Recommended Gamble & Huff CDs
Recommended funk and disco CDs
Recommended jazz/funk fusion CDs
Recommended blue-eyed soul CDs
Recommended chill out electronica CDs
Recommended west coast soft rock CDs
CD WANT LIST
Care to help me track down some much sought-after CDs?
Average White Band
"Cut the Cake" and "Pick Up the Pieces".
Jazz-soul guitarist extraordinary.
Created a timeless and classic bass-line.
Earth, Wind &
My own tribute to jazz/soul/funk’s finest. A 300 pages surfers
"What’s Going On" – Probably the best album ever recorded!
Hall & Oates
Still have "Work To Do" after more than 40 years.
A unique vocalist.
Truly the dude.
Found "Portuguese Love".
Marvin Gaye of this millennium.
Frankie Beverly and his companions.
"Piano (player) In The Dark".
"Never As Good As The First Time".
Blue eyed soul.
"Who is Jill Scott?"
Certainly "All woman"!
40+ years in the business.
More than 30 years of smooth vocal harmonies.
100 million albums sold worldwide!
Sophisticated coffee-table soul and smooth jazz.
Oleata Adams: Circle Of One – 1990
Produced by: Roland Orzabal & Dave Bascombe
Discovered by Tears For Fears while performing solo in the
lounge at Hyatt Regency, Kansas City, and was featured prominently on
their Seeds Of Love album. Tears for Fears member Roland Orzabal
produced her excellent "Quiet Storm" 1990 debut album Circle Of One
which was nominated for a Grammy. Featuring the Brenda Russell hit "Get
|Anita Baker: Rapture – 1986
Produced by: Michael J. Powell & Anita Baker
This is Anita Baker’s 2nd solo album after leaving Chapter 8,
and Rapture is definitely her best. An album that single handedly
introduced the "Quiet Storm" genre. 8 strong mellow songs and a very good
production by Michael J. Powell
Spell [Best of] – 1996
Produced by: Various
R&B vocal quintet formed in Philadelphia and signed to
Atlantic Records in 1973. They hit the Top40 of the R&B singles
chart with their first three 45s before breaking through and
crossing over with "Sideshow"
in 1974, which went gold, topped the R&B charts and became a Top
Ten pop hit. Their next single "Three Ring Circus", made the R&B Top10 and the pop Top40. They are all included
on this great 20 track compilation.
|Johnny Bristol: The MGM Collection – 2004
Produced by: Johnny Bristol
Bristol comes across as something between Barry White,
Marvin Gaye and Isaac Hayes. The 21 track MGM Collection gathers
his two very much underrated releases for the MGM label, "Hang On in
There Baby" (1974) and "Feeling the Magic" (1975), plus the rare 1980
re-recording of "Hang On in There Baby" with Alton McClain that is
otherwise unavailable on CD.
Brock: I Love You More and More – 1974
Label: 20th Century Fox/Soul Brother Records UK
Produced by: Barry White
Another very good mellow soul album complete with the
unmistakably sound of Barry White. Tom’s only release and finally
available on CD thanks to Soul Brother Records in the UK. For more of the
same, check out Gloria Scott’s "What Am I Gonna Do", also produced by
Barry White and released in 1974. Now available on CD.
Welcome To My Room – 1978
Label: Mercury/ Universal Special Products
Produced by: Homer Banks & Carl Hampton
A forgotten soul gem finally available on CD!
& Eddie: Duophonic – 1992
Charles & Eddie: Chocolate Milk – 1995
Produced by: Josh Deutsch
Very 70’s soul inspired and with voices that harmonize
beautifully, Charles Pettigrew & Eddie Chacon delivers classic soul on
both "Duo…" and "Chocolate…". Although both albums are a bit uneven,
a compilation consisting of the best cuts would have been a killer and
right up there with the best of the best soul releases ever!
The Ballads Collection – 1998
Produced by: Skip Scarborough and others
12 remastered ultra strong ballads by California based Con Funk
Shun, compiled by the two leaders Felton Pilate and Michael Cooper
themselves. Too bad they didn’t include one of my all-time favorites "By
Your Side". Nevertheless a great collection of romantic slow jams.
