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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:

Various Artists - Take Me To The River, A Southern Soul Story, 1961-1977 - Kent Kentbox10

Phew ! This has to count as the best CD release that Kent have ever done ! Three CDs that contain 75 tracks of some of the best ‘Southern Soul’ around. Not only that, but the packaging is exemplary, even by Kent’s standards.

Tony Rounce is quick to state that this is ‘A’ Southern Soul Story, rather than ‘The’ Southern Soul story. Simply because the genre is so broad, and everyone will have tracks that they think should have been included but haven’t been. Personally speaking, I’m more than happy with he choices that have been made. A really good mixture of tracks by artists who I’m familiar with, and some new to me. As Tony says in the booklet, it’s an attempt to open the genre of Southern Soul to a wider audience, so it’s not needed to use a series of hopelessly obscure recordings.

I think I’ve said enough now. If you claim to be a Soul fan of any type, this is truly an essential purchase, and should reside in everyhouse. I don’t think it’s too much of a coincidence that this has been released just before Christmas, so put it on your list !

Disc 1
: You Don't Miss Your Water - William Bell / Go Home Girl - Arthur Alexander / These Arms Of Mine - Otis Redding / Steal Away - Jimmy Hughes / My Adorable One - Joe Simon / You're Gonna Make Me Cry - O V Wright / When A Man Loves A Woman - Percy Sledge / Losin' Boy - Eddy Giles / Try A Little Tenderness - Otis Redding   / Something I Never Had - Jarvis Jackson / Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won't Do) - Wilson Pickett / Got To Make A Comeback - Eddie Floyd / When Something Is Wrong With My Baby - Charlie Rich / The Dark End Of The Street - James Carr / Let's Do It Over - Toussaint McCall / Do Right Woman, Do Right Man - Aretha Franklin / I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down - Sam & Dave / You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man) - June Edwards / Let's Face Facts - The Masqueraders / She Ain't Gonna Do Right - James & Bobby Purify / Bless Your Little Sweet Soul - Al Johnson / Dirty Man - Laura Lee  / Cover Me - Eddie Hinton / You're Gonna Miss Me - Reuben Bell With The Beltones / I'd Rather Go Blind - Etta James / Without Love (There Is Nothing) - Oscar Toney Jr      
Disc 2:

You Left The Water Running - Maurice & Mac / I'll Go Crazy - Don Bryant   / Rainbow Road - Bill Brandon / The One You Can't Have (All By Yourself) - Shirley Walton    / Tell Him Tonight - William Bollinger / A Smile Can't Hide (A Broken Heart) - Ollie & The Nightingales / Uptight Good Woman - Spencer Wiggins / I Forgot To Be Your Lover - William Bell / I'll Make It Up To You - Clay Hammond / Slip Away - Clarence Carter / That's The Way Love Turned Out For Me - James Carr / Polly Wally - Tony Borders / Another Man's Woman, Another Woman's Man - Candi Staton / Buying A Book - Joe Tex / To The Other Woman (I'm The Other Woman) - Doris Duke            / Stealing In The Name Of The Lord - Paul Kelly / Faithful And True -  Z Hill / Love's Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down (Part 1) - Chuck Brooks / I Went Off And Cried - Kip Anderson / If I Can't Run To You I'll Crawl - Barbara & The Browns / What I Don't Know Won't Hurt Me - Paul Thompson / Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone - Johnnie Taylor / Wish I Was Back - Thomas Bailey / I Can't Give You My Heart - Jimmy Braswell          / Lead Me On - Gwen McCrae    
Disc 3:

Mumble In My Ear - Marcell Strong / Breaking Up Somebody's Home - Denise Lasalle / Tired Of Being Alone - Al Green / I Can't Be Satisfied - Spencer Wiggins / Groove Me - King Floyd ;/ She's All I Got - Freddie North / Jody, Come Back And Get Your Shoes - Bobby Newsome / Starting All Over Again - Mel & Tim / We Always Come Back Strong - Sam Dees / I've Been Lonely For So Long - Frederick Knight / (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right - Luther Ingram / I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down - Ann Peebles - I'm Through Trying To Prove My Love To You - Bobby Womack / It Hurts So Good - Millie Jackson / You've Got My Mind Messed Up - Quiet Elegance / I Get My Groove From You - Bobby Patterson / Take Time To Know Him - Tommie Young    / How Can I Get Next To You? - George Jackson / I'll Be The Other Woman - The Soul Children / Heartbreak Woman - Clarence Carter / Take One Step (I'll Take Two) - Chet Davenport / Take Me To The River - Al Green / If You Got To Love Somebody - Tommy Tate     / I'll Play The Blues For You - Geater Davis


