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The Mad Lads -> Big Jay McNeely



THE MAD LADS Stax 8525 The Best Of The Mad Lads ● CD $12.98
The best of the later Volt recordings done between 1968-72 (Atlantic still owns the older sides) - includes So Nice/ Seeing Is Believing/ Did My Baby Call/ I Forgot TO Be Your Lover, etc.

JOHNNY MAESTRO & THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE Collectables 8808 For Collectors Only ● CD $26.98
Two CD set.

JOHNNY MAESTRO & THE CRESTS Ace CDCHD 322 The Best Of The Rest Of ● CD $18.98
29 tracks, 72 min., recommended
When Rhino issued its Best of the Crests CD a couple of years ago, Ace issued those same cuts under its own banner for English consumption. But then Ace did Rhino one better and issued most of the rest of Crests' and Johnny Maestro's solo Coed recordings on this fine follow up disc. It includes Learning 'Bout Love/ Molly Mae/ I Do/ Beside You/ Paper Crown/ My Special Angel/ Say It Isn't So/ A Rose and a Baby Ruth, and We've Got To Tell Them. The music ranges from tight group numbers to some rather pop-sounding solo tracks. Eight titles are previously unreleased, and four are alternate takes. Fine sound quality with several cuts in stereo, nice cover graphics, and no real notes at all. I guess they said it all on the first disc. Either way, this second disc is well worth a listen. (DH)
THE CRESTS: A Rose And A Baby Ruth/ Always You/ Besame Baby/ Beside You/ Dream Maker/ Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)/ I Do/ I O U/ If My Heart Could Write A Letter/ Isn't It Amazing/ Keep Away From Carol/ Learning 'bout Love/ Let Me Be The One/ Let True Love Begin/ Molly Mae/ My Special Angel/ Out In The Cold Again/ Paper Crown/ Say It Isn't So/ Silhouettes/ Six Nights A Week/ Step By Step/ Strange Love/ Test Of Love/ The Angels Listened In/ The Warning Voice/ The Way You Look Tonight/ We've Got To Tell Them/ You Took The Joy Out Of Spring

JOHNNY MAESTRO & BROOKLYN BRIDGE Collectables 5015 Greatest Hits ● CD $11.98

JOHNNY MAESTRO & THE CRESTS Collectables 8812 For Collectors Only ● CD $24.98
2 discs, 40 tracks, 100 min., recommended If you missed the earlier Rhino and Ace Crests' compilations, this double disc set from Collectables is a worthwhile alternative. Disc one lead off with the group's major hit, a hallmark 50's ballads, 16 Candles, then moves on into an alternate version of The Angels Listened In, Trouble in Paradise, Step by Step, Gee But I'd Give the World, Journey of Love and I Thank the Moon. Disc two features the released version of The Angels Listened In, Silhouettes, Isn't It Amazing, What a Surprise, A Year Ago Tonight, and their journeyman cover of A Rose and a Baby Ruth. Many tracks are in stereo, and, a relative rarity for Collectables, the liner notes, by Mark Marymont, are solid and informative. Sound quality is also decent. The Crests' Coed label cuts are too good to miss. In one form or another they belong in any decent collection of 50's vocal group gems. (DH)
THE CRESTS: 16 Candles/ A Rose and A Baby Ruth/ A Year Ago Tonight/ Always You/ Beside You/ Earth Angel/ Flower of Love (unreleased version)/ Gee But I'd Give The World/ I Do (unreleased version)/ I Thank the Moon/ I.O.U./ If My Heart Could Write a Letter/ In The Still of The Night (unreleased version)/ Isn't It Amazing/ It Must Be Love (unreleased version)/ Journey of Love/ Keep Away From Carol (unreleased)/ Learning About Love (unreleased)/ Let Me Be the One (unreleased version)/ Let True Love Begin (unreleased)/ Mister Happiness/ Model Girl/ Molly Mae (unreleased version)/ My Special Angel/ Out In The Cold Again (unreleased)/ Paper Crown/ Pretty Little Angel/ Silhouettes/ Six Nights A Week/ Step By Step/ Step By Step (unreleased version)/ Strange Love (unreleased)/ The Angels Listened In/ The Angels Listened In (unreleased version)/ The Test of Love/ The Way You Look Tonight/ Trouble In Paradise/ What A Surprise/ You Took The Joy Out of Spring (unreleased)/ Young Love (unreleased version)