The Definitive Collection – 1999
Label: Bell/Camden UK
Produced by: Thom Bell
Among the originators of the Philly soul sound of the late ’60s
and pre-disco ’70s, the Delfonics cut several hits with the same basic
formula of ultra-romantic three part harmonies on top of a supremely
mellow accompaniment with lush string orchestrations. This is the UK
version of the US CD "La La Means I Love You: The Definitive
Collection". The 20 tracks are the same, but the cover is different. If
you like Blue Magic and Stylistics, get this!
I Touched a Dream/Whatever Turns You on – 1980/1981
Label : 20th Century
Breezes – Best of 1975-1991 – 1995
Produced by: Eugene Records & Carl Davis
This Chicago quintet formed in 1955 have made only one personnel change in their entire
professional career. Perhaps that’s why the venerable R&B vocal group can boast such a
remarkably consistent track record. Their style has shifted from doo wop and soul to disco
and urban contemporary. Their harmony remains as striking as ever, with Marvin Junior’s
earthshaking lead enduring as the group’s focal point.
After a couple of pretty weak albums in the mid 70’s their career was at
a halt until they changed label to 20th Century in 1980 and released "I
Touched a Dream" followed by "Whatever Turns You On" in ’81. Both strong
albums and now available as 2-on-1 from UK Southbound Records.
For more of the same, check the compilation "Passionate
Breezes" containing 15 tracks from between 1975 and 1991 including "I
Touched a Dream", "Whatever Turns You On", "Stay In My Corner" and "All
About the Paper".
Be My Girl – Greatest Hits Vol.1 – 1998
Say The Word – Greatest Hits Vol.2 – 1999
Produced by: Various
Detroit R&B vocal group that scored numerous hits for Volt and
maintained their momentum through the disco era. The early Dramatics hits for Volt lived
up to their billing with the emphatic vocals of Ron Banks powering the funky "Whatcha
See Is Whatcha Get",
their first big-seller in 1971, and the R&B chart-topping ballad
"In the Rain"
in 1972. The quintet was just as successful later in the decade,
signing with ABC in 1975 and scoring repeatedly throughout the
disco-fever days. These two compilations – with a total of 30
tracks – contains most of the songs you need, including their
classic version of the Hall & Oates penned "Do What You Want, Be What
Franti & Spearhead: Stay Human – 2001
Label: Six Degrees
Produced by: Michael Franti
third album is much in the lineage of Marvin Gaye’s "What’s Goin’
On". On the 13 musical tracks, – there are 9 radio segments between
tracks, – Franti sometimes sings, sometimes raps or recites,
and often delivers his words in a mode somewhere in the middle
of all three. The album has a strong old-school soul feeling,
complete with string arrangements, and is very political
dealing with death penalty, the environment and medical
marijuana. (Listen to Gov. Shane in the radio segments and
try to figure out who’s voice it is 🙂
Earth, Wind & Fire: The Promise – 2003
Produced by: Maurice White ++
Oh yes!!! EW&F first album of new music since 1997, and what
an album it is!
This is – maybe except for Millennium (1993) – their best effort since
the much underrated Faces album back in 1980! Produced by Maurice White
and features Angie Stone, Gerald Albright and The Emotions together with
a little help from Bill Meyers, Wayne Vaughn, Jerry Hey, Carlos Rios,
Paulinho Da Costa and others. The sound is excellent and the songs are
in good EW&F tradition – great melodies and arrangements, strong grooves, real horns and
lots of superlative ballads – many featuring Maurice on lead vocals. Get it I say!
More on EW&F…
Going On – 1971
Marvin Gaye: I Want You – 1976
Marvin Gaye: Here My Dear – 1978
Produced by: Marvin Gaye
What’s Going On – probably the best album ever recorded! A must in every record
collection! With classics
like "What’s Going On", "Mercy Mercy Me" and "Inner City
Blues". You should definitely go for the 30th Anniversary
Deluxe Edition release. A double remastered CD set with 26 (!) bonus cuts
containing the early original Detroit mix of the entire album
and 12 previously unreleased live tracks from The Kennedy Center
back in 1972.
