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March 2006 Reviews

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  • March 2006 Reviews

    45 REVIEWS:

    Keep On Dancing/Rise Up (Atlantic 69)
    Before the Commodores signed to Motown they released a few 45s. Students at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama originally formed the group. They packed their bags and headed north to New York to try to make it big. There they caught the eye of a Harlem PR man who booked them to record for Atlantic. The band recorded an album’s worth of material, but only these two songs were originally released. The A-side is an instrumental version of Alvin Cash’s hit Keep On Dancing played nice and fast with the horns, and the drum break in the middle followed by a bass solo. Rise Up is another fast paced instrumental led by the guitar and organ. Most of this original session would later be released on the Uprising LP.

    Revelation – Part I & II (Cadet)
    Fugi/Fuji was Ellington Jordan backed by the group Black Merda. They have that distinctive black Rock sound to them with plenty of heavy guitar. A great 45 to check out if you like that style.

    Tom Drunk/Mabrouk (Treasure Isle)
    I’ve been looking for this 45 ever since Reflection Eternal sampled it from their first 12” on Rawkus. It didn’t help that I always use to look for U-Roy. Luckily I finally found a copy however. The song is a great Reggae number with Lewis laying down some soulful lyrics while Hugh Roy toasts over them. The flip is by longtime Jamaican session man Tommy McCook. Mabrouk is a melodic Reggae number with McCook’s horn playing leading the band before an organ solo in the middle.

    I Got A Sure Thing/ Girl, You Have My Heart Singing (Stax)
    This 45 was produced by Booker T. Girl, You Have My Heart Singing is an upbeat Soul tune with nice back-up vocals. I Got A Sure Thing is a slower tune, but the vocals are still the highlight of the group.

    Come In Out Of The Rain/Little Ole Counry Boy (Invictus 72)
    There are still a couple early Parliament 45s I need to track down. Little Ole Country Boy actually appeared on about 3 different 45s including this one. Many will recognize the yodeling at the beginning as a De La Soul sample, but really the tune is a crazy mix of Country and Funk to good results. Come In Out Of The Rain is a 45 only track and starts off with some loud open drums interspersed with bass before some very soulful vocals come in.

    Papa Was A Rolling Stone/Feeling High (Globe)
    This 45 was released on Joe Gibbs’ Globe label. The A-side highlights the Pioneers’ love of American music with a pretty tight cover of the Temptations’ classic done pretty straightforward. Feeling High shows another love of Jamaicans. The song has a great chorus and more soulful singing during the verses.

    Tick Tock Baby (It’s A Quarter To Love)/Hello Stranger (Karen 74)
    I heard about this great 45 through a CD swap via the Vinyl Vulture site. Tick Tock Baby is a catchy mid-tempo Soul number with the guitar out front, the female lead singer laying down some strong vocals backed by congas, and a percussion break in the middle. The formula is near perfect. Hello Stranger flips the script with some male vocals and a sweet Soul ballad.

    Bad Risk/Unerdog (Epic 67)
    I’d completely given up finding a copy of this when one turned up out of the blue at a local record convention. This 45 comes from Sly & The Family Stone’s first LP A Whole New Thing, and was one of their first 45s for Epic. Both songs highlight the really raw groove found on early Sly recordings. Underdog is just a powerhouse song with loud horns pushing the pace. The horns play the most prominent part in Bad Risk as well with Sly laying down some bass heavy vocals.

    Ride Yu Donkey/Cleopatra (Got To Get You Off My Mind) (Prince Buster’s 68)
    The Tennors were a three-man Rock Steady vocal group consisting of George Murphy, Maurice Johnson and Norman Davis. They started off with Coxson Dodd’s Studio One and had immediate success in 1967. Ride Yu Donkey was released the following year and also climbed the charts in Jamaica. The vocals with their almost melancholy feel to them and the powerful backbeat are the cornerstones of this extremely catchy number. Cleopatra is a love song and almost as good.

