The Sylvers – 1974 – III

Review by Mystery Man

Rip, posting and additional info’s by Nikos

The Sylvers were a family musical act from Memphis, TN that was primarily active during the years 1972-1984. While principally known to the general public for two very cheesy major disco hit singles in the mid 1970’s (“Boogie Fever” and “Hot Line“), serious fans of old skool funk/soul/r & b music know there was a lot more to the band than those songs. The greatest treasures in the Sylvers catalog can be found in their 1st 3 LP’s, appropriately enough entitled “Sylvers I”, “Sylvers II”, and “Sylvers III”, released from 1972 to 1974. These records were released on the MGM/Pride label and were not particularly well-promoted. The 1st 2 LP’s did place a number of songs high on the r & b charts (especially “Fool’s Paradise” and “Wish I Could Talk To You” on Sylvers I) but were mostly ignored by mainstream/crossover top 40 radio. The songs on these first 3 Sylvers LP’s would ultimately prove to be highly influential among future r & b and hip hop producers and performers, with Ghostface Killah and J. Dilla in particular notably using samples from Sylvers songs and in some cases, building entire songs around those samples.

I Aim To Please 3:08
Could Be You 4:40
Wish You Were Here 2:20
Don’t Give Up The Good Life 3:00
Even This Shall Pass Away 3:50
Am I Truly Yours 3:40
Be My Love 3:05
Love Over Mind 3:40
What’s It All About 2:35
T.C.B. 3:10  

MGM/Pride also released a pair of albums by younger brother Foster Sylvers, who was not yet at that time an official member of the Sylvers. One of these albums generated a major hit single, “Misdemeanor“, which reached #23 on the pop charts in 1973…making it the biggest hit from the family in this period though it was technically not a Sylvers song but instead a Foster Sylvers solo project (at the time he was 11 years old). Following these first 3 critically acclaimed but lackluster-selling albums, the Sylvers jumped to the Capitol label in the mid 1970’s where they would have their greatest success with the aforementioned pair of huge disco hit singles during disco’s first wave of popularity. But after this initial huge success on the disco front, as the genre became more popular, the Sylvers became less popular, ultimately having their non-disco album “Forever Yours” rejected by the Capitol label. This album and subsequent Sylvers albums were released on labels such as Casablanca, Dick Griffey’s Solar Records, and Geffen Records, but there would only be minor hits for the Sylvers in the post-1976 era as albums such as “Forever Yours”, “New Horizons“, “Concept“, and “Bizarre” failed to generate much excitement or sales for the group. The frontman for the Sylvers, Leon Sylvers III, did become one of the most prominent r & b/soul producers during the period 1978-1985, with his production work for Solar Records acts such as Dynasty (of which he was a bandmember) and Shalamar being particularly noteworthy….though his productions are sometimes accused of having a somewhat soundalike quality. Leon Sylvers III, Edmund Sylvers, and Foster Sylvers all had solo recordings at some point that failed to sell well or generate much airplay. By the mid 1980’s, the group had completely disbanded, with some bandmembers such as Angie Sylvers pursuing careers outside music (she is reportedly on her way to becoming a lawyer if she is not already).

The family suffered a fair amount of tragedy and distress in their post-music life, with lead singer Edmund Sylvers dying of lung cancer at the young age of 47. Tragic in a different sense is the fact that none of the Sylvers first 3 LP’s, their acknowledged classics, have ever been made available on CD. Allegedly the original masters were destroyed in a fire, though some of the early hit singles have appeared on a couple of compilations. To date, only 1 Sylvers album proper (“Concept”, their sole effort for Solar Records) has ever been released on CD, with the majority of available Sylvers CD being limited to singles collections from their successful Capitol years. These were their most commercially successful years but not their most artistically successful years, as evidenced by the fact the Sylvers I, Sylvers II, and Sylvers III albums fetch high prices on Ebay with Sylvers III being particularly scarce due to its lack of any hit singles or promotion. Often compared to the Jackson 5, the Sylvers were really more of an edgy take on the 5th Dimension formula due to the fact the Sylvers had both male and female voices (6 men and 3 women appearing in various combinations on their music). There is an abundance of Sylvers material at Youtube, even including an impressive montage of live performance footage. The Sylvers were one of the finest and most innovative soul, funk, r & b, and disco acts of their era and they deserve to be remembered and enjoyed by more people today.

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  1. Lucero says:

    muchas gracias, excelente.

  2. brotherpete says:

    why no Rapidshare links anymore? :(

  3. Nikos says:

    Brotherpete, Rapidshare deleted our premium account with 450 albums. Every time we upload they delete the new links too. So this is the end with Rapidshare.

  4. Eric says:

    I watched an old episode of Soul Train last week with the Sylvers… they lip-synced “Boogie Fever”… so they’ve been on my mind since. Yes, “Boogie Fever” and “Hot Line” are a couple of cheesy songs, but they’re perfect and wonderful in their own way. I’ve heard little else by the Sylvers, so I’m very excited to see this album here. I really appreciate the info you provide along with the music… I’d always wondered if Foster Sylvers of the marvelous “Misdemeanor” was connected to the Sylvers. Thanks to you, I now know.

    Regret to hear about Rapidshare deleting so many files, but they’ve always pulled dirty tricks like that on uploaders regardless of whether the account was free or paid. I’ve read so many stories of their unscrupulous behavior through the years that I’ll never trust them or pay them for anything.

    Thank you for the music.

  5. rich says:

    the first 3 albums from this group are gold like u mentioned it. great post!

  6. Lemmy says:

    The whole record is a bomb.
    So glad that I own a mint original copy. So hard to find these days. And near impossible in mint condition.

  7. Laurent says:

    Pretty dope!

  8. XMan says:

    it is a rare beauty. Thnx.

  9. Adam Davie says:

    thanks for the sylvers album. I’m really enjoying these selections.

  10. vire says:

    Soooo gooood. Thanks a lot.

  11. Jon Mitchell says:

    I never thought The Sylvers sounded like The Jackson 5, But Foster sounds exactly like Michael at that age. Misdemeanor IS an awesome tune, I’d like to hear more of that album.

  12. Nikos says:

    Jon, I will add this album later today!

  13. Anton says:

    Bring back memories from my time in the U.S. Army. Beautiful!!!!!!!!!! Love it!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Kevin says:

    A very fine treasure to listen to. Million thanks.

  15. Shhhh says:

    I look forward to getting into this. Thanks for providing the opportunity.

  16. Ahmad says:

    Wow…more sylvers please! I love their music…Thanks so much for this upload.

  17. JJMikle says:

    This is going straight to faves. Thanks.

  18. Len says:

    Hello All!! Thanks for Sylvers Disc. Look forward to hearing this elusive gem of funk. God Bless!!

  19. BeeWhyAreDee says:

    The Sylvers are one of the Greatest Singing groups ever.The First 3 Albums are Must Haves for any Soul,R and B Fans.

  20. Les says:

    Wow! So special group. I had no idea.

  21. Zone1 says:

    MAN! That was a great ride.Thanks for that memory.

  22. yoman says:

    this is very nice, thanks

  23. funkypirate says:

    Thanks SO much for this! I wish Sylvers II was up on this site as well– I can’t find it anywhere, and can’t even BUY it anywhere. Vinyl is too expensive unless beat up, and never released CD or digital. :(

  24. Moahmmed says:

    Whats the password for the dowload for the sylvers |||?

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