Mark IV – 1973 – Mark IV
A group soul treasure from the 70s – and one with a very unique feel! The Mark IV are more of a southern soul group than some of the bigger east coast acts that were dominating the charts at the time – and they get some wonderful production here from Roy C (Roy Charles Hammond), who keeps them in the same mellow soul territory as his own Mercury Records work of the time – a style that’s much more like Stax or Hi Records overall! The harmonies are wonderful – with a fragile, heartbreaking feel throughout – and the backings are by Roy’s band The Lovemakers – who bubble things along with just the right deep soul touches throughout – mostly laidback and mellow, with some great Hammond lines under the vocals, and a few surprising funky righteous touches as well!
The whole thing’s wonderful – a real lost gem.
A1 Honey I Still Love You 3:26
A2 I’ll Be Right There (To Make Love To You) 3:34
A3 I’m A Working Man (Doin’ Work For My Baby) 4:10
A4 I Fell In Love (With A Married Woman) 2:57
A5 You Black And I’m Black 3:02
B1 My Everything You Are 3:40
B2 Got To Get Back (To My Baby’s Love) 2:57
B3 Since God Made Woman – Nobody Rest 2:57
B4 Why You Want To Hurt Me 2:42
B5 I Feel Good All Over (When You’re Loving Me) 2:53
All male vocal group with that typical Southern group soul vibe consisted of Jimmy Ponder, Walter Moreland, “Lucky” Antomattei and Lawrence Jones. According to Red Kelly’s investigations at his The “B” side and Soul Detective blogs, Mark IV was originally signed to Roy C.’s indie label Nation-Wide as The Attractions, but when Roy C. moved to big-league Mercury in 1973, he brought them along with him! But Mark IV’s self-titled debut album seems to have been all it resulted in…for the group that is – Roy C. had a string of great albums on Mercury in the following years!
10 tracks, all penned by Roy C. – including my favourites “Honey I Still Love You”, “I’m A Working Man (Doin’ Work For My Baby)”, “You Black and I’m Black” and “My Everything You Are”! Just listen to the album opener “Honey I Still Love You” and its fantastic harmony vocals, and you’ll become an instant Mark IV/Roy C. fan too.