Brick – 1976 – Good High

A killer debut from Brick – the start of a massive run at the end of the 70s, a time when the group was easily one of the biggest acts to come out of the up-and-coming Atlanta scene! Like some other Atlanta acts of the time, Brick had a way of fusing older funky soul on a tighter modern groove – coming up with a sound that was nice and lean – perfect for these key transitional years of funk – with influences that were felt for years, in places as far away as the west coast! Case in point is the album’s classic “Dazz” – one of those cuts that never gets old – nestled nicely in a lineup that also includes “Music Matic”, “Here We Come”, “Good High”, “Brick City”, and “Sister Twister”. Tracks A1 Here We Come 2:52 A2 Music Matic 3:00 A3 Dazz 5:35 A4 Can’t Wait 3:21 A5 Southern Sunset 4:03 …

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S.O.U.L. ‎– 1972 – Can You Feel It

A delight for anyone with an interest in funk, soul, groove and breaks. Sounds Of Unity and Love (S.O.U.L.) was a band originating in 1970 in Cleveland. Members were Lee Lovett (bass), Gus Hawkins (sax/flute), Paul Stubblefield (drums), and Walter Winston (guitar). Larry Hancock (vocals/organ) was added in 1971 and Bernard (Beloyd) Taylor (guitar) replaced Walter Winston in 1972. The group won the first prize of 1,000 dollars in a battle-of-the-bands contest in 1970, sponsored by the May Company department store in Cleveland, WHK radio station, and Musicor Records, and they gained a recording contract with Musicor Records for their first single “Down In The Ghetto” (1971), produced by the TOP POP Recording Company 223 Kingston Avenue, Brooklyn, New York City. Two years later, S.O.U.L. were back to New York to record ” What is It“, a LP with seven tracks of covers of jazz and funk tunes, that jumped for …

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Dorothy Moore – 1976 – Misty Blue

A pivotal moment in the development of southern soul – as the album was one of the first really big hits to come out of the growing Malaco scene in Jackson, Mississippi. The style of the record is a mix of older female southern soul styles, plus some of the warmer mellow production that was coming out of the Alston/Miami scene at the same time. And although Malaco mostly moved into cheesy blues during the early 80s, this one’s very much in a popular crossover soul style. Tracks a1 The Only Time You Ever Say You Love Me 3:31 a2 Dark End Of The Street 2:50 a3 Funny How Time Slips Away 3:48 a4 Laugh It Off 3:08 a5 Misty Blue 3:38 b1 Enough Woman Left (To Be Your Lady) 3:02 b2 I Don’t Wamt To Be With Nobody But You 4:12 b3 Ain’t That A Mother’s Luck 3:17 b4 …

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Andy Bey ‎– 1974 – Experience And Judgment

Classic album of wicked funky deep jazz vocals!  Andy Bey is well known through his association with saxophonist Gary Bartz – his mellifluous barritone graces several of Bartz’ most sought after LPs from the early 70s – but it’s on this solo album that he really shines the brightest!  Criminally overlooked by academics, critics and purists who refuse to listening to anything outside of conventional jazz vernacular, Andy Bey’s delivery on Experience and Judgment goes beyond anything he previously committed to tape, revealing a spiritual side that’s punched up and supported by a jazz-funk ensemble. The album’s opener “Celestial Blues” finds Bey delivering lines that wouldn’t be out of place on Bill Withers records from this era, and the remainder of the album sounds similar to the works of such contemporaries as Roy Ayers and Gil Scott-Heron. It’s soul soothing music that’s been played with great reverence by the rare …

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Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band – 1970 ‎– Express Yourself

A masterpiece of messed-up LA funk – and one of the crowning moments in the career of Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band! Charles and crew do an excellent job with all the tracks – most of which are more open ended than some of their earlier ones, and run on for longer than usual with some good trippy instrumental moments that really stretch out the groove from their funky 45 days. The album includes the stoner funk classic “High As Apple Pie“, done here in two “slices”, plus the classic “Express Yourself“, a monster number that still sounds great every time we hear it – even though it’s been used on commercials and sampled plenty of times over the years! Tracks A1 Road Without An End 3:10 A2 I Got Love 4:08 A3 High As Apple Pie-Slice I 7:46 A4 Express Yourself 3:50 B1 I’m Aware …

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Betty Everett ‎– 1969 – There’ll Come A Time

A great near-lost slice of Betty Everett’s career – material recorded for Uni Records, in the years after her first big hits on Vee Jay! The sound here is a lot more soulful than on earlier albums – more grown-up and sophisticated, yet also retaining the best sweeter touches that made her great in the first place. The album’s got a number of tasty originals – including the title cut “There’ll Come A Time”, Curtis Mayfield’s “Hold On”, and the cuts “Maybe”, and “You’re Falling In Love”. Tracks A1 You’re Falling In Love 2:55 A2 Better Tomorrow Than Today 3:37 A3 Maybe 2:33 A4 1900 Yesterday 2:35 A5 Sugar 2:28 A6 I Need a Change 2:23 B1 I Can’t Say No to You 2:44 B2 Hold On 2:26 B3 There’ll Come a Time 2:47 B4 Take Me 2:23 B5 Is There a Chance For Me 2:18 B6 The Same Old …

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Alton McClain & Destiny – 1978 – Alton McClain & Destiny (It Must Be Love)

