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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:

Roy Hamilton - Warm Soul - Poker DeckCD104 

To my ears, Roy Hamilton recorded piles of sentimental middle of the road slush, and a few crucially important Soul sides. Fortunately, whilst this CD does include some of the MOR stuff, it also includes all the Soul sides. A straight reissue of the 1963 ‘Warm Soul’ album released by MGM, plus an additional fifteen non album tracks from the same label and period. It’s in amongst these fifteen tracks that the real tracks are hidden, the killer being, of course, ‘The Panic Is On’.  

The Same One / It’s Too Soon To Know / Baby Don’t You Cry / Looking Back / A Sunday Kind Of Love / (I’m Afraid) The Masquerade Is Over / Guess Who / It’s Just A Matter Of Time / For Your Precious Love / Crying In The Chapel / On My Word Of Honor / The Glory Of Love / You Still Love Him / Let Go / Midnight Town - Daybreak City / Intermezzo / The Sinner (El Picador) / Theme From The “V.I.P.S” (The Willow) / The Panic Is On / There She Is / After He Breaks Your Heart / Answer Me My Love / Unchained Melody / She Make Me Wanna Dance / You Can Count On Me / Sweet Violet / A Thousand Years Ago


The Commitments - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Deluxe Edition - Geffen 1735802 

Is it really sixteen years since the film was released ? Well actually, yes it is ! As a film I thoroughly enjoyed The Commitments, as a  Soul band, I wasn’t so sure. However, having listened to this double CD a couple of times they do measure up quite well as a cover band. Having said that, this is not a CD that I would have considered buying under normal circumstances, and I would guess that most readers would feel the same. It is worth a listen though, so if you’re stuck for ideas for Christmas presents, add this to the list. 

Disc One: Mustang Sally / Take Me To The River / Chain Of Fools / The Dark End Of The Street / Destination Anywhere / I Can’t Stand The Rain / Try A Little Tenderness / Treat Her Right / Do Right Woman Do Right Man / Mr Pitiful / I Never Loved A Man / In The Midnight Hour / Bye Bye Baby / Slip Away

Disc Two: Hard To Handle / Grits Ain’t Groceries / Thank You / That’s The Way Love Is / Show Me / Saved / Too Many Fish In The See / Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Far (Sad Song) / Land Of A Thousand Dances / Nowhere To Run / Bring It On Home To Me / Andrew Strong Solo Tracks: Are You Lonely For Me / Some Kind Of Wonderful / Too Many Cooks (Spoil The Broth) / Same Old Me / Ain’t Nothing You Can Do (Extended Version)


Various Artists - Cellar Full Of Motown Vol. 3 - Motown 5303228 

Absolutely essential purchase for any Soul fan. Amazingly the quality hasn’t dropped at all on this double CD which is the third in the series of previously unreleased Motown tracks. It’s unbelievable that Motown recorded so many great tracks and then just shelved them. I suppose the reasoning was that the hit rate they were already achieving was so high that they just didn’t have the time to get everything released. At least we are now hearing them, and even if it is for the first time virtually every track has that timeless Motown feel to it. My one complaint about the whole package is that Motown are still using a font that I find difficult to read in the liner booklet (Which is worth persevering with because there’s lot’s of good info in it) 

Disc One: Brenda Holloway - You’re Walking Out With My Heart / Miracles - This Love Will Never Die / San Remo Golden Strings - Get Ready / Marvelettes - Love Is Good / Contours - Jealousy Is Creeping Up On Me / Dennis Edwards - Easier Said Than Done / Stevie Wonder - At The Go Go / Spinners - Memories Of Her Love Keep Haunting Me / Shorty Long - I’m In Love Again / Yvonne Fair - I Can’t Let Him Go / Chris Clark - Come On And See Me / Blinky And Edwin Starr - Never Give You Up / Monitors - Just Too Much To Hope For / Fantastic Four - Loving You (Is Hurting Me) / Marv Johnson - S.O.S. Girl In Distress / Oma Page - Thief Of Love / Carolyn Crawford - Too Young Too Long / Clarence Paul - You Stay On My Mind / Temptations - Come Back My Love / Marvin Gaye - A Chance With You / Mike Varo - Watch Your Step / Marvelettes - The Boy From Crosstown (Alt Take)

Disc Two: Brenda Holloway - We’ll Keep On Rolling / Contours - I Can’t Help Loving You Baby / J J Barnes - I’m Here Now That You Need Me / Originals - Judge’s Daughter / Debbie Dean - Something About You / Four Tops - Soldier Of Love / Gladys Knight & The Pips - I’m Gonna Get You / Ivy Jo - Don’t Stop Loving Me / Lollipops - Sweet Sweet Love / Jr Walker & The All Stars - I’m Doning The Best I Can / Bobby Taylor - Cindy / Marvelettes - Little Girls Grow Up / Spinners - Too Late I Learned / Rita Wright - Beware Of A Stranger / Edwin Starr - You Took Me This Far (Take Me All The Way) / Blinky - Can I Get A Witness / Bob Kayli - (There’s Always Room For) Love In A Movie / Paul Petersen - Farewell Is A Lonely Sound / Little Miss Soul - You’ve Made Me So Very Happy / Shorty Long - Honey Hut / Little Lisa - Honey Boy / Headliners - This Is Goodbye / Brenda Holloway & The Supremes Going To A Go Go