    Sexy Woman/Sweet Brown Sugar (Glades)
    About a month or so ago I got a copy of this 45, but it was a promo version with just Sexy Woman on it. Another single with both sides showed up on eBay for cheap and I couldn’t resist. Sexy Woman is just an excellent Soul tune. It starts off with a little drum break before the horns come in. Unlike the Timmy Thomas everyone knows this tune has an actual band behind him. The vocals are kept down to a minimum so you can just enjoy the music. Sweet Brown Sugar is more of a traditional Thomas tune with his organ and drum machine. The song has its own charm however with some cheesy lyrics comparing candy to a girl that almost make you laugh. I actually like the chorus however with some female back-up singers.

    Make Me Your Slave/Souling (All Platinum)
    I have another 45 by Willie & The Mighty Magnificents that’s a Funk number. This is on the Soul side. The band was from New Jersey and recorded for Joe and Sylvia Robinson’s All Platinum label. Make Me Your Slave is a sweet Soul tune about being a slave to love with nice falsetto singing and arranging. Souling is a fast paced instrumental with horns and a melodic bridge in the middle.


    Bonnie Dobson (RCA 69)
    I have no idea why I bought this record. After listening to it, I have even less answers. Bonnie Dobson was a Folk artist, but on her self-titled LP she’s trying to do Pop. It doesn’t really work. She has a high voice with a lot of orchestration on the tunes, but none of them really work for me. This is what you get from buying blind.

    Macondo (Atlantic 72)
    With the growth of the Chicano movement in Southern California came an outgrowth of Latin-Rock-Soul bands. Macondo was one of these. The name came from the novel 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Sergio Mendes was responsible for discovering them in L.A. Most of the LP is on the Rock tip like Do It To Me that starts off with a loud drum break before the guitar joins followed by percussion. In a similar vein is Sneaking In The Back Door and Battery. After listening to just a couple songs one thing becomes apparent though, singer and guitarist Albert Hernandez wasn’t up to singing lead. As soon as the vocals come in, the songs go south more often than not. The exceptions are Cayuco and Almendra, both with group vocals to make up for Hernandez’s shortcomings. They’re basically instrumentals as well with singing only on the choruses, so they highlight the ability of the group to just jam.

    Journey Thru An Electric Tube (Solid State 69)
    I always use to see this record at the Sound Library in New York, but for too high a price. Luckily they’re not that hard to find. Mainieri played the electric vibes and was joined by players such as Jeremy Steig and Chuck Rainey for this session. The LP features a variety of styles from the upbeat Soul-Jazz of It’s All Becoming Clear Now and The Bush, to the slow vocal numbers The Wind and Connecticut Air, to the fast pace of We’ll Speak Above The Roar that fluctuates between Rock guitar, to jazzy vibes playing to Soul-Jazz flute soloing. The 13 minute plus Allow Your Mind To Wander even ventures into a little Psych. Together these tracks make Journey Thru An Electric Tube a surprisingly good record.

    Swing To Fitness (Melody House)
    I got a sealed copy of this record from Breakself probably two years ago while on a trip to Ohio and Michigan. It’s taken me this long to actually open the thing and listen to it however. Melody House was the brainchild of Harrell and Sharron Lucky. They released a series of children’s records to be played during P.E. classes. Whether they ever sold, or more importantly worked, is a mystery to me, but they are definitely sought after records after Prince Paul sampled one. Each track has a musical backing while Harrell gives instructions for various exercises. Swing To Fitness is basically a novelty record with some nice drum bits such as one sequence where Harrell tells the kids to open and close their hands while the drums go faster and faster in the background then slow down again. There are several other tunes in a similar mode.

    Psyc Impressions (Montparnasse 70)
    Nilovic was a Yugoslavian expatriate living in France since 1960. There he released several records, especially for the Montparnasse Label. Psyc Impressions is divided up into four parts: Sport Mood Serie, Event Mood Serie, Indicatif Mood Serie, and Cosmos Mood Serie. The opening Rush On The Ball matches a strong bass line, with some Big Band horns and a Rock guitar line to great effect. Duty Free is even more on the Rock tip with a loud guitar this time backed by organ, and later horns. The bass player gets down in the middle as well. The best is Shaking Pop with more Rock guitar, prominent horns this time, and some ridiculous runs on the bass. The slower In The Space is also worth a listen.

