The Jones Girls – 1980 – At Peace With Woman

Classic Jones Girls for Philly! The record’s a landmark album in the shift from Philly disco to sophisticated modern – and the smooth tight vocals of The Jones Girls are to the latter half of Philly what the runaway singing of Three Degrees were to the early half. Includes their excellent remake of the Stylistics’ “Children of the Night” – which has a cool sample riff on the intro – plus the cuts “I Just Love The Man“, “When I’m Gone“, “At Peace With Woman“, and “Back In the Day”. One of the best female records on Philly International, and with excellent work by Dexter Wansel and Kenny Gamble!  Tracks A1 Children of the Night 5:11 A2 Let’s Celebrate (Sittin’ on Top of the World) 4:19 A3 Dance Turned Into a Romance 4:29 A4 I Close My Eyes 4:56 B1 At Peace With Woman 4:31 B2 When I’m Gone 4:49 …

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The Supreme Jubilees – 1980 – It’ll All Be Over

With roots as a gospel quartet, The Supreme Jubilees self-released their debut album in 1980. With only 500 copies pressed, it’s been in demand by enthusiasts ever since. It’s easy to see why as the band flex from classic, feel-good gospel “I Am On The Lord’s Side” to the silky, honey-toned emphatic soul of “You Don’t Know” via stomping, clam-tight funk jams such as “Stop Today“. Truly timeless. A gospel album from the end of the 70s, but a set that works equally well as a soul album too – thanks to the beautiful presentation of the grooves and the vocals! The vibe here is often laidback – more in a mellow Marvin Gaye sort of mode – surprisingly slinky and sexy for such a spiritual group, as are the lead vocals from Dave Kingsby – one of those singers who might have been huge, had he left the gospel …

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Johnny Guitar Watson – 1977 – A Real Mother For Ya

Johnny Guitar Watson at the top of his game – working here in a sublime mix of funk, blues, and soul – all crafted into a groove that was uniquely Watson‘s own! Johnny may have started the 70s in relative obscurity – down from some hit work in the 50s and 60s – but by the time of this set, he was back on top, and working in a confident groove that few others from his older era could ever hope to achieve! There’s a youthful sense of sex and soul that run through the entire set – an effortlessly slinky groove that never goes too over the top in the funk department, and which makes just the right use of electric instrumentation and tripped-out production, but never gets too wrapped up in either – and often comes off with some great jazzy touches as well. Tracks A1 A Real …

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Sweet Thunder – 1978 – Sweet Thunder

Formed in 1975 in Philadelphia, by Booker Newberry III (keyboards, lead vocals). The other members were Charles Allen Buie ((lead guitar, keyboards, lead vocals), Rudell Alexander (bass, vocals), John Aaron (drums, vocals), David Thomas (16) (keyboards, vocals). Newberry began his professional singing career in the group Mystic Nights around 1971. Moving to Philadelphia he became the lead singer of Sweet Thunder. Signing with the Philly-based record label WMOT Records, the group’s single, “Baby I Need Your Love Today” b/w “I Don’t Care What You Say,” stirred interest and was picked up for distribution by Berkeley, California based Fantasy Records. The group recorded three albums, Above The Clouds (1976), Sweet Thunder (1978), and Horizons (1979), the latter of which saw the single “I Leave You Stronger“, go to #63Billboard R&B chart in late 1979. Newberry joined another WMOT Records group, Impact, who was best known for the dance hits “Give a Broken Heart …

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The Unifics – 1968 – Sittin’ In At The Court Of Love

Rip and research by Mr.Moo The one and only album by The Unifics – and a beautiful precursor to the solid group sounds of the east coast early 70s. The group’s got some wonderful harmonies – still raw, but showing the strength of smooth production to hit some very strong moments. Arrangements are by Richard Rome, Bert De Coteaux, and a very young Donny Hathaway – and the lead singer of the group is AI Johnson  who went on to release a couple of highly acclaimed albums, including ‘Peaceful’ (in 1978), ‘Back For More’ (in 1980) and ‘My Heart Is An Open Book’ (in 1998). Tracks A1 Court of Love 2:49 A2 Which One Should I Choose 2:03 A3 Tables Turned 3:10 A4 Harper Valley PTA 4:11 A5 This Guy’s In Love With You 4:30 B1 Toshi Sumasu 3:13 B2 It’s All Over 3:16 B3 People Got to Be Free …

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The Jackson Sisters – 1976 – The Jackson Sisters

