Monday, 09 May 2011 19:48 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

londonTop reissue label, ACE have just released a whole raft of tip-top albums, all of which demand serious consideration from collectors. Of most interest, maybe is a pair of Motown single artist sets. Last year the Ace subsidiary, Kent put out a fabulous album on one of Motown's first vocal groups, THE SATINTONEs; now they've managed to license material on THE CONTOURS and MARV JOHNSON. THE CONTOURS album features the group's unreleased 1964 album along with a plethora of other unissued cuts – 24 in all. The JOHNSON album focuses on his 'I'll Pick A Rose For My Rose' LP but as a bonus there's 15 other cuts including 5 that have lain in the vaults till now.

Still on a Detroit kick, Kent's 'Black Diamond' album looks at the work of the underrated O.C. TOLBERT. The 22 tracker is made up of material that TOLBERT recorded with Detroit producer, DAVE HAMILTON.

As ever, Ace/Kent/BGP also have plenty of value-packed compilations. Top of the bunch is an intriguing 'Northern Soul's Guilty Secrets' – a 24 tracker packed with tunes that were popular on the scene in the early 70s but which, maybe, didn't have too much real soul pedigree. Think JOHN FRED and his PLAYBOY BAND'S 'Hey, Hey Bunny' and BABE RUTH'S 'Elusive'. 'Jam Up Twist' is another compilation with a bit of a Northern flavour. Compiled by DJ ANDY SMITH, it's a reflection of his famed club nights and also features rockabilly, ska and authentic R&B. Plenty to dance too on 'Salsa Mundo' – an 18 track selection of the best Colombian dance music.

Finally Ace's look at the back catalogue of the dear old London American label reaches 1963 and the set includes soul from THE CRYSTALS, LAVERN BAKER, JAMES BROWN, THE DRIFTERS, SHIRLEY ELLIS, BOOKER T AND THE MGS and DARLENE LOVE. There's also plenty of classic American pop from people like DEL SHANNON, ROY ORBISON and JERRY LEE LEWIS.

Full reviews on SJF very soon.

Last Updated on Monday, 09 May 2011 19:59



Saturday, 07 May 2011 11:33 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

Mowest_coverIn 1971 BERRY GORDY JR launched the Mowest label as part of his company's re-location to the West Coast. By GORDY'S high standards the label wasn't hugely successful and it quietly folded in '73. Interestingly given Motown's reissue track record, there's never been that many Mowest reissues and Mowest specific compilations have been few and far between... till now.

On June 27th Light In The Attic Records will be releasing a wonderful 16 track Mowest compilation. 'Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love; Motown's Mowest story 1971 – 1973' is a neat overview of the label's best and features tracks from people like FRANKI VALLI AND THE FOUR SEASONS, G C CAMERON, THE SISTERS LOVE, SYREETA, THE COMMODORES and ODYSSEY whose 'Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love' provides the album's title. The set offers some sweet and welcome rarities too like SUZEE IKEDA'S version of 'I Can't Give Back The Love I Feel For You' and THE NU PAGE'S lovely 'A Heart Is A House'.

Expect a full review of the album on SJF very soon.

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 May 2011 12:07



Friday, 06 May 2011 15:49 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

hansonReaders of can be forgiven for not remembering the 1997 no. 1 hit 'Mmmbop' by US brothers HANSON. It was pure teen pop, but since those heady days the trio have kept incredibly busy. Constantly honing their sound and style, the HANSON boys have just released their fifth studio album – 'Shout It Out' – and what a great example of blue-eyed soul it is! There are echoes of dear old HALL and OATES throughout the 12 tracker and with people like Motown Funk Brother, BOB BABBIT and veteran horn arranger, JERRY HEY helping out you know we're talking quality music. Here at SJF we particularly liked 'Make It Out Alive' – a tune that combines the swagger of mellow moment TOWER OF POWER and the melody lines of LAURA NYRO.

Lead single is the punchy, guitar-led 'Give A Little Love' which comes complete with a quirky, laid back remix from AHMIR ?UESTLOVE THOMPSON of THE ROOTS... certainly worth checking out.

HANSON have just announced a series of five London concerts which will take place between the 5th and 10th of June. The venue is Kings College and the brothers will perform each of their five studio albums – night by night – in chronological sequence. The culmination, of course, will be 'Shout It Out' on June 10th. The album is released on HANSON'S own 3CG label at the beginning of June.

Last Updated on Friday, 06 May 2011 15:54



Saturday, 30 April 2011 13:29 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

Nathan-Watson-foto-cropNATHAN WATSON is a London-based soul man who made waves at the back end of 2010 with a catchy tune called 'Reach Out (You've Got a Friend)'. Since then he's been busy working live and helping out at a number of charity functions including Help For Heroes and The Prince's Trust.

The good news is that the legendary SED SOUL remix crew have gotten hold of NATHAN'S 'Reach Out' and remixed it – not once, but twice! The "SED SOUL MIX" takes what was essentially a simple, acoustic soul sort of cut and transforms it into a classy mid-paced groover that is bound to please modern soul room sophisticates. The SED SOUL "Roots Mix" is different again. It's not quite Caribbean but it has that kind of swagger about it - ensuring that it will be a big summer anthem.

The original take on the tune is still available too as are three more lovely cuts – the ultra catchy 'Soulsisticated', the plaintive 'Proud To Be Your Man' and the remarkable 'Loveline'. That last one really is lovely and sadly it reminds me of the much-missed LYNDEN DAVID HALL. Find out more about NATHAN and



Friday, 29 April 2011 09:33 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

omar_dancing-300x220UK soul star OMAR returns to the fray in June with a brand new summer-flavoured single, 'Dancing'. The cut is collaboration with ZED BIAS (aka MADDSLINKY) and will be released on Tru Thoughts on 27th June. OMAR had previously worked with MADDSLINKY on the latter's 2010 single 'Special' and on 'Dancing' they've crafted a cut that will appeal to adventurous radio programmers and discerning club DJs alike . It's a pacey tune with a steel drum figure running throughout and all topped with ZED BIAS'S unique energy.

The single is a precursor to the Tru Thoughts reissue of OMAR'S 'Sing' album which , of course, featured collaborations with STEVIE WONDER, ESTELLE, ANGIE STONE and COMMON. 'Dancing' is one of two new cuts added to the album reissue. The other is a BOB SINCLAR remix of 'It's So'

The single 'Dancing' will be available digitally and in limited edition vinyl. The album 'Sing' is re-released on 18th July.


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