Archive label Fantastic Voyage has done a fantastic job chronicling the early soul sounds of Detroit, New York and Chicago and now the specialist label turns the spotlight on Los Angeles with a 2CD, 60 tracker that’s been put together by respected veteran soul writer Clive Richardson.
The album features dozens of collectable items sourced from iconic labels like Aladdin, Liberty, Imperial, Ebb, Arvee and – most importantly – Sam Cooke’s short-lived SAR imprint. You’ll find loads of big names here too – all working towards the signature sound that was to turn them into stars. Amongst the featured artists are The Valentinos (The Womack, clan, of course), Johnnie Taylor and Johnny Guitar Watson while listen hard and you’ll hear the legendary Sly Stone as part of the Viscaynes. Lots and lots of obscure items too (Beamon Young, Jennell Hawkins anyone?) making the set a treasure trove for collectors of early 60s soul sounds.
‘SOUL CITY LOS ANGELES: West Coast Gems From The Dawn Of Soul Music’ is out now. The set comes as a 2 CD album and there’s also a collectors 2 LP vinyl edition which features 28 of the most collectable cuts.