    Rollin’ (Hodisk 82)
    The Numonics were a local East Bay act. That’s highlighted on the back cover with a picture of a car taking the Ashby Exit on I-80 to Berkeley. I also like the fact that they listed where they got their nails, make-up, hair, barbering and clothes from on the back as well. As you would expect from something released in 1982, Rollin has some Modern Soul like Falling In Love with some nice vocal harmonies. Most of the LP is actually Sweet Soul however like Time Brings About Changes that has a long spoken intro about going to Oakland and then meeting an old girlfriend, You Lied, and Some People that has a nice dark edge to it.

    Freedom Feeling (Trojan 73)
    Freedom Feeling was released in the early 70s when the Pioneers were living in England. The record highlights the Pioneers’ Reggae roots, while mixing some pop sensibilities to appeal to the English market. That’s heard immediately on Freedom Train, which is basically a Soul tune with only the slightest hints of Reggae. They also do a pretty straightforward, yet good cover of Papa Was A Rolling Stone. Of course, there are also some bad Pop tunes as well, especially on the second side. That isn’t to say that this is entirely an attempt to sellout and crossover. There’s plenty of good Reggae like Marita and Smokin, which is actually an anti-drug song.

    I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door (Trojan 74)
    The Pioneers were one of the top Jamaican acts to cross over to the pop market in England in the late 1960s. That led them to relocate to the U.K. in 1970 where they signed to the Trojan label and went for a Soul-Reggae-Pop sound. That’s apparent on the first three cuts, Knock On Your Door, Give And Take and A Little Bit Of Soap, none of which you can tell is done by a Reggae band, and none of which are that good by the way. It’s only when the group returns to their Reggae roots that they start getting it right. That begins with the slow and groovy Step By Step that highlights the trio’s ability to mix Jamaican and American vocal styles. There’s also Keep Your Mouth Shut, Hit Me With Music, Hot Blooded Man, and Grandma, Grandpa. Thos tunes save the record from its mediocre beginning.

    Tuff Dude! (Groove Merchant 74)
    Tuff Dude! is a collection of two releases by Rich from 1974, Roar Of 74 and Very Live At Buddy’s Place. The first LP features Rich backed by a Big Band playing some powerful and fast paced Jazz numbers like Nuttville and Backwoods Sideman. On Kilimanjaro Cookcout the band is able to stretch out a bit and add some Rock, heavy percussion, and a little Funk backed by the brass section. Big Mac is just as good with a funky rhythm and a nice get down at the end. The live show has Rich backed by just a small band. The highlight of that LP is a cover of Herbie Hancock’s Chameleon. There’s also the melodic Soul-Jazz of Sierra Lonely.

    Give Me Your Love (Uno Melodic 81)
    Talk about finding one of your all time white whales. Getting a copy of this qualifies as one of those special moments in record collecting for me. Roy Ayers not only released the LP, but shared in production and arranging credits. The most well known cut is Can’t Turn Me Away, which was originally released as a 12” single in 1980. The song is pure butter. It’s syrupy grooves and sweet singing are irresistible. The rest of the record isn’t half as interesting, but the title track is a good, upbeat dance track.

    A Warmer Shade Of Wess (Vergara)
    Doug Fowlkes formed Wess & The Airedales in 1961 as the Airedales. In the mid-60s the band ended up in Italy due to a military tour of duty where they added singer and bassist Wess Johnson who took over the band. A Warmer Shade Of Wess shows a strong Southern Soul influence beginning with a cover of Who’s Making Love, followed by the original Crazy that has a very similar sound with the addition of a soul clap, and Why Don’t You Try Me and Heart Braker, that could also be mistaken for Sam & Dave. They also get a little slow with a cover of Try A Little Tenderness. Of course, being in Italy, there are also a couple Italian Pop songs as well on the album.


