Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song

If you only want one CHRISTMAS cd in your collection,you simply must choose this one.NAT and CHRISTMAS are linked together.This cd was beautifully remastered in 1999 and will pass the test of time forever.You may have listened to many CHRISTMAS albums in your lifetime,but very few have this overall quality of singing with a nice display of harmony behind it.What distinguished NAT is his great sensibility that always transpired in his best recordings.You’ll want to comeback to it year after year.Only FRANK SINATRA’s 1957 offering comes close in matching this classic for the ages.A big mistake for you would be to listen to it alone after many drinks.The tears just might come to you. Singing traditional Christmas songs with dignity and feeling, this Nat King Cole holiday album gloriously captures the spirit of the season. Without fireworks, improvisations, catchy rhythms, or unusual variations, Cole gives us songs full of love …

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The Original Soul Christmas

It can’t get much classier than toasting the holidays with soul music. The elegant sleigh bells and brass arrangements compliment each other almost as perfectly as presents and loved ones. Bring SOUL CHRISTMAS to your holiday gatherings, and you’ll be sure to please. Booker T & The MGs’ jumping versions of favorites like “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” and “Jingle Bells” bring back the childlike joy of the holiday season. To hear Otis Redding and Ray Charles wrap themselves around “White Christmas” and “Christmas Time” makes it only better. SOUL CHRISTMAS is the hippest, most soulful Christmas album on the market. These timeless soul renditions of holiday classics will please even after the last snowfall. Tracks 1. Clarence Carter – Back Door Santa 2:08 2. King Curtis – The Christmas Song 2:55 3. Otis Redding – White Christmas 3:06 4. Joe Tex – I’ll Make Everyday Christmas (For My …

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J.J. Barnes – 1973 – Born Again

Main Review by Soulmakossa Rip, Research, Posting and additional info’s by Nikos  A rare set from Detroit soul legend JJ Barnes!  Although Barnes originally started as a lighter, groovier northern soul singer, this “comeback” album from the early 70s has him singing in a very heavy, full-on righteous style, with lots of slow soulful tracks. Surprisingly, this style works well – and uncovers a side of Barnes that we wouldn’t expect. Patrick Adams, Deodato, and Tony Bell handled the arrangements.            Tracks A1 Can’t See Me Leaving You 3:24 A2 Time Is Love 3:29 A3 Good Men Don’t Grow on Trees 3:17 A4 You Are Just a Living Doll 4:30 A5 Wishful Thinking 4:34 B1 You Owe It to Yourself (Part 1) 4:13 B2 You Owe It to Yourself (Part 2) 4:12 B3 No Ifs and Buts 3:38 B4 I Just Make Believe (I’m Touching You) 3:43 J.J. …

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The Choice Four – 1975 – The Choice Four

Rip & Research by Raphy, Main Review by RDTEN1  Posting and additional info’s by Nikos One of the greatest albums by this sweet east coast vocal group – also known to folks as the Golden Apples album, because of the crate full of gold-covered apples on the cover. The album’s got a wonderful mellow harmony sound,  arranged and produced by Van McCoy, much more in the style of his early uptown soul work than some of his other more overblown mid 70s work. Features the sublime stepper “When You’re Young & In Love“, the hit “I’m Gonna Walk Away From Love“.  Like Detroit, Memphis, and Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. had a vibrant 1960s/early-1970s musical scene with more than its share of talented soul outfits.  The difference is that D.C.’s scene wasn’t as well as organized as some of the former locales.  As a result, much of the city’s talent has been forgotten over the years.  …

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Allen Toussaint – 1975 -Southern Nights

Damn great work from Allen Toussaint – a record that was cut at a time when he’d really made his way into the mainstream of American music, yet could still come across with a hard New Orleans groove! The title cut, “Southern Nights“, is a perfect illustration of this fact – as it was written by Toussaint, but became a big hit for Glen Campbell, who recorded a very soppy version of the number. Yet here, Allen turns it into a weird trippy tune – produced with great Sansu production, and backing by New Orleans legends like Leo Nocentelli, George Porter, and Art Neville – all of whom help the tune bristle with new energy, and a really sinister groove. The rest of the record continues in a similar vein – with a spacey LA mellow sound that actually works great for Toussaint’s vocals, and gives them a wild flanged-out …

