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Welcome to the re-vamped CD Review page.

Rather than trying to keep the reviews sorted by Record companies, I've decide to keep this page relevant by reviewing CDs as they arrive with me, and trying to keep the contents of this page down to a dozen reviews, with older ones archived off to separate pages. That way you'll always get the new reviews first, but still be able to see the older reviews. I've also decided to include track listings for each CD as well. So here we go:

Joe Simon - Soul For The Dancefloor - Kent CDKEND330 

Joe Simon released a huge number of records throughout his lengthy career, so it must have been quite a difficult task to restrict this CD to twenty four tracks. All taken from the Spring Label (With two that were released on the Posse label), there is a great mixture of 45s and album tracks, all aimed directly at the dancefloor. These tracks were nearly all recorded when the dreaded Disco was at it’s peak, but the sheer simplicity of Joe Simon’s vocal saves nearly all the tracks from tipping over into Disco pap. There’s even a previously unreleased track in there as well. This is truly a man at the height of his powers singing Seventies Soul for the dancefloor. 

In My Baby's Arms / Power Of Love / Let Me Be The One / Easy To Love / Ole Night Owl / I Can't Stand A Liar / Still At The Mercy Of Your Love / Who Was That Lady / Somebody For Everybody / The Best Time Of My Life / Talk Don't Bother Me / It Must Be Love / I Need You, You Need Me / I.O.U. / Step By Step / Let The Good Times Roll / I Don't Wanna Make Love / Deeper Than Love / (You Keep Me) Hangin' On / I Love You More Than Anything / Most Of All / She's My Lady / Love Ain't Never Hurt Nobody / Georgia Blue


George Jackson - In Memphis 1972-75 - Kent CDKEND329

Back to the Southern Soul side again. George Jackson never became a star, but that in itself was a crime. Songs full of emotion, with lyrics that hit straight to the heart. These recordings come from a whole slew of labels, but all were recorded in Memphis whilst he was at Sounds Of Memphis. A good seventy percent of the tracks are set at below midtempo, but the range stretches right through to pure Funk with the gloriously titled ‘Willie Lump Lump’ Dean Rudland does the honours with the booklet this time, and it makes it a wonderful addition to the collection. 

Aretha, Sing One For Me / Things Are Gettin' Better / Talking About The Love I Have For You / Let's Live For Ourselves / If You Never See Me / How Can I Get Next To You / All In My Mind / Walking The City Streets / Dear Abby / A Woman Wants To Be Loved / I Don't Need You No More / Let Them Know You Care / (If I Could Get On That) Soul Train / You Can't Run Away From Love / Take Your Love And Go / Smoking And Drinking / Willie Lump Lump / She Can't Replace The Love I Have For You / Macking On You / Patricia / We've Only Just Begun


Jimmy Hughes - Steal Away; The Early Fame Recordings - CDKEND 324

Southern Soul at it’s best. Jimmy Hughes was a rather reluctant singer to begin with, and even kept his day job until ‘Steal Away’ hit the charts, and then Fame Records hooked up with Vee Jay for national distribution. This CD is the first album recorded by Jimmy Hughes, and released on Vee Jay. But of course it’s not just the twelve tracks off the album, there are an additional six non album singles, plus the obligatory unreleased tracks, four on this occasion. Tie the informative booklet from Tony Rounce, and the promise of the Atlantic album next year this is a great way to end 2009.

Lovely Ladies / There Is Something On Your Mind / A Shot Of Rhythym & Blues / Neighbor Neighbor / Everybody Let's Dance / Steal Away / Try Me / I'm Gonna Rise Again / I Tried To Tell You / I'm Getting Better / Stormy Monday Blues / I Want Justice / I'm Qualified / My Loving Time / Lollipops Lace And Lipstick / You Might As Well Forget Him / Goodbye My Lover Goodbye / You Really Know How To Hurt A Guy / Have You Done Got Over Me / Girl You Belong Here With Me / My Adorable One / Steal Away Part 2


Aretha Franklin - Just A Matter Of Time - CDKEND 325

Given the super stardom that Aretha Franklin went onto I’m surprised that nobody has already put these tracks out before. Never mind, here they are. Running from 1961 through to 1965 you get a real mixture of tracks. Ranging from raw and raucous R & B, through Jazz, and even some fully orchestrated ballads I have to say I prefer this period of Ms Franklin’s career, her vocals are more restrained and a lot less strident then some of her later recordings, but even on the Jazzier tracks, her voice still oozes Soul. Kent have even managed to find a couple of previously unreleased tracks as well. Tony Rounce has certainly been busy. 