    Love’s Lines, Angles And Rhymes (Bell 71)
    5th Dimension were a 5 piece vocal Soul group known for their MOR sound. They don’t disappoint with that approach on Love’s Lines, Angles And Rhymes with tunes like Time And Love and Guess Who that are just so syrupy bad. There’s a cover of Viva Tirado that stands out a little bit, but even then, it’s not that special. Rainmaker starts off with a drum break and is actually pretty acceptable Soul with one of the male vocalists in the lead. If you’re into this sound and group try to find a copy with the fold out 5 flap on the back still in tack.

    Stoned Soul Picnic (Liberty 68)
    Stoned Soul Picnic was one of 5th Dimension’s greatest sellers. They return with their usual MOR Soul numbers that would fit in perfectly with someone’s Pat Boone collection. I shouldn’t rag on them so much because the title track isn’t that bad for a Pop-Soul tune, and their cover of California Soul gets a pass as well. There’s also a drum break on Good News.

    Twice As Sweet (Capitol 80)
    A Taste Of Honey were as well known for their hit Sukiyaki, which is on this record, as they were for being female musicians, playing guitar, bass and singing. At the heart of the group were Janice Marie Johnson and Hazel Payne. They were produced by George Duke and have that slick Modern Soul sound that Duke was playing at the same time. My favorite song is Rescue Me with its guitar line and sharp horn stabs before mellowing out during the singing. The song brings back a lot of memories because it was used by Funky 4 + 1 for That’s The Joint and Positive K for I Got A Man. The slow and powerful Say That You’ll Stay might be the best song however. Of course, there’s also the hit, the aforementioned Sukiyaki, that starts off with the classic line, “It’s all because of you I’m feeling sad and blue.” This leads into the slow jam with a minimalist rhythm track with a Japanese string instrument carrying the melody.

    APOLLO 100
    Joy (Mega 72)
    Oh how many times I’ve seen this record and passed on it. Joy is a collection of mostly classical pieces by the likes of Bach, Mendelssohn, etc., done by Tom Parker, who is better known for doing some Library work in England. There’s one catchy track, Mad Mountain King that starts off with a slow back and forth beat before the keys come in with a well known classical line. There’s also a conga break on Exercise In A Minor and a big drum solo on Evil Midnight (Danse Macabre). What about the rest of the album? Well, let’s just say that I found it in the $1 bin and that’s about what it’s worth.

    In Hearing Of (Elektra 71)
    In Hearing Of was the first Atomic Rooster LP that I bought. First off, you’ve got to love the cover art of an old lady listening through a hearing horn stuck in her ear. In the inside and back covers it has her running from the band. There is one good reason to purchase this LP, The Rock. It’s a classic slow and funky Rock tune with a great drum break at the beginning that comes in and out throughout the song, plus lots of organ. The following song starts off with piano and has a catchy melody before the vocals join in. The band returns with a drum and organ breakdown in the middle as well.

    Live Oblivion Vol. 2 (RCA 74)
    The second half of the Live Oblivion series was a double LP. Freedom Jazz Dance is the first song on the album, but just misses the mark at funkiness, although it has a short breakdown in the middle that’s good. That kind of captures the mood of most of the album with songs that have interesting parts, but don’t hold your interest for their entirety. Compared To What however, starts off with a drum break, and so does Whenever You’re Ready, although it’s got more of a Jazz groove to it. The best song is a version of Inner City Blues with a little drum break intro as well.

    Cut The Cake (Atlantic 75)
    Cut The Cake is my favorite Average White Band album for no other reason than it includes the classic School Boy Crush with its instantly recognizable guitar and drum line that gets even better when the bass comes in. I could listen to just that opening over and over. Of course, you don’t get a letdown with the call and response vocals either making for a solid all around tune. There’s also Cut The Cake with its strong horn play and a light rhythm track. The slow jam If I Ever Lose This Heaven is also a good number.

    Show Your Hand (MCA 73)
    For the longest time, I didn’t even know that this record existed. I had always thought that I had all of AWB’s good albums when I was scanning through a site on the internet and saw the album cover for Show Your Hand. I eventually found it at a local flea market. The album opens with the funky Rock of The Jugglers with a great beginning. There’s also the light Soul of This World Has Music that reminds me a bit of Larry Graham. The best known cut is T.L.C. with its catchy guitar and bass line.

