The Softones – 1973 – The Softones

Here we are again with a special guest post from brother Vincent The Soul Chef . I suppose most of you know him from his amazing work in Fufu Stew Blog and recently he joined 4BB as a regular contributor. A vinyl collector and a true music lover who explains :

Greetings from Fufu Stew, or as I like to say, Hello, kiddies.

It is a pleasure and a privilege for me to be able to come to you with this special guest post. I have been a fan of everything that Nikos has done here as well as his stellar work at Lost In Tyme, so when I saw the posts that he did for the Whatnauts, it only made sense to me to add another fine Baltimore act to the mix. Being a lifelong resident of Baltimore makes this guest post all the more special so without further ado, I bring to you one of my all time favourite albums from arguably the best sweet Soul group of Charm City, The Softones. This is their self titled release from 1973 as issued on Avco Records which has been a staple in my crates ever since I was a young child…

This is a perfect @320 vinyl rip of the original Avco Records including covers. Never released on CD (do not confused with their Greatest Hits Cd with the same cover).

Tracks
A1. The First Time 3.30
A2. Everybody Knew But Me 3.00
A3. Can’t Help Falling In Love 2.52
A4. Extra Ordinary People 2.54
A5. I’m Gonna Prove It 3.15
B1. Why Why Baby 5.18
B2. And I Remember Your Face 3.04
B3. Never Let A Woman Like That Go By 4.07
B4. My Dream 3.15

Now, this debut album is also one of my favorite soul albums ever. Furthermore, I agree with Vincent that The Softones was the best Sweet Soul Group From Baltimore (The Whatnauts and First Class are coming next). I was after this rare vinyl for a long time and finally last year put my hands on it.I almost like every tune on it but my fav songs are : “The First Time”, Everybody Knew but Me” and “My Dream”.

Since there’s no review for this album anywhere, here’s a part of a review of their Greatest Hits album which is very interesting and partly true:

As has been previously stated, there is much good music on this cd, so I will not expand on that. When the question(s) arise as to the reasons the group did not attain greater recognition and commercial success, in the writer’s opinion, I have a big question? Based on the talent of the group, their style, such a quality lead tenor, why didn’t the group end up being produced by the premier architects at that time of “East Coast Soul”, who were succesfully producing groups of this type….. the powers at Philadelphia International Records, or the likes of Thom Bell (Delfonics, Stylistics, Spinners, amongst others), Norman Harris, Vince Montana, etc., etc., etc., “The Philly Sound”? The importance of label and who produces a group is HUGE! The heart & soul of this group was East Coast sweet soul. For a group with this kind of talent, how not Philly, and the aforementioned legends??? As to why not? The writer doesn’t know. This group, placed in the hands of Thom Bell, or Gamble & Huff, what could have been!

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Bio

BioThe Softones are a “sweet soul” group from the city of Baltimore, Maryland. Their biggest hits were: “My Dream”, “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, “I’m Gonna Prove It”, “Carla My Love”, and “That Old Black Magic”. They recorded for the Avco Records record label, in the early to mid 1970s. They were a very underrated singing group, whose initial breakout recordings were blessed with superb production. A single listen to the lush production of “My Dream” transforms you to another place, a magical kingdom, with the majestic use of strings and French horns that is this tune’s opening signature… in the same fashion as Thom Bell’s early arrangements for The Delfonics, the song “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” as an example. Lead singer Marvin Brown’s high falsetto, similar to that of Earth, Wind & Fire’s Philip Bailey, only higher and smoother and almost as instantly recognizable. Also in the group are Steven Jackson and Elton Lynch. To this date, they are still together and still singing.

Like The Stylistics, The Softones were also produced by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore, Joseph E. Levine, and the late Van McCoy, whose orchestra, comprising the top New York session players of the era, served as the house band for many of these Avco recordings.

Listen up my beloved “The First Time”

I like to thank Vincent The Soul Chef for this excellent contribution, for one of the most underrated soul groups ever. Enjoy and let’s see your replies on the post and album and of course show your love to brother Vince.

You can also get their 1977 Black Magic album here

Download link

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Comments

  1. invisiblenigma says:

    Much Thanks For this Gem Vincent and Nikos! I can’t wait to have a listen!

  2. roger1 says:

    thank you, great music

  3. kizza says:

    Thanks Vincent – Love your work!

