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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:

Patti Drew - The Best Of - Working On A Groovy Thing - Stateside 094639181929

I, and I’m sure many other people, overlooked the release of this CD. It was a mistake, since I bought it, it never seems to have left the player. A compilation of her singles, with a few LP tracks, and three Drew-Vels tracks, it’s just great Soul Music. I must admit a preference for the earlier tracks because a slightly more Jazzy influence creeps into the production later on. Amazingly, Patti Drew only hit the charts four times, yet all the singles she recorded for Capitol were worthy efforts, not only the singles though, the album tracks, taken from her four albums in four years with the label, also bear listening to. Put together by Bob Fisher and Tony Rounce, both long term Soul fans the CD was released this year, and this is one that is certainly worth searching for.

Tell Him / Stop And Listen / Can’t Shake It Loose / Where Is Daddy / My Lover’s Prayer / Sufferer / Keep On Movin’ / There’ll; Never Be Another / Workin’ On A Groovy Thing / Beggar For The Blues / Fever / Hard To Handle / Just Can’t Forget About You / I’ve Been Here All The Time / Midnight Confessions / A Guy Like You / The Love That A Woman Should Give To A Man / He’s The One (I Love) / Which One Should I Choose / Wild Is Love / Hundreds And Thousands Of Guys / It’s Just A Dream / The Drew-Vels - It’s My Time / I’ve Known / Tell Him


Various Artists - Kevin Rowland Presents Made To Measure - Motown 5301218

You always had a feeling that amongst all the gypsy clothes and tat, that Kevin Rowland was a Soul fan deep down. And you’d have been right. Here he gets the chance to pick his favourite Motown tracks, and to my mind, anyone who starts a Motown compilation off with two Temptations’ tracks can’t be doing badly ! Nothing unusual in terms of choice, in fact all well known tracks, but it’s still a good compilation, as with the other releases in this series though, I have to wonder which market it’s aimed at ?

The Temptations - Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) / The Temptations - My Girl / The Four Tops - Walk Away Renee / The Supremes - You Can’t Hurry Love / Marvin Gaye - Abraham Martin And John / Stevie Wonder - Signed Sealed Delivered (I’n Yours) / Gladys Knight And The Pips - The Look Of Love / Marvin Gaye - Let’s Get It On / Jimmy Ruffin - I’ll Say Forever My Love / The Four Tops - It’s All In The Game / Stevie Wonder - I Was Made To Love Her / Jackson 5 - I’ll Be There / The Isley Brothers - I Guess I’ll Always Love You / Jr Walker & The All Stars - What Does It Take (To Win Your Love) / The Elgins - Heaven Must Have Sent You / The Contours - Just A  Little Misunderstanding / The Supremes - Bad Weather / Marvin Gaye - If I Should Die Tonight / Diana Ross & The Supremes - Someday We’ll Be Together / The Four Tops - Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever


Walter Jackson - Speak Her Name - Kent CDKEND 273

Tony Rounce has over three volumes now, managed to include every single recording by Walter Jackson that remains in the Okeh / Columbia vaults. Not only that, but because he has also had access to the session notes from each session he has managed to annotate the CDs with the most accurate information ever provided for a series of CDs. Truly an awesome piece of work. But hey ! Before Tony takes all the credit, what about Walter Jackson himself ? Funnily enough, many of the tracks from this CD were recorded in New York and not Chicago as you would have expected for such a giant of the Chicago Soul scene. Not that it makes much difference; they are still dripping with that warm Soulful sound. Mostly ballads, this CD is a straight re-release of Walter Jackson’s last album with Okeh, plus some single only tracks, and the obligatory previously unreleased tracks. If you bought the first two volumes, this is essential. If you didn’t buy the first two volumes, why not ? Go out and buy them immediately !

Speak Her Name / Tear For Tear / Not You / After You There Can Be Nothing / They Don’t Give Medals (To Yesterday’s Heroes / A Corner In The Sun / My One Chance To Make It / She’s A Woman / I’ll Keep On Trying / It’s An Uphill Climb To The Bottom / Funny (Not Much) / My Ship Is Coming In / Road To Ruin / Everything Under The Sun / Forget The Girl / No Butterflies / Just One Smile / The Look Of Love / The Bed / Ad Lib


Diana Ross - Last Time I Saw Him - Expanded Version - Motown B0008095-02

A very nicely packaged re-issue for Diana Ross fans. Unfortunately I don’t count myself amongst them. However, the first CD contains the original album, re-mastered so that the sound is the clearest there has ever been, but with longer fade outs on some of the tracks because the vinyl version cut the recordings short. It also contains the Japanese Quad release, which I thought was rather strange because I remember you needed a ‘Quad’ system to listen to quad LPs. Apparently though you can hear that they are different mixes on the CD. The second CD has ten previously unreleased tracks recorded at the same time but not included on the album. Great stuff if you like Diana Ross.

