K-Tel Soul Series

Goddamit, I’ve been after that Super Bad elpee for ages, for no other reason than I want to complete the set, reuniting the record with it’s younger brothers Souled Out (NE 508, 1975) and Soul Motion (NE 930, 1976).

Bah!

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Published in: on April 30, 2011 at 8:26 pm  Comments (3)  
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War – Deliver The Word

If I could just return to the subject of, y’know, vinyl for a moment…

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One of the great things about this random method of music procurment is the way that you can stumble across records that you never knew you needed, or perhaps never even knew existed, and fall instantly in love with them. As happened to me this weekend with War’s 1973 album “Deliver The Word”.

I try not to pay more than a quid for my records, but stumped-up the extra 50p for this as it’s in virtually mint condition and, on the strength of their later hits “Low Rider” and “Galaxy” alone, I had a really good feeling about it.

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Sure enough, it’s a beauty: a sweet selection of funk and soul cuts with “Me And Baby Brother”, the phat Moog riffs on “In Your Eyes” and the extended hypno-groove of “Gypsy Man” being sky-highlights to these ears.

Published in: on June 27, 2010 at 12:06 pm  Comments (1)  
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Ecstasy

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Absolutely nothing to do with Rave music; this budget compilation from the little-known Lotus Records (year unspecified – I’m guessing late ’70s), features ’18 loving tracks’ from the likes of Barry White, Billy Paul, Deniece Williams, Lou Rawls (remember “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine”?), Minnie Ripperton and The Floaters (what a great name!). I already had all the best tracks elsewhere, but was basically sold on the sleeve, for which I make no apologies…

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Published in: on April 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm  Comments (1)  
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Second Image – Better Take Time

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Never heard of this bunch of under-achieving Brit-funkers, but I was attracted to this one by the Tron-like computer graphic sleeve, which seemed to suggest the contents might be a bit synthy-futuristic in a retro ’83 stylee. Unfortunately it’s a rather pedestrian slice of pop-soul, though the instrumental b-side is quite enjoyable in a sub-Shakatak jazz funk kinda way. Maybe if I’d taken a closer look at the group photo on the rear sleeve I might’ve been a bit more suspicious…
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Incidentely, a quick bit of research reveals that one of these guys – Christopher Heaton, who I assume is the one on the far left – had previously been a member of synth-poppers Landscape, who I have a bit of a soft-spot for. Tragic, really…

Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 5:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Loose Ends – Magic Touch (Club Mix)

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One of those ’80s groups I kinda liked at the time, then just forgot about. My favourite song of theirs was “Hangin’ On A String”, but this follow-up was pretty nifty too, though I was surprised to note that they never had a top 10 hit. Of course, that super slick sub-Jam & Lewis plastic-soul production sound is about as far away from hip as you can get right now, and as for the fashions on display in this lavish double-gatefold package…sheesh. But maybe all the kids will be dressing like this next year. Stranger things have happened.

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Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 4:55 pm  Comments (2)  
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George McCrae – Rock Your Baby

Second post from todays mega-binge of second-hand vinyl..   And what a bleedin classic of 1974 funky-soul-disco if ever there is one.  Man – I was at school when this stuff was on the radio – all pre-punk stuff of course which only a couple of years later we would all strut-our-stuff saying how crap it all was – but man – now being a sad-old-git – with a penchant for a funky-sexy-groove – this is the bizz !!

My copy here is in immaculate condition – and is a joy to hear these tracks blasting from a sub-woofer enhanced monitoring system – as opposed to the poxy MW transistor-radio I would have last heard them from …

Classic shit man !!!

Published in: on January 22, 2010 at 4:08 pm  Comments (6)  
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Dance Hits 2

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Simply had to have this for the sleeve – such a stereotypical example of mid-’80s design with the garish primary colours, geometric abstracts and squiggles; a pure Smash Hits-style suger rush.

Musically, it’s a mixed bag of the best and worst of electronic dance-pop, r’nb and hip hop of the period. At the time, my idealistic 6th Form self would’ve turned-up his nose at much of this (though I definitely revered Mantronix) but now it’s the audio equivalent of  flicking through an old photo album, igniting pungent and often amusing flashbacks to those happy days of  second- hand Ford Cortinas, attempting to get served in pubs, free study periods, lusting after girls…and so forth.

Published in: on January 19, 2010 at 8:28 am  Comments (2)  
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Freda Payne – Band Of Gold

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Another sleeveless 7″ discovered hidden inside an LP sleeve – Freda Payne’s classic “Band Of Gold”  (Invictus,  1970). The record has numerous battle-scars but plays absolutely fine, once again proving the remarkable resilience of the great 7″ single. The b-side is a pleasant little excursion called “The Easiest Way To Fall”, notable for a super one-bar drum break right near the start, which I’m sure must’ve been used in a hip hop record. Certainly, if I was still pottering around making beats on my old Amiga, I definitely would’ve sampled this!

Published in: on January 18, 2010 at 9:29 am  Comments (5)  
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Dance To The Music

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This 1973 reissue of Sly Stone’s “Dance To The Music” was another equally pricey Oxfam purchase, but at least it’s a truly timeless document which I’d never actually heard before (apart from the title track, of course), and it was half-price in the sale.

The extended “Dance To The Medley” is pure heaven – worth the price of admission alone. Interesting that they used a different sleeve photo for this pressing, turning the camera away from the band to focus on the euphoric effects the music had on audiences, which I can well imagine. Maybe not as cerebral as “There’s A Riot Goin’ On”, but still as intense – in a joyful way – leaving a poignant reminder of what a great band the Family Stone were before all the frictions and excesses consumed them.

Published in: on January 12, 2010 at 8:36 am  Comments (1)  
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For Those Who Believe In Father Christmas

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Some sort of promotional item – a collaboration between CBS Records’ ‘Special Products Service’ and, erm, William Crawford & Sons, makers of fine biscuits. Crawford’s are still going strong – we have one of their teatime selection packs in the cupboard right now.

“For those who believe in Father Christmas…a superb collection of popular tunes by famous artists, specially selected to set the right mood for a truly merry Christmas”

But there’s no obvious Christmas anthems here. To me this sounds like a completely random selection of cuts, from artists as diverse as Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Ray Conniff, The Byrds, Sly Stone, Blood Sweat And Tears, The Tremeloes, Aretha Franklin, Louis Armstrong and Lynn Anderson.  The rear sleeve provides a helpful list of albums by all the artists concerned, for the curious listener to explore further. So CBS get to plug all their artists and Crawford’s get a record all of their own to push onto Britain’s unsuspecting biscuit lovers. Everyone wins!

As it’s nearly Christmas, I’ll throw in the gatefold too…

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Season’s Greetings to our reader(s?). I shall now be taking a break from blogging until the new year, though perhaps my colleague will reappear to entertain you in my absence.

Published in: on December 15, 2009 at 9:09 am  Comments (2)  
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