Wednesday, 17 November 2010 21:46 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

ministryThanks to all those who entered our MINISTRY OF SOUND DISCO ANTHEMS competition. As ever we had a sack load of entries, most of whom submitted the correct answer to our question as to the authorship of ODYSSEY'S 'Going Back To My Roots' – it was, of course, LAMONT DOZIER.

Sadly there can only be five winners and they are –GRAHAM ROBERTS of Great Yarmouth, KEITH POPE of Inverness, JAN LASKOWSKI of Hillingdon, ALAN COSTA from Brighton and LAMBIE FATA from deepest, darkest Australia! Copies of the album on their way to them very soon courtesy of our good friends at the Ministry.... in the meantime go to our reviews pages to check out SJF's thoughts on the album.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 November 2010 21:49



Wednesday, 17 November 2010 21:43 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

dianaOf all the great soul divas no one polarizes opinion more than DIANA ROSS. To some she got to where she is because of who she knew not how she sang while to others she's the soul goddess Supreme, blessed with huge charisma and a soulful depth to boot! Writer IAN PHILIPS clearly falls in to that second camp. He's been a fan of Ms. R since he first heard 'Stop In The Name Of Love' back in the 1980s and he's been smitten ever since. IAN is one of those besotted fans who travel to every ROSS gig when she's in the UK... the ones who snaffle up all the centre, front row seats and sing along to all the hits and throw the bouquets at the end. ROSS-expert bar non, IAN has just realized a long standing ambition – to publish a book about his heroine... and it's just hit the sales racks.

'DIANA QUEEN OF MOTOWN' (published by Bank House Books) is, as you can imagine from what I've said, a huge tribute to DIANA. Interestingly, it's not a biography as such. Rather it's an overview of her lengthy career achieved by examining her recording/film/ key performance output in chronological order. It's a great concept but because of where the writer's coming from there's nothing here that's objective. We lurch from one gushing appraisal to the next and the key events in the story (e.g. the sacking of FLORENCE BALLARD, ROSS'S relationship with BERRY GORDY etc ) are glossed over in a perfunctory way. So we learn nothing that's new.

Sadly, too, the text is peppered with errors – (e.g. DAVID RUFFIN wasn't the lead voice on the TEMPTATIONS' 'The Way You Do The Thing You Do' and 'The Impossible Dream' wasn't an ELVIS PRESLEY original, rather a show song from 'Man Of La Mancha') and IAN'S asides might raise a few eyebrows too – "In my opinion, Dennis (Edwards) was a more outstanding and gifted vocalist than David (Ruffin)"... well, more aggressive, louder... maybe, but better? Taken together, the errors and the opinions undermine some of the writer's credibility. Equally there's a whole "tribute" section at the end which seems a little pointless. The tributes come from people like LYNDA LAURENCE, SCHERRIE PAYNE, various members of the VANDELLAS and the MARVELETTES, LEEE JOHN (of IMAGINATION) and DAVID and CARRIE GRANT. Interestingly there's nothing from MARY WILSON or indeed any of ROSS'S more immediate circle.

That said the book is well presented in a most attractive package – though, given that the text is largely based on an assessment of DIANA'S albums it might have been an idea to use album pack shots for illustration. Still, for Ms ROSS'S legions of fans the book will be treasured ... if only to confirm what they already believe, and with Christmas around the corner I can see it filling many a stocking.

DIANA QUEEN OF MOTOWN by IAN PHILIPS is available now and is published by Bank House Books.



Monday, 15 November 2010 18:53 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

funkFUNK 'N' STEIN are an eleven piece Israeli soul band who've just been signed to the Soul Unsigned label... bit on an oxymoron that, isn't it? Anyway, their album 'Funky Mission' has just hit the racks and the ten tracker has a real, old-fashioned, organic sound to it. Unsigned's PHIL DRIVER says , "In a modern world of cold and clinically-too-perfect production albums, it's refreshing to hear funk/soul music in its purest form".

Find out more by going to  and go to our review pages for SJF's thoughts on the set.



Friday, 12 November 2010 12:06 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

gospelReissue label FANTASTIC VOYAGE have just released a pair of archive collections that focus on vintage blues and gospel. The first set is entitled 'Let Me Tell You About The Blues' and looks at the blues artists who worked in and around Nashville in the 50s and 60s. Nashville, of course, is best known as the capital of country music but it was also home to a number of important blues labels, notably Bullet, Republic and Excello. The album gathers together a massive 75 tracks across three CDs and the featured artists include Kid King's Combo, Max Bailey, Clarence Samuels and Arthur Gunter – a big influence on a young Elvis Presley.

FANTASTIC VOYAGE'S second set is a 52 track, 2 CD collection called 'Gospel Celebrities And Celestial Lights' and has been compiled and annotated by gospel authority Opal Louis Nations. As the title implies the album features some big, big names – albeit on material recorded before they became major stars. So there's inclusions from Candi Staton (when she fronted the Jewel Gospel Trio), Lou Rawls, Sam Cooke, The Staple Singers, Ollie Nightingale, Marie Knight and Judy Clay. Other featured artists include The Five Blind Boys Of Alabama, Mahalia Jackson, The Swan Silvertones and the Golden Gate Quartet. Maybe the most collectable track on offer is 'The Bible Tells Me So' from the Womack Brothers – featuring a 10 year old Bobby on lead.



Wednesday, 10 November 2010 10:05 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

randy_muller_instore_smallLegendary jazz-funk bandleader and horn player, RANDY MULLER, will be present in SOUL BROTHER RECORDS' Putney store on 13th November 2010 at 2pm to sign copies of the three '70s Brass Construction albums that Soul Brother is reissuing on CD (for the record, the titles are the group's '75 self-titled debut, 'Brass Construction,' '76's 'Brass Construction II' and '79's 'Brass Construction V.'). He'll also be happy to talk to fans about his life and work, so don't miss what will be a rare opportunity to meet one of the pioneers of '70s funk.

For more info go to:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 November 2010 10:11


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