Also released in the excellent Deluxe Edition series is another Gaye
classic, the 1976 I Want You. The album has an unmistakably Leon Ware
sound since most of the tracks were to go on Ware’s Motown debut,
Musical Massage [see below], until Motown’s Berry Gordy got a listen and
decided that they’d be even better for Gaye, as the artist had not
released a studio album since 1973’s Let’s Get It On. The Deluxe Edition
of I Want You contains 15 previously unreleased outtakes, alternate
Highly recommended is also Gaye’s very much underrated double LP (1CD)
"Here My Dear" from 1978. A 13 track testimony about his
marriage and divorce from Anna, sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy.
Hathaway: Extension of a Man – 1973
Label: Warner Bros.
Produced by: Arif Mardin
Including "Someday We’ll All Be Free", "Valdez in the Country" and "I’ll
Love You More Than You Ever Know", this is truly a soul masterpiece!
Being one of the brightest new voices in soul music in the early 70’s,
Hathaway suffered from severe depression which occasionally got him
hospitalized. He more or less retreated from the spotlight after
"Extensions…", and in 1979 Hathaway was found dead on the sidewalk
below the 15th-floor window of his room in New York’s Essex House. The
glass had been neatly removed from the window, and there were no signs
of struggle, leading investigators to rule Hathaway’s death a suicide.
Hayes Black Moses – 1971
Hayes: Shaft – 1971
Isaac Hayes: XL (Best Of) – 2000
Label: Amigo Sweden/Stax
Produced by: Isaac Hayes
Few had greater influence over the music of the 60’s and 70’s than Isaac
Hayes; after laying the groundwork for the Memphis soul sound through
his work with Stax-Volt Records, Hayes began a highly successful solo
career which predated not only the disco movement but also the evolution
of rap. He reached his commercial peak in 1971 with the release of
"Shaft", the score from the Gordon Parks film of the same name. Not only
did the album win Hayes an Academy Award for Best Score (the first
African-American composer to garner such an honor), but the single
"Theme From ‘Shaft,’" a masterful blend of funk and pre-rap
monologues, became a #1 hit.
Also check out the superb Black
Moses album also released in 1971. Both "Shaft" and "Black Moses" were
originally released as double albums.
There are lots of Isaac Hayes compilations out there. Definitely one of
the best is the 21 track 2 CD-set "XL – Best Of" compiled in
2000 by Amigo
Records, Sweden. This has all the classic tracks from his peak
period at Stax, most of which are long-running album versions.
Lucky Fellow – The Curtom Anthology – 1999
Produced by: Leroy Hutson
If you enjoy Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye or Johnny Bristol, you’re gonna love this!
Subtitled ‘The Curtom Anthology’, this collection is the first
definitive retrospective of the soul legend’s hits for Curtis Mayfield’s
Curtom label from 1972-1978. The first disc contains 17 tracks from this
period; the second disc contains his final album for Curtom, the 1979
"Unforgettable". All tracks superb remastered from the original master
Under Her Spell [Best of] – 1990
Label: BMG (UK)
In Between the Heartaches/ The Soul of a Diva – 2003
Label: Expansion (UK)
Produced by: Various
The UK version of the Under Her Spell collection has 14 tracks instead of
the poor 10 track US version. The UK version is probably now deleted, so
you should instead check out the brilliant 1996 2-CD set "Legacy of
Phyllis Hyman" on Arista. 28 songs ranging from light pop soul to smooth R&B jazz
including her classic version of "Betcha By Golly, Wow".
UK Expansion Records has done it again! The "In Between the Heartaches" is
a superb collection of various demo sessions and forgotten recordings
together with the unreleased, but excellent 1982 McCoy Tyner tracks.
Ultimate Collection – 2001
Produced by: Curtis Mayfield and more
Among all the different compilations done on The Impressions,
this is by far the best. Hip-O/Universal have done a splendid
job: 20 tracks from between 1963 and 1975, including the classic
and one of the all-time feel-good songs, "It’s All Right". Great
sound, rare photos, and very good liner notes. Curtis Mayfield
wrote songs that were catchy and had substance to them. When he,
Fred Cash, and Sam Gooden sang in unison, it was like hearing
one voice multi-tracked, until they split into their harmonies.
This is great doo wop/soul, made even more important by the
passage of time.