    Soul Searching (Atlantic 76)
    Soul Searching contains two classic Average White Band tunes. First is Love Your Life with its bass heavy rhythm and horn work that’s got a bit of a Fusion feel to it with the effects on the instruments. Second is I’m The One that has a very similar sound and feel, but with a tighter rhythm section. Unfortunately, the rest of the album isn’t as interesting.

    Change Up The Groove (Polydor 74)
    Change Up The Groove highlights Roy Ayers’ Ubiquity’s Fusion sound. There’s the title cut that matches a slick Fusion rhythm to Ayers’ usual soulful vibes play. Sensitize has a nice airy feel to it with the vocals, while When Is Real Real? is a Rock-Soul-Jazz mix. The best cut is the slow Boogie Back with its drum break intro and powerful backing track. There are also a some MOR and Pop tunes as well such as Don’t Worry Bout A Thing and MASH Theme. Feel Like Making Love is the best of that lot.

    Harlem Bush Music Uhuru (Milestone 71)
    Gary Bartz released two albums entitled Harlem Bush Music. The first was Taifa, followed by Uhuru. Bartz’s NTU Troop was made up of Ron Carter, Juni Booth, Harold White, Nat Bettis, and featured Andy Bey. Uhuru starts off with Blues (A Folk tale) that takes up the entire first side. The song starts off very mellow with just Bartz’s singing, bass and a piano playing some neo-Blues. Eventually the song picks up the pace and becomes a grooving little bit of Soul-Jazz before going back and forth between the earlier parts. The second side opens with Uhuru Sasa, another soulful Jazz piece backed by congas and a strong bass line by Carter. Vietcong sounds like a jazzed up version of a Henry Mancini tune anchored by Carter’s bass and Bartz’s singing. Carter again plays a prominent role in Celestial Blues, the best tune of the lot, with a catchy harmony and vocals, and of course, bass line.

    Shadow Do (Prestige 75)
    Shadow Do finds Gary Bartz traveling into funky Jazz Fusion. That’s a style that I’ve found less interesting in recent years. The one song that stands out is Gentle Smiles (Saxy) where Bartz’s playing is at its best. This is a record that I was a bit disappointed in after spending a long time looking for it.

    Dreamer (ABC/Dunhill 74)
    Bobby Bland had a long career stretching over several decades. Dreamer was one of this best selling albums as it included the hit song Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City. That song will be familiar to many as it was sampled by Jay-Z. The song is good all by itself. It features a great moody melody, Bland’s strong singing, and a little breakdown in the middle. There are actually quite a few songs on the LP that sounds just like it, including I Ain’t Gonna Be The First To Cry and Twenty-Four Hour Blues. There’s also the upbeat Soul of Yolanda.

    BONEY M.
    Take The Heat Off Me (ATCO 76)
    Boney M. was the creation of German producer Frank Farian who needed a group to sing a hit song he made in the studio. The music is Disco with the requisite strings and three decent female singers. What gets me is the deep male baritone that drops in occasionally on the opening Daddy Cool. That guy makes me laugh every time I hear him. The one redeeming song on the album is a cover of Bob Marley’s No Woman, No Cry played fairly upbeat.

    BOOKER T. & THE M.G.’S
    McLemore Avenue (Stax 70)
    McLemore Avenue has to be one of the best covers Stax ever made. The front of the gatefold is a take off of the Beatles’ Abbey Road with Booker T. and the gang crossing the street in front of the Stax studios. You can see the old movie house billboard of the building in the background with the famous Stax Soulsville U.S.A. The inside has the band sitting around the McLemore Ave. street sign, while the back has a man stooping over looking at some girl’s legs as she walks by. From the cover you can discern that the record is an ode to the Beatles’ Abbey Road. Most of the tracks are actually long medleys like the opening (Medley) Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight, The End, Here Comes The Sun, Come Together and (Medley) Because You Never Give Me Your Money. The best is saved for last with the (Medley) Sun King, Mean Mr. Mustard, Polythene Pam, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, I Want You, She’s So Heavy with its contrast in moods from the mellow beginning to the heavy organ and guitar playing at the end accentuated by a series of open bass breaks.

