The Moments – 1971 – On Top

The Moments’ On Top is another winner for sure. Again, there is very little, if any, cover material to the best of my knowledge, for Robinson, and even the Moments again writing the material. “Lucky Me” is a sweet winner with an upbeat, positive tone. “To You With Love” is a vintage, slow drag Moments ballad with poetic lyrics and sweet strings. “Candy Shack” is yet another slow drag ballad with exceptional harmony again drawing on the doo-wop and call and response of a decade earlier as a basis for the lyrical delivery.  On Top is a wonderful album and worth each cent of purchase, for it is truly a remarkable find for Soul and RnB fanatics.

Tracks
A1. All I Have 4:00
A2. I Can’t Help It 3:10
A3. To You With Love 3:03
A4. That’s How It Feels 4:00
B1. Lucky Me 3:08
B2. I Lost On Bird In The Hand (While Reaching For You) 4:00
B3. Sweeter As The Days Go By 4:08
B4. The Ice Is Melting 3:08
B5. Candy Shack 3:09

On Top is a perfect example of the subjectivity of musical taste. Among collectors, this is considered the most valuable of all the albums recorded by the Moments on Stang Records. It’s alright, but it’s not all that, and it doesn’t come close to being a favorite by the three guys who later became Ray, Goodman & Brown. An original copy of this LP starts at around $50, others by the Moments go for between $10 and $20. Two minor R&B hits, “Lucky Me“, a song that Billy Brown claims to hate, and “All I Have” are the most recognizable.

Both are George Kerr compositions/productions, and each features Brown’s ice-melting falsetto. Also included are two singles that are different from anything the group had ever done, “I Can’t Help It” and “That’s How It Feels“. Sylvia Robinson also recorded “I Can’t Help It” and to be honest, the song suited her better. It was the A-side of “To You with Love“, a lovely floating ballad sung by Harry Ray that featured the groups’ patented handclaps. “That’s How It Feels was a two-parter wherein Brown’s voice rode atop a bed of rhythms on a tune more aptly define as a love suite than a song. Neither impressed the jocks nor the buying public.

A charming but sorrow-filled “I Lost One Bird in the Hand” is an impressive, slow lamenter crooned by Ray. The only uptempo number, other than the herky-jerky “I Can’t Help It“, is “Sweeter as the Days Go By“, led by Brown in his natural, gospel-inspired tenor.

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