10 tracks, 28 mins, recommended
Johnny Maestro was one of the most impressive voices on the vocal group scene first with the Crests and later with the more pop oriented Brooklyn Bridge. On this short but sweet collection he returns to his roots and accompanied by several members of Brooklyn Bridge does fine acapella renderings of classic doo-wop songs like At My Front Door/ Life Is But A Dream/ Sincerely/ Crying In The Chapel/ I Only have Eyes For You and, best of all, a truly stunning version of The Dubs Could This Be Magic which, if anything, is better than the original. (FS)

JOHNNY MAESTRO & THE CRESTS Varese Vintage 66248 20 All Time Greatest Hits $13.98
20 tracks. 50 minutes, recommended
20 wonderful & great sounding tunes by this seminal multi-racial NY doo wop group, led by the stellar vocals of John "Johnny Maestro" Mastrangelo, done for Co-ed Records 1958-61. Not only do you get the hits (16 Candles/ Trouble In Paradise/ The Angels Listened In) but also key B-sides (I Thank The Moon/ Beside You) and even some key LP tracks which include their interpretations of such hits as Earth Angel & My Special Angel. Also includes Maestro's 1st "solo" sides as "Johnny Maestro, The Voice Of The Crests" & "Johnny Maestro & The Coeds." Interesting story in the liner notes on how 16 Candles only became a hit after giving Dick Clark a piece of the publishing! (GM)

MAGNUM Jamie/Guyden 4015 Fully Loaded ● CD $15.98
7 tracks, 43 min, recommended
CD issue of rare Phoenix LP from '74. Phillie Funk from this 8 piece band incl keys, horns & percussion, kind of a cross between Sly & Funkadelic. Includes their underground hit Funky Junky, the nice & lewd Natural Juices, & some fine jams including It's The Music That Makes Us Do It. (GM)

THE MANHATTANS Collectables 5135 Dedicated To You - Golden "Carnival" Classics Pt. 1 ● CD $11.98
The Manhattans, not to be confused with the group who recorded for Dootone in 1959, got their start on Capitol Records in 1962. In 1964 they switched to Carnival where they cut 14 singles. This set pulls 12 sides from the Carnival catalog considered by fans as their best work. The group's Carnival style is best described as a mix of The Spinners with the latter-day Impressions. One of the earliest exponents of Soul-Funk, the group excels on such songs as the beautiful Can I and Our Love Will Never Die. And on a livlier note, get down with The Philly Dog and The Boston Monkey both included here. Excellent fidelity. (OLN)

THE MANHATTANS Collectables 5136 Dedicated To You - Golden "Carnival" Classics Pt. 2 ● CD $11.98
Twelve more sides from the 1964 thru 1969 Carnival Records period, with the group consisting of Ken Kelly, Winfield Lovett, George Smith, Edward Bivins and Rich Taylor. This set includes 4 chart-toppers--I Wanna Be (Your Everything), I Betcha (Couldn't Love Me), When We're Made As One, and I Call It Love. Personal faves include Alone on New Year's Eve and It's That Time Of The Year. Well-polished funky-soul singing and orchestral arrangements. Great fidelity. (OLN)

THE MANHATTANS Kent CDKEND 103 Dedicated To You/ For You And Yours ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 68 min., recommended A treasure for soul music fans, this Jersey City group's first two LPs, the hard-to-find ones on the Carnival label, are now on one sweet CD. Led by George "Smitty" Smith and Winfred "Blue" Lovett, the ballad-loving Manhattans scored their first hits in the mid-60s and have deservedly been on the charts pretty much ever since. Featured numbers include Follow Your Heart/ Manhattan Stomp/ Searchin' For My Baby/ Sweet Little Girl/ All I Need Is Your Love and It's That Time of Year. Original cover art and liner notes are featured. Excellent stereo sound. Not one to miss. (DH)

THE MANHATTANS Official 56702 People Get Ready ● CD $18.98
24 tracks from early 70s by this fine and popular soul group. Includes The Picture Became Quite Clear/ Give Him Up/ If My Heart Could Speak/ From Atlanta To Goodbye/ People, Get Ready/ Cry If You Wanna Cry/ One Life To Live/ By The Time I Get To Phoenix, etc.

THE MAR-KEYS/ BOOKER T. & THE MG'S Atlantic 90307 Back To Back ● CD $9.98
This would almost be a genuine old-fashioned battle of the bands, except for one detail - The Mar-Keys were just three horn players (later featured on countless sessions as the Memphis Horns) backed by Booker T. and co.! Very energetic all-instrumental live recording from 1967, with wired versions of your favorites Green Onions/ Hip Hug-Her/ Philly Dog/ Last Night/ Gimme Some Lovin and more - 10 in all with Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn, Al Jackson and the Bookman ticklin' the keys.

