US soul collectors are currently giving huge plaudits to a new compilation on Perpetual Records. It’s a concise, vinyl 12 tracker called ‘Lost In Sound-Rare Soul & Funk Essentials’ and that title beautifully sums up what in the grooves.
The dozen tunes are ultra-rare, and most have indeed been “lost” over time, but over time many have been resurrected by savvy, crate digging DJs and sampled by clever producers who know a good hook when they hear one.
The other great thing about the collection is that the offerings cover almost the whole range of soul genres. So as an opener you can enjoy a lovely, 60s uptown groove from Al “Mr. Soul” Scott, ‘What Happened To Yesterday’. There’s more of the same from Nat Phillips with ‘I’m Sorry I Hurt You’ while at the other end of the spectrum there’s tough and gritty funk from the Skull Snaps with ‘It’s A New Day’. The funk has a different feel on Manteca’s ‘Afro Funky’. Latino soul is represented by Luis Santi with ‘Los Feligreses’ and the novelty item, ‘Cookie Crumbs’ courtesy of Ray and his Court. Fancy a searing soul ballad? OK, try Lee Moses’ ‘Every Boy And Girl’ or Gloria Barnes’ ‘Home’. The sweet soul group sound’s flag is flying here via the Chosen Few’s ‘Something Bad’. Yep, something for everyone.
Now here’s the thing. The album sells at about 20 quid but originals of some of these tunes go for considerably more. For instanmce, that lovely Al “Mr. Soul” Scott tune on its original Genuine label is going for over £700! However, wait for it, the Gloria Barnes tune was only ever out on an album called ‘Uptown’. Original copies of that album on Maple Records are going at a ball breaking £1,368. Phew… but to put things into perspective, L J Waiters’ jaunty ‘Natural Beauty’ is priced on Discogs at a mere £1.99!
Money, of course, is just a number and you either have it or you don’t. Mr. Gordy once said that it’s what’s in the grooves that counts and here, there are grooves a plenty!