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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 - South Texas Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Revue – Kent CDKEND390

Alton Valier - Neighbor Neighbor (Demo) / Barbara Lynn - You'll Lose A Good Thing (Demo) / Big Walter - Get To Gettin' / Charles BerryTime / David "King" Thomas - If You're Looking For A Fool / Insight - Out Of Sight / Jackie Paine - Go Go Train / Jackie Paine - Go Go Train (Wmca Version) / James Young - Long Gone / Jean Knight - Doggin' Around / Joe Masters - That Is Why The End Must Begin / Joe Melvin - Friends In Show Business / Johnny Adams - A Place Called Home / Johnny Adams - Let Them Talk / Johnny Copeland - Slow Walk You Down / Johnny Copeland - Sufferin' City (Version 2) / Margo White - If Only You Were Here / Margo White - Pick Me Up On Your Way Down / Maxine Davis - I Found A Love / Rockin' Dave AllenIrene / Sunny & The Sunliners - Trick Bag / Tee Bee Fisher - Five Long Years / Tv & The Tribesmen - Fat Man / Warren Storm - Tennessee Waltz

Now this is my sort of CD ! A mixture of Rhythm & Blues and Soul, so yeah, I suppose the title of Rhythm & Soul does fit perfectly. But of course this is Kent, so it’s also a mixture of known, unknown, and previously unreleased tracks ! And, they are all Texas recordings as well so have that certain edge that recordings from the Lone Star State always do for me. Just buy it !


Millie Jackson - The Moods Of Millie Jackson: Her Best Ballads – Kent CDKEND391

There You Are / A Love Of Your Own / I Can't Say Goodbye / From Her Arms To Mine / If Loving You Is Wrong I Don't Want To Be Right / Solitary Love Affair / Special Occasion / It Hurts So Good / Good To The Very Last Drop / I'll Be Rolling (With The Punches) / I'm Tired Of Hiding / I'm Through Trying To Prove My Love To You / How Do You Feel The Morning After / Angel In Your Arms / I Just Can't Stand It / It's Gonna Take Some Time This Time / Loving Arms / Making The Best Of A Bad Situation / I Still Love You (You Still Love Me) / A Child Of God (It's Hard To Believe)

You couldn’t ask for more of a contrast really between this CD and the previous one, and both are equally good. Millie Jackson is known for her, shall we say, somewhat pithy attitude towards love, relationships, and men, and that’s exactly what you get here. A mixture of love songs, accusations, despair, and joy, all wrapped in in a soulful voice that demands your attention. Sean Hampsey, as the compiler, has pulled a winner out of the bag by trawling through all twenty plus albums that Millie Jackson recorded at Spring, and pulled out some really superb examples that in all probability, unless you own all the albums, you’d never have heard. The CD stands alone as a great tribute to how soulful Millie Jackson really was.


Various Artists - New Breed Blues With Black Popcorn - CDKEND393

Adolph Jacobs - Cannibal Stew / Art Wheeler - Baby We're Through / Austin Taylor - Why Oh Why / Bobby John With Jimmy Thomas, Stacy Johnson & Vernon Guy - I'm  Comin' Home (Take 2 A) / Bobby Mitchell - Well I Done Got Over It / Carl Edmondson With The Charmaines - Baby Please Don't Go / Carl Lester & The Show Stoppers - When You See Me Hurt / Dolores Johnson - What Kind Of Man Are You / Etta James - Nobody Loves You Like Me / Freddie North - Mr Lonely / Hank Blackman & The Killers - Itchy Koo / Harold Burrage - You Ought To Love Me / J.J. Jackson & The Jackaels - Oo Ma Liddi / James Wayne - This Little Letter / Little Johnny Taylor - Somewhere Down The Line / Mamie Perry With The Gus Jenkins Orchestra - I'm Hurted / Marva Josie - You Lied / Pat Hunt - I Ain't Talkin' / Sinner Strong (Joyce Harris) - Don't Knock It / Solid Jackson - East L A / The Fran - Cettes - Late In The Evening / The Idols - Just A Little Bit More / Tony Gideon - So Strange / Valerie Carr - Rockin' Bed

‘New Breed Blues with Black Popcorn’. I’m sure Ady is just making these titles up for a laugh, because this CD is quite simply R & B of varying tempos. There are some absolute stormers here as well though, and as Ady has stated the gems of the collection are possibly the previously released items. On a personal basis I’m really pleased to see The Idols ‘Just A Little Bit More’ get a CD release because I’ve had a great time spinning that in my DJ set to great dance floor reaction.


