Soul collectors in general and Philly freaks in particular will be delighted to learn of a brand new archive release on indie Philadelphia label, SOUND GEMS. The label, set up in 1974 by Frank Fioravanti, is best known for the global hit ‘Be Thankful For What You Got’ by William DeVaughn, now, forty years after that iconic release, Sound Gems enters a new era with the issue of ‘LOST SOUL GEMS’ – an 11 track anthology of ultra rare 70s Philly recordings.
Two of the brightest “gems” in the collection come from the aforementioned William DeVaughn. Songs in question are a brace of sweet ballads, ‘Staying Power’ and ‘Love Ballad Of The Year’. Both prove that there was much more to Mr DeVaughn that ‘Be Thankful’.
Ballad fans will also love ‘The First Time Baby, Is A Holiday’ from Asia Luckey who channels a great Barbara Mason feeling and ‘Breaking Up Again’ from the Charmetts – a classic girl group sound. Amongst the more up-tempo items are ‘Sweet Norma Jones’ from Spice (very Jones Girls, this one), ‘I Wanna Dance’ – a rough, rustic item from the Al Brown Rhythm band and Cache-A -Lux’s ‘Get Wise’ which takes its inspiration from Chic.
There’s also a pair of classic Philly group sounds à la Intruders. They are ‘Give Me Your Best Shot Baby’ from Ebb Tide and Crystal Motion’s ‘You’re My Main Squeeze’ – possibly two of the best Philly recordings you’ve never heard!
Label boss, Fioravanti says that, “In their day some of these songs were sizeable hits. ‘Give Me Your Best Shot Baby’ in particular was big on the East Coast club scene and it will have the same effect on listeners today“. Make up your own minds by investigating ‘Lost Soul Gems’ yourselves. The music is already available via I-tunes and wins full release on November 4th. Find out more @ www.facebook.com/SGRaliah