Disc One
Last Time I Saw Him - Original Album Release

Last Time I Saw Him / No One’s Gonna Be A Fool Forever / Love Me / Sleepin’ / You / Turn Around / When Will I Come Home To You / I Heard A Love Song (But You Never Made A Sound) / Stone Liberty / Behind Closed Doors

Last Time I Saw Him - Japanese Quad Edition

Last Time I Saw Him / No One’s Gonna Be A Fool Forever / Love Me / Sleepin’ / You / Turn Around / When Will I Come Home To You / I Heard A Love Song (But You Never Made A Sound) / Stone Liberty / Behind Closed Doors

Disc Two
First Time I Saw Him - Unreleased Bonus Tracks

I’ll Be Here (When You Get Home) / Why Play Games / I Don’t Care Where The Money Is / Get It All Together / Where Did We Go Wrong Version 1 / Since I Don’t Have You / Let Me Be The One / I Wanna Go Back There Again / Old Funky Rolls (Alternate Take) / Last Time I Saw Him (Unedited Version)


Nella Dodds - This Is A Girl’s Life - The Complete Wand Recordings 1964 - 1965 - Kent CDKEND 282 

This CD has probably the lowest number of tracks I’ve ever seen on a Kent CD, but when there were only six singles, and you can only find three previously unreleased tracks, you are only ever going to get fifteen tracks. That said there is hardly a duffer amongst them. All in the same style, although the tempo varies, these represent the epitome of Wand girlie Soul songs. Classy production, Soulful, but slightly breathless vocals, uptown Soul at it’s best. Go on, buy it, you know you want to. 

Come Back Baby / A Girl’s Life / P’s And Q’s / Finders Keepers Losers Weepers / Honey Boy / You Don’t Love Me Anymore / Dream Boy / First Date / One Love Not Two / Whisper You Love Me Boy / Your Love Back / Gee Whiz / Maybe Baby / Come See About Me / I Just Gotta Have You


Various Artists - For Connoisseurs Only Volume 3 - Kent CDKEND 281 

The third trip into the Modern / Kent Soul vaults for Ace under the ‘For Connoisseurs Only’ banner. Of course the UK Kent label is named after the US one, because the first two albums (and it doesn’t seem anything like twenty five years ago) were also drawn from the same source. The tracks included her cover the whole spectrum of Black music from the 1960’s. From Blues influenced, R & B, flavoured, up-tempo, mid-tempo, out and out dancers, through to Deep Soul ballads, and even a pretty impressive clutch of tracks that clearly were influenced by the charts of the days. As Ady Croasdell mentions in the liner notes, most of the tracks this time are drawn from the Kent imprint rather than Modern, and like Ady, I feel that most of the tracks were aimed at the Black record buyer rather than expecting them to crossover into the mainstream charts. But isn’t that the sort of record we like as Soul fans ? You betcha. Add this to the collection asap !

Billy Watkins - Beverley / Marvin Phillips & The Spinners - That Righteous Feeling / Terry & The Tyrants - Love Me To Death / Johnny Copeland - You Must Believe In Yourself / Freeman King - Working For The Woman / Jeb Stuart - Can’t Count The Days / Jackie Day - If I’d Lose You / Al King - My Name Is Misery / Tommy Youngblood - Back In The Saddle / Willie Headen - I Want To Know / Vernon Garrett - I’m Guilty / The Ikettes - Don’t Feel Sorry For Me / Felice Taylor - Good Luck Aka New Love / Mary Love - I’ve Got To Get You Back / The Windjammers - Poor Sad Child Part 1 / The Four Tees - I Could Never Love Another / Bobby White - It’s A Great Life / Leon Patterson - Baby Baby Baby / Gene Taylor - Cut Me Loose / Frank Armstrong & The Stingers - Feel Like I Want To