Various Artists - Something New To Do - The Phillip Mitchell Songbook - CDKEND394

Archie Bell And The Drells - Archie's In Love / Ben E King & Average White Band - A Star In The Ghetto (Single Edit) / Bobby Sheen - Something New To Do / Bobby Womack - Something For My Head / Bobo Mr. Soul - Hitch Hike To Heartbreak Road / Candi Staton - Here I Am Again / Corey Blake - How Can I Go On Without You / Dorothy Moore - The Only Time You Ever Say You Love Me (Is When We're Making Love) / Erma Coffee - You Made Me What I Am / Ernie Shelby - Carry Me / Garland Green - (You Gotta) Come Through Me / J J Williams - Gonna Have A Murder On Your Hands / Joe Simon - It Be's That Way Sometimes (Single Edit) / John Edwards - Cold Hearted Woman / Johnnie Taylor - Starting All Over Again / Katie Love And The Four Shades Of Black - It Hurts So Good / Mary Wells - If You Can't Give Her Love Give Her Up / Mel & Tim - Free For All (Winner Takes All) / Millie Jackson - Leftovers (Single Edit) / Phillip Mitchell - Little Things Aka It's Those Little Things That Count / Ray Barretto - What Part Of Heaven Do You Come From / Sidney Joe Qualls - I Don't Do This (To Every Girl I Meet) / The Staple Singers (Sung By Mavis Staples) - Trippin' On Your Love / Tommie Lee - That's The Way I Wanna Live My Life

Classic songs from the pen of a man who was no shabby singer himself. I’m just going to recommend that you look at the tracklisting, and then try and think of reasons why you shouldn’t buy this CD. There won’t be many I’ll tell you. As a nice touch, (Or perhaps it’s just an example of the way his mind works) Tony Rounce, the compiler has not gone for the obvious tracks, ie ‘Free For All’ is on the CD, but not sung by Phillip Mitchell, but rather then version by Mel & Tim, and there are several other examples of hwere Tony has picked a less obvious version of  a song. All credit to him though, it exposes more music, to more people. Great compilation of Soul music !


Various Artists - Finders Keepers – Motown Girls 1961 - 1967 - CDTOP1364

Vells - You'll Never Cherish A Love So True (‘Til You Lose It) / Anita Knorl - If Wishes Came True / Hattie Littles - My Black Belt / Thelma Brown - Dance Yeah Dance / Carolyn Crawford - Lover Boy / Labrenda Ben - Do You Know What I'm Talkin' About / Linda Griner - So Let Them Laugh At Me / Marvelettes - Grass Seems Greener (On The Other Side) / Mary Wells - What's Easy For Two Is So Hard For One / Supremes - Long Gone Lover / Gladys Knight & The Pips - When Somebody Loves You (You're Never Alone) / Miracles - He Don't Care About Me / Brenda Holloway - Don't Turn Your Back On Me / Brenda Holloway - Till Johnny Comes / Saundra Mallett & The Vandellas - Camel Walk / Supremes - Buttered Popcorn / Marvelettes - Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers / Andantes - (Like A) Nightmare / Velvelettes - Let Love Live (A Little Bit Longer)

I suppose if you had the choice of which company you would like to have access to the Motown vaults to carry out a reissue program, in all likelihood you would say Ace / Kent. Well, this is the first Various Artists CD from them, but actually it is the tenth Motown release that the lable have put out. I digress, this particular CD is made up of half released tracks, although they are almost all on the more obscure side rather than the Motown top 100 rereleases, and half previously unreleased recordings. This, of course, is where Ace excel, the depth of the research, the quality of the recordings, all top notch, even to the point where there are tracks by two Motown artists who never actually got a release at all, and have never had a release on a CD before. Step forward Thelma Brown and Anita Knorl, for this is your moment of fame. I really hope that someone is able to find these two ladies and give them a copy of this CD, because that would be truly wonderful !


