Top 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.