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RETURNING ACES

Saturday, 08 November 2008 07:49 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

RETURNING ACES

Ace Records have just re-instated some previously deleted items back into their catalogue. Amongst them is a trio of albums on SYLVESTER who, of course, rose to prominence at the height of the disco boom. Sadly he'll always be tagged with the disco label but SYLVESTER (JAMES), who died in 1988, was also a great soul stylist. Check out his version of BURT BACHARACH'S 'I Took My Strength From You'. Fans of the ISLEY BROTHERS who don't have the boys early recordings might want to investigate 'Shout And Twist With Rudolph, Ronald And O'Kelly' while for funk followers 'Super Funk Vol. 2' and 'Stax Of Funk' are musts. Also back on catalogue is the label-defining 'Stax Gold' - though most soul fans will have all its tracks, I'm sure. Finally - a couple of new Ace compilations that should interest collectors: 'Breakaway' - featuring the songs of JACKIE DE SHANNON offers cuts from people like IRMA THOMAS, DOBIE GRAY and BARBARA LEWIS while 'The Golden Age Of American Popular Music Volume 2' has rarities from GENE McDANIELS and SAMMY TURNER.

 

SEARCHING FOR THAT POT OF GOLD

Friday, 31 October 2008 07:57 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

SEARCHING FOR THAT POT OF GOLD

With three full albums already under her belt, ALICE RUSSELL is set to launch her new set - 'Pot Of Gold' - at the end of November. Long-considered one of Britain's most underrated soul vocalists, ALICE has set up her own label, Little Poppet, for the release. With full artistic control, she' s put together a varied collection that's unified by her edgy, aggressive soul style, which, in the past has drawn comparison with the great ETTA JAMES and the rockier JANIS JOPLIN. A couple of cuts are already causing ripples in the music biz. One is 'Two Steps'; with zipping strings and furious beats, it's as authentic a Northern soul sound as anything recorded this side of 2000. The other cut causing a buzz is a moody cover of GNARLS BARCLAY'S 'Crazy' which will serve to remind soul parvenus that that there really is no substitute for experience.

 

DOING THE WRIGHT THING...

Friday, 31 October 2008 07:56 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

DOING THE WRIGHT THING...

At present Nottingham's ANTHONEY WRIGHT is a new name - but music biz insiders are predicting that by Christmas things will be different as his single 'Reset To Zero' grabs the headlines. The tune caused underground ripples earlier in the year and it's easy to hear why. Now being re-promoted in the big Christmas push, the cut has a very distinctive charm that's hard to pin down. It's totally contemporary (think DUFFY'S 'Mercy'), but there's a real retro feel about it. The chorus is instantly memorable and there's a wonderful hook in the verse, but it's ANTHONEY'S voice that does it. Though brought up on a diet of PRINCE, AL GREEN and MARVIN GAYE, ANTHONEY'S sensible enough to be his own man and he's come up with a unique vocal approach that nails the song. 'Reset To Zero' is out now and ANTHONEY'S album is due in February.

 

INCOGNITO REMIXED...

Monday, 27 October 2008 16:51 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

INCOGNITO REMIXED...

INCOGNITO'S last album - 'Tales From The Beach' - proved to be one of their most successful of recent years. Its huge success has prompted BLUEY and the DOME label to have the LP remixed by a whole host of top names including DIMITRI FROM PARIS, SIMON GREY, YAM WHO?, MARK DE CLIVE-LOWE and SKI OAKENFUL who produces a wonderful tweak on the MAYSA-vocalised 'I've Been Waiting.' Another highlight is FRANCIS HYLTON'S take on 'I Remember A Time'… with a rumbling bass line it lives up to its 'Black Moses Remix' billing. The album will be available from the beginning of November.

 

MORE ACES ...

Monday, 27 October 2008 16:50 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

MORE ACES ...

The ever-reliable ACE people have a strong quartet of new releases lined up for November. First up there's a 24 track retrospective on JOHNNY JOHNSON and the BANDWAGON. It covers all the great Epic tunes and the poppier Bell sides. More esoteric maybe is LITTLE WILLIE JOHN'S '1966' album. The set was collaboration with Capitol's DAVID AXELROD and HB BARNUM and because of the complications surrounding JOHN at the time (he was in jail for murder and under contract to another label) the music has never had a proper release. Enjoy it now. Finally ACE have a couple of great compilations. 'Mighty Super Funk' has 20 rare tracks on the BGP subsidiary, while on Kent, there's a 24 track collection of cuts from ZELL SANDER'S Harlem and Bronx-based labels.

 

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