  4. Lafayette says:

    You guys are on fire! :¬)

    /Lafayette

  5. hooch says:

    Many thanks guys – really looking forward to listening to this!

  6. Messiah says:

    Thanks Vincent and Nikos! If these guys are like The Whatanuts i know i’m gonna enjoy this! Appreciate all of your efforts! Peace

    Messiah

  7. Looks great Nikos… Thanks for letting me share it with you all. Messiah, you will love this one, I assure you. :)

    Peace and blessings.

  8. Andre says:

    thanks i heard black magic and i like it alot so i gotta check this one out thanks vincent & nikos for sharing.

  9. Son says:

    Brothers Nikos & Vincent, you are absolutely right. It is fantastic! Million thanks for sharing this rarity.

  10. nikos1109 says:

    Messiah, this one goes up there with Introducing The Whatnauts and the best Sweet Soul albums ever. You gonna love it, man.

  11. manny says:

    thank you very much

  12. George says:

    Every post is a winner on this site. So many classics, so many rare stuff. Everyone is top quality soul and funk. thanks for sharing your albums with other people.

  13. F.Penn says:

    That utube song is great! Can’t wait to hear it!

  14. Raphy says:

    This is simply a magnificent post. Thanks to Vincent for this quality..
    One love 2 U Both……BIG UP

  15. musicmeiho says:

    Many thanks. This is sweet!

  16. Oak says:

    Wow thanks for this one, this is a gem, i’ve been waiting for a long time.

  17. funkyDD says:

    This is truly an amazing album. Much Respect.

  18. samuel says:

    I have no idea what this album is, but it blew my mind. Thanks for sharing guys. Excellent site!

  19. Joce says:

    This site is sweet soul’s paradise. From The Moments to The Whatnauts and now The Softones which is so lovely. Thnx.

  20. Pietro says:

    i am so excited with The Softones. Soul at it’s best. Keep the good stuff rollin.

  21. JTF says:

    Cookin’ up mo’ good sh*t!

  22. Angel says:

    Much respect for this amazing blog!

  23. Michael says:

    Vincent you are the man! You & Nikos are shinning stars in the blog mess.

  24. phatrapper says:

    Many thanks!

  25. Dorothy says:

    Superb slbum! Vincent and Nikos, your work is magnificent. Both blogs are unique. Each one with it’s own style and way. love you guys.

  26. Gea says:

    Sweet. Thank you.

  27. Zion says:

    Truly a great album! Up until now I’ve only heard a few songs of the group. Thank you very much!

  28. joe free says:

    i am having trouble put albums on my itunes i have a mac can anybody help me

  29. Elen says:

    Thanks for sharing!

  30. Administrator says:

    @ Joe free. Dear friend first unzip it. All the albums are provided compressed with rar compression. You can find the dedicated website at http://www.win-rar.com/download.html.
    If you have any other problems please contact sotirispandis@gmail.com.

  31. cafecafecafe says:

    Thanks to you Nikos and Vincent. Love sweet soul.

  32. Doctor Okeh says:

    thx Nikos , Thx Vin, I only have one track by them and it dosen’t appear to be on either of these albums, so glad to check this out, may go and grab the other one too , good looks yall, keep on keeping it soulful!!!!!! holla!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Thank you it’s a discover for me !!thank again !

  34. Anonymous says:

    Thank you !!!

  35. SPC says:

    Thanx Vincent – these guys definitely live up to their name!

  36. JR says:

    well finally registerd so i came back to say thank you for all the great music you have shared with us ,stay strong! ,much respect ,JR

  37. Trakbuv says:

    The wonderful Softones – i don’t actually have this so I’m very much indebted to you Vincent for this share – fabulous.

  38. Appreciative says:

    Thanx for this one…

  39. Rich says:

    nikos thank u for this album very soulful group many thanx

  40. analog6 says:

    Thanks Paros and Vince for this rare gem.

  41. wkc says:

    Thanks Nikos and Vincent for this wonderful share. I have been away for a while and just now catching up but I was excited to find a share by this overlooked talent.

  42. jeferson says:

    muito obrigado

  43. Hello guys I’m known as NZO and I am currently working with The Whatnauts new release. I’d like to know if you
    would be interesed in a song for you / a one song deal.
    My contact number is 410-929-7877 so call me we can talk about it.

  44. This is a great site. I love listen to these timeless classic. I wish much of the music of the day would contain substance like these jems. Thanks.

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