Optimistics – 1970 – Optimistics

A rare gem produced by George Kerr.

TURBO RECORDS TU 7001. Stereo. 1970 TURBO Records. ALL PLATINUM ENTERPRISES.

VERY rare soul LP that rarely turns up for sale, one of the toughest Turbo releases in the catalog. Great sweet soul LP with “Should I Let Myself Go” and more like “If I could Influence man“.

Sweet Soul at it’s best.

Tracks
A1 You Put Something New In My Life 3:10
A2 Let’s Love 4:00
A3 Love Is God Almighty 5:20
B1 Should I Let Myself Go 3:35
B2 Man 3:00
B3 If I Could Influence Man 3:10
B4 Say It Baby 3:00

An amazing album by the Baltiomore group, one of the rarest records on the All-Platinum label in the 70’s.

Produced by George Kerr, reminds the other two great groups of the label The Moments and The Whatnauts.

This is some serious top shelf material out of Baltimore and a certified masterclass in sweet symphonic soul. Optimistics was originally released in 1970 on Turbo and it’s every bit as essential as The Chi-Lites, The Delfonics and The Moments yet nowhere near as known. Those original copies are ridiculously rare and, of course, the prices are equally ridiculous.

Optimistics is a killer LP throughout, beloved of discerning hip-hop producers worldwide and routinely championed by the legendary Pete Rock. The genius George Kerr has handled the production on what is an album of beautiful, naïve soul for mind and body. It’s bursting with goodness and, like the best of its genre, it radiates a heart-breaking ambience that cuts right to the core.

The band of Billy, Harold, James, Charles and Jerome are described on the back cover as “five young, black knights who have embarked on a musical crusade and they’re gonna slay a lot of dragons along the way”. We’re not entirely sure how many mythical serpents were dispatched during the making of this album but we can certainly attest to the sense of evangelical drive.

Evergreen opener “You Put Something New In My Life” is a heart-stopping ode to a transformative love. A ballad with spine-tingling chord changes and melodic switch-ups to spare, its sweeping strings and precise drums complement the falsetto delivery perfectly.

It’s followed by the equally beguiling “Let’s Love”. Another string-drenched harmony ballad,  it revolves around delicate piano and distinctive guitar lines, crying out to be recontextualised by the best sampling technicians. Closing out the A side, the wonderfully restrained “Love Is God Almighty” is harp and horn-driven, barely-there soul from a higher plain. Heavenly.

Ushering in the flipside, “Should I Let Myself Go”, sampled recently by Knxwledge, is sensational guitar-soul with a yearning that could bring the most hardened soul to tears. It’s followed by the uptempo, Temptations-funk of “Man” and quietly-great “If I Could Influence Man“, where the competing vocals ride a chugging, funky breakbeat and delicious guitar licks. The refreshing, groovy “Say It Baby” is an appropriately positive, upward looking closer. Its sentiment and feel speaks directly to both the band name and the title of this, their only album. Truly optimistic.

The whole LP is a winning blend of slow, spine-tingling ballads and joyously upbeat tracks. It’s a case of A+ vocals, melodies and harmonies over beautiful playing and arrangements. It deserves to be canonical.

This fresh reissue has been mastered with the usual care by Simon Francis and cut by the legendary Pete Norman. The artwork has been lovingly reproduced by the Be With team.

Optimistics should be known by a much wider audience. We’ve hopefully gone some way towards rectifying that.

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Conversation for album: Optimistics – 1970 – Optimistics

13 Comments
  • Lorentzo
    Posted at 19:31h, 17 February 2020 Reply

    Oh Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH.

  • rich
    Posted at 23:19h, 17 February 2020 Reply

    wonderful album, Nikos

  • Lars
    Posted at 10:06h, 19 February 2020 Reply

    Killer post once again Nikos.

  • Alvena
    Posted at 12:43h, 19 February 2020 Reply

    Can’t wait to start listening. Thank you.

  • Adonis
    Posted at 19:40h, 19 February 2020 Reply

    Keep spreading those gems. Brilliant blog.

  • Jimo
    Posted at 19:43h, 19 February 2020 Reply

    Some tough stuff right here, Brother, sounds so good.

  • Tobias
    Posted at 19:48h, 19 February 2020 Reply

    Completely unfamiliar with them.I’ll wait for the dl to explore.Thanx again.

  • Jim
    Posted at 11:39h, 20 February 2020 Reply

    This music takes me to time i wish i lived…Thanks god people like you make it possible.

  • Hanks
    Posted at 11:40h, 20 February 2020 Reply

    Sterling work, as always. thank you!

  • Koko
    Posted at 11:59h, 20 February 2020 Reply

    Awesome album and a equally great blog site..

  • peter balshaw
    Posted at 08:21h, 22 February 2020 Reply

    Really smooth sounds of soul thanks for this always quality from you blogs site

  • Rick Grady
    Posted at 22:42h, 22 February 2020 Reply

    Finally had time to listen to the tracks. One word: Fantastic!

  • Madock
    Posted at 12:05h, 23 February 2020 Reply

    Killer album! Now that was soul music.

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