Rhythm & Blues, Soul & Doo-Wop - New Releases: July 2010 -> March 2011 -The Ad-Libs-> Barbara Lynn + Soul Discography

 

New Releases: July 2010 -> March 2011
Rhythm & Blues, Soul & Doo-Wop
The Ad-Libs -> Barbara Lynn + Soul Discography

 

SOUL DISCOGRAPHY

 
THE SOUL DISCOGRAPHY - VOLUME 1: A-F by Bob McGrath ● BOOK $110.00
577 pages, paperback
Another amazing endeavor from the people who brought us "The R&B Indies" (out of print), "The Blues Discography, 1943-1970" ($110) and "The Gospel Discography, 1943-1970" ($110). This is the first in a series of three volumes to attempt to document every soul recording made between 1960 and 1980 though the date boundaries are very flexible and artists whose career started in the earlier blues & R&B era are covered in their entirety - like Bobby Bland and Ray Charles as are artists whose career extended beyond 1980 like Bobby Bland and Ray Charles. Doo-wop is not included but artists like The Dells who started as doo-wop artists are included in their entirety. In order to make the project manageable only African-American artists are featured - so no blue eyed soul. This first volume cover the letters A through F - from legendary performers like Brook Benton, Booker T. & The MGs, James Brown, Solomon Burke, Don Covay and Aretha Franklin to artists who only made one single like Johnny Barfield, Annie Blue, Bee Bee Carn, Chuck Dilday and Epitome Of Sound they're all here.
 Artists are listed alphabetically with session information listed chronologically including titles recorded, location, session personnel (where known) and original issue on 78, 45, cassette, LP or CD. The book is nicely laid out in a two column format on 8.5 x 11" pages. Compiled by Bob McGrath with the assistance of hundreds of researchers throughout the world this is the first such discography ever attempted and will be invaluable addition to the bookshelf of anyone who loves blues, R&B and soul.
To expedite shipping the book will be shipped directly from the publisher in Canada.
Rates are as follows In Canada : $15.00, 2-3 days - $25.00
To U.S.A. : 10 days - $30.00, 3-4 days - $45.00
Rest Of The World : Surface (4 to 8 weeks) - $25.00, Airmail (5-10 days) - $54.00

 

NEW COMPACT DISCS

 
THE AD-LIBS Passion 1001 I Don't Need No Fortune Teller ● CD $17.98
29 tracks, 77 mins, highly recommended
Terrific collection of doo-wop, girl group sounds and soul from this fine group from New Jersey best known for their big hit in 1965 with irresitibly catchy girl group classic The Boy From New York City. But there was much more to the group. Originally a male quartet, they started as the Arabians in 1960, then changed their name to The Creators and recorded a couple of fine doo-wop singles and three of those tracks are featured here. In 1964 they reorganized and added female vocalist Marry Anne Thomas and immediately hit with Boy. Unfortunately subsequent recordings, good as they were, flopped and they drifted from label to label gradually transitioning into a soul group and had a minor hit in '69 with Giving Up and continued performing and recording into the 80s. This disc features almost all their 1960s recordings and in addition to Thomas a number of the cuts feature leads by an unidentified male vocalist (possibly Hugh Harris) including the beautiful soul doo-wop ballad Human. Definiotely worth a listen. (FS)
THE AD LIBS: Ask Anybody/ Bottom of Soul/ Boy From New York City (stereo)/ Dance With Me Children/ Don't Ever Leave Me/ Down Home Girl/ Every Boy and Girl/ Giving Up/ He Ain't No Angel (stereo)/ Human/ I Don't Need No Fortune Teller/ If She Wants Him/ Johnny My Boy/ Kicked Around/ Know All About Me/ Love Me/ New York in the Dark/ Nothing Worse Than Being Alone/ On the Corner/ Ooh Wee Oh Me Oh My/ Show A Little Appreciation/ Spring and Summer/ The Slime/ Think of Me/ You're In Love/ You're Just a Rolling Stone/ THE CREATORS: I Stayed Home New Year's Eve/ Shombadoo/ Yeah, He's Got It

 
BILL BAKER Parnaso 1500 And His Groups ● CD $17.98
26 tracks, highly recommended
Superb collection of doo-wop featuring the sweet and soulful lead vocals of Bill Baker who started his career by replacing Fred Parris in the Five Satins when Parris was drafted in 1957 and was lead with the group through 1959 and sang the lead on their massive hit To The Aisle. After leaving the Satins, Baker recorded with several other groups and this collection features his leads with The Five  Satliath, The Buddies and even an unknown group. Although he never had another hit his singing is superb throughout even though some of the songs are fairly lightweight. Good sound and notes consisting of Baker's obituary - he died in 1994. (FS)
THE BABY DOLLS: Another Sleepless Night/ It Shouldn't Happen to a Dream/ THE BUDDIES: Hully Gully Mama/ Must be True Love/ THE CHESTNUTS: Chit Chat/ Tell Me Little Darling/ Won't You Tell Me My Heart/ Wonderful Girl/ DAVID AND GOLIATH: I'm Still Loving You/ Like Strangers/ THE DEL SATINS: I Wanna Know/ Just to Be Near You/ To The Aisle/ THE DEL-SATINS: Is it a Dream/ THE FIVE SATINS: A Million to One/ In the Still of the Night/ Love With No Love in Return/ Our Anniversary/ Teenager Triangle/ That's Love/ To The Aisle/ Why Does Summer Have to End?/ UNKNOWN: Bleeding Hearts/ Thank Heaven/ The Price of Love/ There's a Small Hotel

 
HANK BALLARD & THE MIDNIGHTERS Jasmine 568 Come And Get It ● CD $15.98
2CD, 58 tracks, essential
Long time readers of our newsletter need no introduction to Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, and all newbies need to know is that Hank was one of the pioneers of what became known as Rock 'n' Roll, through his influential early R&B and doo wop recordings. Like with other 50's artists-Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, Ritchie Valens, Conway Twitty, the Teddy Bears w/Phil Spector-Jasmine has lovingly compiled and remastered Ballard's singles (A's and B's) from his salad days. All the hits that anyone needs are here: Work With Me Annie/ Sexy Ways/ Annie Had a Baby/ The Twist (yes, he did the original), and Give it Up along with loads of great non hits and B-sides. Although the definitive collection is the Bear Family Box Set (Bear Family 16795 - 5 CDs - $144.98), this is an excellent, cheaper substitute that will have you groovin' for hours. (GMC)
HANK BALLARD: A House With No Windows/ Annie Had A Baby/ Annie's Aunt Fannie/ Ashamed Of Myself/ Baby Please/ Come On And Get It/ Crazy Loving (Stay With Me)/ Cute Little Ways/ Daddy's Little Baby/ Don't Change Your Pretty Ways/ Don't Say Your Last Goodbye/ E Basta Cosi/ Early One Morning/ Give It Up/ Give It Up/ Henry's Got Flat Feet (Can't Dance No More)/ I Could Love You/ I Said I Wouldn't Beg You/ I'll Be Home Some Day/ I'll Keep You Happy/ In The Doorway Crying/ Is Your Love For Real/ It's Love Baby (24 Hours A Day)/ Kansas City/ Let 'Em Roll/ Let Me Hold Your Hand/ Look At Little Sister/ Looka Here/ Never Knew/ Oh Bah Baby/ Oh, So Happy/ Open Up The Back Door/ Ow, Wow, Oo, Wee/ Partners For Life/ Rain Down Tears/ Ring, A, Ling, Ling/ Rock And Roll Wedding/ Rock Granny Roll/ Sexy Ways/ She's The One/ Stay By My Side/ Stingy Little Thing/ Sugaree/ Sweet Mama, Do Right/ Switchie Witchie Titche/ Teardrops On Your Letter/ Tell Them/ That House On The Hill/ That Woman/ That Woman/ The Twist/ Tore Up Over You/ Until I Die/ We'll Never Meet Again/ What Made You Change Your Mind/ Whatsoever You Do/ Why Are We Apart/ Work With Me Annie