Brothers: Greatest Hits – 1997
Isley Brothers: Love Songs – 2000
Label: Sony Legacy
Produced by: Isley Brothers
Brothers: Eternal – 2001
Label: Dreamworks/SKG Music
Produced by: R. Kelly and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis ++
There are dozens of Isley Bros. compilations out there.
Personally I find both these Sony releases, – the 13 track ballads-only
"Love Songs" and the more funky 15 track "Greatest Hits", very good. The
Sony Legacy crew has once again done a great job with the sound. If you
just can’t get enough, try the 3 CD box-set "It’s Your Thing: The Story
of the Isley Bros". A truly timeless collection!
After more than 40 years and 40+ albums,
the 2001 "Eternal" rates among some of their best work. Although just Ronald
and Ernie are left of all the brothers and cousins, this is as
good as it gets. 14 smooth (and extremely sexy) R&B tracks with
Ernie’s almost Jimmy Hendrix-like guitar in the background,
binding it all together. His guitar work on "Ernie’s Jam" is
just excellent, and the cover versions of Chic’s "Warm Summer
and Chicago’s "If You Leave Me Now" are both killers. The
production team – consisting of R. Kelly and Jimmy Jam & Terry
Lewis among others – never takes completely control. They simply
let Ronald and Ernie do what they do best. This is not the case
on their latest offering – the 2003 "Body Kiss" – which in fact
should be called R. Kelly feat. the Isley Bros.
Ron Isley & Burt Bacharach: Isley Meets Bacharach – 2003
Label: SKG Music
Produced by: Burt Bacharach
Bacharach classics sung by veteran Ron Isley’s, who’s voice is sweeter and more resonant than ever. This is a
beautiful effort that combines the classic pop song with
the emotion of great soul singing. Get it!
Lovingly Yours – 1976
Millie Jackson: For Men Only – 1980
Produced by: Brad Shapiro
Millie Jackson’s uncensored raps have earned her a reputation as an X-rated soul artist
who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. The Georgia native moved to New Jersey as a
teenager, making her debut in 1970 for MGM, then moved to
Spring Records the next year and embarked on a long string of soul hits. Also check out
Millie’s "Totally Unrestricted – Best of" from 1997.
Peaceful – 1978
Al Johnson: Back For More – 1980
Label: CBS/Sony Japan – SRCS 6131
Produced by: Norman Connors
Born Alfred Orlando Johnson in Washington, Al started as out as
lead singer with The Unifics in the mid ’60’s. In 1978, he became part
of the group Positive Change, who released one album on Fortress Records
(Available on CD from UK label Expansion). Also in 1978, he recorded his
debut solo album "Peaceful" for the Marina label (including his original
version of ‘I’ve Got My Second Wind’). In 1980, Norman Connors produced
Al’s CBS album "Back For More" which is a bit disco, but definitely
worth checking out because of the 3 killer mellow tracks "Back For More"
– a duet with Jean Carn, "Tonight’s the Night for Love", and
the remake of "I’ve Got My Second Wind". Both
albums are Jap. CD
|Joneses: s/t – 1977
Produced by: Bobby Eli
Starting out in 1969 in Pittsburg, The Joneses signed to
Mercury in the early 70s where they had US hits like "Hey
Babe" and "Sugar Pie Guy". They broke up in
1975, but in the following years there were four resurrections of the
group, the first in 1977 and the last in 1992, and each time the only
constant in the new line-ups being Glenn Dorsey.
Their excellent 1977 album was produced by Bobby Eli which
provided the group with a bit of a Philly sound. Jap. CD release only.
Lattimore: Kenny Lattimore – 1996
Kenny Lattimore: From the Soul of Man – 1998
Produced by: Various
Marvin Gaye meets Donny Hathaway on these two great mellow
soul albums from Kenny Lattimore. "From The Soul Of Man"
is excellent produced by himself and co-producer Colin Gayle
and Lattimore sings with all the emotion and soul of his heroes Marvin and Donny. Lattimore
had at least a hand in writing most of 14 tracks on "…Soul of
Man" (incl. 1 unlisted bonus track), but he also made some
inspired choices of material to cover. His version of Al
Cooper’s "I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know"
(a tribute to the version by his idol Hathaway) is a killer, and
doing George Harrison’s "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" as soul,
– sounds great.