Garland Green – The Very Best Of  - Kent CDKEND 303

Garland Green is one of Chicago’s great Soul voices, to me, he’s up there with Jerry Butler, and yet he never achieved anything like the success he should have. Okay, he had a sustained recording career, with some highlights that took him into the charts, but overall, he has made great records, and not got the recognition he deserves. This CD goes some way towards correcting that. Featuring tracks from Uni, Revue, Cotillion, Spring, Ocean Front, and RCA, and covering the years 1965 to 1983 you can hear the Soul just oozing out of those rich vocals. On a personal basis I prefer the earlier tracks, but that doesn’t detract from the sheer elegance of the later recordings. This is a must have CD.

Jealous Kind Of Fella / Just My Way Of Loving You /  Just Loving You / These Arms / Don't Think That I'm A Violent Guy / Since You've Been Gone / I've Quit Running The Streets / Angel Baby / Let The Good Times Roll / Plain And Simple Girl / He Did'nt Know (He Kept On Talking) / Sweet Loving Man / Let Me Be Your Pacifier / You Make Me Feel So Good / You Played On A Player / Ask Me What You Want / Ain't That Good Enough / It Rained Forty Days And Nights / Sending My Best Wishes / Don't Let Love Walk Out On Us / Girl, I Love You / Nothing Can Take You From Me / Just What The Doctor Ordered / Love's Calling 




The Vibrations – The Vibrating Vibrations - CDKEND 304

For five years in the 1960s, The Vibrations recorded a series of superb uptempo dancers for the Okeh and Epic labels.
Tony Rounce with this CD has drawn them all together, thrown ina couple of ballads, just to show how good the group really were at harmonizing, and five previously unreleased tracks from Okeh. Add the usual top quality booklet which contains extensive liner notes and you have another release from Kent that is unmissable.

'Cause Your Mine / I Took An Overdose / Remember The Rain / Love In Them There Hills / Together / Come To Yourself / You Better Beware / Always Had Your Way / Soul A Go-Go / Pick Me / The Searching Is Over / Gonna Get Along Without You Now /  Don't Let Him / Hide / Canadian Sunset / Follow Your Heart / If You Only Knew / Keep On Keeping On / Finding Out The Hard Way / Talkin' About Love / Hello Happiness / End Up Crying / Watusi Time / Ain't Love That Way / Sloop Dance / I Peeped You Hole / Forgive And Forget

Little Willie John – Nineteen Sixty Six – Kent CDKEND 305 

Tony Rounce ends his liner notes with the sentence “If this is your introduction to the all too short but consistently brilliant career of Little Wille John, you could hardly wish for a better one.” He’s right as well. These particular tracks were recorded for Capitol Records whilst Little Willie John was out of prison awaiting an appeal against a conviction for stabbing someone. Unfortunately, he was actually still signed to King records when it was recorded, and Sid Nathan blocked it’s release. Fortunately Kent records have had no such problems, and here it is, the first release since it was recorded in 1966. There are a range of styles as well, a bit of Blues, a whole chunk of R & B, and a couple of storming uptempo Soul tunes. There are also different takes of almost each song, which offer a slightly different view. A classy album that should have gained a release at the time, and it certainly is a good introduction to the work of Little Willie John. 

Country Girl aka Home At Last / Suffering With The Blues / I Had A Dream / Never Let Me Go / If I Loved You / (I Need) Someone / Welcome To The Club / Early In The Morning / In The Dark / Crying Over You / You Are My Sunshine / Country Girl Alt Take / Suffering With The Blues Alt Take/ I Had A Dream Alt Take /I Had A Dream Alt Take /Endless Sleep / Never Let Me Go Alt Take / Welcome To The Club Alt Take / Early In The Morning Alt Take / In The Dark Alt Take / Crying Over You Alt Take


Various Artists - J & S Harlem Soul- Kent CDKEND 306 

Zell Sanders ran a whole host of labels, right through from the ‘50’s to the early ‘70s, and produced record after record by unknown hopefuls. Some went on to become stars, like Baby Washington, but most remained hopefuls, still searching for that elusive hit. I’m not suggesting that the myriad of artists that recorded for Zell Sanders all deserved hits, to be fair, some of them didn’t even deserve to have recordings made !

