Bobby Thurston – 1978 – Sweetest Piece Of The Pie
Killer Modern Soul rarity from the DC based MAINLINE label
A gem of a lost modern soul LP! Singer Bobby Thurston is working here with arrangers Al Johnson, Rodney Brown, and Willie Lester to craft some great end-of-the 70s tunes – done in a simple mellow mode, very honest, with keyboards and additional vocals by Johnson, and backings that are an extension of the late 70s Philly modern mode.
This is a @320 CD rip including covers
A1 Flash 4:36
A2 Na Na Na Na Baby 4:05
A3 I Want Your Body 4:22
A4 Sweetest Piece of the Pie 5:08
B1 Treat Me the Same Way 4:22
B2 We Got So Much to Stay Together For 3:33
B3 Foolish Man 3:20
B4 I Do Love You 4:20
B5 Just Ask Me 3:42
Whereas Bobby Thurston’s two Prelude LPs (1980’s “You Got What It Takes” and 1981’s “Main Attraction”) were primarily Disco-oriented releases this little-known gem from 1978 was more of a Philly Soul set comprised mainly of ballads and mid-tempo groovers. “We’ve Got So Much To Stay Together For” is an achingly beautiful Soul ballad that should have been a classic and both “Just Ask Me” and a nice remake of the Billy Stewart classic “I Do Love You” are also unmissable. This album was originally issued on producers Willie Lester and Rodney Brown’s Mainline label and is rightly viewed as one of the most collectable Soul albums of the 1970s. Thanks to all at Expansion Records for reissuing it on CD.
While Gamble & Huff ruled soul music in Philadelphia during the 70s, WilIie Lester & Rodney Brown were polishing up their act in Washington DC. By the end of the 70s, their Mainline Productions label was in the same business of signing local acts and working with the city’s finest singers and musicians. The late Bobby Thurston is one of the artists who brought the magic of Lester & Brown to life, eventually delivering one of their biggest ever bits in “Check Out The Groove” at the top end of the all new sounding 80s. By then, the team were weaving their magic for another label Prelude where they also had major success with Sharon Redd (giving her the biggest bit of her career too with “Can You Handle It”). Bobby had originally sang background vocals and played congas with a high school group Spectrum Ltd, though eventually took over as lead singer while maintaining a day job with the Washington State Department.
“Sweetest Piece Of The Pie” was recorded for the Mainline Records label in 1978. While an independent, the combination of richly orchestrated, funky yet sensitive songs, often laced with bold crispy brass and a twist of jazz established their unique style while resembling the quality and substance of a major label release. In fact this album to me represents some of their most outstanding music, if not their best work. Now as we know, quality and chart success don’t always go hand in hand, and despite the Prelude hits and later more work on their revitalized Mainline, modern day r&b eventually moved on considerably. Ironically, whereas Prelude put Brown, the late WiIlie Lester and Thurston on the map with two albums “You Got What It Takes” (1980) and “The Main Attraction (1981)” they had a lot to answer for when D-Train’s electro funk hit “You’re The One For Me” changed the course of r&b towards programmed keyboard sounds forever! (Ralph Tee, Info extracted from inner cover of cd)
Buy the rare and expensive vinyl from CD and LP or Groove Collector and the CD from Amazon and Ebay.
Bobby Thurston – 1980 – You Got What It Takes
As a bonus his 2nd album including the hits “Check Out The Groove”and “ You Got What It Takes“.