Rough Lover / It' So Heartbreakin' / Just For You / The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss / One Room Paradise / When They Ask About You / Two Sides Of Love / I Told You So / It's Just A Matter Of Time / I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face / I Still Can't Forget / I'll Keep On Smiling / Remember Me / Hands Off / Deeper / You've Got Her / Only The One You Love / (You Don't Know) How Glad I Am / Her Little Heart Went To Loveland / One Step Ahead / Follow Your Heart / Little Miss Raggedy Ann / Tighten Up Your Tie, Button Up Your Jacket (Make It For The Door) / Here's Where I Came In (Here's Where I Walk Out)


Various Artists - The Birth Of Soul, Special Chicago Edition - CDKEND 322 

What a great idea this is, not only is the theme of ‘The Birth Of Soul’, started by Dave Godin, continued, but focusing on one city allows a much wider choice of music. I think all these artists will be known to anyone who calls themselves a Soul fan of any description, but you probably won’t know all the songs. Curtis Mayfield’s influence is already evident on several of the tracks, and it becomes obvious why he was such a major figure in the development of Soul music in Chicago. The style ranges from Doo Wop to R & B, with Gospel edges to most of the harmonies, and you can certainly see the roots to all those classics ‘60s Soul records that came out of Chicago in the way the vocals blend with the horns over the melodic backing. Top class stuff, and hopefully the series will continue with other cities being given the spotlight as well

For Your Precious Love - Jerry Butler & The Impressions / I've Got A Girl - Major Lance / I'll Weep No More - Betty Everett / Senorita I Love You - The Impressions / Good Morning Little Schoolgirl - Don & Bob / My Heart Cries - Etta & Harvey / Phyllis - Major Lance / Isle Of Sirens - Jerry Butler / Behind The Curtains - Jan Bradley / Let 'Em Try - Rosco Gordon / Enchanted Garden - The Accents / Father Knows Best - The Radiants / Tragic - The Sheppards / At The Party - Wade Flemons / Waiting For Charlie To Come Home - Etta James / You've Got A Great Love - The Chanteurs / I've Got A Story To Tell You - The Kavetts / Cool Breeze - Gerald Sims & The Daylighters / Puppy Love - Barbara Lewis / Hi Diddley Dee Dum Dum (It's A Good Good Feeling) - The Dells / Tell Him - The Drew-Vels / That's My Girl - Dee Clark / My Baby's Got Soul - Sugar Pie Desanto / Think Nothing About It - Gene Chandler


Various Artists - Carnival Northern Soul - CDKEND 327 

It’s quite a few years since Kent released the trio of CDs dedicated to the Carnival label, so it’s nice to have all the up tempo tracks gathered together from the group of labels that Joe Evans owned. There’s not much else I can say about this CD really, so I think I’m just going to let the track listing speak for itself

Little Miss Soul - The Lovettes / Wishes - The Metrics / I Wanna Be (Your Everything) - The Pretenders / Hey Girl (Where Are You Going) - The Topics / Love Has Passed Me By - Phil Terrell /  Lost Love - Lee Williams & The Cymbals / There Goes A Fool - The Manhattans / I Need A Guy - The Lovettes / So In Love - Barbara Brown Accompanied By George Smith / Me, Myself And I - Norma Jenkins / I'll Erase You (From My Heart) - Phil Terrell / My Love Is Yours Tonight - The Turner Brothers / All I Need Is Your Love - The Manhattans / Leave Me If You Want To - Curby Goggins /  She's So Fine - The Topics / I Say Yeah - The Pets / It's Everything About You (That I Love) - Lee Williams & The Cymbals / I Call It Love - The Pretenders / I'm Just A Young Boy - Phil Terrell / Why Did She Lie - Vick & John / Don't Let Yourself Go - Jimmy Jules / Cry, Cry, Cry - Kenneth Ruffin / You Made Me Love You - Little Royal / I'll Catch You On The Rebound - Leon & The Metronomes With The Kool Kings Band / Please Come Back - Harry Caldwell / A Broken Heart Cries - The Pretenders


Luther Ingram - Let's Steal Away To The Hideaway / Do You Love Somebody - CDKEND 328

The third, and final CD in the series which has gathered together all of Luther Ingram’s releases from the Ko Ko label. Surprisingly, despite a long recording career, over several labels, Luther Ingram never became a star in the way that some of his contemporaries did. He did however, record some devastating soul records that have clearly stood the test of time, and sound just as good know as they did when they were first recorded. The usual first class packaging with this CD is just the icing on the cake.

Let's Steal Away To The Hideaway / That's The Way Love Is / Sweet Inspiration / I'm Gonna Be The Best Thing / I Like The Feeling / All That Shines / What Goes Around Comes Around / It's Too Much / Your Love Is Something Special / I've Got Your Love In My Life / I'll Love You Until The End (Version 2) / Do You Love Somebody / How I Miss My Baby / Get To Me / Sorry / Time Machine / Do You Think There's A Chance / Trying To Find My Love / Ain't Good For Nothing / Funny People / Faces


Click on the numbers for the archived reviews 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11