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Chuck Jackson – 1969 – Goin’ Back To Chuck Jackson

Main Review by mag1c_hands Rip & Research by Mr.Moo Posting and additional info’s by Nikos A real change for Chuck Jackson! This album is the singer’s first on Motown – and it’s a striking departure from his earlier work on the Wand label, which was often done in a classier, more polished soul style that was more in keeping with the uptown mode of Wand’s New York production. This one’s in a much deeper soul style – with elements of southern production, and more of a hard soul sound that brings out a raspy edge in Chuck’s vocals, and makes him sound a bit like Tyrone Davis. He covers tracks like “Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever“, “Can I Change My Mind“, and “The Chokin Kind” – very much in the manner of the original rougher soul versions. In fact, the “Goin’ Back to Jackson” tag seems to be a reference to the south …

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The Staples Singers – 1972 – Be Altitude : Respect Yourself

This is The Staple Singers most popular and best album. Along with the mega-hits “Respect Yourself” and “I’ll Take You There“, the album is filled out with several excellent songs. This album is what probably the Staple Singers’ spring board to becoming more of a house hold name. The creative juices from the production, writers, musicians, songs and the Staple Singers’ vocal delivery must have been created by some kind of divine intervention! If you’re a big fan of the 70′s Staple Singers, this is definitely the album to start your collection. Tracks A1 This World 3:39 A2 Respect Yourself 4:54 A3 Name the Missing Word 4:03 A4 I’ll Take You There 4:47 A5 This Old Town (People in This Town) 4:42 B1 We the People 3:50 B2 Are You Sure? 4:27 B3 Who Do You Think You Are (Jesus Christ Superstar?) 4:10 B4 I’m Just Another Soldier 3:50 B5 Who …

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Booker T. & The M.G.’s – 1971 – Melting Pot

 Main Review by Blues Duke Rip, Research, Posting and additional info’s by Nikos Melting Pot could be the most well-realized of all the albums by Booker T. & the M.G.’s, a smooth and soulful, yet expansive 35 minutes of all originals, the latter in sharp contrast to their exploration of the Beatles’ Abbey Road album material on their preceding album. And the irony was that it was their swan song. Booker T. Jones, in particular, was increasingly unhappy working at Stax/Volt Records, owing his feelings to management and structural changes at the company, and also felt the need to change the group’s formula somewhat. Steve Cropper was playing lots of session work that was keeping him from recording in Memphis as well, and the result was an album recorded mostly in New York City, far away from Stax/Volt and largely built on the group’s (especially Jones‘) best impulses. That said, Melting …

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Diana Ross – 1970 – Diana Ross

DIANA ROSS’ solo debut was one of the most eagerly anticipated albums of 1970..Here for the first time we get to hear all of Diana’s early solo work from 1969 until the lp’s final release in early 1970..Including the 4 tracks that have been in Motowns vaults for over 30 years..The tracks were produced by Bones Howe (Time and Love, Stoney End, The Interim and Loves, Lines Angles and Rhymes)…Diana’s amazing vocal versatility is showcased with these unreleased treasures…Teaming Miss Ross with Ashford and Simpson was a match made in Motown heaven..Masterworks such as Ain’t No Mountain, Reach Out And Touch, Your All I Need, Dark Side Of The World, Now That Theres You, and Keep An Eye were arranged to suit Diana’s amazing vocal abilities.. Their striking arrangements and Diana’s powerful vocals make this an instant CLASSIC…every track on this release is a pop and R&B masterpiece.. Tracks A1 …

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MFSB – 1973 – Love Is The Message

