Monthly Archives: January, 2012

DIMITRI FROM PARIS-GET DOWN WITH THE PHILLY SOUND.

DIMITRI FROM PARIS-GET DOWN WITH THE PHILLY SOUND. For anyone who like me who is a huge fan of Philadelphia International Records, 2012 is going to be year to enjoy. A number of compilations, box sets and live albums are being released to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff founding Philadelphia …

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CHOCOLATE MILK-ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS.

CHOCOLATE MILK-ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS. During their career, Chocolate Milk recorded with both Allen Toussaint and Paul McCartney and released eight albums. Of these eight albums, their debut album Action Speaks Louder Than Words is probably the best known. Released in 1975, Action Speaks Louder Than Words is a mixture of funk and soul. …

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THE ISLEY BROTHERS-HARVEST FOR THE WORLD.

THE ISLEY BROTHERS-HARVEST FOR THE WORLD. What people forget about when they talk about The Isley Brothers career is both the longevity of their career and how successful a career they had. In a career that saw them release their first album Shout in 1959 and their last album Baby Makin’ Music in 2006, they …

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GLADYS KNIGHT AND THE PIPS-ABOUT LOVE.

GLADYS KNIGHT AND THE PIPS-ABOUT LOVE. By 1980 when Gladys Knight and The Pips released About Love, their career had stalled, with the group at a crossroads in their long and distinguished career. This run of hugely commercially successful albums began with their final album on Motown Neither One of Us and Lasted until 2nd Anniversary, …

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AL KENT-THE BEST OF DISCO DEMANDS.

AL KENT-THE BEST OF DISCO DEMANDS. Now previously, I’ve written about quite a few disco compilations, but never one like this. This is something quite different and very special. The other disco compilations I’ve reviewed were good, very good, but this takes disco compilations to a new level. Whereas the other compilations had either one …

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L.T.D.-SOMETHING TO LOVE.

L.T.D.-SOMETHING TO LOVE. I’ve always been one of these people who studies sleeve notes on albums carefully, to see which musicians played on an album, or even who arranged or produced the album. Sometimes this pays off, because you end up finding some great music. Often, I buy an album blind, having never heard it …

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ETTA JAMES-AT LAST!

ETTA JAMES-AT LAST! As someone who has always loved soul music, I’ve long been a fan of Etta James music. Miss Peaches had one of the most recognizable, charismatic and soulful voices you’ll ever have privilege of hearing. From 1954, until her final album The Dreamer, released in November 2011, her music touched the hearts …

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SADE-LOVE DELUXE.

SADE-LOVE DELUXE. Now when you buy as many albums as I do, you tend to end up listening to the music you’ve just bought, at the expense of some of the older music that lurks in the corners of my music collection. With fifteen-hundred or more albums to choose from, then finding just the right …

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THE STYLISTICS-CLOSER THAN CLOSE.

THE STYLISTICS-CLOSER THAN CLOSE. What never ceases to amaze me is how sometimes, a group can go from being one of the biggest and most successful groups in soul music, to almost the forgotten men of soul music. It seems that fame is indeed temporary. Some people may say that form is also temporary, and …

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LIVIN’ THE NIGHT LIFE AND SATURDAY HOUSE FEVER.

LIVIN’ THE NIGHT LIFE AND SATURDAY HOUSE FEVER. While disco provided the soundtrack to the seventies, garage was one of the genres of music that provided the soundtrack to the eighties. Like disco in the seventies, garage in the eighties and nineties both feature on a Backbeats compilations. Whereas seventies disco featured on Yowsah, Yowsah, …

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YOWSAH, YOWSAH, YOWSAH.

YOWSAH, YOWSAH, YOWSAH. Dance, Dance, Dance, (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah) sang Chic in 1977, on what became one of their classic tracks. That track became one of the classic tracks of the disco era. However, Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah is also the title of an excellent compilation of 70s New York Disco released as part of the …

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SAM COOKE-NIGHT BEAT.

SAM COOKE-NIGHT BEAT. Like many so many people, one of my favorite soul singers of all time has to be Sam Cooke. When in November 2011, I saw that RCA were releasing an eight disc box set of some of Sam Cooke’s greatest albums, I just had to have a copy. It’s a good way …

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PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL: THE RE-EDITS.

PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL: THE RE-EDITS. Sometimes, once you’ve heard that a new album will be due out soon, then you can’t wait to get your hands on to review. That’s how I felt about Harmless’ latest compilation, Philadelphia International: The Re-Edits, which I’ve waited to hear for a number of weeks. This is just the latest …

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SHATTERED DREAMS-FUNKY BLUES 1967-1978.

SHATTERED DREAMS-FUNKY BLUES 1967-1978. Over the many years I’ve been collecting first vinyl, even tapes and now CDs, I’ve lost count of the number of compilation albums I’ve bought. I won’t admit to what the total must be, all I’ll say is that it’s into four figures, so you can speculate to your hearts content. …

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BILLY PAUL-FIRST CLASS.

BILLY PAUL-FIRST CLASS. First Class was Billy Paul’s ninth and final album for Philadelphia International Records, released in 1979. After some hugely successful singles and albums, including Billy’s 1972 album 360 Degrees of Billy Paul and Let ‘Em In, and singles like Let ‘Em In and Mr and Mrs Jones, Billy had decided to retire …

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THE DETROIT SPINNERS-NEW AND IMPROVED.

THE DETROIT SPINNERS-NEW AND IMPROVED. After their two previous albums 1973s Spinners and Mighty Love released in 1974, had reached number one in the US R&B Charts, resulting in both albums being certified gold, when The Detroit Spinners released New and Improved, in December 1974, they hoped to make this a trio of US R&B …

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MITTY COLLIER-SHADES OF A GENIUS.

MITTY COLLIER-SHADES OF A GENIUS. When I was writing my review of The Fame Records Story-1961-1973, one of the tracks I mentioned was Mitty Collier’s Take Me Just As I Am which she recorded at the legendary Fame Studios in 1968. Until the box set was released last year in 2011, this excellent track had …

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THE FAME RECORDS STORY-1961-1973.

THE FAME RECORDS STORY-1961-1973. Over the years I’ve accumulated many boxed sets, some of which are stunning, some merely good and a few that were to put it politely a rip-off. Three box sets that fall into the stunning category are the trio of Stax box sets which document every single the label ever released. …

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SHUGGIE OTIS-FREEDOM FLIGHT.

SHUGGIE OTIS-FREEDOM FLIGHT. What’s the best way to describe Shuggie Otis? Prodigious, musical virtuoso and vastly underrated is a good start. Certainly Shuggie was something of a child prodigy, first playing the guitar aged two, and playing with his father Johnny’s band from the age of twelve. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Shuggie released …

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LOVE AND JEALOUSY AND BACK TO MY PLACE BABY.

LOVE AND JEALOUSY AND BACK TO MY PLACE BABY. If I was to say the words Southern, Deep, Crossover, Modern and Northern what would you say? Many people would immediately say soul. They would be correct, but they’re also the themes for some of the Backbeats compilations that have been released since 2009. In total, …

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