 
BIG MAYBELLE Rojac/ Traffic 9925 Got A Brand New Bag - The Pure Soul Of Big Maybelle ● CD $16.98
12 tracks, 29 min., recommended
Big Maybelle was the real deal and even though she made her Rojac recordings after her heyday, she still had plenty of fire and soul in her gravelly voice. What she didn't have was someone picking suitable material and providing suitable arrangements, so that even though her cover of ? & The Mysterians 96 Tears works (it was her last appearance on the charts), her version of Mellow Yellow is a disaster. And then she sings Caberet, and, it isn't her fault, but few songs could seem more out of place. Coming On Strong works well enough, and would even make the Northern soulsters drool a bit, but following it with Egg Planet That Ate Chicago seems like a cruel joke on everyone. Her cover of Elenor Rigby is passable, but not really her cup of tea. This straight reissue of Rojak LP 522 from 1967 comes in a cool mini LP cardboard sleeve and is worthwhile for that and for the few worthwhile cuts, including Turn The World Around The Other Way/ 96 Tears/ Love Is A Hurtin' Thing/ Coming On Strong, and even That's Life. But that's it. (JC)

 
OTIS BLACKWELL Blue City 814 Daddy Rollin' Stone ● CD $17.98
30 tracks, 73 mins, recommended
Blackwell was a very successful songwriter - penning such classics hits as Don't Be Cruel/ All Shook Up/ Great Balls Of Fire/ Breathless, etc. He also made a number of recordings under his own name, singing to RCAin 1952 after he won an Apollo Theater talent show. Blackwell was a much better songwriter than singer and his inexpressive, piercing and occasional off-key vocalizing is wearing in large doses. There are some good songs here, including the original recording of Daddy Rolling Stones, and the backup is fine featuring top New York session men like Frank "Floorshow" Culley, Budd Johnson, Rene Hall, Big Al Sears, Panama Francis, Mickey Baker and others but that voice sometimes makes for rough going. I think this set covers everything he recorded under his own name between 1952 and 1958. (FS)
OTIS BLACKWELL: Ain't Got No Time/ Bartender, Fill It Up Again/ Daddy Rollin' Stone/ Don't Know How I Love You/ Don't Run Away/ Don't Take My Word/ Fool That I Be/ Go Away, Mr. Blues/ Here I Am/ I'm Coming Back Baby/ I'm Standing At The Doorway To Your Heart/ I'm Travelin' On/ It's Love, It's Real/ Let The Daddy Hold You/ Make Ready For Love/ My Josephine/ My Poor Broken Heart/ Nobody Met the Train/ Number 000/ Oh What A Babe/ Oh What A Wonderful Time/ On That Power Line/ Please Help Me Find My Way Home/ Tears, Tears, Tears/ Turtle Dove/ Wake Up Fool/ What A Coincidence/ When Your Around/ You Move Me Baby/ You're My Love

 
JAMES BROWN Fantastic Voyage 086 I'll Go Crazy ● CD $19.98
2CD, 47 tracks, essential
OK, listen up all you James Brown fans: if you missed out on the early volumes of Hip-O Select's The Singles compilations (they are now out of print and fetch big bucks on E-Bay), this new collection from the good folks at Fantastic Voyage is an excellent substitute. Although it's true that this set doesn't have the alternate takes/versions or thorough liner notes found on the Hip-O sets, on the plus side the songs that are here are the original recordings presented in order of recording (as opposed to in order of release) and this set is much more reasonably priced than the original Hip-O sets (they used to list at $29.98 for two CDs) for virtually the same music. So if you want a reputable collection of the Godfather's seminal early recordings, look no further. (GMC)
JAMES BROWN: And I Do Just Want I Want/ Baby Cries Over The Ocean/ Baby You're Right/ Begging Begging/ Bewildered/ Can't Be The Same/ Chonnie-On-Chon/ Don't Let It Happen To Me/ Fine Old Foxy Self/ Gonna Try/ Good Good Lovin'/ Got To Cry/ Hold My Baby's Hand/ I Don't Know/ I Feel That Old Feeling Coming On/ I Know It's True/ I Walked Alone/ I Want You So Bad/ I Won't Plead No More/ I'll Go Crazy/ I'll Never Never Let You Go/ I've Got To Change/ If You Want Me/ It Hurts To Tell You/ It Was You/ Just Won't Do Right/ Let's Make It/ Love Or A Game/ Messing With The Blues/ No No No No/ Please Please Please/ So Long/ Strange Things Happen (aka Why Does Everything Happen To Me)/ Tell Me What I Did Wrong/ That Dood It/ That's When I Lost My Heart/ The Bells/ There Must Be A Reason/ Think/ This Old Heart/ Try Me/ Why Do You Do Me/ Wonder When You're Coming Home/ You're Mine You're Mine/ You've Got The Power/ NAT KENDRICK & THE SWANS: Do The Mashed Potatoes [part 1]/ Do The Mashed Potatoes [part 2]