The Main Ingredient - Spinning Around, The Singles 1967-1975 - Kent CDKEND 274 

Apart from a couple of singles I was unfamiliar with most of the tracks included here. It turns out that all of the twenty two tracks were actually released by The Main Ingredient as singles ! All were released on the RCA label, including the first three tracks released as The Insiders. The first three tracks are from 1967, and then there is a gap of a couple of years before the first Main Ingredient release, but, the style is still there in both groups, even though there is a change in lead singer early on in the Main Ingredeint years due to the death of founder member Don McPherson. Sweet Soul at it’s most popular, the Main Ingredient had a string of hits throughout the Seventies culminating in them reaching million seller status on two occasions with Cuba Gooding on lead vocals. I must admit to thoroughly enjoying listening to this CD, and the tracks I did know brought back a rush of memories of the Seventies for me. 

The Insiders: I’m Better Off Without You / If You Had A Heart / I’m Just A Man / The Main Ingredient: I Was Born To Lose You / Brotherly Love / The Girl I Left Behind / You’ve Been My Inspiration / I’m So Proud / Spinning Around (I Must Be Falling On Love) / Magic Shoes / Black Seeds Keep On Growing / I’m Leaving This Time / Everybody Plays The Fool / You’ve Got To Take It (If You Want It) / You Can Call Me Rover / Girl Blue / Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely / Happiness Is Just Around The Bend / California My Way / Rolling Down A Mountainside / The Good Old Days (Do You Remember) / Shame On The World


Various Artists - Larry Bank’s Soul Family Album - Kent CDKEND 284 

It’s only when a CD like this comes out that pulls together lots of tracks written, arranged, produced, or performed by Larry Banks that you realise how huge his influence was. I guarantee that if you are a Soul fan of several years standing you will know several of these tracks, but might not have made the connection because of the differing artists and cities. Well now you know. The connection is Larry Banks. This CD was Dave Godin’s project prior to his death, and he asked that Ady Croasdell carry it on to fruition. That’s what Ady has done, and what a job he’s made of it. Every track is awesome, I can’t fault any of them, at all ! Using Kent’s access to the RCA stable, and their ownership of the GWP recordings Ady has also managed to include fifteen previously unreleased tracks, but you might well know different versions of the songs by other artists so they already have that familiar feel to them. Without a shadow of a doubt, the best CD release for a long time, not just from Ace / Kent, but any company. 

Bessie Banks - Go Now / Kenny Carter - You’d Better Get Hip Girl / Jaibi - What Good Am I / Larry Banks - Don’t Pull Away / The Shaladons - We Can Do It / Milton Bennet - What’s One More Lie / The Devonnes - Doin’ The Gittin’ Up / The Gemini’s - Come On Act Right / The Dynamics - My Life Is No Better / The Shaladons - Showdown / Kenny Carter - I Can’t Stop Laughing / The Cavaliers - Living In The Land Of Heartaches / Larry Banks - Will You Wait / The Pleasures - Don’t You Know (I Love You) / Bessie Banks - (You Should Have Been A) Doctor / Larry Banks - Ooh It Hurts Me / The Gemini’s - He Moves Me / The Devonnes - I Couldn’t Build A World (With You On The Outside) / Larry Banks - We Got A Problem / The Hesitations - No Brag Just Fact / The Exciters - You Don’t Know What You’re Missing (‘Til It’s Gone) / Larry Banks - Let’s Roll Up Our Sleeves / Jaibi - You Got Me / Kenny Carter - Light’s Out


Various Artists - Can’t Be Satisfied, The XL and Sounds Of Memphis Story - Kent CDKEND 283 

Southern Soul from the Seventies. Whilst it seemed that the whole of the US went Disco, there were still some small independent labels, nearly always in the South, that stayed true to the Soul sound. XL and Sounds Of Memphis are two of those labels. OK, some of the tracks date from the late Sixties, but good Southern Soul is timeless, and that’s the whole point I’m trying to make. You can’t really distinguish the Sixties tracks from the Seventies tracks here. The tempo makes no difference either, from Deep, searing ballads to bouncy mid tempo dancers, the thread that runs through the whole CD is simple: SOUL. As usual with Kent CDs there are a clutch of previously unreleased tracks, and informative liner notes from Dean Rudland

Spencer Wiggins - I Can’t Be Satisfied / The Minits - Last Mile Of The Way / Barbara & The Browns - Play Thing / Richard & Walter - Love Just Ain’t There / William Bollinger - You Can Lead Your Woman To The Alter / Ann Hodge - Shower Of Tears / The Ovations - Take It From Someone Who Knows / Dan Greer - Thanks To You / George Jackson - Talking About The Love I Have For You / The Minits - Still A Part Of Me / Dan Greer - Hook Line And Sinker / Lou Roberts - Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Love / Barbara & The Browns - Pity A Fool / Ann Hodge - You’re Welcome Back / Rudolph Taylor - Tell Him Tonight / Billy Cee & The Freedom Express - Hanging Around Your Doorstep / Vision - Let The Moment Last / Spencer Wiggins - Best Thing I Ever Had / George Jackson - Walking The City Streets / The Ovations - Don’t Break Your Promise / The Sweetens - I’m Your Woman (You’re My Man) / The Jacksonians - California Dreamin

Click on the numbers for the archived reviews 1 2 3