The Masqueraders -1975- Everybody Wanna Live On
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A stellar vocal group who recorded some excellent singles in the 60s, and were fortunate enough to be pulled into the big time by Isaac Hayes for his Hot Buttered Soul imprint on ABC! The band mixes their smooth Memphis style with some tighter arrangements by Lester Snell.
A wonderful album ripped @256 from my original vinyl with covers.
A1 Everybody Wanna Live On (8:35)
A2 Please Don’t Try (To Take Me Away To The Sky) (4:32)
A3 (Call Me) The Travelling Man (6:53)
A4 Listen (4:14)
B1 Baby It’s You (6:38)
B2 Sweet Sweetning (4:12)
B3 (My Love For You Is) Honest And True (6:29)
B4 Your Sweet Love Is A Blessing (6:07)
The Masqueraders had been around since the early ’60s, releasing singles for labels such as Bell, Wand, and Chips Moman’s Memphis-based AGP. In the ’70s, the group released two singles for Hi Records, then this 1975 album debut. Everybody Wanna Live On benefited from the subtle and innovative production values of Isaac Hayes; the title track is a powerful dance number that boasts not quite didactic lyrics and Jones’ patented robust vocals. Although the group excelled at mid-tempo material, like the hooky “Please Don’t Try (To Take Me Up to the Sky)“, what typified the Hayes/Masqueraders alliance was mature and thoughtful ballads. One track in particular stands out, the dream-like “(Call Me) The Traveling Man“, boasting both a poignant arrangement and a perfect performance from Jones. “(My Love For You Is) Honest And True” and “Your Sweet Love Is a Blessing” also mine ballad territory, both exhibiting the group’s strong harmonies and commitment. Everybody Wanna Live On represents the sublime pairing of the right group with a sympathetic producer, and the results are highly skilled.
The first single in ’75 was a newly arranged, almost unrecognizable cover of the ’62 Shirelles hit (by Bacharach-Davis-Williams), Baby It’s You (# 76 – soul). This slowie was backed with an almost inspirational beater called Listen.
The succeeding album – the very first one since the group was formed eighteen years earlier – Everybody Wanna Live On, was produced and arranged by Isaac, recorded at Hot Buttered Soul recording studio in Memphis and orchestrated by Lester Snell. Rhythm and horns were provided by the Movement, strings and other horns by Memphis Symphony Orchestra and all the songs, except Baby It’s You, were written by the Raders.
From the lot of nice and catchy movers (Everybody Wanna Live On) and fine harmony ballads (Honest And True) for the next single they picked up a classy ballad titled (Call Me) The Traveling Man (# 32-soul / #101-pop), backed with a dancer called Sweet Sweetning. The third single culled from the album was another quality slowie, Your Sweet Love Is A Blessing, which was flipped by a heavy mid-pacer named Please Don’t Try (To Take Me Away To The Sky), but it didn’t chart anymore.
Between the albums the group was approached by Mr. Kenny Gamble.
“he invited us into the studio, but we didn’t go, because we were loyal to Isaac and we had a hit. But had we known that Isaac was in the process of filing bankruptcy, we would have went to Kenny”