 
JAMES BROWN Hip-O Select 14259-02 The Singles, Vol. 9: 1973-1975 ● CD $29.98
2 CD, 35 tracks, 150 mins, highly recommended
Don't look now, but Hip-O's back with the latest installment in their limited edition series of re-issues centered on every James Brown single ever made. As with the other volumes, this one includes both released and unreleased (cancelled) single tracks, with most of those issued becoming bit hits on the R&B charts and moderate ones on the Pop charts. During this time frame, singer Lyn Collins was part of Brown's circle and several duets by the two are featured, a salsa-influenced version of the Everly Brothers' Let It Be Me and a cover of the Impressions' It's All Right being the most intriguing. Elsewhere, well-known tracks like The Payback/ Papa Don't Take No Mess/ Stone(d) to the Bone, and Funky President demonstrate Brown's continued dominance over the funk pantheon. On the other hand, the disc also brings to light Brown's increasing use of session musicians (New York, Nashville, etc.) as he begins to lose grip on his longtime crew of cohorts. There's no decline in musicianship to show for the change.yet, but what this means for future installments who can say. The upshot is, this volume in the series might be slightly less essential to the non-fan, but fans and completists - and you know who you are - need this as much as the other eight volumes. This is a limited edition and since many of the earlier volumes are sold out you should act fast if you want to be sure of getting this. (GMC)

 
SOLOMON BURKE Rhino (Europe) 75127 King Of Rock 'n Soul - The Ultimate Collection, 1961-20 ● CD $29.98
3CDs, 66 tracks, very highly recommended
This collection of sides from the soul music pioneer may or may not have been created to cash in on his untimely death in October 2010, but it certainly is very welcome. Basically an extended version of Rhino's "Definitive Soul Collection" (2007), this has all of Burke's essential recordings from the '60s, fleshed out with selected tracks from the 70's, 80's, and his towering comeback album, 2002's "Don't Give Up on Me." Burke wasn't a pop chart presence during his heyday, but every self respecting soul freak knows his name and songs like Everybody Needs Somebody to Love/ Got to Get You Off My Mind/ Just Out of Reach/ Cry to Me/ If You Need Me, and Tonight's the Night. All of these are here and they're just the tip of an iceberg of soul goodness. Burke was a more than adequate songwriter in his own right, but he could also interpret the hell out of a song as demonstrated by his versions of Maggie's Farm/ What'd I Say/ Since I Met You Baby/ Proud Mary, and I'll Be Doggone. While discs one and two are essential Burke, disc three is a patchy affair: it starts off great with Up Tight Good Woman and keeps the groove going until he starts getting all Barry White with a couple of 1975 tracks - Let Me Wrap My Arms Around You and You and Your Baby Blues - and then goes disco on Please Don't You Say Goodbye to Me. From there, we get a couple of 80's live cuts, a nice 1986 reading of A Change is Gonna Come, two excellent tracks from "Don't Give Up on Me," some dubious electronica re-mixes, and finally, three tracks from Burke's collaboration with Willie Mitchell, 2010's "Nothing's Impossible." Even at the end of his recording career, Burke still had the goods and these tracks prove it. Despite some questionable additions, this is a solid testament to talented man. Docked a notch for liner notes written in Dutch. (GMC)
SOLOMON BURKE: A Change Is Gonna Come/ Baby (I Wanna Be Loved)/ Baby Come On Home/ Can''T Nobody Love You/ Catch Up To My Step (with Junkie XL)/ Cry To Me/ Dance Dance Dance/ Detroit City/ Don't Give Up On Me/ Down In The Valley/ Everbody Needs Somebody To Love/ Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (live)/ Get Out Of My Life Woman/ Go On Back To Him/ Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)/ Got To Get You Off My Mind/ Home In Your Heart/ I Feel A Sin Coming On/ I Really Don't Want To Know/ I Stayed Away Too Long/ I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel To Be Free)/ I'll Be Doggone/ I'm Gonna Stay Right Here/ I'm Hanging Up My Heart For You/ If You Need Me/ It's All Right/ It's Been A Change/ It's Just A Matter Of Time/ Just Out Of Reach (Of My Two Empty Arms)/ Keep A Light In The Window/ Let Me Wrap My Arms Around You/ Looking For My Baby/ Maggie's Farm/ Meet Me In Church/ None Of Us Are Free/ Nothing Impossible/ Party People/ Please Don't You Say Goodbye To Me/ Proud Mary/ Proud Mary (live)/ Save It/ Send Me Some Loving/ Shambala/ Shame On Me/ Since I Met You Baby/ Someone Is Watching/ Someone To Love Me/ Soul Meeting (With The Soul Clan)/ Stupidity/ Take Me Just As I Am/ The Electronic Magnetism/ The Price/ This Is Little Ring/ Time Is A Thief/ Tonight's The Night/ Up Tight Good Woman/ We're Almost Home/ What A Woman (with De Dijk)/ What'd I Say/ When She Touches Me (Nothing Else Matters)/ Woman, How Do You Make Me Love You Like I Do/ Words/ You And Your Baby Blues/ You Needed Me/ You're Good For Me/ You're Not Alone

 
CANNIBAL & THE HEADHUNTERS Vampi Soul 048 Land Of 1000 Dances ● CD $19.98
18 tracks, 45 min, highly recommended
The complete Rampart recordings from the East LA band who rose to open up for The Beatles. What started out as just another cover of the Chris Kenner classic became immortal as Bobby "Cannibal" Garcia, backed by The Blendells, forgot the words & out came "Naa-Na-Nuh-Nuh-Naa" & the rest is history! Even Wilson Picket based his exuberant cover on their version. Getting together a real Headhunters with Scar Lopez & the Jamarillo Brothers, Rabbit & YoYo, the group put out an LP & three singles, all of which are heard here, as well as the original version of Land which had a much longer intro. The LP is here in real stereo & includes covers of My Girl/ Shotgun & Out Of Sight as well as a few originals including the stompin Don't Let Her Go. The non-LP singles include another classic follow-up, Nau Ninny Nau & a double sided single backed up by King Curtis - Follow The Music/ I Need Your Lovin'. (GM)

 
RAY CHARLES Atlantic (Germany) 81731 The Great Ray Charles ● CD $11.98
14 tracks, 66 mins, highly recommended
With all of the amazing Rhythm & Blues that Ray Charles did (not to mention Country,) it's easy to overlook how great a Jazz musician he was. Although he never had as distinctive a style when playing Jazz as he would elsewhere in his career, he made a number of quality recordings in the Jazz vein, much of which is here on this CD. This all-instrumental collection with Charles on piano only is definitely a must for his fans and I think something most Jazz fans would enjoy. You get his renditions of classics like Music Music Music/ Ain't Misbehavin', and Horace Silver's Doodlin', which are all good; then there're also some great Ray Charles compositions Dawn Ray/ Hornful Soul/ Joy Ride, etc. (JM)