    Dells Vs Dramatics (Cadet 74)
    I was THIS close to selling this record. Luckily I gave it another spin and had a change of heart. What’s not to like about this record anyway? The cover art is a great gatefold picture showing the two vocal groups playing basketball against each other with an ABA ball no less. Geographically, the album brings together the North and the South as the Dramatics got their start with Memphis’ Stax, while the Dells were a mainstay of Chicago’s Cadet. Even the recordings were made partially in Detroit and partially at the Muscle Shoals Studios in Alabama. Musically, the first two cuts have the groups singing together while after that they take turns with the songs. Love Is Missing From Our Lives is a Sweet Soul number with some nice lush arranging behind it. The second collaboration, I’m In Love, is even better with a catchy vocal lead up to the chorus. The power ballads Playin The Love Game and I Wish it Was Me You Loved by the Dells, and the moody Door To Your Heart and Tune Up by the Dramatics are also good listens.

    All We Need Is Another Chance (Alithia 73)
    Prison Reform was a big issue in the early 1970s, mostly brought about by Black prisoners inspired by the Civil Rights and Black Power movements happening outside the prison walls. People like George Jackson and others tried to not only make the public aware of the conditions in the country’s prisons, but also organize prisoners into self-help/self-improvement organizations and pressure administrations and states to better their plight. Of course, the Attica prison riots highlighted the dark side of this struggle. All We Need Is Another Chance was an outgrowth of these moves as all the band members were prisoners in Rahway State Prison, NJ. One of the best parts of the record are the interviews with prison inmates played in between songs. Musically, All We Need is Another Chance is Sweet Soul with plenty of orchestration like on I’ll Be Sweeter Tomorrow with a harp at the beginning and Look Over Your Shoulder. There are also a few more upbeat songs like By The Time I Get To Phoenix. The best cut is probably the title track, All We Need (Is Another Chance), that sounds a bit like the Temptations at times with a falsetto singer.

    Black Is The Color (Milestone 72)
    Most of Joe Henderson’s numbers are hard Bop to improvisational Jazz. However, he does have some nice little riffs thrown in such as the beginning of Terra Firma, which opens with a funky Fusion rhythm featuring George Cables on the keys before the rest of the band comes in. The beginning of Foregone Conclusion opens with a banging bass line by David Holland and some sharp hits on the snare drum. Both songs then revert to some very loud and noisy bop and improv. This was recorded at a time when Henderson was living in the Bay Area and was working for Milestone Records. He gets backing from some of the usual suspects in 1970s jazz scene such as Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, Ralph MacDonald and Airto Moreira.

    Funky Chicken (Brunswick 70)
    Funky Chicken was the first record I ever took a chance on when I first started digging. I found it in a store in downtown Sacramento and actually passed on it several times. I had a little list of records that I knew about, and that was all that I bought back then. I kept on looking at the title and cover art of a man and a couple women dancing and bought it almost a year after I’d first seen it. I was not disappointed. Henderson was one of the mainstays at Brunswick being a jack-of-all-trades writing, producing and performing with acts such as the Chi-Lites, Barbara Acklin, Tyrone Davis, and Jackie Wilson. This background is apparent throughout the album, which consists mostly instrumentals. On the Funk side you get the nicely arranged Soulful Football with Henderson talking over the top, Funky Chicken – Part 1 & 2, and Off Into A Black Thing with a Rock influence. On the Soul tip there’s the melodic Oo Wee Baby, I Love You, produced by the Chi-Lites’ Eugene Record, with plenty of organ, and covers of Can I Change My Mind and Is It Something You’ve Got.

