Thursday, 09 December 2010 19:11 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

dellsEven many of their longest-standing fans have been unaware that THE DELLS have some exceptional Christmas music in their repertoire. Way back in 1993 the group cut a couple of beautiful, warm, original Christmas songs – 'Spending Our Christmases Together' and 'Cause It's Christmas Time'. Both, naturally, feature stunning harmony vocals with the former being written by the  group's baritone MICKEY MCGILL with wife ROSE and the latter penned by MARVIN JUNIOR JNR, son of lead baritone MARVIN JUNIOR.

Both songs were never issued in the 90s but they've now become available via THE DELLS own web site -    and also from CDBaby and Dusty Groove America. They underline what all real soul fans know - that few groups have ever achieved the majesty, power and passion of the combined vocals of MARVIN JUNIOR, JOHNNIE CARTER, CHUCK BARKSDALE, MICKEY MCGILL and VERNE ALLISON.

Last Updated on Thursday, 09 December 2010 19:18



Tuesday, 07 December 2010 20:52 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

NaturalImpluse-PeoplesParkBerkeley1975The SOUL JUNCTION label's latest release is a sweet little vinyl seven incher on 70s underground favourites NATURAL IMPULSE. The label released the band's 'She Went Away' two years ago and it immediately became an underground soul classic.

This new release features a pair of top, old school soul tunes with the A-side being a fab uptempo groove... 'We're Gonna Make It Through'. The b-side features the more funk orientated 'Make It Or Break It' – here in an edited version of the original six minute long studio take. Both cuts have a real TOWER OF POWER flavour to them and the SOUL JUNCTION people tell us we're lucky to have the tunes.

It seems JESUS (JESS) GONZALES - the bass guitarist with NATURAL IMPULSE - was sorting out some items to donate to a local charity and came across an old cassette player. He opened it up and discovered that it still contained a cassette. He played it and to his delight he found three forgotten, unissued tracks that had been laid down during the 70s only to have laid gathering dust for the last 32 years. JESS eventually contacted SOUL JUNCTION and the record is now available for all soulsters to enjoy

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Tuesday, 07 December 2010 20:37 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

marvin_rareIn 2001 Motown/Universal released a stupendous deluxe version of MARVIN GAYE'S iconic 'Let's Get It On' album. The two CD set naturally featured the classic LP's 8 tracks but the rest of the collection offered soul fans a wonderful insight into GAYE'S art and creativity in the early seventies. There were discarded outtakes from the 'Let's Get It On' sessions, there were demo recordings, alternate mixes, live recordings and two special versions of 'Just To Keep You Satisfied' - from the ORIGINALS and the MONITORS respectively.

If anyone missed the set at the time, Motown have just reissued half of the collection under the tag "Let's Get It On Rarities Edition". Essentially, it's the second CD from that deluxe pack and it offers plenty of demos, lots of those alternate mixes and the cuts from the MONITORS and the ORIGINALS. Standouts? Well, the instrumental, 'Mandota' cuts a tough groove while the alternate take on 'Where Are We Going' is every bit as good as the mix that was eventually released. Equally, the alternate mixes and demos of 'If I Should Die Tonight', 'Distant Lover' and 'Come Get To This' serve to enhance the stark beauty of the originals. Though they'll have all the tracks already, GAYE completists will surely want a copy and anyone who hasn't heard these remarkable recordings yet MUST investigate.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 December 2010 20:50



Wednesday, 01 December 2010 18:37 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

melbaDutch reissue specialists Vinyl Masterpiece have just unleashed three more vintage '80s albums that should excite collectors of rare soul. The most collectable album of the three is 'The Key To Your Heart,' a hard to find album from 1982 by Chicago vocal quintet SUPERIOR MOVEMENT. The set was originally released by CBS Records in 1982 and contains eight songs, including the US R&B chart entry 'Wide Shot,' a jaunty dance groove, and a soulful remake of the Barry Gibb/Barbra Streisand duet, 'Guilty.'

Also from the Windy City were female family vocal trio, THE EMOTIONS. The Hutchinson sisters' swansong for Columbia, 1981's 'New Affair' also makes its CD debut and is remastered from the original master tapes. Go to SJF's review pages to read the review of this album.

Also making its debut on CD is MELBA MOORE'S 1980 Epic long player, 'Closer.' A 10 tracker helmed by legendary Philly writers/producers Bruce Hawes and Victor Carstarphen, it includes the US R&B chart entry 'Everything So Good About You' and features arrangements by such luminaries as Jack Faith, Norman Harris, Wade Marcus and Richie Rome.

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Wednesday, 01 December 2010 18:35 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

deodatoOne of the UK's leading independent soul labels, Expansion Records, is releasing the new album by Brazilian keyboard legend, arranger and producer, EUMIR DEODATO. Deodato, of course, scored a massive global hit in 1973 with his funky fusion version for CTI Records of Richard Strauss's classical music piece (famously used in the sci-fi movie '2001: A Space Odyssey') called 'Also Sprach Zarathustra.' His new album is called 'The Crossing' and features cameo appearances from AL JARREAU, LONDONBEAT, AIRTO MOREIRA, BILLY COBHAM, and NOVECENTO. The album is out on December 6th and on December 13th a single from the set, 'Double Face,' featuring Al Jarreau on vocals, gets released.

Also out on Expansion is 'Love's Comin' Down,' an LP originally released by RONNIE McNEIR on Motown in 1976. Never before released on CD, the album is now reissued with a raft of previously unissued bonus tracks (seven in all) discovered in the Motown vaults by Expansion's Ralph Tee. This set is out on November 29th.

Look out for reviews of both these Expansion titles soon at SJF.


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