All Albums

with reviews

Ohio Players ‎- 1972 – Pain

“Pain” is a classic slab of raw, fatback funk, with Greg Webster’s thick in-the-pocket drumming and Marshall Jones elastic bass lines. Mostly an instrumental, with Junie Morrison adding a few lyrics and a whole lot of catchy hollers, all bandmembers get their moment in the…

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Ohio Players ‎- 1972 – Pleasure

‘Pleasure’ is a raw, funk-filled album featuring the Ohio Players at their most unpolished. And like on ‘Pain’, the opening track here too is reserved for a lengthy, loose jam session with sparse lyrics. “Pleasure” rides a ferocious, rocking groove mainly due to Sugarfoot’s rollicking…

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Afrodisia ‎- 1980 – Elephant Sunrise

Afrodisia’s highly collectible album ‘Elephant Sunrise’ from 1980 on Comma. Afrodisia were combination of US soldiers with local musicians from Worms, Germany that were formed in 1978 and recorded two albums during their years together with ‘Elephant Sunrise’ being the only one that was actually…

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Darondo – Listen to My Song: Music City Sessions

Back in 70s Oakland, California, streetwise hipster William Darondo Pulliam was a funky singer-songwriter who could also swing the sweetest soul west of Al Green. His handful of idiosyncratic 45 releases are crowned by the heartbreaking sound of his 1973 local hit `Didn’t I‘, on…

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Universal Togetherness Band ‎(1979-1982) Universal Togetherness Band

Anyone who questions the value of higher education has clearly never heard the story of the Universal Togetherness Band, a funk/soul/R&B combo whose body of work would be lost to the ages if Chicago’s Columbia College had never offered courses in audio engineering.  Andre Gibson, the…

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Hank Ballard – 1969 – You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down

Produced by James Brown in an attempt to resuscitate Hank Ballard’s waning commercial fortunes, You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down remains a minor soul classic — Brown’s admiration for Ballardgalvanizes each and every groove, and his inimitably funky arrangements fit the singer’s gritty vocals like a glove. While “Thrill on the…

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Loleatta Holloway – 1973 – Loleatta (Aware)

Although one of the most recognizable voices in music is Loleatta Holloway, many people are unaware of the two legendary soul albums she recorded for Michael Thevis Aware Records in the seventies. These were Loleatta in 1973 and Cry To Me in 1975. Instead, many…

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Dianne Brooks – 1976 – Back Stairs Of My Life

Dianne Brooks, a Toronto R&B singer, was very much in demand as a backup vocalist in the increasingly hectic Toronto recording scene through the 1970s, working with everyone from Anne Murray to Funkadelic, Ronnie Lane, and Craig Fuller’s pre-Little Feat band Pure Prairie League. Her…

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Honey Cone – 1971 – Sweet Replies

The second album by Honey Cone and the one that really broke them out of the box! The record’s got a groove that gets going right from the start, a sense of upbeat, soulful energy that really shows why the Honey Cone approach was so…

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Jimmy McGriff Organ And Blues Band ‎ – 1968 – The Worm

This is just totally classic. McGriff fronts a classic blues band setup with a perfectly balanced brass section and a swinging rhythm section. Smartly McGriff employed the help of legendary drummers Grady Tate and Mel Lewis who take turns laying down the foundation for some…

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Rufus Thomas – 1973 – Crown Prince Of Dance

Dig this. In the summer of 1972, during the legendary WattStax Festival, the then 55-year old Rufus Thomas had thousands of young people flapping their wings and breaking down in a dancing frenzy at L.A. Memorial Coliseum. The World’s Oldest Teenager turned that sucker out….

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The Natural Four – 1974 – The Natural Four

Having formed in Oakland in 1967, Natural Four signed their first recording contract with a local Oakland label Boola Boola Records. Their debut singles was I Thought You Were Mine, which sold over thirty-thousand copies in the Oakland area. After the release of the follow-up,…

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Booker T. – 1974 – Evergreen

  Disgruntled by the way Booker T. & The M.G.’s were treated in collapsing Stax Records, Booker T. Jones moved to  California, married Priscilla Coolidge, recorded solo (or duets with his wife) and produced other artists. In this album, he sings some sunny folky soul and, of course,…

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Rufus & Chaka Khan – 1977 – Ask Rufus

This is a wonderful slice of underrated late seventies soul gold. It has a fantastic funky edge too with just a hint of a disco feel on the more uptempo tracks. This LP is the perfect blend of Rufus’ songwriting and production and the stunning…

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Bobby Caldwell – 1978 – Bobby Caldwell

Bobby Caldwell is one of only a handful of white vocalists (Van Morrison and Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall, to name a couple more) who legitimately transcended the blue-eyed soul tag. Caldwell’s genuine mix of R&B and jazz signatures as well as his bittersweet yet buttery vocal tones conjure up images…

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Margie Joseph – 1974 – Sweet Surrender

A truly excellent Soul album, sumptuously produced, arranged and orchestrated by Arif Mardin. It sounds on par with the best Aretha Franklin’s albums, due to the musicians involved: Cornell Dupree, Richard Tee, Chuck Rainey, Bernard Purdie, Ralph MacDonald … The back singers include artists who recorded their own solo albums: Cissy Houston, Judy Clay, Gwen…

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Barbara Acklin – 1969 – Seven Days Of Night

  Brunswick rarely did right by Barbara Acklin. With her remarkable “Am I the Same Girl” poised for chart triumph, the label stripped away her potent vocals, added a piano, and released the track as the Young-Holt Unlimited instrumental “Soulful Strut“, which proved a massive hit in its…

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Eugene Mc Daniels – 1971 – Headless Heroes Of The Apocalypse

AllMusic Review by John Duffy When Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse was first released in 1971, so the legend goes, Spiro Agnew himself called Atlantic Records to complain about the album’s incendiary lyrics. Promotional efforts dried up, and since then, the album has become one of the…

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Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – It’s a Holiday Soul Party

Holiday albums are a longstanding pop tradition, from crooners like Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole taking on “O Holy Night” to more modern reinventions by Willie Nelson, James Brown and Bob Dylan. Now, following up their Grammy-nominated 2014 LP, Give the People What They Want, Sharon…

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Curtis Mayfield – 1970 – Curtis

This is undoubtedly one of the most important albums of seventies soul. Besides the awesome opener, Curtis isn’t making stuff as funky as he does on Superfly, but I feel this is about on a par. This is probably the most sophisticated Chicago soul I’ve…

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