Milton Wright – 1977 – Spaced

One of the most unique soul records you’ll ever own  a tremendous little set from the mighty Milton Wright! Milton’s probably best known for his first album, Friends & Buddies, but this set is arguably even greater  an even more personal, unusual session that blends wonderfully written songs, heartfelt vocals, and some really offbeat production techniques! There’s a bit of an acoustic vibe to the set at times  guitar gently grooving alongside Milton’s vocals  but the set also has a jazzy tinge too, with hip inflections amidst the arrangements that created a really sophisticated pattern of sounds for the record. Things start somewhat mellow, but quickly get grooving  bringing in bits of keyboards and more electric guitar to warm things up, and hitting a sublime style that’s unlike anything else we can think of. Wright’s vocals often have a spaced out feel that’s in keeping with the album, but the album’s hardly laidback  and has a great sense of focus throughout.

Tracks
A1   She Can Have Anything She Wants 2.43
A2   Dance Have Fun 4.48
A3   Magic Music 3.39
A4   All I Know Is That I Have You 3.14
A5 Let’s Take A Break 1.48
B1   You Like To Dance 4.59
B2   You Don’t Even Know Me 3.13
B3  Leave Me Alone 3.40
B4   Be
With Me 2.43
B5   Job 3.06

Review by Trakbuv

Had this been a blog cataloguing the history of manned flight, I would have had plenty to write (!).  As it happens, the father of the Wright Brothers may have shared his name with Milton, but not his compassion for our music.  As such, there appears to be only scant information about this elusive gent.  With respect to sharing his name, one Betty Wright does have the accolade of being his sister – is this further proof that soul music is a hereditary trait ?  Must be in them soul bones (thank you, The Trammps).  Anyhow, Milton Wright will be well known to many of you as the guy who gave us ‘Keep it up’, the sassy Moog-laden beat number that has blared out on numerous respectable dance halls.  Some of you may also be fortunate to be familiar with the long player from which this single was pulled: ‘Friends and Buddies’ from 1975 – a rich, beautifully crafted box of goodies.

Well, Nikos has kindly provided us with the extremely obscure follow-up to that masterpiece.  Released on the Alston subsidiary of TK Records (to whom his sis was also affiliated at the time), this was a commercial failure – but since when has that been a mark of a record’s longevity ?!!  Fate dealt a second blow when stacks of the unsold pressings were destroyed in a warehouse fire.  However, sufficient copies did survive to tell a wonderful tale – ten tales in total.  The set is written solely or jointly by Mr Wright and produced once again by Seth Snyder, with Milton presumably contributing his musicianship on the guitar.  Things push off with ‘She can have anything she wants’, a pleasant Modern Soul groover with curiously muffled (spaced-out ?) overdubbed vocals – maybe not the most captivating song to start an album with.  ‘Dance have fun’ is a great disco thumper with the Morse for SOS seemingly played throughout to give it an urgent edge, and that extended break to finish is a gas.  The next track reminds me how similar Milton and Leroy Hutson are in their slender vocal tones and adventurous production.  ‘Magic music’ has a lovely light and breezy quality.  A track I was familiar with is the warm, caressing ‘All I know is I have you’, a simple message drifting in a gentle sea of strings and flutes – beautiful.  Then it’s the funky, impudent, bass-driven ‘Let’s take a break’ – a precursor to Prince’s ‘Kiss’ ?  With some phat Tower Of Power sounding horns thrown in – this is waaay too brief.

That familiar sound of chattering guitars and sweeping strings herald the disco-orientated ‘You like to dance’.  Not bad, but unfortunately his vocals are exposed as particularly unsuitable for the genre.  Not sure why, but ‘You don’t even know me’ reminds me of ‘Keep it up’ – it has that same insistent quality.  Wisely introducing a female background vocalist for the first time, this is my highlight.  Although ‘Leave me alone’ sounds like a slowed down version of the preceding track, it has a charm all of its own.  Leroy Hutson comes back to mind here at his mighty midtempo best, hugging you like a warmed blanket.  Brilliant, and his best vocal performance.  The cheerful ‘Be with me’ again uses dual tracked vocals to provide a lilting, strangely hypnotic experience.  The spiritual ‘Job’ (the biblical figure) is a melodic closer that lacks a little something – maybe a female choir to give it a more wholesome feel.

More soulful/dance and less jazz-orientated than its predecessor, and arguably less successful because of it, this is still an enchanting episode that was a real pleasure to sit through.  The quality is undeniable and another extremely worthy and rare addition to these hallowed pages.