However, Kent Records have pulled together the best of the output from the J & S, Zell’s and Sprout labels and altogether it’s a pretty good compilation. Mostly from the early to mid Sixties, ranging from male soloists, through male group harmony to girl group poppy singalongs, there isn’t really a bad track amongst the ones on show. It’s been a while since Kent put out a various artists compilation that I have enjoyed as much as this one.

Clarence Ashe - She Said I’d Be A Failure / Johnnie & Joe - I Pray To Keep Our Love Strong / Freeman Brothers - Life Of Love / The Relations - Say You Love Me / Dicky & Billy - The Dream I Had Came True / Jimmy Armstrong & The Pins - I Want To Be Close To You / Catha Morrison - The Leaf Is Just Like Me / Freda Allyne - Money And All Your Love / Neice Dezel - It Doesn’t Matter / The Gillettes - You Haven’t Been Like You Should / Henry Hodge - I Won’t Ever Try To Change You/ Little Willie - I’ll Do It For You / Sity & James - You Needn’t Tell Me / The Hearts - Don’t Let Me Down / The Jaynetts - Be My Boyfriend / Johnnie & Joe - Let Your Mind Do The Walking / Dicky & Billy - I Got A Feeling / Clarence Ashe - I’m A Working Man Who Needs A Woman / The Gillettes - 24 Hours Of The Day / Taffie Lee - Stay Away From My Baby / Johnnie Richardson - Every Night The Same Time / Lee Pratt - Ha Baby, I’m Coming On Back / Jimmy & Arthur - Dancing In A Dream World / Miss Johnnie - Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Johnny Johnson & The Bandwagon - The Best Of 1968-1975 - Kent CDKEND307

I’ve always viewed Johnny Johnson as a pop/soul artist, mostly because of the fact that he had several pop chart hits over here. So I’ve never really dug any deeper into his recordings. As usual though, I’m wrong ! The guy could really sing with Soul, and the many album tracks contained on this CD show just that. Funny really, in nearly every review this time I’ve bemoaned the fact that  nearly all the artists  haven’t had hits, yet the one artist who has, is probably the one I know least about ! So, do yourself a favour, buy this CD, and enjoy the memories that the chart hits bring, and widen your knowledge of a Soul singer. 

Breakin’ Down The Walls Of Heartache / When Love Has Gone Away / Let’s Hand On / Stoned Soul Picnic / I Ain’t Lyin’ / Baby Make Your Own Sweet Music / On The Day We Fall In Love / Dancing Master / I Wish It Would Rain / You Blew Your Cool And Lost Your Fool / Are You Ready For This / People Got To Be Free / Don’t Let It In / You / Girl From Harlem / Sweet Inspiration / In The Bad Bad Old Days (Before You Loved Me) / United We Stand / Sally Put Your Red Shoes On / Mr Tambourine Man / Blame It (On The Pony Express) / Gasoline Alley Bred / High And Dry / Music To My Heart


Jimmy Hughes - The Best Of - Fame (No actual catalogue number shown) 

Good labels never really go away, they just take a well earned rest. That’s the case with the Fame label. Resurrected here by the son of the legendary producer Rick Hall, the new Fame label has decided to go with one of the first artists to record for the original, Jimmy Hughes. Despite having a couple of hits (and as you read the liner notes you’ll understand how Vodka was instrumental in making one of them a hit) Jimmy Hughes never became a household name outside of Soul aficionados which is a shame. Probably too ‘black’ for the pop charts, but just up my street ! Released in the States, I do hope this sells sufficiently well to provide the encouragement for more releases from the label. 