Various Artists - Talcum Soul 6 - Stateside 0946 3 81997 2 4 

When I reviewed the first volume of this series I panned it, simply because virtually all the tracks included had already been released on CD, and consisted really of the same old same old Oldies. However, the series has got better and better with each release, and whilst there are some tracks that have been compiled before the majority on this volume haven’t. So it’s a pleasure to say that the Talcum Soul series has finally come of age, and to be able to recommend this CD to anyone 

Sam Ambrose - They’ll Be Coming / The Outsiders - Lonely Man / Sam Williams - Love Slipped Through My Fingers / Alexander Patton - No More Dreams / D & Joe - Who’s It Gonna Be / Grover Mitchell - Take Your Time And Love Me / Reggie Garner - Hot Line / Bird Rollins - Love Man From Carolina / Jimmy Holiday - Spread Your Love / Herman Hitson - Yes You Did / Battye Lavette - I’m Just A Fool For You / Inez & Charlie Foxx - La De Da I Love You / Clydie King - My Love Grows Deeper / Top Shelf - No Second Thoughts / Willie Hightower - Nobody But You / The Diplomats - Perfect Love / Esther Phillips - Nobody But You / Jimmy Love - Two Sides To Every Story / Patrice Holloway - Black Mother Goose / Purple Mundi - Stop Hurting Me Baby / Kenny Wells - Isn’t It Just A Shame / The Thrills - Ink Pen Full Of Tears / Baby Washington - It’s All Over But The Crying / Little Natalie & Henry - Teardrops Are Falling / Annabelle Fox - Lonely Girl / Gene Mcdaniels - It’s A Lonely Town (Lonely Without You)


Various Artists - New Orleans Soul A Go-Go - Night Train NTI CD 7085 

Well the subtitle of this US import CD is ‘One Hour Of Unreissued Crescent City Soul Shakers’ which initially confused me because I’d originally read it as ‘Unissued’, so couldn’t understand why I knew so many of the tracks. I was also disappointed by the total lack of any sleeve notes whatsoever. But what about the music I hear you ask ? All Sixties, all have that decidedly New Orleans feel to them which means they are Soul flavoured with R & B, and even more than a little Rock and Roll influence in places. But if you can pick it up at a decent price this is well worth adding to the collection. 

George & Lee - You Were Made For Me / Lydia Marcelle - Everybody Dance / Candy Phillips - Timer Part 2 / Senator Jones - Call The Sheriff / Eddie Bo - Our Love Will Never Falter / Joyce Harris - Baby Baby Baby / Art Neville - My Babe / Oliver Morgan - Once Upon A Time / Elliot Small - Stay In My Heart / Elliot Small - Girls Were Made For Love / Toni Washington - Good Times / Tommy Ridgley - Pretty Little Mama / Earl Harrison - Humphrey’s Stomp / Li’l Willie & The Rockin’ Imperials - Crazy Stomp / Merle Spears & The Treats - I Want To Know / Charles Smith - You Need Education / Al White & The Hi-Lites - Thread The Needle / Sammy Ridgley - Locked Up / Bobby Powell - Stay In The Bed / L Ruffin - This Stuff Just Kills Me / Senator Jones - Miniskirt Dance / Bonnie & Sheila - I Miss You / The Rhythm Kings With Lee Foret - Barefootin’


The Tempests - Would You Believe - DECKCD 100 

A new label focusing on Soul releases, Poker Records is part of the Cherry Red group, and what a first release this is. The, always indemand, album from The Tempests. Mostly sought out for the album only track ‘Someday’, but in all honesty there isn’t a bad track on the album at all. And as a bonus to the original album both sides of the two 45 only releases are included here as well. Informative liner notes from Dave Flynn and Dave Timperley make this a thoroughly attractive package and a near essential purchase.

Would You Believe / Ain’t No Big Thing / Happiness / Ain’t That Enough / I Cried For You / Someday / Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind / I Don’t Want To Lose Her / What Are You Gonna Do / You Don’t Know Like I Know / You (Are The Star I Wish On / In The (Cold Light Of Day) / Long Live Our Love / The Way To A Man’s Heart / Out Of My Life

Billy Butler - The Right Tracks, The Complete Okeh Recordings 1963-1966 - CDKEND 280 

Wow ! Kent have produced the epitome of a single artist / single label CD here. Not only does this CD contain all of the tracks that Billy Butler recorded and Okeh released during that three year period, but there are also an additional eleven previously unissued tracks (admittedly some are only instrumentals), a couple of alternate takes to issued tracks and a tremendously informative 16 page booklet from Tony Rounce which uses the Okeh session logs to date the tracks and place everything in the correct chronological order. 