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Buy the cd here and listen the wonderful “Leave Me Alone”

Download link

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Comments

  1. Dreamer456 says:

    Thanks so much. Can’t wait to give it a listen.

  2. k02 says:

    Appreciate it Nikos

  3. Robin says:

    Very Nice! As usual.

  4. SoulSauce says:

    Ayo, “Leave Me Alone” is soundin real nice. Good lookin.

  5. Josh says:

    Thanks for this. You are awesome!

  6. hooch says:

    Sweet! – Thanks Nikos!

  7. Ray Hendrix says:

    Great Post Thank U! Milton has a very famous sister….her name is Betty. Yes Milton and Betty Wright are brother and sister. Both recorded for the Alston label

  8. nikos1109 says:

    Yes, enjoy Betty Wright http://www.funkmysoul.gr/?p=74 and two more of her albums comes very soon.

  9. pedro says:

    thanks for this ,leave me alone great track you’ve done it again nikos

  10. jaguar says:

    Lovely LP.

    Many thanks.

  11. Trakbuv says:

    I love this first album, the description has my mouth watering for this one! Thanks.

  12. mellowgangsta says:

    quality posting as always. What a gem!! Thanx Nikos, thanx Trakbuv for this one………

  13. Tobias Funke says:

    Wow, what a great share. I didn’t know this LP even existed until recently – and I’ve been collecting this stuff for about 23 years!

    Many thanks and in the words of Milton’s most well-known song (to us old Rare Groove fans at any rate) “Keep it up”!

    (Oh and finding out tbat he’s the brother of Betty Wright is pretty amazing too!).

  14. Krisch says:

    Thanks alot!

  15. Anonymous says:

    thanks for posting

  16. Noa says:

    nice one! Top quality posts. keep up the good work!

  17. invisiblenigma says:

    Thanks Nikos and Trakbuv!! Great Post

  18. Jonah says:

    just by reading the write up…i can’t wait to give this one a listen. Sounds like the perfect types of tunes for a warm L.A. day. Thanks Nikos!

  19. Thxer says:

    Thank you very much…

  20. Grandpuba says:

    Everybody who is in love with this super dope record, head over to jazzman.co.uk and grab the reissue. It sounds whodapadoopasupatroopa FAT. It is limited to 1.000 copies (the vinyl). Support the tremendous job Gerald does.
    Peace out

  21. Son says:

    Sounds wonderful to me. Thank u.

  22. Daidodread says:

    thank you

  23. Simon says:

    Thanks for this; this is great stuff. Milton Wright is best known in my house for the classic Northern Soul instrumental The Gallop and it’s vocal version I Belong To You.

    Go here to here that particular classic:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbXGVvUwSio

  24. Jake says:

    Very nice music and thanks for sharing this album with us. I can’t think of anything better than listening to good music.

  25. serdar says:

    Great Post

  26. Seth says:

    Wow…looking forward to this…Thanks!
    Regards

  27. phatrapper says:

    Thanks for sharing Nikos!

  28. T.A. says:

    A very nice Album,
    I love that style!

  29. Owl says:

    Lovely.. been looking for this for quite a bit now.
    Cheers mate!

  30. clu says:

    omg, this album is nuts. and that break is dope too.

  31. rich says:

    nikos thank u for this great album.

  32. Bobby says:

    This is really great stuff! Thanks.

  33. Fernando says:

    Thank you for giving me the chance to hear this gem!

  34. bill says:

    Hi There, Ive always loved your blog and been pretty crap about saying thanks, but this time I have to as Ive been wanting to hear this for years and am so poor I cant afford the reissue right now!! Thankyou so much!!!!
    Bill

  35. Arthur says:

    awesome album. I’ve enjoyed it from the beggining to the end (which is rare in some “funky” albums).

  36. ADE_0NE says:

    Bro thanks so much for this, been tryin to get my hands on it for time!

  37. Coxinga says:

    First of, love your site man, big up for the great work you’ve been doing, been shitty at saying thanks for it, so many many thanks; been searching (and never ever finding it) this one for a really long time.
    thanks for sharing!!

  38. Geewiz says:

    Great music!!!

  39. Dj Snef says:

    This is great! Especially like the opening track! Crazy!

  40. Trudy says:

    Thank you for always being generous with wonderful music!

  41. Drumaddic says:

    This album is ok. I def prefer friends & buddies though. Nice blog.

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