    16 Greatest Hits (Trip)
    There are about two dozen or so Jimi Hendrix albums floating around on various budget labels like Trip, Springboard, Accord and Astan. Almost every one of these albums re-uses the same two or three New York sessions that Jimi Hendrix cut in the mid-1960s when he was a guitarist for either Curtis Knight or Lonnie Youngblood. The music is RnB and Soul with a lot of covers and most of the recordings are of bad quality. The funny thing is that these companies released record after record of these same recordings, simply re-shuffling the tunes and sometimes even changing their names giving the impression that there was a whole slew of unreleased Hendrix material. All of them were simply crass attempts to capitalize on the success of Hendrix, in most cases, after he was dead. 16 Greatest Hits is a perfect example of this phenomenon. The whole first side of the LP was also released as In Concert on Springboard. That being said, there are a couple diamonds in the rough to be found on these records. There are drum breaks on the Rock tunes Lime, Lime, Good Times, and Red House (a different version then found on other budget LPs). The best overall songs are a cover of From This Day On (probably the most popular budget Hendrix LP song, even having the honor of being listed under at least two other titles on other albums), and the funky Sweet Thang, with a nice breakdown in the middle, and Suspicious.

    Are You Experienced (Reprise 67)
    After playing for several years as a guitar sideman in various RnB and Blues outfits in the U.S., Hendrix packed up his bags and moved to England. There, with the help of former Animals’ bassist Chas Chandler, Hendrix became a solo artist with backing by the Experience featuring Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding. They dropped Are You Experienced in 1967 and a star was born. Hendrix laid down a Rock classic from beginning to end. You get Purple Haze, Manic Depression that matches a frantic rhythm with Jimi’s singing and a singeing guitar solo, the mellow Hey Joe, Love Or Confusion where Jimi sounds like he’s singing in a cave the vocals are so much in the background and reverbed out, and I Don’t Live Today all on the first side alone. The second side is just as good beginning with the slow and easy The Wind Cries Mary, the frantic paced Fire, the spacey instrumental Third Stone From The Sun with a Jazz-Rock get down in the middle, Foxey Lady and Are You Experienced?

    Axis: Bold As Love (Reprise 67)
    Axis was Hendrix’s second album after the groundbreaking Are You Experienced. He gets off to an experimental start with EXP, which is a skit about aliens followed by a lot of feedback and guitar effects. The rest of the tracks tend to fluctuate between the hard rocking like Spanish Castle Magic, Ain’t No Telling, Little Miss Lover with some pounding open drums at the beginning, and the laidback such as Up From The Skies, Little Wing, Ain’t No Telling, Castles Made Of Sand, and Bold As Love. There are also a couple tunes where the band gets to let loose a bit such as You Got Me Floatin.

    Light My Fire (Cadet 68)
    Woody Herman first started recording in Big Bands in the 1930s. Light My Fire saw him trying to keep up with popular trends by recording a series of covers with arranging and production by Richard Evans. Most of the songs are MOR standards like MacArthur Park and I Say A Little Prayer, however Herman is able to lay down some decent Soul-Jazz with Here I Am, Baby where the band kicks up a little groove to make them stand out above everyone else doing the same kind of act in lounges and night clubs around America.

    Baby Boy (Brunswick 69)
    Fred Hughes was a long time Soul singer who had a number of minor hits in the early 1960s. By the end of the decade Hughes’ career was on the decline. Baby Boy was Hughes’ last LP I believe. Most of the tracks are solid, upbeat Soul numbers like Oo Wee Baby I Love You with nice back-ups on the chorus and a little instrumental jam in the middle. The title track is another catchy number, and Don’t Let This Happen To Us has one of the strongest rhythms behind it of the entire record. There’s also a drum break in the middle of Who You Really Are.

    It’s About Time (Cotillion 76)
    This is one of the Impressions’ later, post-Mayfield recordings. At the time the group consisted of mainstays Fred Cash and Sam Gooden, plus newbies Reggie Torian and Nate Evans, on lead. This was the group’s first recording for Cotillion after releasing a couple records for Mayfield’s Curtom label. For 1976 they still had some good singing in them as witnessed by In The Palm Of My Hands with a nice instrumental lead in for some lush vocal group Soul. After that however, the record gets pretty mediocre. It doesn’t really have that trademark Impressions sound. Rather, they sound something like the Spinners from the same time period.