THE MARCELS Relic 7030 Summertime ● CD $14.98
20 of these 24 mostly acapella tracks are taken from pre-Colpix rehearsal tapes or demos cut while at Colpix. In any case, this is the same Marcels as the group that made Blue Moon. Most of the material here is covers like Got A Job/ Stormy Weather/ Spanish Harlem/ That Lucky Old Sun/ Over The Rainbow, and remained unreleased until the 1980's. For Your Precious Love/ Soul Dinner/ Close Your Eyes/ Why Do You Have To Go are all previously unissued. The famous Fred Johnson bass intro on Blue Moon is here in an earlier version on the similar sounding Zoom. A unique opportunity to examine The Marcels before their rise to stardom. (JC)
THE MARCELS: A Sunday Kind Of Love/ Close Your Eyes/ For Your Precious Love/ Got A Job/ I Could Have Danced All Night/ I'll Be Forever Loving You/ In The World/ Me Peace Of Mind/ Over The Rainbow/ Put The Bomp/ Save The Last Dance For Me/ Soul Dinner/ Spanish Harlem/ Stormy Weather/ Summertime/ Teeter Totter Love/ That Lucky Old Sun/ Two People/ When I'm With You/ Where There's A Will/ Why Do You Have To Go/ You Gave/ Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart/ Zoom

BOBBY MARCHAN Collectables 5113 Golden Classics ● CD $11.98
12 tracks, 32 mins, recommended
A dozen Fire sides from 1959 and 1960 by this fine and distinctive New Orleans vocalist with the high voice who first came to prominence as lead singer with Huey "Piano" Smith and The Clowns. In spite of the short playing time on this disc there are some great soulful and bluesy cuts including his big hit the two part There Is Something On Your Mind with its unique narration. A number of other cuts repeat the narration concept including the two part You're Still My Baby and a great cover version of Maxine Brown's All In My Mind. Other songs include I Miss You So/ It Hurts Me To My Heart/ What You Don't Know Don't Hurt You/ Yes It's Written All Over Your Face. (FS)

BOBBY MARCHAN Collectables 6444 The Very Best Of Bobby Marchan ● CD $13.98
18 tracks, 47 mins, highly recommended
Collectables issued a collection of Bobby Marchan's Fire recordings about eight years ago but this is a substantial upgrade with 6 more cuts, better sound and excellent notes by Robert Pruter.

MARVIN & JOHNNY Ace CDCHD 509 Cherry Pie - The Original Modern Recordings ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, 70 min., recommended
A great mix of relaxed, spontaneous-sounding ballads and jumps from Marvin Phillips and the several Johnnys that worked with him over his years with Modern Records. His most steady partner was Emory Perry, but Jesse Belvin, with whom Phillips had teamed earlier on Specialty, wasn't too far behind. From a logical point of view, it didn't matter anyway. Phillips chose the name "Marvin and Johnny" simply because it sounded good. The generous program here includes the great title track, plus Dear One/ I Love You Yes I Do/ Butter Ball, the lovely Sugar Mama/ Sweet Dreams, and Ain't That Right. A nice companion to the earlier issue of this duo's work for Specialty on "Flipped Out" (SPCD 2176). And it's a typical Ace production, with excellent sound quality, intelligent notes, and top flight graphics. Very highly recommended. (DH)

MARVIN & JOHNNY Specialty 2176 Flipped Out ● CD $12.98
Jesse Belvin, Johnny Dean and Carl Green were all Johnnys, but the best Johnny was Emory Perry, who originally played sax for Marvin Phillips. This 26 song set recorded between 1952-56 contains Wine Woogie/ Old Man's Blues by Marvin & His Men From Mars, and the #2 R&B hit Dream Girl by Jesse (Belvin) and Marvin, plus 3 by the Red Callender Orch. with Marvin. Of M&J's two biggest hits, Baby Doll is here but Tick Tock is missing. Included, however, are many unreleased items like If I Should Lose You/ What's The Matter Baby/ I Want Lovin', two alternate takes of Honey and four unissued demos. The unreleased stuff is every bit as good as the rest, making this collection especially worthwhile. A Hunter Hancock radio ad is also provided. (JC)

