Serious soul collectors will know about CRYSTAL MOTION’S classic ‘You’re My Main Squeeze’. The band members all hailed from New Bedford, Massachusetts but were of Cape Verdean descendancy and they now enjoy a sort of cult status.
The original line up was lead vocalist Kevin Gomes, Kevin’s cousin, Rodney “Skeeta” Santos, Daniel “Buddy” Monterio and John Paris who was responsible for coining the group’s eventual performing name “Crystal Motion”. In 1972 the boys cut a demo record, ‘There’ll Be Another’ and they optimistically submitted it to Frank Fioravanti whose Omega Sound Production was flying high with William DeVaughn’s smash hit ‘Be Thankful For What You Got’. Frank was impressed with what he heard but decided to get the group to record his song, the aforementioned ‘You’re My Main Squeeze (Part 1 & 2)’ which on release in 1974 on Sound Gems became a local hit in places like Atlanta, Georgia and Houston, Texas. Of course, much later, it became a big sound on the UK rare soul scene having been championed by Colin Curtis at the Blackpool Mecca.
But back to Crystal Motion (pictured). After recording ‘You’re My Main Squeeze’, Paris quit the group and was replaced by Douglas “Dougie” Mendes and that revised line up started to work on an album with Fioravanti. For all sorts of reasons, the album never happened and it’s thought that actually the group cut just one more song ‘Million Dollar Baby’ written by Fioravanti and Pal Rakes. Gomes then quit the band and soon after the group imploded and that seemed to be that.
Of course, as we’ve mentioned, the Crystal Motion story continued in the UK with ‘You’re My Main Squeeze’ but now there’s a second chapter to the band’s back story. Ever dependable SOUL JUNCTION RECORDS are gearing up to release a 7” on the band that pairs that very first recording, the elusive ‘There’ll Be Another’ with ‘Million Dollar Baby’.
The former, written by Kevin Gomes, is a wonderful, full-on sweet harmony ballad complete with a spoken intro monologue and a tender lead falsetto. It’s a superb 70s soul artefact that in places reminds me of ‘The Echo’ by the Epsilons and I don’t really know why. ‘Million Dollar Baby’ is a harmony ballad too – very much in the sentimental style of the Stylistics. It’s delicate and it also features a spoken part for added poignancy (though it’s nearer to the end on this cut). Though now well over 40 years old, both ‘There’ll Be Another’ and ‘Million Dollar Baby’ sound fresh and vibrant and both are perfect for the Chicano, Group Harmony and Lowrider crowds. Recommended!
The disc will be good to go from May 30th and you can learn more/pre order @ https://souljunctionrecords.co.uk/listing.html