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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:

Maxine Brown – The Best Of The Wand Years – Kent Cdkend 312 

One of the very first Kent CDs was a compilation of Maxine Brown’s Wand recordings, and believe it or not that goes all the way back to 1990 ! In between then and now there have been several other tracks released that weren’t available then (Plus the ‘Spotlight On Maxine Brown’ album). This CD pulls together all the best tracks from the intervening years. They are all originally from the Sixties of course, and when you listen to the CD it jumps out at you how ‘together’ the vocal, backing, and arrangement is on so many of the tracks. Fortunately Maxine Brown has been a relatively frequent visitor to these shores over the last few years, and is still as good live as she was forty years ago on record. A great CD, that every self respecting Soul fan should own especially as Ady has sneaked a further three unissued tracks onto the CD. 

One In A Million- / It's Torture / Let Me Give You My Lovin' / I Want A Guarantee / Yesterday's Kisses / Wonder What My Baby's Doing Tonight / Oh No, Not My Baby / Love That Man / You're In Love / Gotta Find A Way / Am I Falling In Love / She's Got Everything / Little Girl Lost / Baby Cakes / The Secret Of Livin' / Why Did I Choose You / Everybody Needs Love / Misty Morning Eyes / Since I Found You / Whatever Happened To Our Love / One Step At A Time / Put Yourself In My Place / That's All I Want From You / Anything For A Laugh / Losing My Touch / Oh Lord, What Are You Doing To Me / If I Had Known / It's Gonna Be Alright


Freda Payne - How Do You Say I Don’t Love You Anymore – Poker Records Deckcd112 

It’s 1966, and Freda Payne hasn’t yet recorded ‘Band Of Gold’, so isn’t a world wide recognized recording artist. But MGM decided to sign her anyway. This album is the result. There were only two tracks released from the album as a single, and they were by no means the best two tracks available because hidden away amongst several Beatle covers and a couple of other filler tracks are two gems. ‘On Easy Street’, and ‘Sad Sad September’ are classy, wistful, midtempo Soul, and deserved a release in their own right. They didn’t get one, so unless you have the original album, this CD is the only way you are going to get your hands on them. Buy it, you know you want to. 

(How Do You Say) I Don’t Love You Anymore / Yesterday / San Juan / You Never Should Have Loved Me / Let It Be Me / On Easy Street / You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ / It’s Here For You / Feeling Good / Sad Sad September / If You Love Me / Too Late


The Facts Of Life – Just The Facts, The Complete Kayvette Recordings 1975-1978 – Southbound CDSEW2 147

 Mid Seventies Southern Soul. Flying in the face of the Disco trend that had taken the States by storm at the time, The Facts Of Life recorded Soul songs, mostly about love, and nearly all about the cheating side of love. Nicely transposed male and female vocals carry most of the tracks very nicely.Put simply, good Soul music that varies in tempo from walking pace ballads to their very creditable version of Lenny Welchs’ ‘Hundred Pounds Of Pain’ . Probably not going to attract many mainstream buyers, but from our point of view (And let’s face it, you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t a Soul fan) it’s another good one. What’s more Tony Rounce’s excellent liner notes are, as usual, spot on.

 Disc1: Sometimes / Caught In The Act (Of Gettin' It On)    / Bitter Woman / Lost Inside Of You / Looks Like We Made It / A Hundred Pounds Of Pain / Uphill Peace Of Mind / What Would Your Mama Say / Givin' Me Your Love / That Kind Of Fire / Love Is The Final Truth / If You Can Give, You Can Get / L-O-V-E 

Disc 2:Did He Make Love To You? / We Can't Hide It Anymore / He Ain't You / Do You Wanna Make Love / I'm Way Ahead Of You / You Always Get Your Way / It's Only A Matter Of Time / This Ain't No Time To Sleep Apart / Dr Feelgood / Did He Make Love To You? Parts 1 & 2


Various Artists – The Soul Of Spanish Harlem – BGP CDBGP 197

 I've always had a soft spot for all the Latin tracks that got played on the Northern scene, and this CD just reinforces that liking. I’ll admit to only knowing the names of a few of the artists present, and again that’s only because I knew them from tracks played on the Northern scene. So it meant none of the tracks were known to me prior to popping the disc in the player. I wasn’t disappointed either, it has given me a good window on a genre that I need to explore a little more perhaps. Certainly I would recommend this CD to anyone who feels the same way that I did, ie liked what I’d heard, but hadn’t heard much. Definitely worth a punt