High Heel Sneakers / I Want Justice / I Worship The Ground / A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues / Steal Away / I’m The Loving Physician / I’m Qualified / Neighbor Neighbor / Stormy Monday Blues / Why Not Tonight / I’m A Man Of Action / Midnight Affair / It Ain’t What You Got / Try Me / Everybody Let’s Dance / Don’t Lose Your Good Thing / Too Much / My Loving Time


Various Artists - Play The Game, The XL And Sounds Of Memphis Story Vol 2 - Kent CDKEND298

Southern Soul from Memphis par excellence. It transpires that the XL and Sounds Of Memphis labels might have actually recorded almost three times as much quality Soul music as they ever issued. Consequently, whilst this is Volume two, there is still loads more to come. So, if you like your Soul on the more gritty, Deep and dirty side, with confusingly a little Seventies sophistication, this CD is for you. As usual with Kent releases there are several previously unreleased sides here, and they just show the depth of quality. I have no idea what criteria that the label used to determine what got released and what didn’t, I just find it staggering what has been locked away in the tape vaults for so long. Great release from kent, with more to come.

George Jackson - All In My Mind / Vision - Play The Game / Art Jerry Miller - Got To Get Home / The Ovations - Got To Move On (To My Destiny) / Everyday People - Today Tomorrow And You / The Minits - Natural Reaction / William Bollinger - Is It Love / Barbara & The Browns - You Don’t Love Me / Charlie’s Children - #1/ The Minits - Stepping Stone / Lou Roberts - She’s Not Mama’s Little Girl Anymore / Spencer Wiggins - Take Time To Love You Woman / The Ovations - Little Man / George Jackson - I Don’t Need You No More / The Sweetens - So Much Love To This / William Bollinger - Teardrops / Carroll Lloyd - Try My Love / Richard & Walter - I Love You / Rudolph Taylor - Doorsteps To Sorrow / Ann Hodge - Nothing But The Truth / The Minits - Take A Look At Yourself / Willie Cobbs - I’ll Love Only You

Luther Ingram - I Don’t Want To Be Right, the Ko Ko Singles Vol 2 - Kent CDKEND 292

Volume 1 concentrated on the Ko Ko singles released in the late Sixties and early Seventies. Volume two follows on with the singles released between 1971 and 1972.  Having started to make an impression on the record buyer public with the tracks on the previous CD, it’s this CD that contains the monster that made Luther Ingram a star. ‘If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don’t Want To Be Right)’ shot to the top of the R & B charts and stayed there for four weeks. It was to be the biggest hit of his career, but in listening to this CD it’s clear that the rest of Luther’s recordings are really of the same calibre. Sadly, KLuther Ingram passed away just before the first CD was released, it would have been nice for him to realise that his music was still appreciated, even if it is in the UK rather than the States.

Missing You (Version 2) / You Were Made For Me / (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right / Puttin’ Game Down / I’ll Be Your Shelter (In Time Of Storm) / I Can’t Stop / Always / Help Me Love / Love Ain’t Gonna Run Me Away / Ain’t Good For Nothing / These Are The Things / Let’s Steal Away To The Hideaway / I’ve Got Your Love In My Life / I Like The Feeling /. I’m Gonna Be The Best Thing / Do You Love Somebody / How I Miss My Baby / Trying To Find My Love / Get To Me



Allen Toussaint - What Is Success, The Scepter And Bell Recording s- Kent CDKEND 286 

Amazingly Allen Toussaint never release an album until 1970, and that’s what most of this CD comprises. Of course he was far better known as a writer and producer whose work was woven into the New Orleans heritage right through the 1960s. In fact many of these tracks that were included on the album were Allen’s own versions of songs that he had made hits out of for other people, Lee Dorsey in particular, so it’s no surprise that they are familiar. Also included though are several singles from the Tiffany / Scepter / and Bell labels that weren’t on the album, and tend, in the main to be songs that Allen Toussaint recorded on himself first. They show he was capable of excellent work himself as a singer, and have stood the test of time well. Another winner from the Kent label. 

Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky / Get Out My Life Woman / Sweet Touch Of Love / From A Whisper To A Scream / Pickles / Gotta Travel On / The Chokin’ Kind / Cast Your Fate To The Wind / We The People / Either / Number Nine / What Is Success / Louie / Working In The Coalmine / I’ve Got That Feeling Now / Tequila / Hands Christianderson


Various Artists - Further Adventures Of Mod Jazz - Kent CDKEND 300

always struggle with Jazz music. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I think the musicians are all playing off a different score.  But of course that doesn’t make it easy to review a CD of Jazz music, because what I think is rubbish might actually be an excellent example of the genre ! So, given that this is about the fourth or fifth CD in this series, they must be quite successful. The tracks are listed below, make your own mind up, based on your own preferences. One thing I will say is that the extensive liner notes are well up to the usual Kent standard.