 
THE CLOVERS Jasmine 576 The Feelin' Is Good ● CD $15.98
Two CDs, 60 tracks, 159 mins, essential
Most extensive ever collection devoted to the 50s recordings of one of the greatest and most popular doo-wop groups of the era. The group was very versatile with the core group boasting 3 singers who could all sing lead plus the fine guitar of Bill Harris. Harold "Hal" Lucas formed the group in the late 40's and in 1951 they signed on with Atlantic. The Clovers had the first crack at all the hippest songs and also were fortunate to be backed up by the finest sessionmen of the time like Floorshow Culley, Harry Van Walls, Gatortail Jackson, Mickey "Guitar" Baker, etc. This set opens with their first two sides recorded for the Rainbow label in 1950 after which they were picked up by Atlantic and the set includes all their singles recorded for the label which included 22 R&B chart hits over the next five years - three of them reaching No. 1. Includes such all time classics Fool, Fool, Fool/ Ting A Ling/ Good LOvin/ Your Cash Ain't Nothin' But Trash/ Blue Velvet/ Hey Doll Baby and many others. After being dropped by Atlantic in 1958 they joined their manager's Poplar label where they recorded a couple of singles and a hard to find LP where they did great soulful renditions of standards like The Good Old Summertime/ Pennies From Heaven/ My Mother's Eyes and others and this set includes all their Poplar singles and the set ends with their 1959 United Artists recording of Love Potion No. 9 which returned them to the charts for the first time in three years. Sound quality is excellent and their are brief, informative notes by Bob Fisher. Indispensible for doo-wop lovers! (FS)
THE CLOVERS: All About You/ Alrighty Oh Sweetie/ Baby Baby Oh My Darling/ Blue Velvet/ Bring Me Love/ Comin' On/ Crawlin'/ Devil Or Angel/ Don't You Know I Love You/ Down In The Alley/ Feeling Is Good, The/ Fool Fool Fool/ From The Bottom Of My Heart/ Good Lovin'/ Good Old Summertime, The/ Gossip Wheel, The/ Here Comes Romance/ Here Goes A Fool/ Hey Doll Baby/ Hey Miss Fannie/ I Confess/ I Got My Eyes On You/ I Played The Fool/ I'm A Lonely Fool/ I-I-I Love You/ Idaho/ If I Could Be Loved By You/ If You Love Me (Why Don't You Tell Me So)/ In The Middle Of The Night/ In The Morning Time/ Jamaica Farewell/ Kentucky Babe/ Little Mama/ Love Bug/ Love Love Love/ Love Potion No.9/ Lovey Dovey/ My Mother's Eyes/ Needless/ Nip Sip/ One Mint Julep/ Pennies From Heaven/ Please Come On To Me/ Rock And Roll Tango/ Skylark/ So Young/ That Old Black Magic/ There's No Tomorrow/ Ting A Ling/ To Each His Own/ Vaya Con Dios/ What Is This Thing Called Love/ When You Come Back To Me/ Wishing For Your Love/ Wonder Where My Baby's Gone/ Yes It's You/ Yes Sir That's My Baby/ You Good Looking Woman/ Your Cash Ain't Nothing But Trash/ Your Tender Lips

 
WAYNE COCHRAN Raven 183 Get Down With It! The White Knight Of Soul ● CD $19.98
24 tracks, 75 mins, recommended
Wayne Cochran was a flamboyant blue-eyed soul vocalist with a pompadour that would make Esquerita gasp, whose incendiary live shows were legend throughout the 50's and 60's South. Heavily influenced by James Brown, this collection of recordings captures Wayne during his peak and includes near hits like Sleepless Nights and his cover of Bob and Earl's Harlem Shuffle. Also included is Wayne's original version of Last Kiss, which J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers had a hit with in 1964. This is one of those times when the phrase "you had it see it live" probably comes into play, but these covers of R&B and blues cuts like Boom Boom/ Get Ready, and Little Bitty Pretty One, as well as Cochran's originals Goin' Back to Miami/ No Rest For the Wicked, and Somebody's Been Cuttin' in On My Groove, do show what Wayne was capable of and are raw, soulful fun. Bottom line: if you like vocalists like Roy Head or Eddie Hinton, you'll get some enjoyment of Wayne and his band the C.C. Riders. (GMC)

 
THE CONTOURS Kent CDTOP 350 Dance With The Contours ● CD $21.98
26 tracks, 66 mins, highly recommended
Although the Contours are best remembered-if at all-for providing the Temptations with a replacement for David Ruffin (Dennis Edwards) and their 1962 hit Do You Love Me, they were a noteworthy Motown group in their own right providing a rough and lively sound that was out of step with the smoother brand of sophisticated R&B that Berry Gordy envisioned for his empire. On this CD are 24 previously unreleased tracks from 1963/64 (the exceptions being two singles from 1964, Can You Do It and Can You Jerk Like Me) featuring the first and second versions of the group (FYI, Edwards was in a much later version of the group); there is speculation from discographers that these songs were supposed to comprise an album called "Dance With The Contours" (or "Can You Dance"), but that has never been proven. At any rate, Kent likens the Contours to the Satintones (who Ace compiled very nicely on CD in 2009 on CDLUX 002) because both groups were part of Gordy's early attempts a world domination - the only thing the former had over the latter was that the Contours had an exciting live act and could DANCE. And their dance groove prowess is on fine display among these 26 tracks. This is early Motown at its best; gritty, earthy and just a little rough around the edges and the guys keep things lively on Let's Do the Uncle Willie/ Party Groove, and Do the See Saw, and slow things down on Love is Uncertain and He Couldn't Do the Cross Fire. The Contours never had another hit as big as "Do You Love Me" and it's hard to figure why, since there's some hit potential here; not least Can You Jerk Like Me, a winner if there ever was one. In any case, R&B fans, and you know who you are, can do worse than give this a listen. (GMC)

 
KING CURTIS Shout 69 Music For Dancing - The Twist ● CD $18.98
12 tracks, 29 mins, highly recommended
A strange, one off release for RCA in 1961, this album was cut to cash in on the Twist craze and this is the first time it's been issued on CD. King Curtis was a well known session man and some-time recording artist by this time, and, with a red hot band behind him (featuring guys like Paul Griffin and Mickey Baker), he seemed to a good candidate for such a project. With the exception of Curtis original Twistin' Time, all the tracks are either "twisted up" re-makes of big band standards (Honeysuckle Rose/Jersey Bounce/ Stompin' at the Savoy) or covers of actual "twist" songs (Peppermint Twist/ Let's Twist Again). The results are surprisingly good, mostly due to the pile driving force of the band, especially on The Hucklebuck and 12th Street Twist. Although the CD consists of mostly instrumentals, the few vocal tracks feature Don Covay on lead vocals and he smokes on Peppermint Twist/ The Fly, and Twistin' Time. Definitely a curio, this CD is a fun listen for King Curtis or Don Covay fans. (GMC)

