Satisfaction Unlimited – 1972 – Think Of The Children

This is one of the rarer releases on the Hot Wax label helmed by Brian and Eddie Holland and Lamont Dozier. Satisfaction Unlimited‘s solitary album is yet another signature in the book of lost opportunities. But if I could only be remembered for one LP, I would definitely hope it was something nearly this good. Still with the one foot in the golden era of Motown, this has its good foot firmly planted in the 70s with a treasure trove of tuneful delights. Bypass at your peril, me hearties !!

This is a @320 vinyl rip of the original Hot Wax LP. A low quality rip was send a few months ago by a follower of the blog. But i never lost faith I could find a better one. So here it is.

Tracks
A1 Bright City Lights 3:43
A2
I Know It’s Love 2:35
A3 Spread Your Love Around 2:59
A4 Let’s Change The Subject 3:59
A5 Think Of The Children 4:03
B1 Time For Us 3:22
B2 Somebody Else’s Woman 2:23
B3 Why 3:21
B4 Seeing You Through The Eyes Of A Blind Man 2:37
B5 Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You 2:59
B6
Come on Back 2:19

Review by Trakbuv

This release by the obscure combo, Satisfaction Unlimited, has the unfortunate accolade of being the final long player release on the Hot Wax Records imprint. Formed originally by the legendary Holland-Dozier-Holland team in 1969, Hot Wax ran into financial difficulties in 1973 whereupon they concentrated their efforts on the Invictus outlet. However, the roots of the band actually pre-date the H-D-H collaboration (H-D-H’s first Motown release being ‘Dearest one’ in 1962). As The Marvels, they originated in the backstreets of Washington DC, comprising of Sam Gilbert (lead), James “Junior” Isom (second tenor), Ronald Boyd (baritone), and James Mitchell (bass). In 1958, they ventured to New York to record the skip-a-long pleaser, ‘I Shed So Many Tears’ with James Isom on lead. The ensuing rush of tumbleweed meant the band didn’t venture back to the studio for another 3 years, with the tuneful doo-wop ballad, ‘For Sentimental Reasons’, and the similarly slanted ‘Wedding Bells’ a year later, this time under the name of The Senators (just check out that crazy lazy piano playing!).

Several personnel changes later, they returned as The Satisfactions around ‘66 with a string of 45s on the Smash and Lionel labels. Some mighty fine and feisty tracks were included among these sides, including the urgent ‘Use me’ (love this!) and ‘Take it or leave it’. They finally hit paydirt with ‘This Bitter Earth’ in 1970, reaching #36 on the R&B Charts. This was consolidated by the radiant, midtempo ‘One light, two lights’, peaking at #21 a few months later. A gorgeous track, by the way. They changed their name to Satisfaction Unlimited a year later, the personnel now standing at Lorenzo Hines (lead tenor), James Isom (second tenor), Earl Jones (baritone), and Fletcher Lee (bass), linking up with Hot Wax in ‘72.

The years spent fortifying their sound certainly paid dividends. Just give the opening track and lead single release, “Bright City Lights”, a listen. A gentle, summery track that reminds me a little of The Rascals ‘Groovin”, it’s the effortless confidence that is so remarkable with a sound more reminiscent of a band with a score of hit singles behind them. You know you’re in for a treat y’all !! “I Know It’s Love” keeps up the calibre, with the same fabulous lead (Lorenzo Hines ably assisted by James Isom) giving David Ruffin & The Temptations a run for their money. Then it’s one the highlights for me, the thunderously mature “Spread Your Love Around” - surely the perfect 45. With some glorious piano-tinselled highlights, the ballad with an insistent beat “Let’s Change The Subject” has a mesmerising message – absolutely top drawer, and probably my favourite track. The title track and its organ-ground melody is a definite wink at their doo-wop roots, and again it’s the natural feel of the lead vocal and harmonies that carry its success so effortlessly.