 An amazing bit of soul – and one of the rarest funk records of the 70s! This masterpiece was recorded by The Jackson Sisters, a semi-gospelly soul group that has a sound that’s a bit like The Voices of East Harlem, but that’s a lot harder, and that has a deeper soul sound overall! At times, the group is funky – as on their incredible track “I Believe In Miracles“, a rare groove classic if there ever was one, and one of the most in-demand tracks. At other times, the girls have a mellower soul sound, with great raw harmonies that remind us of the Volt work by The Emotions, but with much rougher instrumental backing. This album’s the only one they ever cut – and it’s just about impossible to find in the original pressing (and in fact, we’ve never seen a copy!) Apart from the amazing cut “Miracles”, …

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Johnny Adams – 1969 – Heart & Soul

 Of all great singers of southern soul one of the most forgotten is Johnny Adams and this album is his best. Produced by Shelby Singleton for SSS International Records, show the warm, baritone’s voice of Adams in a heartbreakers ballads and raw mid-tempos. Wonderful “Release Me” (compare with the version of Engelbert Humperdinck), “In a Moment of weakness”, “Real live Living Hurtin’ Man” and above all, “Reconsider Me“, one of the great singles of 60’s soul. Tracks A1 Georgia Morning Dew 3:25 A2 In a Moment of Weakness 2:35 A3 Real Live Living Hurtin`Man 3:10 A4 Lonely Man 2:37 A5 I Won`t Cry 2:17 A6 Release Me 2:46 B1 Proud Woman 2:40 B2 I Can`t Be All Bad 3:04 B3 A Losing Battle 2:23 B4 Living on Your Love 1:45 B5 Reconsider Me 3:50 LLBig Easy-born soul singer, Johnny Adams, possessed a magnificent set of pipes – his athletic, gospel-reared …

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Arthur Prysock – 1976 – All My Life

This is a must have for all R&B, Disco and Philly Soul fans out there! Arthur Prysock had a long and varied career as a vocalist of high repute, lending his velvet baritone to jazz, blues, R&B, pop and disco, having been inspired by his musical hero Billy Eckstine. Prysock was discovered by the jump blues band leader Buddy Johnson while living and working in Hartford CT, where he had honed his talents in several groups during his time off. Johnson installed Prysock as his lead male vocalist and they recorded several hits together for Decca in the 40’s before Arthur went solo, touring the chitlin circuit, sometimes accompanied by his brother Red Prysock, (an exhilarating tenor saxophonist) with whom he also recorded. Before long ‘I Didn’t Sleep A Wink Last Night’ gave Arthur his first solo R&B hit on Decca in 1952 charting at a high of #5, and …

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Jimmy Scott ‎– 1970 – The Source

A must for those who like Soul/Jazz Ballands. It’s probably safe to say that no one has a voice quite like Jimmy Scott’s.  Add kickass musicians like Junior Mance and Ron Carter and you get one hell of an album.     It is extraordinary to think that one of the finest singers in the history of, well, ever spent a large part of his career working as lift attendant in Cleveland. Trapped in an unjust recording contract, Jimmy Scott was effectively forced to retire despite the fact that he had recorded some of the most graceful vocal albums in music. The Source is one such masterpiece: a collection of spine-tinglingly powerful torch songs. It’s a testament to this man’s talent and humanity that he conveys such meaning and hope through every lyric, despite a life riddled with hardship. Restrictive recording contracts aside, Scott was orphaned as a teenager and lived …

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The Best Of Both Worlds – 1975 – I Want The World To Know

 Review by RDTEN1 Short-lived Washington, D.C. based soul and funk outfit fronted by singer Winfield Parker. Prior to The Best of Both Worlds, Parker had accumulated a lengthy list of credentials as a sideman and as a solo act recording singles for a wide array of labels including Arctic, GSF, and Spring.  In the mid-’70s he hooked up with drummer Ralph Fisher who had previously been in one of Parker’s touring bands.  The band eventually attracted the attention of Washington, D.C. based promoter Clayton Roberts.  Roberts in turn helped the band get signed by Nate McCalla’s New York-base Calla Records. Co-produced by Roberts and Al Johnson, 1975’s “I Want the World To Know” offered up a decent mixture of “love man” ballads (‘I Want the World To Know‘), James brown-styled funk numbers (‘Broad Jumping‘), and more commercial funk (‘50 – 50‘).  To be totally objective, nothing here was particularly original, …

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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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