Found True Love / Lady Love / Gotta Get Away / I’m Just A Man / Can’t Live Without Her / My Heart In Hurtin’ / Nevertheless / My Sweet Woman / I Can’t Work No Longer / Tomorrow Is Another Day / (I’ve Got A Feeling) You’re Gonna Be Sorry / (You Make Me Think) You Ain’t Ready / Right Track / Boston Monkey / Does It Matter / Fighting A Losing Battle / To Be Or Not To Be / Lady Love (Alt) / Found True Love / Does It Matter (Alt) / To Be Or Not To Be (Alt) / Singing The Blues / She Hurt Me / You Won’t Let Me Forget It / Loneliness / Let’s Make Up / Boston Monkey / Right Track



Various Artists - Kelley’s Soul Heros - Grapevine GVCD 3035 

Ernest Kelley being the Kelley of the terrible pun in the title. Not a tremendously well known name outside of collector’s circles, but from the mid Sixties onwards Ernest Kelley has been producing, and arranging some classic Soul sides which have been released on a series of labels owned by him. Never quite achieving the huge hit that would establish labels financially, Kelley just kept on trying for that one big hit. In the process, Detroit and New York artists received what (For many) turned out to be their first step to bigger things, yet for some, a release on one of Kelley’s labels was to be their only recording. Ranging from the Sixties through to the Eighties the styles also range from uptempo dancers to Deep Soul with group sounds, sweet soul, and everything els you want to call Soul music in between, because whatever the style that’s the one thing all these tracks have in common, they are all Soul music ! 

Ernest Sparks - I’ll Be Glad / Cletus Marland - Every Now And Then / Betty Bibs - The Story Of My Life / The Combinations - (Too Long) I’ve Been Waiting / Solid Solution - Think About It Girl / Sandra Richardson - Stay Here With Me / Solid State - Right In Your Own Back Yard / Charles & Ivory - My Little Baby / Al & Ray - I Should Have Gone / Mike Jemison - Spread Love / Cloe Martin - Winter Is Much Too Long / The Dynamics - We Found Love / Cletus Marland - I Wish That You Were Here / Willie Collins - Two Lives / Betty Bibbs  - I Want Some Satisfaction / Billy Hambric - I Gotta Find That Girl / Mike Jemison - You’ll Never Get My Love / Dee Edwards - (I Can) Deal With That / Cloe Martin - What Do You See In Her / Sammy Taylor - I Need A True Love / Perfect Touch - Merry Go Round / The Dynamics - You Can Make It If You Try / Barret Strong - You Make Me Feel The Way I Do / Cletus Marland - You’re Gonna Miss Me / Carol Anderson - Tomorrow Is Not A Promise 


Various Artists - The Rich Records Story - Blue Label SPV 49742 CD

Something I never realised until this German produce CD dropped through my letter box was that Rich records was owned by the legendary DJ John R (Richbourg). Somewhat confusingly there seem to have been at least four different stages in the label’s history, and not all of the tracks on this CD were actually released on the label anyway ! That said they were all recorded during the life of the label and had they been released when recorded would have been on Rich. Never achieving a hit, John R closed the label after about three years and eventually moved on to greater things with other labels, most notably Sound Stage 7.

Bobby Hebb - Night Train To Memphis / You Gotta Go / I Found Somebody / Atlanta G A / Cherry / I Feel So Good / Latimore Brown - What Have I Done Wrong / Mistaken Prayer / Hully Gully Twist / Justa  Little Bit / Night Time Is The Right Time / Only I Can Tell The Story / Jimmy Church - You Can Make Me Do It / Faith In You / Jimmy Church & Rodge Martin - Soul Shack / Dee Brown & Lola Grant - We Belong Together / Johnette - Living The Blues / John R - Mojo Blues / Keep On Scratchin’ / Keep Your Baby Home / Cornell Blakely - I Got That Feeling / J J Barnes - Won’t You Let Me Know




Click on the numbers for the archived reviews 1 2 3