Johnny Copeland - It's Me - Classic Texas Soul 1965 - 1972 - CDTOP2392

All These Things / Blowing In The Wind / Coming To See About You / Danger Zone / Dedicated To The Greatest / Four Dried Beans / I Waited Too Long / I Wish I Was Single / If You're Looking For A Fool / I'm Going To Make My Home Where I Hang My Hat / It's Me / It's My Own Tears That's Being Wasted / Johnny Ace Medley #1 Anymore / Pledging My Love / Cross My Heart / Mother Nature / Slow Walk You Down / Something You Got / Something's Up Your Sleeve / Stealing / Sufferin' City (Version 2, Solo) / That's All Right Little Mama / The Hip Hop / The Invitation / Wake Up, Little Susie / You're Gonna Reap Just What You Sow / Johnny & Lilly - Somebody's Been Scratchin' / Johnny & Lilly - Sufferin' City (Version 2, Duet) / Blowing In The Wind (Demo) / Dear Mother / Every Dog's Got His Day / Ghetto Child / I Waited Too Long (Demo) / I'm Going To Make My Home Where I Hang My Hat (Demo) / Johnny Ace Medley #2 Cross My Heart / Saving My Love For You / Angel / Anymore (Demo) / Love Attack / No Puppy Love / Old Man Blues / The Hip Hop (Demo) / The Invitation (Demo) / Wake Up, Little Susie (Overdubbed Version) / Why Don't You Make Up Your Mind / Wizard Of Art / You Must Believe In Yourself / Johnny Copeland & His Soul Agents - Soul Power

Raw Soul music, bordering on Blues, and it’s great. The depth and feeling that Johnny Copeland manages to get into every note just blows me away. This is a compilation of everything he released (I think) between the years 1965 and 1972, across a multitude of labels. Of course as it’s a Kent release, there are demo versions of songs, previously unreleased songs, and a stupendous booklet accompanying the CD. Need I say more ?


Denise Lasalle - Making A Good Thing Better - The Complete Westbound Singles 1970-1976 - Westbound CDSEWD152

Hung Up, Strung Out / Heartbreaker Of The Year / Trapped By A Thing Called Love / Keep It Coming / Now Run And Tell That / The Deeper I Go (The Better It Gets) / Man Sized Job / I'm Over You / Making A Good Thing Better / What It Takes To Get A Good Woman (That's What It's Gonna Take To Keep Her) / Do Me Right / Your Man And Your Best Friend / What Am I Doing Wrong / Don't Nobody Live Here (By The Name Of Fool) / Good Goody Getter / Get Up Off My Mind / The Best Thing I Ever Had / Trying To Forget / We've Got Love (The Good Part About It) / My Brand On You / Any Time Is The Right Time / Here I Am Again / Married, But Not To Each Other / Who's The Fool / Radio Ad "Trapped By A Thing Called Love" Album / Radio Ad "On The Loose" album

Denise Lasalle was from Chicago, and recorded these songs for a Detroit label, mostly in Memphis and Muscle Shoals. So what style did she end up with ? Southern Soul of course ! Of the twelve singles recorded for Westbound, nine of them hit the R & B charts, and for these six years at least Denise Lasalle was a superstar. Sadly this style of song fell out of favour by the middle of the Seventies, and Disco overtook everything. Fortunately, the legacy lives on, and Southern Soul will always have a following.


Various Artists - Here Comes The Hurt: Soul Ballads From King, Federal & Deluxe – Kent CDKEND 383

Barbara Burton & The Messengers - Too Much For Me To Bear / Billy Soul - She's Gone Pt 2 / Bobbettes - Are You Satisfied (With Your Love) / Bobby Wade - Blind Over You / Charles Spurling - Buddy Boy / Charles Spurling - Don't Let Him Hurt You Baby / Christine Kittrell - Ain't Never Seen So Much Rain Before / Dee Dee, Joseph & David - City Called Loneliville / Earl Gaines - The Door Is Still Open / Hank Ballard - Here Comes The Hurt / James DuncanWhy / James Duncan & The Duncan Trio - My Pillow Stays Wet / June Sims - Tell The Whole World / Johnny Soul - Fall In These Arms Of Mine / King Pins - How Long Will It Last / Lee Holland - Give Me Back My Heart / Lynn Davis - My New Love / Marva Whitney - Your Love Was Good For Me / Ricky Lyons - Have No Fear / Snapshots - I Need You / T.C. Lee & The Bricklayers - Get Away From Here / Thomas BaileyFran / Toni Williams - Precious Minutes / Tony & Carol - Let's Not Wait

Kent Records has a reputation of being a ‘Northern Soul’ label, but that is so far from the truth it’s actually laughable. Over the years Kent have released Soul music of every nuance and persuasion, but probably as many ballads, and Deep Soul, as uptempo dancers. Here is another prime example: although the King, Federal, and Hollywood labels have been mined for the nuggets of black gold that are uptempo dancers, this CD concentrates on the deeper, achingly Soulful sides that often were hidden away on flip sides. And how good can it get ! Superb stuff for listening to late at night.