Mac Rebennack & The Soul Orchestra - The Point / Kenny Rice With Leo’s Five - Frederick’s Dream / Jack McDuff - Hot Barbeque / Albert King - Cod / Hank Jacobs & The TKO’s - Tam-A-Rind / Michelle Harris-Spivey - Walk Tall / Chuck Higgins - All Around The World / Ike Turner’s Kings Of Rhythm - Daddy’s Blues / Bobby Donaldson - Bash Dance / The Miles Grayson Trio - Sweet Bread / Richie & The PS 54 School Yard - Listen To Louie / The Afro Blues Quintet - LA, LA, LA, LA, LA / Dee Clark - Senor Blues / Jerry Butler - Motherless Child / Billy Larkin & The Jivers - Play It Cool / The Merced Blue Notes - Whole Lotta Something / Dale Cunningham - Too Young / The Merits - Arabian Jerk / George Braith - Cantaloupe Woman / The Googie Rene Combo - Soul Zone ’65 / Ike Turner’s Kings Of Rhythm - Camel Walking / Booker T Averhart & The Mustangs - Take Your Shoes Off Part 1 / Richard Berry - Crazy Lover / The Martinis - Hung Over
Joe Tex - Get Way Back The 1950’s Recordings - Ace CDCHD 1197

I had no idea that Joe Tex’s recording history extended this far back, or was this prodigious. Over twenty singles released before he troubled the chart compilers with his name. I mean, someone must have had faith in him to keep issuing records and not getting success with them. That’s the really puzzling thing though, when you listen to these recordings (All taken from the King and Ace labels) the quality shines through.  R & B, and early Soul of the highest quality. I guess it was just a case of it taking time for the quality to shine through !

Davy You Upset My Home / Come In This House / Another Man’s Woman / Right Back To My Arms / My Biggest Mistake / I Had To Come Back To You / She’s Mine / Get Way Back / Pneumonia / I Want To Have A Talk With You / Ain’t Nobody’s Business / Cut It Out / Put Your Confidence In Me / Open The Door / Just For You And Me / You Little Baby Faced Thing / Mother’s Advice / Charlie Brown Got Expelled / Blessed Are These Tears / Yum Yum Yum / Don’t Hold It Against Me / Grannie Stole The Show / Boys Will Be Boys / Baby You’re Right (I’m Gonna Hold What I Got) / Come In This House (With Group Overdubbed) / I Want To Have A Talk With You (With Group Overdubbed) / Gee I Really Want You (With Group Overdubbed)
Darlene Love - So Much Love, An Anthology 1958-1998 - Ace CDCHD 1169

For someone who has a recording career that stretches back for fifty years it’s amazing that Darlene Love isn’t a more well known name. Especially as she has had a hand in some of the most iconic recordings of the last fifty years as well. Of course, they weren’t always under her own name, and in fact she has been more successful as a member of various groups, either as lead singer, or just as one of the backing singers. Ranging from Pop, to Soul, to Rock and Roll to Phil Spector’s Wall Of Sound they are all here !

The Blossoms - That’s When The Tears Start / Darlene Love - Too Late To Say You’re Sorry / The Blossoms - So Much Love / The Blossoms - The Gospel Truth / Dick Dale & The Del Tones - King Of The Surf Guitar / The Blossoms With Eddie Beal’s Orchestra - No Other Love / Hal Blaine & The Young Cougars - The Drummer Plays For Me / The Blossoms - Good Good Lovin’ / Duane Eddie & The Rebelettes - Boss Guitar / The Blossoms - The Search Is Over / The Wildcats - 3625 Groovy Street / Darlene Love - Ooh-Wee Baby / Moose & The Pelicans - He’s A Rebel / Al Casey And The K-C-Ettes - What Are We Gonna Do In ’64 / The Blossoms - Lover Boy / Barney Kessel - TV Commercials / Darlene Love - Let Him Walk Away / The Blossoms - I Gotta Tell It / The Blossoms - Something So Wrong / The Blossoms - Touchdown / Darlene Love - Mr Fixit / The Blossoms - Cherish What Is Dear To You (While It’s Near To You) / Darlene Love - All Alone Of Christmas / Darlene Love - A Change Is Gonna Come
Click on the numbers for the archived reviews 1 2 3 4 5 6 7