    Hold On, We’re Coming (Wand 67)
    Hold On saw longtime RnB singers Chuck Jackson and Maxine Brown collaborate on a series of Soul hits from the 60s. First they do the title track by Sam & Dave, followed by the slow and groovy Something You Got. The quality of songs after that is just as strong, but for whatever reason, they don’t resonate the same as those first two cuts.

    More, More, More (Buddah 76)
    Andrea True was a former porn star that got into the music business. Like a lot of girls, she went to New York to pursue an acting career, but ended up doing the dirty on film instead when she couldn’t cut it with regular jobs. Her music career wasn’t doing much better until she cut a demo of a song called More, More, More that was heard by producer Gregg Diamond. He cleaned up her sound and Tom Moulton mixed it. The result was this album. More, More, More turned out to be a classic disco hit in the late 1970s reaching #4 on the pop charts. Listening to it, one can immediately find out why it was such a success. It’s got a catchy rhythm and a sing along chorus that immediately captures your attention. There’s also drum and conga breaks in Keep It Up Longer and Call Me.

  • #2
    Mr Motown67

    Bonnie Dobson (RCA 69)
    I have no idea why I bought this record. After listening to it, I have even less answers. Bonnie Dobson was a Folk artist, but on her self-titled LP she’s trying to do Pop. It doesn’t really work. She has a high voice with a lot of orchestration on the tunes, but none of them really work for me. This is what you get from buying blind.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by left hand corner
      Mr Motown67

      You don't like "Winter's Coming"?
      Or "I Got Stung"???


      • #4

        Originally posted by left hand corner
        Mr Motown67

        You don't like "Winter's Coming"?
        I agree, but isn't it "Winter's Going"

        *tries to hide smile at first oppurtunity to correct someone on Vinyl Vulture*


        • #5
          Originally posted by Hooded Claw
          I agree, but isn't it "Winter's Going"

          *tries to hide smile at first oppurtunity to correct someone on Vinyl Vulture*
          You might well be right sir! I am never sure whether I am coming or going...
          records - one a week mixcloud
          records - one a week soundcloud


          • #6
            That's some large chart there!

            Sylvia Striplin, wow, wot a lady, bugged out to that at a few discotheques before, oh yeah!!!

            Pioneers vers. of Papa Was a Rollin Stone, a fave of mine from way back, great, great record! I got a lovely J.A print too, proper mashed like everything that comes out of that mad place.
            it's time for some heartbeats


            • #7
              Originally posted by left hand corner
              You might well be right sir! I am never sure whether I am coming or going...
              I trust this is a purely psychological affliction, and not a biological one!
              Could get right embarassing otherwise!
              To infinity - and beyond!


              • #8
                Originally posted by jakartajive
                I trust this is a purely psychological affliction, and not a biological one!
                Could get right embarassing otherwise!
                Not too embarassing if you're alone. (Wait a minute, did I just say that aloud?)


                • #9
                  Originally posted by beddoes
                  Not too embarassing if you're alone. (Wait a minute, did I just say that aloud?)
                  And, if I quote it, it doesn't matter if you delete the post...
                  You freeking scientologists are all the same, quible, dribble and then demand ice creams. Ohhhhhhhhhhh.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rich Hero
                    And, if I quote it, it doesn't matter if you delete the post...
                    Nice to see you're watching my front.
                    Last edited by beddoes; 29-03-2006, 04:57 PM.


                    • #11
                      the Gary Bartz "Shadow Do" album has one other great thing on it, an old London jazz classic "Winding Roads".

                      and more importantly, the album's a SKY HIGH PRODUCTION, dammit. never diss larry and fonce, not round here, pal

                      otherwise, top chart as always, mister motown.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by left hand corner
                        Mr Motown67

                        You don't like "Winter's Coming"?
                        I tried. I listened to it several times but it didn't catch on with me.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Motown67
                          I tried. I listened to it several times but it didn't catch on with me.
                          Fair enough sir!

                          Again, always a pleasure to read your charts.
                          records - one a week mixcloud
                          records - one a week soundcloud