Various Artists - Kent 30 - Best Of Kent Northern 1982-2012 – Kent CDKEND 384

Alexander Patton - (True Love Is) In The Heart / Ben E King - Gettin' To Me / Bobby Angelle - Too Much For You / Bobby Penn - Without Your Love / Bobby Wisdom - Handwriting On The Wall / Chuck Jackson - I'd Be A Millionaire / Darrow Fletcher - No Limit / Fiestas – Think Smart / Gene & Gary - Baby Without You / Jackie Lee - Oh, My Darlin' / Johnny Maestro & The Crests - I'm Stepping Out Of The Picture / Lilly Fields-Changes / Lou Johnson - The Panic Is On / Little Ann - What Should I Do / Lorraine Chandler - You Only Live Twice / Luther Ingram - Oh Baby Don't You Weep / Magicians - (Just A Little) Faith And Understanding / Marva Holiday - Rising Higher / Melba Moore - The Magic Touch / Maxine Brown - It's Torture / Mayberry Movement - Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right / O.C. Tolbert - I'm Shooting High (I Reach For The Sky) / Paramount Four - Sorry Ain’t The Word / Pied Piper Players - Ooh It Hurts Me / Quotations - I Wanna Thank You / Shaladons - We Can Do It / Sugar & The Spices - Have Faith In Me / Sweethearts - Beauty Is Just Skin Deep / Toni & The Showmen - Try My Love / Walter Wilson - Love Keeps Me Crying

So I’ve just said Kent isn’t just a ‘Northern Soul’ label, and then this comes along ! It’s a celebration of thirty years of the Kent label. What an achievement ! Thirty years of reissuing some of the best music on the planet, and in a lot of cases making it available for the first time. So what about this particular CD ? Yes, most of these tracks have been issued before, but that doesn’t stop them being the highlights of the lable of=ver the years. It’s just fabulous. Go out and buy it now if you haven’t already !

Jackie Ross - Jerk & Twine: The Complete Chess Recordings – Kent CDKEND385

(I Wanna Hear It) From You / Be Sure You Know / Change Your Ways / Don't Take My Love / Dynamite Lovin' / Everything But Love / Haste Makes Waste / Honey Dear / I Dig His Style / I Had A Talk With My Man / It's Going All The Way / I've Got The Skill / Jerk And Twine / Misty / My Square / New Lover / Selfish One / Stick To One / Summertime / Take Me For A Little While / Trust In Me / Wasting Time / We Can Do It / You Really Know How To Hurt A Girl

You think you know an artist sometimes, but it takes a CD like this to show that you don’t really know their work at all. With the exception of the unreleased titles, all these singles are relatively cheap, so over the years I have probably had a fair few in my collection, but it’s only when you hear the tracks all together you realise how good Jackie Ross actually is. Uptempo, midtempo, and Deep, the girl can sing them all, with style and Soul. Another must add to the collection.

Various Artists - Hall Of Fame Volume 2: More Rare & Unissued Gems For The Fame Vaults – Kent CDKEND 386

Ben & Spence - Long Ago / Ben & Spence - No One Left To Come Home To / Big Ben Atkins - I Can't Stop (No No No) / Billy Young - Have Pity On Me / Clarence Carter - Take It All Off / Clarence Carter - They're Gonna Find Us (At The Dark End Of The Street) / George Jackson - I Smell A Rat / George Jackson - Take Me Back / George Soule - Midnight Affair / JackieUnfortunately / James Barnett - It Tears Me Up / Joe Simon - Get In A Hurry / June Conquest - Don't Let It Be Said / Linda Carr - Are You Teasing Me / Marjorie Ingram - I'm Gonna Start Checking Up On My Man / O B Mcclinton - You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure / Otis Clay - That Kind Of Lovin' / Prince Phillip - Fool For A Woman / Prince Phillip - How Much More Can A Poor Man Stand / Ralph "Soul" Jackson - Don't Tear Yourself Down / Unknown Female - Another Good Woman Gone Bad / Unknown Female - My Dreams Don't Ever Come True / Unknown Male - Don't Count Me Out / Unknown Male - Got To Get Over

