butler’s role in the Philadelphia International Records story was more than just a singer. Over the years, he wrote songs a number of songs either with Gamble and Huff, or on his own and worked as a producer for the label. This he did during the two periods he was …

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MINNIE RIPERTON-COME TO MY GARDEN.

MINNIE RIPERTON-COME TO MY GARDEN. Although I’ve previously written about Minnie Riperton’s music, with articles on Adventures In Paradise and Perfect Angel, I’ve as yet, to write about her debut solo album Come To My Garden. Today is an opportunity to revisit what was Minnie’s first album after leaving Rotary Connection. Come To My Garden saw …

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ARETHA FRANKLIN-I NEVER LOVED A MAN THE WAY I LOVED YOU.

ARETHA FRANKLIN-I NEVER LOVED A MAN THE WAY I LOVED YOU. Recently, I’ve come to the conclusion that the most overused word in the English language is the word “classic.” Nowadays, something can’t just be good, it must be a classic. It doesn’t matter if someone is talking about a book, cuisine, technology, a building …

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EDDIE HAZEL-GAMES, DAMES AND GUITAR THANGS.

EDDIE HAZEL-GAMES, DAMES AND GUITAR THANGS. A few years ago, in 2006, I was listening to an Atlantic Records box set What It Is! Funky Soul and Rare Grooves 1967-1977, when I came across an Eddie Hazel track California Dreamin.’ Wow, the Mama and Papas song never sounded like this I remember. I started trying …

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MARLENA SHAW-SPICE OF LIFE.

MARLENA SHAW-SPICE OF LIFE. Recently, I wrote a review of Marlena Shaw’s 1977 album Sweet Beginnings, and in that article mentioned an album that featured two songs that will forever be associated with Marlena Shaw. These songs are Woman of the Ghetto and California Soul, both of which were on Marlena’s 1969 Spice of Life. …

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BILLY PAUL-ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE.

BILLY PAUL-ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE. After Billy Paul released his hugely successful and critically acclaimed Let ‘Em In album in 1977, he was under pressure to deliver a worthy successor to such a great album. By then, Billy had become Philadelphia International Records first male superstar. His star had been in the ascendency since he’d …

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THE DELFONICS-TELL ME THIS IS A DREAM.

THE DELFONICS-TELL ME THIS IS A DREAM. Of all the groups that walked through the doors of the Sigma Sound Studio in Philadelphia, The Delfonics were one of the pioneers of the Philly Sound. Under the watchful eye of Thom Bell, one of the triumvirate of producers that  included Gamble and Huff, Thom helped define …

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