 Rip and Research by Mr.Moo Posting and additional info’s by Nikos  Sweet late 70s modern soul from Alton McClain & Destiny – a great little female vocal trio with a sound that ranges from lightly funky to soaringly soulful! The group kind of follow in a tradition started by Honeycone and First Choice, and improved upon by The Emotions – and like that latter group, the girls move from the easier disco tracks that you’d normally expect, into a range of soulful styles that all come off equally well with their vocal technique. Webster Lewis handled some of the sweeping string arrangements – and players include Wah Wah Watson on guitar and Lee Ritenour on keys. Tracks A1 Crazy Love 6:57 A2 Sweet Temptation 5:57 A3 Taking My Love For Granted 3:19 A4 My Empty Room 3:54 B1 The Power Of Love 4:33 B2 Push And Pull 5:24 B3 It Must Be Love 4:42 …

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Lavern Baker – 1970 – Let Me Belong to You

 Brilliant later work from Lavern Baker – material recorded years after her bigger fame at Atlantic Records, but with vocals that are still equally sublime! The set’s got a very different feel than the blusier styles of before – and features wonderful Chicago soul production by Carl Davis and Eugene Record, but mixed with more uptown New York-styled arrangements from Teacho Wiltshire and Bert DeCoteaux – who mix strings and a bit of backing vocals with the harder rhythmic punch you’d expect from Brunswick. Some of the best cuts have a groovy groovy sound that really points the way to a whole new direction for Lavern. Tracks A1 Pledging My Love 2:33 A2 Let Me Belong To You 2:14 A3 I’m The One To Do It 2:50 A4 Baby 2:46 A5 Born To Lose 2:48 B1 Call Me Darling 2:40 B2 Love Is Ending 2:45 B3 Baby Don’t You Do …

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The Artistics – 1967 – I’m Gonna Miss You

 The Artistics I’m Gonna Miss You originally released in 1967, is a superb example of vocal group soul, in a similar vein to the Chi-Lites and Four Tops, highly collectable as an original. A Chicago R&B and soul group discovered by Major Lance, the Artistics were formed in 1958 at Marshall High School. They sang at the 1960 Democratic Convention and backed Lance before recording for Okeh in 1963. Original lead vocalist Robert Dobyne joined founding members Aaron Floyd, Curt Thomas, Laurence Johnson, and Jesse Bolian in 1963. Their early recordings for Okeh included the singles “Get My Hands on Some Lovin” and “This Heart of Mine” in 1964 and 1965. Former El Dorado Marvin Smith replaced Dobyne in 1964.  The Artistics joined Brunswick in 1966, and scored their biggest hit with “I’m Gonna Miss You,” which was also the title of their debut album for the label. They had …

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The O’Jays – 1977 – Travelin’ At The Speed Of Thought

 Review by Andre S. Grindle When I first discovered this album at the now defunct Borders Book & Music over a decade ago,I was already very familiar with the O’Jay’s vast catalog of albums. This was in the bargain bin and you could imagine the thoughts of a young man with little money at the chance of hearing an album he’d never heard of by a group he really respected. For some reason after that I never did listen to this much after that-more or less skipped songs. But the more I know of it’s history I realize,for very different reasons I probably wasn’t the only one. Tracks A1 Travelin’ at the Speed of Thought 4:59 A2 We’re All in This Thing Together 4:52 A3 So Glad I Got You, Girl 3:32 A4 Stand Up 4:46 B1 Those Lies (Done Caught Up With You This Time) 3:45 B2 Feelings 7:11 B3 …

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The Fuzz – 1971 – The Fuzz

One of the best female harmony groups of the early 70s – even if they only ever cut this single album! The Fuzz have an open, earnest style that really takes us back to group soul of the decade before – yet they deliver their work with a bolder sort of sophistication that’s definitely marked by the time – especially in the righteous undercurrents of the music, and the very cool way that many tracks begin with a “prelude” passage that’s almost poetic in nature – kind of a hipper balance to the record, in a style that so many other soul acts would use decades later, but which is pretty ground breaking here. The approach really creates a unified feel to the record. Tracks A1 I Think I Got The Making Of A True Love Affair (Prelude) 2:32 A2 I Think I Got The Making Of A True Love …

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Jack Ashford – 1977 – Hotel Sheet

One of the coolest club records ever cut – and one with a great gimmick too! That gimmick is the “hotel sheet” – an instrument created by percussionist Jack Ashford, which is a light piece of metal that’s snapped back and worth to create these cool wibbly, wobbly waves of sound – almost like a moog at times, which gives some of these tracks a bit of a P&P Records vibe! Ashford was a member of The Funk Brothers – and a percussionist on countless classic Motown sessions – but this album was recorded in LA with a sweet electric groove, and a mix of strings and funk that almost rivals Jack’s only other full album – a rare blacksploitation soundtrack. The set features full arrangements from Paul Riser, orchestrations from Gordon Staples, and the whole thing was recorded at the Marvin Gaye studios – which you can almost hear …

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Ecstasy, Passion & Pain – 1974 – Ecstasy, Passion & Pain

Seminal early disco work from Ecstasy Passion & Pain – a group with a much harder soul approach than some of their counterparts on the 70s Philly scene! Singer Barbara Roy really gives the group a wonderful sound here – working with a level of soul that matches some of the deeper soul divas of the late 60s, but able to soar along easily with the album’s full, rich Philly arrangements from Bobby Martin – in a way that gives the record a range that far surpasses most other female soul albums coming out from Philly in the 70s. Roy’s passion and vitality make the album way more than just a “singer with disco backing in the studio set” – and Martin wonderfully tailors the sound of each tune to match the spirit of Roy’s vocals. Tracks A1 Ask Me 3:20 A2 Let’s Love 4:15 A3 I Wouldn’t Give You …

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