Donny Hathaway – Never My Love : The Anthology

  Review by Michael Patrick Hicks I, like many others, came to Donny Hathaway’s music through his duets with Roberta Flack. Well, one song called “The Closer I Get To You“. It was included on a Flack compilation I had recently bought. His voice just floored me. He sounded like a smoother Stevie Wonder. But the fact is – Stevie Wonder sounded like him. Donny’s debut album had a huge effect on Stevie’s singing. Listen to the change in Wonder’s vocal delivery from 1970 onwards. The Motown genius was so impressed with Hathaway’s debut – he bought a number of copies and gave them as gifts to friends, family and those in the industry.  During his short life, Donny Hathaway released only three solo studio albums. His debut, Everything Is Everything, from 1970; 1971’s Donny Hathaway, and Extension Of A Man, which appeared in ’73. As timeless as these studio …

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Chanson – 1978 – Chanson

Starting of as a broad assemblage of studio musicians, Chanson were led by bassist James Jamerson Jr. (son of the famous Motown bassist James Jamerson) and guitarist David Williams. The two of them met while playing with Temptations and they hatched the idea of Chanson. They released the superb debut album with such hits as the #21 Billboard Hot 100 chart smash “Don’t Hold Back” which also entered the R&B top ten at #8, plus the top twenty US Dance Chart classic “I Can Tell“.  The album also featured Earth, Wind & Fire‘s horn section, and Boz Scaggs‘ rhythm section which will assure a spot in everyone s soul music collection. Tracks A1 Don’t Hold Back 4:23 A2 I Can Tell 7:03 A3 I Love You More 3:49 B1 Why 4:25 B2 Did You Ever 4:33 B3 All the Time You Need 5:10 A duo comprising guitarist David Williams, and …

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Esther Phillips ‎– 1972 – From A Whisper To A Scream

 Esther Phillips had a long and storied career and all of her recordings for KUDU have something nice on them, but this is probably the best one.  The credits for “From A Whisper To A Scream“, Esther’s 1972 Kudu debut – considered by many to be her finest album for the label – lists such renowned players as Hank Crawford on sax, Eric Gale and Cornell Dupree on guitar, Bernard Purdie on drums, Richard Tee on keyboards and Gordon Edwards on bass.  Also enlisting the cream of background singers (Joshie Armstead, Hilda Harris and Tasha Thomas) giving Esther just the right vocal cushion for her blues-tinged interpretations of works by everyone from poet/singer Gil Scott-Heron and the great Marvin Gaye to New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint and soul man Eddie Floyd. Tracks A1 Home Is Where the Hatred Is 3:25 A2 From a Whisper to a Scream 4:15 A3 To …

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Exit 9 – 1975 – Straight Up

A very essential issue.  A top killer funk groove and hard to find on original vinyl.  The one and only album by Exit 9 — an obscure funk combo who recorded this rare set for Brunswick in 1975! The group is extremely tight instrumentally — working at a very fast funky clip that’s kind of similar to work by Bohannon or Sound Experience — both of whom shared Exit 9′s pre-disco approach to dancefloor grooves — more fast-funk than the tighter club sound of later years, and proof that a funky combo could hit the dancefloor if it had the right groove! Most numbers have vocals, and instrumentation includes lots of nice guitar work that keeps a rawer edge on the tracks — choppy and gritty in a really great way.  Tracks A1 Jive Man 5:05 A2 Straight Up 3:19 A3 Julie I Love You 3:47 A4 Fly 3:37 B1 …

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The Delfonics – 1970 – The Delfonics

Intro Review by Dusty Groove  Main Review by AMG Rip, Posting and additional info’s by Nikos  The Philly legends.  The third album in an amazing early run from The Delfonics – the kind of work that set a whole new standard for group soul in the 70s! A number of the tracks here had already risen to fame before the album’s release as singles – and these are mixed with some additional tracks that are woven together in a near-perfect symphony of sound! The mighty Thom Bell arranged most of the numbers here – save for 2 by Anthony Dorsey – and the group’s heavenly harmonies are in amazing form on both mellow ballads and a few more righteous numbers.   It was the group’s only album to crack the Billboard top 100 (peaking at #61) and contained five charting singles, including the majestic “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)“, a top 10 …

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Prince Phillip Mitchell – 1978 – Make It Good

Intro review by Dusty Groove  Main Reviews from Amazon Rip, Posting and additional info’s by Nikos The long-overdue full length debut from Phillip Mitchell – an artist who cut some great singles over the course of the 70s and also wrote a fair bit of classics for other, bigger name acts! Phillip did some of his earlier work of the decade in both Memphis and Muscle Shoals – but he also had a key relationship with Norman Connors as well, who helped Mitchell take his southern roots into even more sophisticated soul territory! Mitchell produced the album himself – and arranged with Paul Riser and McKinley Jackson – and the overall sound is a wonderful blend of deeply personal vocals with smoother mellow soul grooves – a really top-shelf affair all the way through, and the kind of album that’s only finally getting its due many years later! Tracks A1 Star In The Ghetto 7:12 A2 You’re …

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Evelyn “Champagne” King – 1977 – Smooth Talk

Intro review by Dusty Groove  Main Reviews from Amazon Rip, Posting and additional info’s by Nikos Wonderfully smooth soul from Evelyn Champagne King, one of her real standouts from the early days, and a tremendous collaboration with producer/arranger T Life! The sound here is upbeat and catchy, but never too poppy, done with a slight hint of that groove that King would hit more famously in the 80s, but served up here with a deeper sense of warmth, and a slightly more laidback feel. King is classy without being cloying – just like a sip of the right sort of champagne – and T Life’s backings often have a slight undercurrent of funk. Tracks A1 Smooth Talk 5:29 A2 Don’t Know If It’s Right 4:17 A3 Till I Come Off the Road 2:38 A4 Dancin’, Dancin’, Dancin’4:13 B1 Shame 6:35 B2 Nobody Knows 4:31 B3 We’re Going to a Party 3:48 B4 The Show …