 Ain't No Big Thing - Ralfi Pagan   / True Love - The Terrible Frankie Nieves / Heaven (Is Not For Everyone) - Tito Ramos - Central Park - The Harvey Averne Dozen / Crying Time - Monguito Santamaria / Don't Be Afraid - The Lebron Brothers Orchestra / That's How Rumours Start - Joey Pastrano / On Old Broadway - 107th Street Stickball Team / Same Old Sad Song - Ray Jay & The Eastsiders / Reflections Of My Life - 125th Street Candy Store / Your Smile – Parrish / Some Lonely Heart - Ronnie Marks / There's No Other Girl – Olivieri / Maria, Maria - King Nando / Already Satisfied - Tony Middleton & Bobby Matos / I'll Never Let You Go - The Lat-Teens / Nitty Boo Boo - The Nitty Sextette / I'm Gonna Leave You - Russell Cohen & The New Yorkers / Lonely Has Been My Day - Ralphie & The Latin Lovers / Ordinary Guy - Joe Bataan


The Ovations Featuring Louis Williams – The Complete Sounds Of Memphis Albums – Kent CDKEND 311

Two albums on one CD from The Ovations, both recorded during the second phase of their career when they signed for The Sounds Of Memphis label. To be honest it’s very much in the same style as theFacts Of life CD, which makes it very pleasant listening. Certainly Louis Williams has lost none of the Soulfulness that was present on his earlier recordings, the only real change is the sophistication of the backing in that it’s moved them closer to a sweet Soul sound, and that’s not a bad thing.

Hooked On A Feeling / I Can't Be Satisfied / One In A Million / Take It From One Who Knows / Don't Look Back / I Can't Believe It's Over / A Change Is Gonna Come        / Medley: Were You There?/Touch The Hem Of His Garment: Touch The Hem Of His Garment / So Nice To Be Loved By You / Touching Me / Don't Break Your Promise / Mr River / You'll Never Know / Having A Party / Your Love Is Like A Song To Me / Born On A Back Street / My Nest Is Still Warm (My Bird Is Gone) / You Send Me / Under The Banana Tree 


Various Artists – Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 2 – Kent CDKEND 310

Okay, it’s fairly well known that the title of this CD would cause some indecision on my part, nit being a lover of Modern Soul. So, I’m going to make an announcement. I like Modern Soul, as defined by this CD. But I stress, most of this CD isn’t what I would call Modern Soul. In fact although the majority of the tracks are Seventies recordings there are a few which sound much earlier, and the rest aren’t over-produced in the way I dislike on some Modern tracks. And some, particularly the unreleased Betty Fikes track sounds like a perfect piece of Sixties Southern Soul to these (ageing) ears. So there is a big plus sign next to this CD from me. Kent have pulled it out of the bag again !

What Hurts - Grover Mitchell / It's Better To Cry - Johnny Watson / Lightin' Up - Ty Karim / A Broken Heart Cries - The Pretenders            / I'm In Love - The Ovations Feat Louis Williams / The Fool Who Used To Live Here - Betty Fikes / I'm A Dreamer - Bobby Burn Aka Bobby Wilburn / Hope For Love - Darrow Fletcher / I Wanna Stay High On You - Higher Feelings / You're Gonna Lose Me - Freddie Hubbard Featuring Jeanie Tracy       / Your Song - Laura Lee / I Can See Him Loving You - The Mayberry Movement / More Than Just Somebody I Know - Brenda Wayne / Still A Part Of Me - The Minits / Wear Your Natural, Baby - Towana & The Total Destruction / All In My Mind – Unknown /     Lovin' - The Pacesetters / That's The Way Our Love Is - The Radiations / Take All The Time You Need - The Checkmates Ltd / You Gotta Be A Lady - The Chargers / I Don't Want To Know What You Do To Me - Act I / Always - Garland Green /      Staying At Home Like A Woman - Lynn Varnado  / Double Love - The California Playboys


Major Lance – Um Um Um Um Um Um – SPV 306392 CD

Great early to mid Sixties Soul from Chicago. What a wonderful combination Major ance, Curtis Mayfield and Johnny Pate made. Any Soul fan should know, and probably own these tracks already, but this si a nice presentation of them on a single CD, which I don’t think had been done before, so worth having.