Produced by: Kevin Bacon (?) & Jonathan Quarmby
Sounding a bit like Seal at times, this is an excellent mellow and only release from Ephraim Lewis, who sadly died in a car crash
some years ago. Including the jazzy minor hit "Drowning in Your
Ingredient: Afrodisiac – 1973
Produced by: Bert DeCoteaux
Lead by Cuba Gooding (father of film actor Cuba
Gooding Jr.), Main Ingredient are best remembered for their 1972 classic
”Everybody Plays the Fool”, but they released a number of other great
singles, mostly during the first half of the ‘70s when they hooked up
with producer Bert DeCoteaux, who had an excellent sense of lush
orchestrated soul sound. The 1973 Afrodisiac is truly a soul gem,
recently re-issued on CD for the first time. Including the beautiful
ballad "Goodbye My Love" and their excellent version of Isley Brothers’
"Work To Do".
For more of the same you should check out the 1992 Golden Classics on
Cellectables Records. This anthology includes their biggest chart hits
and is a soul ballad bonanza. Alternatively go for the 20 track
remastered "A Quiet Storm" on BMG.
Say Goodbye [Best of] – 1995
Produced by: Bobby Martin & Leo Graham
19 tracks of great vocal harmonies! A venerable soul quintet from New Jersey, whose career
has spanned the dawn of soul and the death of disco, although they have steadfastly
preferred ballads over the years. Led initially by George Smith, who died in 1970, the
Manhattans first charted in 1965 with "I Wanna Be (Your Everything)". After a
string of solid R&B sellers on Carnival and DeLuxe, Gerald Alston replaced the late
Smith and the group moved to Columbia. In 1976 they struck pay dirt with the elegant
platinum-selling ballad "Kiss and Say Goodbye", which topped both the pop and
soul lists. Several more huge R&B hits preceded their uplifting 1980 gold record
"Shining Star," and still more followed.
Teena Marie: Love Songs [Best of] – 2000
Produced by: Teena Marie
Teena Marie: La Dona – 2004
Label: Cash Money Classics/Universal
Produced by: Teena Marie
No white artist has sang R&B more convincingly than Teena Marie,
whose big, robust vocals are so black-sounding that when she was
starting out, listeners wondered if she was a light-skinned
African-American. The singer/songwriter/producer was in her early 20s
when, around 1977, she landed a job at Motown Records and met her mentor
Rick James, who ended up doing all of the writing and producing for her
1979 debut album "Wild And Peaceful". "Love Songs" has 14 of the more
romantic, urban-adult contemporary songs which Marie recorded from 1981
through 1990, including the big hits "Ooo La La La" and "If I Were a
Bell". The classic "Portuguese Love" is missing though.
25 years after her debut she’s back with La Dona. Confident as ever and
in excellent voice, most of the material stands proudly next to her best
work. It runs however a bit long and should probably been cut 20 mins. or so.
Urban Hang Suite – 1996
Maxwell: Embrya – 1998
Produced by: Maxwell & Stuart Mathewman
Marvin Gaye of the 90’s! Definitely two of the best soul albums
of the 90’s! The atmospheric, cool-breeze soundscape comes
courtesy of Maxwell and Sade cohort Stuart Mathewman. His third album "Now", released 2001, is in
my opinion not as good as the first two. Except for a great
cover version of "This Woman’s Work" by Kate Bush, the
production and sound is far better than the songwriting.