 
MELVIN DAVIS Vampi Soul 118 Detroit Soul Ambassador ● CD $19.98
14 tracks, 37 mins, highly recommended
The longer I do this job, the more I've come to realize that there was more to Detroit R&B than the platters issued by Berry Gordy's Motown factory. For example, for all his accomplishments-singer, songwriter, drummer, producer, arranger, label owner Melvin Davis - his name is unknown to me. But I've been intrigued to make his musical acquaintance, and so you should be too, because he has a sound worth hearing. Our man has quite a resume: he's been in bands with everyone from pre-Temptations David Ruffin to post-MC5 Wayne Kramer, he was the drummer on the Miracles' million-seller Tears of a Clown, and was the lead singer on The 8th Day's 1971 pop hit, She's Not Just Another Woman. But between 1961 and 1966, Davis was cutting sides for local Detroit labels Jack Pot, Fortune, Ke Ke, Wheel City, and Groovesville - all of which are included here together for the first time (with the Groovesville tracks previously unreleased). Although Find a Quiet Place (And Be Lonely) and I Must Love You are well known to and beloved by Northern Soul fans, there is much more to enjoy, such goodies as I Won't Be Your Fool/ Chains of Love, and I Won't Love You and Leave, the last a masterful ballad that ranks with the best of mid-60s Motown. Once again, it's inspiring to see what a rich R&B music history Detroit has had, and it's nice to know that it doesn't begin and end with Tamla/Motown. (GMC)

 
BO DIDDLEY Hip-O Select 15214-02 Bo Diddley's Beach Party - Recorded Live ● CD $14.98
10 tracks, 33 mins, very highly recommended
The shortness of this CD is more than compensated by the incredible excitement generated by Bo and his band (including Jerome Green on maraccas and The Duchess on guitar) on this reissue of of Bo's first live LP (originally Checker 2988) recorded in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (world's shag capitol!) in 1963. The original recording quality was very muddy and is still far from high fidelity but remastering engineer Eric Labson has done a remarkable job in restoring some of the vibrancy and clarity of the original performances. Half the songs are from the Diddley songbook (Gunslinger/ I'm All Right/ Road Runner, etc), there's a new song Bo Diddley's Dog (about a dance - not a canine friend) and three incredible instrumentals including a Diddlified version of Chuck Berry's Memphis, a surprising version of On Top Of Old Smoky and even Bo's Waltz! Bo is in stunning form - rocking up a storm vocally and instrumentally. My only regrets are that this isn't longer and that nobody filmed it! (FS)

 
BO DIDDLEY Jasmine 3010 I'm A Man - The Singles, A&Bs - 1955-1959 ● CD $11.98
Both sides of every single issued between 1955 and 1959 by this great R&B/ rock 'n' roll pioneer - I'm A Man/ Bo Diddley/ Pretty THing/ Diddley Daddy/ Dearest Darlin' and all the rest - 26 tracks in all.
BO DIDDLEY: Before You Accuse Me/ Bo Diddley/ Bo Meets The Monster/ Bring It To Jerome/ Cops And Robbers/ Crackin Up/ Dearest Darlin/ Diddley Daddy/ Diddy Wah Diddy/ Down Home Special/ Hey Bo Diddley/ Hush Your Mouth/ Im A Man/ Im Bad/ Im Looking For A Woman/ Im Sorry/ Mona/ Oh Yeah/ Pretty Thing/ Say Boss Man/ Say Man/ Shes Fine Shes Mine/ The Clock Strikes Twelve/ The Great Grandfather/ Who Do You Love/ Willie And Lillie

 
FATS DOMINO CSP Records 1048 The First King Of Rock 'n' Roll, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
27 tracks, 78 mins, highly recommended
The first 16 tracks on this volume features the rest of Fats's 1963/64 ABC Paramount recordings. It includes several more excellent originals like (I Met) The Girl I'm Gonna Marry/ Lazy Lady and That Certain Someone, a great version of the blues standard Why Don't You Do Right, a terrific cover of Chris Kenner's Something You Got and more Dominoized version of pop and country standards (Goodnight Sweetheart/ Who Cares/ Sally Was Good Old Girl). The remaining 11 tracks are from a self produced 1978 session that was issued on LP as "Sleeping On The Job." Most of the songs are Domino originals and includes some fine songs like If I Get Rich/ Shame On You and Just Can't Get New Orleans (off My Mind) - unfortunately the arrangements are marred by the presence of synthesizer and wah-wah guitar. The tracks where these acoutrements butt out are the best and the last track - the pounding Something About You Baby with hot piano by Fats is worth the price of admission! (FS)

 
LEE DORSEY Charly SNAP 235 Holy Cow - The Very Best Of Lee Dorsey ● CD $12.98
28 tracks, 79 mins, essential
Great artist, great collection; simply put, this is all original versions of all of his best stuff and if you don't have a Lee Dorsey collection, this one is as good as they come. You get all of those wonderful New Orleans recordings with the legendary Allen Toussaint at the helm: Working In A Coal Mine/ Holy Cow/ Ya-Ya/ Ride The Pony/ Get Out Of My Life Woman/ Great Googa Mooga/ Everything Gonna Be Funky (From Now On,)/ Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley/ Yes We Can, plus a whole mess of great non-hits as well. This is a collection of some of the most uplifting and danceable music ever. Lee Dorsey was a special artist who always gave it his all, and every track here showcases his beautiful talent. (JM)

 
THE FIREFLIES Ribbon 6901 You Were Mine ● CD $17.98
Fine collection of white doo-wop, rock 'n' roll and pop from this group who had hits in 1959 and 1960 with You Were Mine and I Can't Say Goodbye. Both of these are on this 32 track disc featuring the fine lead vocals of Ritchie Adams covering recordings from the late 50s through mid 60s which also includes several solo recordings by Adams. Other tracks include What Did I Do Wrong/ Lonely One/ Don't Go My Love, Don't Go/ Where The Candlelights Glow/ One O'Clock Twist/ two Initials In A Heart/ I Got Eyes/ Every Window In The City, etc.

 
THE FOUR FELLOWS Derby 1000 Featuring Soldier Boy ● CD $17.98
18 tracks, 48 mins, recommended
Fine collection of Four Fellows material taken from their Glory and Derby recordings. Actually, they only had one release on Derby, the fine I Tried/ Bend Of The River, from 1954, both included here. Their only hit was Soldier Boy in 1955 but the rest of the Glory material was uniformly good. The New York group started out in 1953 as The Schemers but after the Derby session they came up with the more commercial name. I believe the core group at this time was Hal Miller, Davey Jones, Teddy Bell with the superb Jim McGowan as lead. Alongside the many fine ballads you'll find some good uptempo tunes like Take Me Back Baby and I Wish I Didn't Love You So and even the obligatory calypso number. (AE/FS)