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The Mirettes – 1969 – Whirlpool

Intro reviews by SoulStrut   Main Reviews by AvidOldiesCollector Rip, Posting and additional info’s by Nikos The Mirettes got their start as the back-up singers for the Ike & Tina Turner Show, better known as the Ikettes. In the late 1960s they left and renamed themselves the Mirettes. Under their new name they recorded two records, In The Midnight Hour, their first, and this, their second entitled Whirlpool. They have a fine mix of funky Soul numbers like “Sister Watch Yourself“, “Whirlpool“, the midtempo “Heart Full Of Gladness“, and more traditional Soul cuts such as “Something’s Wrong“, “At Last (I Found A Love)” with a nice repeating breakdown, and a stripped down cover of “Stand By Your Man”. The ladies also break out with the Gospel influenced “If Everybody’d Help Somebody“. No matter what the style, the three singers deliver some fine group vocals always backed by a strong horn section. Tracks A1 Sister …

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Switch (1978) Switch – Switch (1979) Switch II

Intro reviews by Dusty Groove  Main Reviews by Allmusic Rip, Posting and additional info’s by Nikos A seminal bit of seventies soul from Switch, and a record that really helped set the tone for countless others to come in the 80s – no surprise, given that the group’s got members from both the DeBarge and Ingram families! There’s a warmth here that few others can match – an earnest, honest quality that never gets lost, even amidst the well-crafted instrumentation and tight production of the record – almost an updated legacy of the early 70s east coast scene, but never polished up too much at all! There’s some wonderful harmonies that work perfectly on both the upbeat and mellower numbers – warming things up beautifully. Tracks A1 I Wanna Be With You 3:51 A2 There’ll Never Be 5:22 A3 I Wanna Be Closer 4:14 A4 We Like to Party…Come On 3:46 B1 Fever …

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Sandra Phillips – 1970 – Too Many People In One Bed

Intro by Dusty Groove – Main Review by Derek Anderson Rip, Posting and additional info’s by Nikos Sandra’s a heck of a singer – and even though she only got a chance to cut this one album, it’s more than enough to make her tops in our book! Jerry (Swamp Dogg) Williams produced, and the set’s got a sweet southern style that puts it right up there with the best work of Ann Sexton, Tommie Young, or other obscure southern females from the same generation – a great mix of heartbreaking soul and more righteous modes – definitely enough to show that despite her deep feelings, Sandra’s no pushover! Williams wrote most of the songs as well – but they’re quite different from his usual fare, quite sensitive stuff without any of the Swamp Dogg jokes or political moments you might expect. Tracks A1 Rescue Song 2:40 A2 It’s Been Down So …

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L.T.D. – 1977- Something To love

Review by Dusty Groove Rip, Posting and additional info’s by Nikos A great little groover from LTD, and perhaps their most perfectly realized LP! The album features arrangements by Philly Soul maestro Bobby Martin – and in a way, Martin’s style works better for the group than most of their other arrangements. He mixes together funk, club grooves, and smooth soul with a sophistication that matches that many talents of the group without spreading them too thin. Jeffrey Osborne’s vocals really shine on this one, too.  Something to Love is the fourth album release for the Los Angeles, California -based band, L.T.D.. On their fourth release, L.T.D. was on fire with a number-one album on the R&B chart and number-one R&B single (Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again also charting number 4 on the pop chart. Tracks A1 Age Of The Showdown 5:41 A2 (Won’t Cha) Stay With Me 3:59 A3 (Every Time I Turn Around) Back In …

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The Topics – 1978 – Wanted Live By a Million Girls

Rip by King Poppa  Review by Groovegirl  Posting and additional info’s by Nikos We come across myths in the real world of music every time we stroll next to a crate of our Local Salvation Army. Οh my god, you don’t know the value until they tell you so. That’s a place where this LP was found. Too bad that SA in Greece doesn’t have crates like those. Supposedly, you just picked it up with your bare groovy hands. It was sitting humbly in a fat pile ,you flip it on the back and you read “members of the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra string arrangements”. Thus you can imagine bells , angelic ring a ling a dings and shoo waps, hooting as a hell of a million killers and can’t wait for an introduction to The Topics. Fascinated that you are dealing with a rare private pressed LP from a soul group so hard to find the …

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Eddie Holman – 1970 – I Love You

  Intro by Dusty Groove Main Review by RDTEN1  Rip, posting and additional info’s by Nikos Eddie’s masterpiece LP of late sixties soul, with the classic “Hey There Lonely Girl“, the title cut, and a lot of other great original compositions. The sound on here is perfect, and nearly every cut shines. There’s almost no filler, and Eddie’s voice is strong, beautiful, and has a raspy edge that sounds great! We love this one to death, and it’s a surprisingly great album all the way through by a star that you might mistake for a one-hit wonder. Tracks A1 I Love You 3:11 A2 It’s All In The Game 3:13 A3 Since My Love Has Gone 2:38 A4 I Cried 2:45 A5 I’ll Be Forever Loving You 2:50 A6 Since I Don’t Have You 3:10 B1 Hey There Lonely Girl 3:19 B2 Let Me Into Your Life 2:20 B3 Four Walls 2:25 B4 …

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