Barbara Mason – 1968 – Oh How It Hurts

Barbara Mason’s second and final LP for Arctic Records was released three years after her first. The Arctic label released 60 records before folding; 14 were Mason releases. Jimmy Bishop, a Philadelphia DJ, owned the label and included “Yes, I’m Ready” on this collection to bolster sales, since all of Mason’s Arctic hits except the title track are on her debut. Incidentally, that’s Kenny Gamble crooning backing vocals on “Ready”; Gamble also recorded for Arctic and wrote some sides for Mason before going on to form Gamble, Neptune, and Philadelphia International Records. Only “Oh How It Hurts” sold well from this collection, and deservedly so; the sad ballad touches the heart every time you hear it. Mason sings with pain and the lyrics hit home. The excellent “Is It Me, or Is It Her” makes this a must collection.

You won’t find this jewel on any other compilation to date; it’s even missing from the excellent 27-track Bear Family anthology of her Arctic years. The rest of the tracks are misses and flip sides. Mason always covered songs; her first LP had six remakes but there are only a few here, the best being “You Can Depend on Me“, a nifty reworking of the Miracles song. Mason has yet to receive the credit she deserves for being an innovator of the sweet Philly sound; all the other sweet Philly singers – Brenda & the Tabulations, the Delfonics, Blue Magic, the Stylistics, and others — came after Mason. The rhythm section of M.F.S.B. played on Mason’s recordings long before gaining recognition on the Philadelphia International label.

 Tracks

A1 Oh, How It Hurts 2:49
A2 Poor Girl In Trouble 3:14
A3 I Need Love 3:08
A4 You Can Depend On Me 2:44
A5 I Do Love You 3:00
A6 Game Of Love 2:29
B1 Yes, I’m Ready 3:06
B2 If You Don’t 3:08
B3 Is It Me 2:54
B4 Forever 2:35
B5 I Don’t Want To Lose You 2:40
B6 For Your Love 2:18

An interesting minor soul performer, Barbara Mason initially focused on songwriting when she entered the music business in her teens. As a performer, though, she had a huge hit in 1965 with her self-penned “Yes, I’m Ready” (number five pop, number two R&B), a fetching soul-pop confection that spotlighted her high, girlish vocals. One of the first examples of the sweet, lush sound that came to be called Philly soul, she had modest success throughout the rest of the decade on the small Arctic label, reaching the pop Top 40 again in 1965 with “Sad, Sad Girl“. In the early and mid-’70s, Mason toughened her persona considerably, singing about sexual love and infidelity with a frankness that was uncommon for a female soul singer in songs like “Bed and Board“, “From His Woman to You,” and “Shackin’ Up“.

Sweet soul continued to be her groove, and she continued to write some of her material. But the production, as it was throughout soul in the ’70s, was more funk-oriented, and at times Mason would interrupt her singing to deliver some straight-talkin’ raps about romance. Curtis Mayfield produced her on a cover of Mayfield’s “Give Me Your Love“, which restored her to the pop Top 40 and R&B Top Ten in 1973; “From His Woman to You” and “Shackin’ Up” were also solid soul sellers in the mid-’70s. After leaving Buddha Records in 1975, she only dented the charts periodically, with “I Am Your Woman, She Is Your Wife” (1978), “Another Man” (1984), and a couple of other singles.

More albums by Barbara Mason on FunkMySoul here

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21 Comments
  • Dan
    Posted at 14:02h, 09 May 2017 Reply

    I miss that from Mrs Mason. Original vinyl is rare and expensive, so thank you so very much man.

  • Jasmine
    Posted at 19:51h, 09 May 2017 Reply

    love her voice, seen her in 2016 and she was amazing.

  • Jay Ramino
    Posted at 20:16h, 09 May 2017 Reply

    thx for info and such a lovely LP

  • Barry Ericson
    Posted at 00:10h, 10 May 2017 Reply

    what a classic “Is It Me, or Is It Her”. Thank u.

  • DJ Tony
    Posted at 09:18h, 10 May 2017 Reply

    Sweet Soul gem.
    Here is “Yes I’m Ready” mixed by Tom Moulton https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73MDzGiTGng

  • Bennie
    Posted at 09:21h, 10 May 2017 Reply

    I am from the old school, this is my kind of music…yes I am ready!

  • Serena
    Posted at 10:05h, 10 May 2017 Reply

    Music is without age…Music is eternal…lives forever and fills up our souls.

  • Milton
    Posted at 13:11h, 10 May 2017 Reply

    NICE CLEAN MUSIC. A BLAST FROM THE PAST.

  • Marinero
    Posted at 21:35h, 10 May 2017 Reply

    Old school very mellow. Song feels like passion to the mind. Vibe to it.

  • William Parker
    Posted at 23:31h, 10 May 2017 Reply

    This is some serious music right here. It has deep meaning and it tells a wonderful story…unlike most of the stuff they play today.

  • Jess
    Posted at 08:57h, 11 May 2017 Reply

    I would like to thank my parents for playing this type of music back in the day; I’m hooked for life!

  • Frank Stockman
    Posted at 09:12h, 11 May 2017 Reply

    Timeless !!!

  • Nolan
    Posted at 22:09h, 11 May 2017 Reply

    Pure Soul. And nothing else.

  • T11P
    Posted at 08:56h, 12 May 2017 Reply

    Dam brings back good memories. Great LP.

  • Erald
    Posted at 10:29h, 12 May 2017 Reply

    Beautifull!!!!Love these jams !!!♡♡♡♡♡

  • Brother Jim
    Posted at 19:20h, 12 May 2017 Reply

    Most definitely some great songs on that. Thanks as always.

  • Daniel
    Posted at 00:41h, 14 May 2017 Reply

    She emanates nothing but class.

  • La Reis
    Posted at 10:46h, 14 May 2017 Reply

    Love her music…

  • Danuta
    Posted at 10:55h, 14 May 2017 Reply

    Million thanks from Poland! I love you!❤❤❤ You are the best!❤

  • Jack
    Posted at 19:48h, 14 May 2017 Reply

    every time i hear this it always makes me feel some kind of way i just love this type of music

  • Havel
    Posted at 11:52h, 15 May 2017 Reply

    Nice one. Cheers from Prague.

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