The Best of – 2000 [2-CD set]
Produced by: Various
Judged merely by his records alone, the man’s legacy is enormous. As the leader of the
Impressions, he recorded some of the finest soul vocal group music of the 60’s. As a solo
artist in the 70’s, he helped pioneer funk, and helped introduce hard-hitting urban
commentary into soul music. "Move On Up", "It’s All Right",
"People Get Ready", "Freddie’s Dead" and "Superfly" are
merely the most famous of his many hit records. He wrote most of his material, at a time
when that was not the norm for soul performers. He was among the first, – if not the very
first, – to speak openly about African-American pride and community struggle in his
He was a key architect of Chicago soul, penning material and working on sessions by Windy
City soulsters like Gene Chandler, Jerry Butler and Major Lance. Mayfield was also an
He left the Impressions to begin a solo career in 1970. His first few singles boasted a
harder, more funk-driven sound; singles like "(Don’t Worry) If There’s a Hell Below,
We’re All Gonna Go" found him confronting ghetto life with a realism that had rarely
been heard on record. He really didn’t hit his artistic or commercial stride as a solo
artist until Superfly, his soundtrack to a 1972 blaxploitation film. Yet Mayfield’s
falsetto vocals, uplifting melodies, and fabulous funk-pop arrangements gave
the oft-moralizing material a graceful strength that few others could have achieved.
On August 14, 1990, he became paralyzed from the neck down when a lighting rig fell on top
of him at a concert in Brooklyn, NY. Curtis Mayfield died at the
age of 57, 26. December 1999.
Miracles: Collection – 2002
Label: Spektrum (UK)
Produced by: Freddie Perren
Miracles: Love Machine – The 70s Collection – 2003
Produced by: Freddie Perren
The 19 track "Collection" is a great overview of their
post-Smokey Robinson recordings on Motown with Billy Griffin doing the
lead vocals. The CD contains the complete 1975 best-selling "City
of Angels" album incl. "My Name Is Michael", "Waldo Roderick DeHammersmith",
and the pretty controversial "Ain’t Nobody Straight in
L. A.". Other great songs are
"Do It Baby," "What Is a Heart Good For," and the super-classy "Don’t
Let It End".
I’ve always preferred Billy Griffin over Smokey Robinson, so if you are
like me and just can’t get enough, also get the 2003 "Love Machine".
Some songs doubles, but together these two compilations contains most of
the Miracles 70s work.
Items – 1977
Label: Philadelphia International Rec.
Produced by: Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff
O’Jays: For The Love – 2001
Produced by: Eddie Levert &
"Collectors Items" is a great 14 track compilation, featuring the classic "Backstabbers" ,
"For the Love of Money" and "I love Music" . Originally released as a
14 track double LP. The CD was out in 1990, but on some pressings the track "Darlin’
Darlin’ Baby" has been removed. Excellent Philly Sound production by Gamble &
Huff. Highly recommendable is also their 1978 release "So Full of Love", containing the hit "Used to Be My Girl".
[More Philly Soul]
Esther Phillips: Anthology
Label: Soul Brother UK
Produced by: Creed Taylor, Wayne Henderson, Benny Golson,
Although Esther Phillips is probably better know for doing blues
and jazz material, and even though many of the session musicians are jazz players
like the Brecker Brothers, David Sanborn and Steve Khan, this is pure
Diamond Life –
Produced by: Robin Millar
Maybe not real soul, but nevertheless a great mellow jazz/soul/pop album.
Contains the excellent "Smooth Operator"
and "Sweetest Taboo". For more info, check my very own tribute to Helen FolaSADE
Adu and her band.
Jill Scott: Who Is Jill Scott? –
Produced by: Grand Wizards, Andre
Harris, Ed King
Mixing jazz, hip-hop, and classic soul, "Who
Is Jill Scott?" sails on smooth,
down-tempo beats and modest arrangements that highlight Scott’s
vivid, sometimes spoken-word lyrics and expressive voice. In an
R&B landscape that often suffers from overproduction
and too many sound-alike artists, "Who
Is Jill Scott?" is a refreshingly
honest release from a singer-songwriter who deserves to be
Marlena Shaw: Go Way Little Boy – The Sass & Soul Of..
[Best of] –
Produced by: Various
After a few years with Blue Note in the early 70’s (first female
signed to that label), Marlena moved to CBS in 1977 releasing 3 albums
containing more R&B/soul (and a little disco) than her jazzy Blue Note
years. This 14 track compilation covers her CBS years and is very
stylish all the way from her signature ballad "Go Away Little Boy" to
the disco rendition of "Touch Me In The Morning" (12" remix and prev.
very hard to find).