 Um Um Um Um Um Um / That’s What Mama Say / It’s All Right / Sweet Music / What’s Happening / Gotta Get Away / Watusi / Land Of A Thousand Dances / Gypsy Woman / I’m The One Who Loves You


Jerry Fuller – A Double Life. The Challenge Recordings 1959 – 1966 – Ace CDCHD1209 

The title of the CD is quite appropriate really, because the tracks on this CD are in effect, from two different era’s, and show two distinctly different sides of Jerry Fuller’s prowess. There is the R & B side, which features on the later tracks from 1964 through to 1966, and there is the ‘pop’ sides which is represented by the earlier recordings. In my opinion the ‘pop’ stuff is of little interest. It’s perfectly good pop music, but doesn’t do anything for me. It’s when we get to the later recordings that (Which funnily enough is programmed first on the CD) my ears prick up. Obviously the title track of the CD is the killer, but there are several other tracks which deserve attention. So whilst not an essential purchase, this is worth looking out for. 

What Happened To The Music / Double Life / Turn To Me / The Master Plan / The Killer /  I Get Carried Away / The Man In Black / Don't Let Go / Tennessee Waltz / Betty, My Angel / I Dreamed About My Lover / Two Loves Have I / Above And Beyond / Shy Away / Anna From Louisiana / One Heart / Gone For The Summer / Trust Me / Guilty Of Loving You / The Place Where I Cry / Beach Party / I Only Came To Dance With You / The Killer (Alt take) / Hollywood Star       


Ty Karim – The Complete Ty Karim: LA Soul Goddess – Kent CDKEND 308 

Straight from the off this is a brew of that magical thing called Soul music. What can I say that does this release justice ? Just go out and buy it ! Now ! Then you will be able to listen to the songs that drew the accolade Soul Goddess ! It’s the complete collection of recordings by Ty Karim, so you get all those superb, and extremely rare dancers plus all the other tracks as well. Just go out and buy it ! Now ! Did I say that once ? Oh yes, go out and buy two copies, it’s that good ! 

Lighten Up Baby / Help Me Get That Feeling Back Again / Ain't That Love Enough / Only A Fool / All At Once / Lightin' Up / Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight / Wear Your Natural, Baby / You Just Don't Know / You Really Made It Good To Me / I Ain't Lying / Take It Easy Baby / Don't Make Me Do Wrong / Keep On Doin' Whatcha' Doin' Part 1 / Keep On Doin' Whatcha' Doin' Part 2 / Natural Do Aka Wear Your Natural, Baby / I'm Leavin' You / All In Vain / After Your Love Has Gone / All At Once / Lighten Up Baby / If I Can't Stop You (I Can Slow You Down) / It Takes Money


Dennis Coffey – Live Wire: The Westbound Years 1975 – 1978 – Westbound CDSEWD 148 

Funk, Disco, Soul ? A combination of all three in reality. Dennis Coffey had a huge hit with ‘Scorpio’ and went on to record a series of albums in the same style. Whilst they may have been the height of disoc culture back in the Seventies, these, mostly instrumental, cuts, simply don’t hack it today for me. In fact they could quite easily have been left back in the Seventies. Sorry, because Dennis Coffey has a truly magnificent background of playing on, arranging, and producing some of Detroit’s greatest recordings, it’s just for me, these don’t come into that category. 

Some Like It Hot / Wings Of Fire / Live Wire / Wild Child / If You Can't Dance To This / A Sweet Taste Of Sin / Someone Special / Our Love Goes On Forever / Back Home / Free Spirit / Finger Lickin' Good / Boogie Magic / Gimme That Funk / Calling Planet Earth / High On Love             


The Delfonics – The Delfonics / Tell Me This Is A Dream – Kent CDKEND 309

The fourth and fifth albums from the Delfonics, and they match the first and second in quality all the way (The third was a greatest hits album) Starting off with what is probably their best known record ‘Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)’ the two albums are prime examples of what was happening in Philadelphia at the beginning of the Seventies. Smooth, smooth Sweet Soul music where the emphasis was on the vocal, but the backing was also just as sweet, big orchestral sounds that swirl around the vocal in perfect harmony with it. If you don’t believe me, have a listen to ‘Delfonics Theme (How Could You)’ as an instrumental, then the vocal. The usual excellent liner notes from
Tony Rounce compliment this package as well. 

Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time) / Funny Feeling / When You Get Right Down To It / Baby I Love You / Delfonics Theme (How Could You) (Inst) / Trying To Make A Fool Of Me / Down Is Up, Up Is Down / Over & Over / Think About Me / I Gave To You /             Hey Love / I'm A Man / Too Late / Love You Till I Die / Looking For A Girl / Walk Right Up To The Sun / Round & Round / Baby I Miss You / Delfonics Theme (How Could You) (Vocal) / Tell Me This Is A Dream


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