The Magic Touch Of Odyssey



Pleased with this Telstar collection, because I always had a soft spot for Odyssey. I like all their hits so this is a handy overview. Admittedly, some of the other tunes fail to reach the giddy heights of “Use It Up, Wear It Out”, but generally the quality level is very high.

Off the top of my head, a couple of interesting facts about Odyssey: (1) They were much more succesful here in the UK than in their homeland – only their first hit,  ‘Native New Yorker’, cracked the US top 40.  (2) They were not ‘Native New Yorkers’ themselves…I think they were from somewhere like Connecticut.

I know the sleeve design is pure eighties naffness, but I really like it – such a lush photo, I could stare at it for ages, and indeed, have done.

Published in: on December 1, 2009 at 9:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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Dynasty – Your Piece of the Rock (Solar Records 1979)

Dynasty - Your Piece of the Rock

A 5 track LP – featuring 7-8 minute workouts of some very very funky-disco – which unless you are actually dead , or in the mind-set I was when this first came – which dismisses anything not Punk/New-Wave/psych etc etc, should have you grooving your body all across the lounge – which is exactly what is happening in this place right now!

The cover is totally crap – what were they thinking – look I know it is late-70s – they are in New York – but come on kids – have you no shame – and lets face it – do you reckon any of them have before or sonce ever been near a rocky-mountain range ?

Despite all that negative talk – ‘Don’t Want to be a Freak’ is absolutely enormous on the floor-filler-potential stakes … 

So despite the crap shorts and socks – this is as smooth a disco/funk combination – full-on production you could want for 50 pence !!

Dynasty - Your Piece of the Rock

Published in: on November 5, 2009 at 11:16 am  Comments (2)  
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The Main Ingredient – Tasteful Soul


If you like your soul silky smooth – dripping with honey – washed down with a pint of ale – then this babe is for you …   A slab of 1970 New York harmonies and strings in a production that is indeed damn tasty …   and on occasion when they rock out – almost funky..

A good investment it would seem today for a mere 50 pence – judging what those soul gals-n-guys are willing to cough up online for it …     


Published in: on November 3, 2009 at 1:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

SHAFT – Mack Brown & The Brothers

Shaft - Mack Browne and the Brothers

A classic slab of funk-disco-soul comin at yah from 1971…

Not having got a copy of the Issac Hayes orginal double-LP, I am in no position to comment on how this single-sided cover compares.  It is however very tasty indeed to these ears – I guess the production is somewhat scaled down due to the ever reliable budget label Hallmark Records having no where near the funds for a full orchestra etc etc.  No problem to me – I love my funk/soul  stripped back – the tracks are played deep-and dirty with some superb bass/drum workouts in evidence.   

Classic stuff ……

Shaft - Mack Browne and the Brothers

Published in: on November 2, 2009 at 6:53 am  Comments (1)  
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BOOTS – Nancy Sinatra

Boots - Nancy Sinatra

Another hand-me-down form me P-n-M – I have however an even better LP bought for a quid from a local car boot – but hey – I grew up on this one – the sleeve is – lets face it – almost unmatchable – the music is quite simply – bloody ace …   been playing to the house on repeat today – and they maybe begrudgingly) agree …..    

Tomorrow more thrift – today – a family favorite !

Nancy Sinatra - Boots

Published in: on October 20, 2009 at 8:21 pm  Comments (1)  
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Motown Dance Machine

Motown Dance Machine

UK budget label Pickwick licenced a bunch of Motown floor-fillers – a surprisingly unobvious selection, including cuts by Rick James, The Commodores and High Energy, and with only six cuts per side there’s enough space for the grooves to breath. The brunette on the sleeve is the icing on the cake.

Published in: on September 21, 2009 at 1:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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All Platinum

All Platinum Gold

All Platinum was the record label run by Sylvia Robinson in the ’70s before she founded Sugar Hill Records and started signing/exploiting artists from the nascent hip hop scene. This collection is useful because it features disco-soul hits like Shirley & Co‘s ‘Shame, Shame, Shame’, The Rimshots‘7-6-5-4-3-2-1 (Blow Your Whistle)’ and those two gorgeous Top 10 offerings from The Moments, ‘Girls’ and ‘Dolly My Love’, along with a host of lesser-known numbers. So it combines nostalgia with education – just the way I like it!

I particularly enjoyed Sylvia’s own saucy l’il number ‘Pussycat’ and the label’s overall production style, which aspires towards lush arrangements yet retains an earthy low-rent flavour. Nice snappy drum sound, too. A most pleasing purchase!

Published in: on August 26, 2009 at 9:43 pm  Comments (1)  
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Black Magic

Black Music

One of several soul/funk/disco compilations I found in the PDSA this week. Apparently they’d just arrived that morning, so I was able to cherry-pick the best stuff.

Released in the mid-70s on Arcade Records, ‘Black Music’ is a pretty decent survey of then currently popular music by black artists. As you’d expect, it’s mainly soul and funk, with Rupie Edwards’ “Ire Feelings (Skanga)” the only representative of Jamaican reggae. I vaguely remembered the song’s catchy ‘skanga, skanga’ refrain from childhood, as this was an unlikely top 10 hit back in November 1974. The interesting thing I notice about the song now is that it is, in essence, a dub reggae track, almost totally stripped-down to the backing rhythm, with occasional flashes of guitar and organ, lashings of echo etc. Yet it has a full vocal on top, which seems quite unusual to my ears. And I’m sure it would’ve been a bit of an oddity at the time. The only example of a hit novelty dub record in the UK charts?

Also nice to finally have The Tymes’ “You Little Trust Maker”, even though that one jumps a lot near the end (the vinyl isn’t in great condition unfortunately) along with the O’Jays’ magnificent “Love Train”. Lots of warm sounds from my childhood leaking through here.

It still has the original price sticker, which reveals that it’s first owner bought it in Woolworths for £2.49.

Published in: on August 21, 2009 at 10:43 pm  Comments (5)  
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