The Very Best Of
Vol.1 & 2 – 1993 & 1997
Spinners: Chrome Collection [3 CD box set] – 2003
Produced by: Thom Bell and others
The Spinners were rivaled only by the O’Jays as the greatest
Philly soul group, and The Very Best of the Spinners offers a
concentrated dose of sweet soul magic. It also shows the excellent work
of Thom Bell, Philly soul’s "other" great producer besides legendary
Gamble & Huff. The Spinners’ records were tastefully, elegantly romantic
and mostly built around the magnetic leads of Philippe Wynne. Thom
Bell’s gorgeous production frames his voice with just the right amount
of sweetness. Essential for anyone even remotely interested in ’70s
soul. Volume 2 rounds up the lesser-known hits that didn’t make the
Still can’t get enough lush soul? One of a kind – The Sublime Soul of
the Spinners showcased on their first-ever boxed set (62 tracks on 3
CDs), a career-spanning collection featuring choice album cuts,
previously unreleased tracks, and all the hits! Excellent hard-back
60-page digibook packed with photos and liner notes by Dionne Warwick,
David Bowie and Elvis Costello.
3 Deep – 1990
Produced by: David Conley & David Townsend
The ’80s soft soul vocal trio’s third and final release. Excellent songs and crisp production.
"The First Time"
was the first single from Surface’s "3 Deep" album and went gold
hitting #1e R&B and holding the #1 pop for two weeks in early
1991. The hits continued with "All I Want Is You", "Never Gonna Let You Down" and "You’re the One". Where are they now? Anybody?
(Beware of reggae group also called Surface).
Tavares: Madam Butterfly – 1979
Produced by: Bobby Martin
Produced by Bobby Martin – who was highly regarded in Philly
Soul circles, "Madam Butterfly" is very Philly-sounding and not the
disco usually associated with Tavares. Including highlights as "Straight
From the Heart", "My Love Calls", and the major hit "Never Had a Love
Like This Before". This is pure Northern Soul and working with Bobby
Martin proved a wise decision indeed.
V/A: Natural High vol. 1-4 – 2001/02/03/05
Label: Warner UK
Produced by: Various
This excellent compilation series contains some of the best late 70’s/early
80’s mellow soul tunes that you are unlikely to find on a conventional
compilation from that era. Creating an irresistible alternative to the
kind of soul and disco songs that were in the charts at the time.
V/A: Spirit Of Philadelphia – 2002
Label: Expansions UK
Produced by: Various
18 tracks showcasing the 70’s sound of Philadelphia beyond the walls of
Philadelphia International Records. In other words; Philly sound not on PIR. Excellent liner notes by Ralph Tee. Read more
Musical Massage – 1976
Produced by: Leon Ware
At last on CD! Originally released in 1976 and truly a
masterpiece. With five bonus tracks, including a duet with
Minnie Riperton, this is a must have for all serious soul
freaks. Ware’s voice is smooth and silky, much like Marvin
Gaye, – and both Gaye and Bobby Womack does guest appearances. A
little earlier the same year Motown released another classic – I
Want You by Marvin Gaye – written, produced and arranged by ….
Ultimate Collection – 2001
Produced by: Various
With an easily recognizable voice and a great
passionate approach to a song, Lenny used to be lead singer with
Tower of Power in the early ’70s. This compilation has 16
tracks, and except for "Don’t Change Horses (In The Middle Of A
Stream)" with TOP, all songs are from his solo albums. Again
Hip-O/Universal have done a fine job putting it all together.
|Whispers: Bingo – 1974
One For the Money –
Whispers: Open Up Your Love – 1977
Label: Soul Train
Produced by: Dick Griffey & The Whispers
In my opinion these are some of the Whispers’ best work, with
the 1974 "Bingo" as their all time best offering. Excellent vocal arrangements and harmony singing led by the
very smooth voices of twin brothers Scotty & Walter Scott. Also check
out "In The Mood" – a "best of ballads" by The
Whispers. Most Whispers albums have been reissued (and
remastered) by Castle Records (UK).
The Ultimate Bill Withers – 2000 [2-CD set]
Produced by: Various
This 2 set package is really superb! Including all the classics
such as "Lovely Day", "Ain’t no Sunshine",
"Lean on Me"
and "Just The Two Of Us" (with Grover Washington jr.). A must in
every soul collection!