 
ARETHA FRANKLIN Legends 020 100 Classics FRom The Queen Of Soul ● CD $19.98
Five CDs, 100 tracks, very highly recommended
With her recent health scare in still fresh in mind, it's time to reassess this legend of Soul music. And what better way to reacquaint one's self with Aretha's legacy than with this latest collection from the budget priced Legends label. Over these five discs contains tracks from most of Franklin's tenure at Atlantic Records, roughly from 1967 to 1976, or-to put it another way-from her classic Atlantic debut I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love Youto the Cutis Mayfield written and produced Sparkle soundtrack. That's quite a breadth of material (that's usually found on expensive box sets), which features the Queen of Soul in her artistic prime, including her Soul standards, her Jazz experiments, her Black consciousness period, and tips to her gospel roots (but there's no cuts from her 1972 gospel opus "Amazing Grace"); it's all here. All the hits you know and remember are here, but this is also a chance to listen to Aretha's interpretive skills on Rock classics like the Rascal's Groovin', the Band's The Weight, Elton John's Border Song, The Beatles' Eleanor Rigby and Let it Be, Paul Simon's Bridge Over Troubled Water and more. Listen to her give Dusty Springfield a run for her money on Son of a Preacher Man and Brand New Me, and do Sam Cooke proud on You Send Me and you'll know why she stayed on top for so long and continues to be revered to this day. With each disc clocking in at over an hour, this CD gives value for money and gives the music fan ample opportunity to pay tribute to Aretha Franklin while she is still with us. (GMC)

 
ROOSEVELT GRIER Cat King Cole 1017 Welcome To The Club ● CD $17.98
27 tracks, 72 min., highly recommended
Football star, movie actor, beer salesman, body guard, needle pointer, and, yes, musical superstar. Well, not superstar exactly, but accomplished soul singer. It would be easy to make fun of Grier, if only because he was such a big part of the movie The Man With Two Heads (one head was Grier's, the other belonged to Ray Milland), a classically bad flick. The booklet notes are brief and point out that Pam Grier is Roosevelt's cousin, and that he was a defensive end on the Rams in the 1960's. Sadly missing is any session info, recording dates, record label info or anything useful. But while Grier is an easy target of fun, his recordings deserve to be taken seriously. The guy can sing and does a better-than-respectable job of Sincerely/ Moonlight In Vermont/ Spanish Harlem/ Up On The Roof, and a bunch more. And he doesn't need to use tone correction on his voice either. This release collects the vast majority of Grier's catalog, misses a few 45 rpms worth having, but includes many rare sides that are not likely to turn up anywhere else anytime soon. Find out why his records change hands for big money in Northern soul circles. Surprisingly good. (JC)

 
Z.Z. HILL Shout 70 Snap Your Fingers With Z.Z. Hill ● CD $18.98
23 tracks, 71 mins, highly recommended
In a previous catalog, we reviewed the Z.Z. Hill compilation "Am I Groovin' You?: Great R&B Hits" (Micro Werks 057 - $11.98) and up until now it was the best collection available of Hill's mid 70's work for the United Artists label. Now we have this fine two-fer from Shout containing the LPs "The Best Thing That's Happened to Me" (1972) and "Z.Z." (1974), that spotlights Hill's most fruitful and hit-filled period. As noted previously, Hill was a consummate R&B/Blues shouter from the Pickett/Redding school that is scarcely remembered today. The former album, featuring backing from some of New Orleans' finest session players (including Allen Toussaint, Art Neville, George Porter, and Leo Nocentelli), is steeped in a funky groove which is put to good use on I've Got to Get You Back/ You Were Wrong, and a sultry cover of Can I Get a Witness. By contrast, some of the tracks on the "Z.Z." album have a country soul feel: Let Them Talk/ Country Love/ The Best I Ever Had, and Funny Face. Also present are samples of Hill's gutsy way with the Blues-Bad Mouth and Gossip and Am I Grooving You plus a bit of social commentary in Clean Up America. Anyone looking for a nicely packaged, well annotated, and great sounding CD of Z.Z. Hill material need look no further than this compilation. (GMC)

 
JIMMY HUGHES Kent CDKEND 341 Something Extra Special - The Complete Volt Recordings ● CD $18.98
27 tracks, 79 mins, essential
The third CD in Kent's re-issue of soul crooner Hughes' entire catalogue concludes with the sides cut during his three years recording for Stax's sister label Volt. Initially signed to Stax with the intention of capitalizing on his hit making tenure at Fame, the failure of Hughes' first couple of singles-not to mention the concurrent success of Johnnie Taylor and a solo Isaac Hayes-pretty much cosigned Jimmy's career to the scrap heap as the company gave him less and less attention. That's a major shame because, as this CD proves, Hughes still had what it took to be a great recording artist. The first half of the disc is comprised of Hughes' sole album for Volt, "Something Special," which was made up of singles and B-sides, while the second half features mostly tracks that remained in the can for three decades. Stax had hoped that Hughes would become their new Otis Redding (following the latter's death), which didn't happen but not because the talent wasn't there: whether it's ballads (I'm So Glad/ Lay it On the Line) or uptempo groovers (Sweet Things You Do) Jimmy did Otis proud and the hits should have come. The first 11 tracks comprise the LP; the rest of the cuts are highlighted by potential singles like I Was Close At Hand and Leave Us Alone, as well as six numbers cut with Willie Mitchell producing that heavily echoed the style which Mitchell would use to make Al Green a household name and a wealthy man. Listening to the unreleased stuff is fascinating and frustrating at the same time; fascinating, because there's not a bad song in the bunch, and frustrating because the hits would probably have returned if the bosses at Stax hadn't given up the ghost so quickly. Of course, we'll never know for sure, but at least we have these final recordings to savor-since Hughes retired from the music business after his contract ran out in 1971-from a singer who was up there with Redding, Green, and Taylor. (GMC)

 
HERBERT HUNTER Superbird 042 The Rockin' Spar Masters ● CD $16.98
20 tracks, 46 mins, highly recommended
The R&B scene of the 50's and '60s is littered with artists who never had any hits, but still sold records and these same records are prized by collectors to this very day. Herbert Hunter is one of those artists. Working throughout his career with Nashville songwriter and producer Ted Jarrett, Hunter cut many sides under assorted aliases as well as under his own name. Hunter's earliest records were cut for Alan Bubis' Spar label and are featured here; a mixture of Twist cash-ins and pop/soul country covers (big business in the early 60's thanks to Ray Charles). The country songs, especially I'll Hold You in My Heart, demonstrate that Hunter had a seductive and sincere tone that is very appealing. The twist tunes are fun and Hunter pulls off a decent Sam Cooke imitation (as Leroy Jones) on Twistin' the Night Away. Before anyone starts getting any wrong ideas about Hunter, it should be noted that his early career was founded primarily on his uncanny ability to mimic other vocalists. It's a testament to his own abilities that he managed to find his own voice on the recordings under his name. The Northern Soul collectors prize this stuff very highly; the rest of us should enjoy the twist numbers for what they are (they are well sung and exuberantly played by a crack band that includes Boots Randolph, Bill Justis, Floyd Cramer, Grady Martin, and Hank Garland) and pay special attention to Hunter's effortless handling of the country material and the final track, Cooke's Bring it On Home to Me. (GMC)