ARTHUR LEE MAYE & THE CROWNS Dig 1002 The Best Of Arthur Lee Maye & The Crown ● CD $17.98
30 track collection of 50s sides.
ARTHUR LEE MAYE & THE CROWNS: A Fool's Prayer/ All I Want Is Someone To Love/ Cause You're Mine Alone/ Cool Lovin'/ Do the Bop/ Don't You Know/ Gloria/ Gloria (w/piano)/ Hey Pretty Girl/ Honey Honey/ Honey Honey/ I Wanna Love/ Loop De Loop De Loop/ Love Me Always/ Only One/ Oochie Pachie/ Ooh Ruba Lee/ Ooh Ruba Lee/ Ooh Ruba Lee Mambo/ Please Don't Leave Me/ Please Say You Love Me/ Pounding/ Rock Bottom/ Set My Heart Free/ Sweet Thing/ That's What I'm Gonna Do/ This Is the Night For Love/ Truly/ Whispering Wind/ Will You Be Mine

NATHANIEL MAYER Gold Dust 930 Village Of Love ● CD $18.98
21 tracks, 49 min., recommended
Prototypical soul from one of Detroit's early practitioners. Backed by the Fabulous Twilights, Mayer scored a major hit with the title track here in 1962. Subsequent efforts were often equally worthy, but with the hit record market being the fickle thing that it is, those efforts failed to chart nationwide. Fortunately this disc allows you to correct that oversight and hear Mayer's complete output, including Leave Me Alone, My Little Darling, I Had a Dream, the doo-wop styled Hurting Love, A Place I Know, I'm Not Gonna Cry, the pragmatic I Want Love and Affection (Not the House of Correction), Lover Please, Mr. Santa Claus, and the elemental I Want a Woman. Raw, powerful music, offered here with decent sound quality, minimal notes, and one cover photo. (DH)

CURTIS MAYFIELD Silverline 284542 Live At Ronnie Scott's ● CD $19.98
CD 11 tracks - 63 min - DVD - CD tracks + more - highly recommended
This is an interesting set-up. On one side you get the live show, recorded UK at Ronnie Scott's famed jazz club. There are 10 tracks from all phases of Curtis's career, The Impressions - It's Alright/ I'm So Proud/ People Get Ready, & the solo recordings, including the soundtrack stuff, with three from "Super Fly." After that there's an interview done by super-fan Paul Weller (exJam). However, flip the disc over & it's a DVD, 1st audio with 5.1 sound of the show, a bonus video of Freddie's Dead and a video of the Weller interview, along with written info on Mayfield & Ronnie Scott's. (GM)

CURTIS MAYFIELD & THE IMPRESSIONS MCA MCAD2 10664 The Anthology 1961-1977 ● CD $29.98
After Jerry Butler left The Impressions in 1958, Curtis Mayfield and his silky high tenor slid into the lead role. A talented guitarist and brilliant songwriter, Mayfield put together a long string of hits with the other two Impressions, developing a "new" Chicago soul sound based on the gospel tradition of switching leads. The first disc covers the ABC years (26 songs!), including Gypsy Woman/ It's Alright/ Keep On Pushing/ Meeting Over Yonder/ Talking About My Baby, nearly every other hit, and a few excellent non-hits like Little Young Lover. Disc #2 features four from The Impressions Curtom catalog, the hit Fool For You among them. The rest of the package follows the best of Mayfield's early solo career: Freddie's Dead/ Superfly/ Move On Up/ Pusherman/ Only You Babe and others. Informative booklet notes from Chicago soul expert Bob Pruter. (JC)

MIGHTY SAM MCCLAIN Crosscut 11058 Joy And Pain ● CD $16.98
Fine R&B soul singer recorded live in Germany in 1997.

MIGHTY SAM MCCLAIN Mighty Music 101 One More Bridge To Cross ● CD $14.98
13 tracks, 63 min, excellent. One of the true legends of 60s Deep Soul continues on his comeback trail, even starting his own label to get the new stuff out! With a crack band led by guitarist Chris Tofield + The Mighty Horns. Sam talks about being on tour with his hero Bobby Blue Bland & one thing from there was getting 2 tunes originally pitched to Bland by Joe Hardin that Sam does here. All the other tunes are McClain originals include both deep soul & funk - title tune + Are You Ready For Love/ Open Up Heaven's Door/ Thought I Heard Your Voice (GM)

MIGHTY SAM MCCLAIN Sundazed 11083 Papa True Love ● CD $15.98
Collection of this fine soul singer's late 60s recordings for Amy cut in Muscle Shoals and Nashville.

