Edsel’s reissue of material culled from the catalogue of Holland-Dozier-Holland’s Hot Wax and Invictus labels continues with the release of several new 2-CD sets this month, each with liners notes by Tony Rounce. Top of the pile is a set devoted to BRIAN HOLLAND & LAMONT DOZIER’S legendary ‘Love & Beauty’ album from 1974 featuring the cult classic, ‘Why Can’t We Be Lovers.’ Titled ‘Love & Beauty…Plus (The Complete Invictus Masters)’ the set’s second CD also includes a wealth of hard-to-find bonus material including non-album 45s.
Also out on the same label are 2-CD sets featuring complete albums by soul group THE 8TH DAY (‘The 8th Day…Plus + I Gotta Get Home…Plus’), 100 PROOF AGED IN SOUL (‘Somebody’s Been Sleeping In My Bed…Plus + 100 Proof Aged In Soul…Plus’), and white songstress, RUTH COPELAND ( ‘Self Portrait…Plus + I Am What I Am…Plus’). Another superb, value-for-money set focuses on the three Hot Wax albums of soul siren LAURA LEE (‘Women’s Love Rights + I Can’t Make It Alone + Two Sides Of Laura Lee…Plus’).
Hot Wax’s answer to The Supremes, HONEYCONE, are also profiled on a 2-CD set that comprises four of their early ’70s LPs (‘Take Me With You + Sweet Replies…Plus + Soulful Tapestry + Love Peace & Soul…Plus’). All the group’s big hits are featured.
US label Hip-O Select also has a few interesting releases out at the moment. Funk fans will want to investigate a 2-CD JAMES BROWN package, ‘The Singles Volume 8: 1972-1973.’ As with previous volumes, it includes informative liner notes by The Godfather’s former road manager, Alan Leeds. Tracks include ‘Get On The Good Foot,’ ‘King Heroin,’ and ‘Doing It To Death’ as well as a rare vocal mix of ‘Hot Pants Road.’
On the same label is the first ever reissue of THE MIRACLES’ Freddie Perren-helmed 1974 album, ‘City Of Angels,’ featuring the Billy Griffin-fronted smash, ‘Love Machine.’
A real soul curio that will attract the anoraks comes in the form of ‘Motown Around The World,’ a 2-CD set that features foreign language versions (in French, Italian, Spanish and German) of Motown hits by the likes of THE SUPREMES, FOUR TOPS, TEMPTATIONS, THE MIRACLES, JIMMY RUFFIN, STEVIE WONDER, MARVIN GAYE, THE VELVELETTES and MARTHA REEVES & THE VANDELLAS. As a bonus, JERMAINE JACKSON’S Spanish version of ‘Let’s Get Serious’ is included alongside SMOKEY ROBINSON’S Spanish rendering of ‘Being With You.’
Fans of the late great RAY CHARLES will find much to savour in a new mid-price 5-CD Rhino set which features five of the maestro’s classic Atlantic albums in mini LP sleeves (the albums are ‘The Great Ray Charles,’ ‘Ray Charles At Newport,’ ‘The Genius Of Ray Charles,’ ‘The Genius Sings the Blues,’ and ‘The Genius After Hours’).
Also look out for the first ever reissue of GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS’ 1980 Columbia debut, ‘All About Love’ on Cherry Red’s Big Break imprint – it features the US hits ‘Landlord,’ ‘Taste Of Bitter Love’ and ‘Bourgie Bourgie.’ On the same label is an excellent ODYSSEY twofer, which combines their self-titled 1977 debut set (reissued for the first time on CD) with ‘Native New Yorker.’
Another Cherry Red imprint, Super Bird, has released a MANHATTANS twofer, featuring the legendary vocal group’s Columbia albums, ‘The Manhattans’ – featuring their massive 1976 hit, ‘Kiss & Say Goodbye’ – and ‘After Midnight.’ The Columbia repertoire of ISLEY JASPER ISLEY is also sourced for Super Bird’s reissue of three of the trio’s albums on a 2-CD package – the albums are ‘Broadway’s Closer To Sunset Boulevard’ (1984), ‘Caravan Of Love’ (1985), and ‘Different Drummer’ (1987).
Finally, the Cherry Red-affiliated Shout label has just reissued an overlooked Philly soul classic in the shape of the solitary long player from soul trio, THE EBONYS. Their eponymous 1973 Gamble & Huff-produced debut album (originally issued on Philadelphia International) was only previously reissued on CD in the States and now comes to the UK with several bonus tracks attached.
Look out for reviews of some of these titles soon at www.soulandjazzandfunk.com