Side B leads with another big highlight, the ultra-smooth “Time For Us”, with exceptional use of blubby horns, I’m cast adrift on a boat just big enough for me, the one I love and a picnic for two, with a dangling bottle of wine being cooled by the still, sun-sprinkled water. We’re back on tried and tested H-D-H territory with the bold and striking “Somebody’s Else’s Woman” conveying its lyrics with the snarl of a banshee. The more pop-flavoured “Why is actually a really nice change of pace (reminds me a little of Lamont Dozier’s own ‘Why’ from ‘Working On You’), with a terrific crescendo on the outro and a track that grows and grows. Then it’s another track that gets way way under my skin, the awkwardly hypnotic “Seeing You Through The Eyes Of A Blind Man” – nothing ordinary about this gem ! “Don’t Call Me” is a thoroughly intriguing inclusion with a fresh lead and rock slant, it definitely defies all that has come before – and I love it.

The exceptional quality of the tracks appears to be largely indebted to the incredible writing skills of Mr A. Rackey, Mr G. Taylor and Mr W. Terry. I have no idea who produced this album, but the calibre and musicianship is outta sight. I would go so far as to say that this is possibly the most satisfying of the LPs that I am familiar with on the Hot Wax label, which includes such luminaries as 100 Proof, Honey Cone, Flaming Ember, The Politicians and Laura Lee. Wow, some amazing LPs right there !! Perhaps as the final LP of the label, it demonstrated (together with The Politicians LP) that the Motown legacy had finally morphed into the more sophisticated sound that was the early 70s. Whatever, this really is another essential addition to your admirable, growing soul collection.

—————————————-

Check out here for more info on The Marvels.

One of the hardest to find LP’s, the only available copy for sale (69,50 Euro) is on Groove Collector.

A digital copy (Japan import) can be found on Amazon from 43,78 $.

Download link

EasyBytez

I would like once again to thank Trakbuv for his incredible contribution to FMS. He’s been involved in difficult tasks and managed to do it great. Bless you brother!

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Comments

  1. Frosty says:

    superb drop of this rare album!
    many thanks

  2. alphabet says:

    Thanks for the funkiness!! Happy New Year, Nikos

  3. JDT says:

    Thank you for this =)

  4. Raphy says:

    Trakbuv, I have this Lp too. ‘Let’s Change The Subject’ Is my favorite track also.

    BIG LP>>>>>

    Big UP1@1

  5. Martini says:

    Wow, Thanks a lot for this treasure! :)

  6. A9 says:

    Many thanks for sharing this lp.

  7. wishniak says:

    thanks – but cant get it off rapidshare (as a free user). . “all the servers are busy” since yesterday. cant wait to hear it though.

  8. Nikos says:

    wishniak, Hope you finally grab it later. It happens sometimes. if you won’t get it let me know. I will upload it somewhere else.

  9. jahcisco says:

    Thanks, much appreciated.

  10. Jose says:

    Wow! Amazing.

  11. Andre B says:

    good lookin’ out Trakbuv. I’m really liking this one. thanks again for this rare gem!

  12. Niall says:

    Bless you again Trakbuv,and the same to you Nikos.Happy posting for 2010 great work all round.

  13. dj85 says:

    Amazing album. I found a ripped copy awhile ago. but it sounded like shit. Yours sounds great. & The covers are also nice too. Thanks Alot. -dj85

  14. Gooniman says:

    My first grab from you Nickos.Never heard this album before..Trakbuv,great job on the Bios for the group and the music.Wiil listen very close to this group..Again thanks a lot and keep them comin

  15. moggy says:

    Thanks for that….sounding good

  16. winton tostello says:

    the you tube song really got me by the first listen!!
    simple, down to earth and totaly intimate.i will dld it asap!

  17. Lafayette says:

    Bless all y’all bros…Trak, Nikos & Moo – great collab post! :D

    /L

  18. Dan says:

    Thanks for the fantastic album.

  19. Sally says:

    Wow !! and thanks and keep going, how can music of this quality go unheard and forgotten. Brilliant, great rip as well. We probably don’t say often enough but WELL DONE.

  20. Oblio says:

    thanks for this amazing album.

  21. rich says:

    trakbuv and nikos awesome post cant wait to grab this and give it a hear many many thanx

  22. Richard says:

    thanks again for this gem.

  23. Alex says:

    Wow. Incredible! Thank you very much for sharing this with us.

  24. Bobby says:

    Wonderful, clever stuff. You’ve all got it going on.

  25. dopey says:

    Thanks Nikos, you did it again.

  26. Kevin says:

    Excellent music and post. Soulful thanks.