GENE MCDANIELS Collectables 5646 A Hundred Pounds Of Clay ● CD $13.98
25 tracks, 61 min., good
Originally issued  on EMI. There's no quibbling with success, I suppose. And this early 60's purveyor of pop rock and roll enjoyed plenty of that. His well-produced Liberty sides hit the charts no fewer than eight times between 1961 and 1963, with his biggest three hits entering the top ten. All of those hits and more are here, including the title cut, Chip Chip/ A Tower Of Strength/ A Tear/ Spanish Lace, and It's a Lonely Town (Without You). EMI has done its usual high class production job here, with excellent sound quality, several photos, strong notes, discographical information, and chart positions all included. (DH)

ROLLEE MCGILL Bear Family BCD 15926 Rhythm Rockin' Blues ● CD $21.98
30 tracks recorded between 1954 and 1963 by Philadelphia singer, tenor sax blower and pianist who had a modest hit in 1955 with the Louisiana flavored There Goes That Train. Lots of obscure sides and rarities and a few unissued titles.

JIMMY MCGRIFF Collectables 5125 A Toast To Jimmy McGriff's Golden Classics ● CD $11.98

JIMMY MCGRIFF Collectables 5126 At The Apollo ● CD $11.98

JIMMY MCGRIFF Collectables 5147 Blues For Mr. Jimmy ● CD $11.98
Reissue of Sue 1039 from 1963, Jimmy's second. Jimmy was the rockingest of the Philadelphia Hammond school (Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Groove Holmes, etc). Except for The Party's Over , all tunes are originals - The Dog (You dog)/ Discotheque USA/ Bump De Bump/ Sh'o Nuff , etc.

JIMMY MCGRIFF Collectables 5747 Christmas With Jimmy McGriff ● CD $11.98

BIG JAY MCNEELY Collectables 5131 Live At Birdland 1957 ● CD $11.98
16 tracks, 30 min., essential
This should be a popular release, a CD version of a vintage 1957 Big Jay show recorded on a 2 track Ampex (don't worry, it sounds fine) at Seattle's Birdland Club. The discovery of this tape in 1988 was, for R&B fans, tantamount to the unearthing of King Tut's tomb. This CD version adds 6 cuts from another Big Jay Records LP, Swingin' (JLP 103). The band opens with the dynamic, raspy voiced Little Sonny Warner singing I Hope You're All Right , then jumps into prime Big Jay on the wild Insect Ball . After a soulful rendition of Lynn Hope's Tenderly and a swingin' number called Havana Hop , McNeely really cuts loose on an amazing and exciting version of the old Goodman/ Hampton classic Flying Home , that must have really worn out the dancers there - it's 8 1/2 min. long! He does his crowd pleasers, Deacon's Hop and There Is Something On Your Mind and throws in some surprises too, like a fine version of Les Paul & Mary Ford's How High The Moon . If you like honkin' R&B you'll love this.... AE

BIG JAY MCNEELY Collectables 5133 Swingin' - Golden Classics ● CD $11.98
Previously issued on Jay's own Big J label. 16 fine tracks recorded for the Los Angeles Swingin' label 1957-61 - lots of hard-driving music including the unedited version of the hit There Is Something On Your Mind with Little Sonny Warner on vocals, lots of honkin' instrumental & even a rockabilly track with a white singer - 6 tracks previously unreleased.

BIG JAY MCNEELY Collectables 6377 There Is Something On Your Mind ● CD $11.98
17 tracks recorded in the 50s by this legendary honker - I believe this is compiled from Collectables' two previous McNeely releases. A mix of studio and live cuts.
BIG JAY MCNEELY: After Midnight/ Annie Lou/ Back Shack Track/ Blue Couch Boogie/ Deacon's Hop (live)/ Flying Home (live)/ Flying Home (vocal)/ Havana Hop (live)/ Honky Tonk (live)/ I Got The Message/ I Hope You're Alright (live)/ Minnie (live)/ Oh No Daddy O/ Oh What A Fool/ Roadhouse Boogie/ There Is Something On Your Mind/ There Is Something On Your Mind (live)

BIG JAY MCNEELY Tone Cool 1145 Central Avenue Confidential ● CD $15.98
New recordings from this legendary saxophonist who has a 50 year career behind him. Accompanied by a small group (Hammond organ, guitar & drums with occasional added instruments) he performs a mix of R&B, jazz and pop tunes.


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