 
ETTA JAMES Jasmine 3013/4 Tough Woman - The Early Years, 1955-1960 ● CD $18.98
Two CDs, 46 tracks, 125 mins, very highly recommended
A fabulous collection of early sides by R&B and soul legend Etta James. Disc one is devoted to recordings made for Modern/ Kent between 1954 and 1957 featuring most of her singles along with a couple of LP tracks. It starts with her classic The Wallflower aka Roll With Henry, a duet with Richard Berry in answer to The Midnighters Work With Me Annie that topped the R&B charts in February 1955. It also includes the answer to the answer Hey Henry and her only other hit for the label Good Rockin' Daddy later in the same year. Although her other sides didn't make the charts she turned out some fabulous R&B rockers along with blues ballads - initially backed by The Johnny Otis Band and then by the Maxwell Davis Orchestra. It also includes a few tracks from a session held in New Orleans in 1956 with the Dave Bartholomew Band including a great reworking of her debut release as Dance With Me Henry. Disc 2 starts with her great 1959 Kent duets with Harvey Fuqua as Betty & Dupree. Etta singned with the Chess subsidiary Argo in 1960 that was to begin a steady stream of hits starting with the soulful ballad All I Could Do Was Cry and including another couple of fine duets with Fuqua as Etta & Harvey including a fine rendition of Willie Dixon's Spoonful. In 1960 issued their first Etta James LP "At Last" comprised of tracks originally issued on singles and includes most of her early Argo hits including My Dearest Darling/ Trust In Me/ All I Could Do Was Cry and the iconic title song which was first recorded by Glenn MIller in 1941. It also includes he great rendition of the Muddy Waters favorite I Just Want To Make Love To You which though not a hit at the time became a top ten hit in the U.K. in 1996 after it was used in a Coca Cola commercial. Truly classic R&B and early soul from one of it's most exciting performers. (FS)
BETTY AND DUPREE: I Hope Your Satisfied/ If It Aint One Thing/ ETTA AND HARVEY: My Heart Cries/ Spoonful/ ETTA JAMES: A Sunday Kind Of Love/ All I Could Do Was Cry/ Anything To Say Youre Mine/ At Last/ Baby Baby Everynight/ Be Mine/ By The Light Of The Silvery Moon/ Come What May/ Crazy Feeling/ Dance With Me Henry/ Fools We Mortals Be/ Girl Of My Dreams/ Good Lookin/ Good Rockin Daddy/ Hey Henry/ Hold Me Squeeze Me/ I Just Want To Make Love To You/ If I Cant Have You/ In My Diary/ Its A Crying Shame/ Ill Dry My Tears/ Im A Fool/ Let Me Know/ Market Place/ My Dearest Darling/ My One And Only/ Nobody But You/ Plum Nuts/ Seven Day Fool/ Shortnin Bread Rock/ Stormy Weather/ Strange Things Happening/ Tears Of Joy/ Thats All/ The Pick Up/ The Wallflower/ Then Ill Care/ Tough Lover/ Tough Mary/ Trust In Me/ W-O-M-A-N/ You Can Count On Me

 
ETTA JAMES Kent CDKEND 345 Who's Blue? Rare Chess Recordings From The 60s & 70s ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 68 mins, highly recommended
Thanks to Beyonce's high profile impersonation of Etta James in the pseudo-bio pic "Cadillac Records," Etta's name means more now than it has in a long time, even if most people only know her for her definitive version of At Last. Although there are many compilations out there for novice listeners (try "Gold", Hip-O 08127 $19.98), this particular collection is for the fans: a mix of B-sides and LP tracks -- including one unissued number from 1964 - which she recorded in Chicago, Muscle Shoals, Nashville, Hollywood, and New Jersey. With the earliest songs being from 1961 and the latest from 1973, there is naturally a wide range of styles and approaches to the material-for example, the funk of Only of Fool, an LP cut from '73, or the Honey Cone-esque Take Out Some Insurance from 1970. Then there's the brassy soul in the wheelhouse of Tell Mama (Fire/ Don't Pick Me For Your Fool), the Swamp R&B of I've Been A Fool, the Jazz of It Could Happen to You, and the up-market early 60's R&B of Street of Tears. Through it all, James remains a passionate, powerhouse vocalist. (GMC)

 
ETTA JAMES Spectrum 982 704-1 The Very Best - The Chess Singles ● CD $21.98
Three CDs, 53 tracks, very highly recommended
Etta James is one of the greatest R&B and soul singers with a voice so powerful it's easy to see how she influenced a generation of soul belters and rockers, from Janis Joplin to Aretha Franklin. This is a fabulous collection of sides recorded for the Chess subsidiaries Argo and Cadet between 1960 and 1973 and including all her R&B chart hits from this period along with other singles and, in spite, of the title a couple of album tracks. Etta Sounds great on whatever she sings whether it's a tender ballad like At Last, the rocking R&B of Something's Got A Hold Of Me, a pop ballad Stormy Weather, down home blues (Baby What You Want Me To Do) and country (an incredible rendition of Almost Persuaded). It includes her fabulous duets with Harvey Fuqua and Sugar Pie Desanto, her great covers of Otis Redding's Security and Mr. Pitiful (as Miss Pitiful) and more. If you don't have much Etta this is the perfect place to start your collection. Notes are fairly brief and there is no discographical information but, in every other way, this is a winner. (FS)
ETTA JAMES: 842-3089 (Call My Name)/ All I Could Do Was Cry/ All The Way Down/ Almost Persuaded/ At Last/ Baby What You Want Me To Do (Live)/ Bobby Is His Name/ Breaking Point/ Do I Make Myself Clear (with Sugar Pie Desanto)/ Do Right Woman Do Right Man/ Don't Cry Baby/ Fool That I Am/ I Found A Love/ I Got You Babe/ I Just Wanna Make Love To You/ I Prefer You/ I Wish Someone Would Care/ I Worship The Ground You Walk On/ I'd Rather Go Blind/ I'm Gonna Take What He's Got/ If I Can't Have You/ In My Diary/ In The Basement Part 1 (with Sugar Pie Desanto)/ It Must Be Your Love/ Leave Your Hat On/ Light My Fire/ Losers Weepers Part 1/ Lovin' Arms/ Loving You More Everyday/ Miss Pitiful/ My Dearest Darling/ Never My Love/ Next Door To The Blues/ Nothing From Nothing Leaves Nothing/ Only Time Will Tell/ Out On The Street Again/ Pay Back/ Pushover/ Security/ Something's Got A Hold Of Me/ Spoonful/ Stop The Wedding/ Stormy Weather/ Sunday Kind Of Love/ Tell Mama/ These Fooish Things/ Tighten Up Your Own Thing/ Trust In Me/ Two Sides (To Every Story)/ W.O.M.A.N/ Waiting For Charlie (To Come Home)/ Would It Make A Difference To You/ You Got It