  27. hooch says:

    Thanks guys – another gem i look forward to hearing!

  28. Adriano says:

    Thanks so much. Can’t wait to hear it. Thanks a lot for your great work.

  29. mellowgangsta says:

    again superb work by the funkmysoul heroes! Life would be boring without your edutainment. Thank you so much!!!!!

  30. Zachar says:

    Thanks for continuing the big drops as usual..

  31. DEM says:

    I was familiar with this, brings back wonderful memories.

  32. mattis says:

    funk yeah!!! thanks for keeping it alive and well… cheers from norway

  33. Brian Davis says:

    I would just like to say how much I enjoy your fantastic blog. I’ve been reaquinted with some old favourites, but also have found so, so much that is new – like this great post.

  34. Amnesiac says:

    I had no idea of this wonderful LP on Hot Wax. Thanks for the share. Great write up too.

  35. Julious says:

    Keep it up Nick. Such a wonderful blog.

  36. Ricardo says:

    Outstanding wwork from both of you as always. I look forward to my regular dose of Trakbuv’s penmanship. Y’know, he should have been a journalist!

  37. Nikos says:

    Ricardo,I absolutely agree! I’ve kept saying to him how brilliant he is at writing. Perhaps he should write a book.

  38. jean paris says:

    wooooooooo beautiful lp..once again nikos…thanks and last but not least trakbuv dude i compare u to a wine (coz im french :=))i mean month after months and year after year i can say u are better and better and now i can say that i enjoy each time to read ur comments (a kind of soul bible)i mean incredible knowledge about it..thanks for the share of ur passion..jean paris

  39. Trakbuv says:

    Thank you for your kind comments – I am humbled. The reality is that my knowledge extends to what I find on the internet ;), but we all can share in the all permeating light that is music and the excessive joy it brings. Nikos just gives me the kind opportunity to attempt to put it into words every now and again.

  40. Larry says:

    What a great listening for a cold Sunday morning! Thank for sharing. Love this site.

  41. Sean says:

    nice one…cheers for this!

  42. music monk says:

    Aah! Real “soul music”.
    Thanks

  43. catacaldos says:

    Much appreciated.I love your work.Thank you for being there with us.

  44. jose a. says:

    thanks again, a great susprise!!

  45. cheeba says:

    Thanks guys! Great album & great review by Trakbruv! I have to agree with jean from paris – your writing gets stronger all the time!

    I’m a little confused as to the throughline of the Marvels-Senators-SU pedigree tho… nonetheless great info!

  46. KenG says:

    What a fantastic album. love it!! Thank you very much for sharing.

  47. Trakbuv says:

    @Cheeba – thanks for the compliment, but I haven’t done my job properly if I’ve left you confused ! The link between these acts is primarily James Isom. If you click the ‘here’ link for the Marvels at the bottom of the post, you will find my source (however accurate that is). I hope this answers you question, otherwise feel free to come back and clarify.

  48. KoTii says:

    Dope!!!!!

  49. hamnegger says:

    not familiar with this but the blurbs make it sound very tasty, thankyou

  50. 92bpms says:

    Your site is by far my favorite simply for the education it provides. Much appreciation for this and your hard work teaching the masses

  51. Kelly Peter says:

    Looks/sounds like a good one! Thanks!

  52. Bettye Jones Isom says:

    Bettye Boo
    May 15, 2011 at 3:24 pm
    Thanks loads for sharing this album. My husband,James Isom, Jr. was leading the song “Think of the Children”. The other 2 lead singers on the album are, Lorenzo Hines, & Earl Jones. Unfortunately, Lorenzo Hines passed in Feb. 2009 & James Isom, Jr. passed in April, 2009. Earl Jones is the only living original singer of the Satisfactions Unlimited.
    Keep up your good & informative work. We appreciate you!

  53. Billy Mieder says:

    … This message is for Bettye Jones Isom … I am not sure if you remember me, But I played drums with JR from 1979 to 1981 … I would like to talk with you … :) … E-mail me at WMieder@aol.com

    -Billy Mieder

  54. Shannon says:

    This is a great album. I have a copy unopened!

  55. Someone younger than me gave me a tip & im glad i followed it up….Tip my hat to you great track

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