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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Santa’s Funk & Soul Christmas Party

  We wish you and your families Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year 2015. Peace and Blessings!  One of the coolest Christmas compilations we’ve seen in years – a package that’s filled with rare funk and soul singles from the 60s and 70s – all of which have a Holiday theme! Almost all the tunes on the set are original numbers – which means that the songs are totally fresh, and not just reworked versions of Christmas standards – and all the tracks come from tiny independent labels, which means there’s an extra gritty edge to the whole thing – hardly the sort of sleepy Christmas record you might know from your youth! The funky 45 label Tramp put the whole thing together, with the same energy they usually bring to 7″ vinyl.   Tracks A1 Detroit Junior -Christmas Day 2:16 A2 Lee Rogers – You Won’t Have To …

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Rufus Thomas – 1972 – Did You Heard Me?

One of the best funky LPs by Rufus Thomas – recorded in the early 70s with backing by The Movement and The Bar Kays, and with a good raw Stax sound on most cuts! Rufus is certainly in the “funky ” mode here – doing a formulaic approach to funk that has him taking a theme for a song, and pushing it to the max by shouting and grooving it over and over again. Fortunately, the style still works well here – without the cliches of later albums, probably thanks in part to the album’s tight funky backgrounds. The record features three tasty two-part single tracks – “The Breakdown (parts 1 & 2)”, “Do The Push & Pull (parts 1 & 2)”, and “Do The Funky Penguin (parts 1 & 2)” – all of which stand as some of Rufus‘ most-collected funky singles. Tracks A1 (Do The) Push & Pull …

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Carol Woods – 1971 – Out Of The Woods

A rare 70s soul set from Carol Woods – a singer who’s done a fair bit of work on the musical stage, but who has plenty to offer in this obscure debut album! The record was mostly cut in New York, yet only issued in the UK – which is part of the reason for its obscurity – and the sound is full, proud, and plenty darn soulful – almost a post-Supremes sort of vibe, but with a hipper 70s approach – very well put together by producer Beau Ray Fleming, who’s probably better known for his later work with Mandrill and Sun. Woods‘ vocals are full and rich, but never overdone – and she reminds us a lot of some of her other 70s contemporaries who’d worked the stage, but could slide into a soul session equally well – such as Melba Moore. Tracks A1 Bigger Than I 2.11   …

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Jay Dee – 1974 – Come On In Love

 Review by Mark Brian Mathew The Maestro pulling strings and much more in the background, yet again. With Jay Dee’s one-off album “Come On In Love” there’s another rare and highly collectable piece of work indeed worth having it on the player if one loves a touch of soul so familiar and great in the early to mid-seventies. And yes, it has Barry White written all over it, with up-tempo funky soul rhythms in smooth contrast with all the lush orchestration expected from the Walrus of Love. Tracks A1 Jay’s Theme 2:30 A2 Strange Funky Games and Things 6:51 A3 You’ve Changed 5:34 A4 I Can Feel Your Love Slipping Away 4:00 B1 Come On in Love 4:46 B2 I Can’t Let You Go 3:45 B3 Your Sweetness Is My Weakness 3:29 B4 Thinking of You 2:35 B5 You’re All I Need 3:10   As for Jay Dee, alias Earl Nelson, …

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