I find it a little sad that the track ‘My Dreams Don’t Ever Come True’ is by an unknown female singer. She probably only ever had one shot at fame (yes the pun was deliberate!), and having recorded her track, would have been crushed to realise that the record company wasn’t going to release it. Well, at last she, whoever she is, has her moment in the sun, along with the other unknown male singers. There are of course lots of other previously unreleased recordings made at the Fame studios on show here, but these are at least by artists who did get releases. All in all, Southern Soul at it’s finest, and it only goes to show the quality of the things that did get released if you consider that these tracks weren’t considered good enough.

Etta James - Etta Is Betta Than Evvah! With Bonus Tracks – Kent CDKEND 388

Woman (Shake Your Booty) / A Love Vibration / Only A Fool / Little Bit Of Love / Groove Me / Jump Into Love / You Can Leave Your Hat On / I've Been A Fool / Blinded By Love / Ain't No Pity In The Naked City / You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' / Down So Low / All The Way Down / God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind) / Power Play / Come A Little Closer / Feeling Uneasy / St. Louis Blues / Let's Burn Down The Cornfield / Lovin' Arms

Etta’s last album for the Chess label, and to be honest, not my favourite by any means. More of a Jazz Rock flavour than anything else, and it doesn’t always work for me. A couple of tracks are spot on though, and by far and away for me, the best is ‘Ain’t No Love In The Naked City’ which I of course know from Bobby Bland’s version.

Various Artists - Pied Piper Presents A New Concept In Detroit Soul – Kent CDKEND 389

Rose Batiste
- This Heart Is Lonely / Mike & Ray - If Only You Knew / Sandpipers - Lonely Too Long / Sam E Solo - Tears Keep Falling / Freddy Butler - That's When I Need You / Freddy Butler - I Fell In Love (Can't Help It) / Hesitations - She Won't Come Back / Hesitations - I'm Not Built That Way / Pied Piper Players - That's What Love Is / Pied Piper Players - He'll Be Leaving You / September Jones - Stuttering Sam / September Jones - Give Me All Of Your Love / September Jones - I'm Coming Home / September Jones - Chink A Chank Baby / Mikki Farrow - Could It Be / Tony Hester - Just Can't Leave You / Nancy Wilcox - Gamblers Blues / Nancy Wilcox - In The End / Cavaliers - We Go Together / Lorraine Chandler - I Can't Hold On (Original Version) / Lorraine Chandler - I Hear Music / Lorraine Chandler - Mend The Torn Pieces Of My Heart (Original Version) / Lorraine Chandler - Tell Me You're Mine / Willie Kendrick - Time Changes Things

When Ady got access to the RCA vaults a whole raft of previously unreleased recordings became available, and boy where they good or what! He’s now, through what can only be described as a stroke of unbelievably good luck gained access to the masters from the Pied Piper production team. Many were placed with RCA, quite a few with Kapp, and a whole slew of smaller Detroit labels. But by the same token, many were unreleased, or these are the earlier takes of songs that did get released later. Put simply, it’s awesome to hear such quality Soul music in perfect sound quality, whether you’ve heard it before or not, you’ll never tire of hearing them again.

Dan Penn – The Fame Recordings – Ace CDCHD 1353

(Take Me) Just As I Am / Come Into My Heart / Come On Over / Do Something (Even If It's Wrong) / Don't Lose Your Good Thing / Everytime / Far From The Maddening Crowd / Feed The Flame / I Do / I Need A Lot Of Loving / I'm Living Good / It Tears Me Up / Keep On / Talking / long Ago / Power Of Love / Rainbow Road / Slippin' Around With You / Strangest Feeling / Take A Good Look / The Puppet Aka I'm Your Puppet / The Thin Line / Unfair / Uptight Good Woman / You Left The Water Running

In the space of two years Dan Penn wrote all these songs. Although he only had four tracks released by Fame, nearly all these songs went on to be recorded by other artists and became absolute classics in the field of Southern Soul. Now, for the first time, you get the chance to hear how Dan Penn sang them. Some are almost identical to the versions that got released by other artists, yet others are distinctly different, and perhaps this is how Dan wanted them to be performed. Have a listen and make your own mind up.

Click on the numbers for the archived reviews 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18