 
SYL JOHNSON Numero 32 Complete Mythology ● CD $79.98
6 LPs, 4CDs, 81 tracks, highly recommended
Blues and Soulman Syl Johnson has long been one of those guys that are only known and liked by the R&B cognoscenti-a hell of a singer and harmonica player. He's logged time with Magic Slim, Billy Boy Arnold, Howlin' Wolf, Junior Wells, and Jimmy Reed; he's recorded solo for Hi, Federal, and Twinight, and he even managed to have a couple of R&B hits along the way, the most notable being Different Strokes in 1968 (which, by the way, has been sampled by everyone and his mother; as proven by the comprehensive list of artists in the booklet). With all this cred under his belt, the folks at Numero have seen fit to give the man a proper salute with this exhaustive box set. Compiling 18 years of tracks (1959-1977) from most of the labels he recorded for (curiously, tracks from his Hi era are missing), the case is certainly made for Johnson's prowess as a vocalist; he's pitched somewhere between David Ruffin and Otis Redding - familiar sounding, and yet not-gritty, in the classic soul vein. The Numero guys thought so much of this material that they packaged the same 81 tracks in both CD and LP form; the LPs are a nice visual collectable-loving re-imaginings of different chapters of Syl's musical odyssey-if a tad extraneous, though, of course, if you're an LP collector this is the way to go. In addition to the wealth of music, there is also the handsome 52 page booklet that tells Johnson's story in captivating written and visual detail. Clearly, this set is not for the novice fan but for someone who is absolutely besotted with the man. And for the Syl Johnson fan, this set is totally mandatory. As for everyone else, if you're feeling adventurous, this stuff is first rate R&B goodness. (GMC)

 
ROY LEE JOHNSON & THE VILLAGERS BGP BGPCD 227 Roy Lee Johnson & The Villagers ● CD $13.98
10 tracks, 27 mins, recommended
Before recording this legendary funk album for Stax in 1973, Roy Lee Johnson was most famous for writing Mr. Moonlight which was recorded by his band Dr. Feelgood and the Interns in 1962, and covered by the Beatles. This collection of hard-driving early 70's funk attracted little attention at the time of its release (probably because Stax didn't promote it), but its supple grooves were heavily sampled in the late 80's. Long out of print, we now get the chance to hear merciless tracks like I'll Be Your Doctor Man/ The Dryer (parts 1 and 2), and Don't Tell Me Nothing About My Woman. This is one funk album from the time that doesn't appear to owe an obvious debt to James Brown, and as such, deserves the notice of fans of the funk. (GMC)

 
BARBARA LEWIS Black Tulip 2638698 Hello Stranger ● CD $17.98
30 tracks, 78 min., highly recommended
Barbara Lewis fits the pop-soul label comfortably most of the time, but then so does most of Motown's recorded output, so it's no put down. Her Atlantic Records sides have been reissued on a variety of releases, most worthy. What sets this one apart, aside from the absolute lack of any booklet notes, is the number of tracks--no other release can boast 30, and it is about the music, after all. The sound here is fine too, and if you don't already have a copy of Baby I'm Yours, it's a reason to get up in the morning, if you ever need one. (JC)

 
DARLENE LOVE Legacy/ Spector 61290 The Very Best Of Darlene Love ● CD $11.98
17 tracks, 48 mins, essential
I know that when Darlene Love was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame recently, there were people who either didn't know who she was, or didn't think that her career warranted the honor. Those people are wrong, of course, not their fault necessarily, since there are really only a couple of big songs that are credited to her name. Realistically, if you put together a compilation of all the songs that Love sang on, whether as lead or backup singer, you would need one of those big 8-10 CD Bear Family box sets. This single CD collection, gathers up the biggest and best tracks that Darlene Love sang lead on. It includes (Today I Met) The Boy I'm Gonna Marry/ Wait Til My Bobby Gets Home/ Run Run Runaway, and A Fine, Fine Boy, and more under her own name. Then Love singing lead on such classics as He's A Rebel/ He's Sure The Boy I Love, by the Crystals, Why Do Lovers Beak Each Others Hearts? and Not Too Young To Get Married by Bob B. Soxx and The Blue Jeans, That's When The Tears Start, and Good Good Lovin' by The Blossoms. Quite a selection and that is just the bigger songs, there a handful of lesser known tracks here that are just about as good as the hits. Certainly Darlene Love is one of the great singers in the Rock & Roll era and this collection, not only proves that, but is also an essential addition to your collection. All tracks remastered from original master tapes. (JM)

 
FRANKIE LYMON & THE TEENAGERS Jasmine 567 Their Greatest Recordings ● CD $15.98
Two CDs, 57 tracks, highly recommended
Another great vocal group gets the Jasmine treatment - this time Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers. Short-lived (they were only together for 18 months) they were highly influential (notably on Motown and many of its stars, especially Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5). Lymon had the voice of an angel and justifiably so became the first teen age pop star (at 13!). The first disc features the group's LP "The Teenagers Featuring Frankie Lymon" plus all their singles and includes all their hits - Why Do Fools Fall in Love/ I Want You to Be My Girl and Goody Goody - are here, but so are worthy tracks like I'm Not a Juvenile Delinquent and ABC's of Love. The second disc features solo sides by Lymon after the group split including his LP of rock 'n' roll covers "Rock & Roll With Frankie Lymon" along with all his solo singles through 1959 - none of which charted, good as some of them were - My Girl/ Thumb Thumb/ Mama Don't Allow It/ No Matter What You've Done, etc. (FS)

 
BARBARA LYNN Great American Music 224 It Ain't Good To Be Too Good ● CD $14.98
22 tracks, 53 mins, recommended
Beaumont Texas native Barbara Lynn is a truly great soul singer who is best known for her lone Pop hit from 1962 You'll Lose a Good Thing, which is unique for having been written by the artist at a time when performers rarely wrote their own material. Lynn, also noteworthy for accompanying herself on guitar was recorded by legendary (infamous) Texas producer Huey Meaux and this collection features 18 songs (plus four alternate takes) produced by Meaux between 1966 and 1975 - some released on Meaux's own Tribe and Starflite labels, some released by Atlantic and others not originally issued. It includes her minor R&B hits of the Southern soul favorite you Left The Water Running and her own This Is The Thanks I Get. Other songs include her soulful rendition of Elton Anderson's Shed So Many Tears, the impassioned deep soul ballad Give Him His Freedom and an unusual up tempo rendition of Hank Williams' I'm So LOnesome I Could Cry and more. Some of the unissued sides are unexceptional and the alternates are unnecesarry but in general this is a fine collection. It was originally issued some years ago on Edsel as "The Crazy Cajun Recordings." (FS)

 

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