A key moment for the Philly soul scene of the 70s – and the first album to feature the MFSB backing group as a solo act on their own! The ensemble were responsible for key sounds on countless soul singles of the time – yet also find a way to soar beautifully on their own – in a sweet instrumental groove that matches the strength of Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra, and which was definitely a key inspiration for the sound of the Salsoul Orchestra! There’s definitely a bit of early disco in the mix, but the style’s more uptempo east coast overall – that pre-disco groove that was going down in the clubs – with larger strings added to a core group of funky rhythm players. Gamble & Huff production make the whole thing sparkle, and arrangements are by Vince Montana, Bobby Martin, and Jack Faith – on titles …

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Glady’s Knight & The Pips – 1973 – Imagination

A pivotal album for Glady’s Knight & The Pips – as the record features their super-huge hit “The Midnight Train To Georgia“, a landmark track that not only had a catchy pop hook, but which spoke volumes about African-American migration in the postwar years. The track’s one of those you’ve heard a million times, but it’s got a strength that still holds up tremendously. Part of this is due to great production work by Tony Camillo – who handled arrangements and studio work on about half the tracks – and part is due to Jim Weatherly, who wrote the song, and about half the others on the album. The whole album’s great – one of the best Buddah Records moments for the group. Tracks A1 Midnight Train to Georgia 4:38 A2 I’ve Got to Use My Imagination 3:29 A3 Storms of Troubled Times 3:44 A4 Best Thing That Ever Happened to …

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The Isley Brothers – 1973 – 3+3

The Isleys were already tight with just Ronald, Rudolph, and O’Kelly, but they did the smartest thing by including Marvin,Ernie,and Chris Jasper. For years the momentum was building up to this point (Brother, Brother, Brother in particular), but 3+3 just knocked everything out the box. There were no rules here. They covered everything from soul, funk, rock, even covers (Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight and Summer Breeze for sure!!!).The Isley Brothers becoming a self contained band was the best thing that ever happened to them, because it made their catalog richer. For the next 10 years they would create some of the best albums in history, but it started here!!!! Tracks A1 That Lady 5:35 A2 Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight 4:00 A3 If You Were There 3:22 A4 You Walk Your Way 3:08 A5 Listen to the Music 4:07 B1 What It Comes Down To 3:54 B2 …

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Stevie Wonder – 1976 – Songs In The Key Of Life

One of those rare double albums (double and a half, really, since it originally came out on 2LPs and an EP), Songs In the Key of Life might just be Stevie Wonder’s true masterpiece. Rarely have I found such an uplifting set of songs which manage to avoid schmaltz and address hard political issues whilst at the same time maintaining an upbeat attitude. It’s almost impossible not to have your spirits lifted when it comes on, and musically speaking it’s also incredibly adventurous, with Stevie not only knocking out some all-time soul classics but also dabbling in funk, jazz fusion, a little prog on the side, and drawing a little on classical music too. Simply put, Stevie draws more or less everything which interests him musically into one massive package here and gets the absolute best out of everything he dabbles in. The end result is magnificent. Tracks A1 Love’s …

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Otis Redding ‎– 1964 – Pain In My Heart

 Main Review by AMG Rip, Research, Posting and additional info’s by Nikos Like most R&B albums of the early 1960s, Otis Redding’s 1964 debut was a haphazard mixture of the artist’s contemporary hits (“These Arms of Mine,” “Pain in My Heart“), B-sides (“Something Is Worrying Me,” “Hey Hey Baby“), and covers of popular hits of the day (“You Send Me,” “Stand by Me“). Stylistically, Redding was still trying to find his feet; though he obviously had the voice and ability to pull off tender ballads like the title track, he hadn’t yet given up on trying to scream like Little Richard (“Lucille“). Uneven as they may be, the tracks on Pain in My Heart get over on the sheer soulfulness of Redding’s singing. Worth the price of admission alone is the underrated “Security“, which was the first in a string of great uptempo Redding originals. Tracks A1 Pain in My Heart …

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