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Spain-based boutique label, SOUL4REAL get into their 2024 stride with a pair of sparkling true soul 7” releases.

First off there’s a 45 on the first family of Gospel/Soul, THE STAPLES. The family need no introduction here, save to say that, marshalled by Pops and working as The Staple Singers, they did sterling work, first at Vee Jay then at Stax, to bring testifying gospel music into the mainstream.

The band enjoyed great times at Stax but when the label imploded Pops took the kids over to Warner Bros whose execs paired them with Curtis Mayfield as producer – a match made in soul heaven! Their first work together was the OST, ‘Let´s Do It Again’, which actually became the groups all-time best seller. Such was the success that Warner Bros sensibly decided that Mayfield would also produce their next work, ‘Pass It On’ (1976) by which time the band has simply become “The Staples!

The two cuts on the new Soul4Real 45 are taken from that album. The putative A side is a catchy two-stepper/ dancer, ‘Take This Love Of Mine’. The lead vocal (Mavis) is passionate and powerful (but you’d guess that) and the production is stuffed with the classic Mayfield ingredients. Those characteristics are there too on the B side – a sweet ballad, ‘Precious, Precious’. It’s elegant and sophisticated – and, naturally soulful. Oddly, sales of the ‘Pass It On’ album disappointed the Warner Bros people and Curtis was relieved of his deal with the Staples. That prosaic fact doesn’t lessen the quality of these two racks one jot though!

The second new Soul4Real 45 features Florida soul man, TOMMY TATE (who died in 2017 – see . Like many jobbing southern soul men, Tommy worked for lots of different labels including Okeh, Juana, Urgent and Koko. The two tracks on this 7” are the inspirational, melodic and mellow I Can’t Do Enough For You Baby and the waltz-time ballad, ‘Hold On’. It’s thought that Tommy recorded these songs as demos in or around 1967 when he and Carson Whitsett were working as staff writers with Malaco Records. The sound quality on both is better than you’d expect for demos and both recordings have been around before on various compilations and releases while James Carr released a version of ‘Hold On’ on Atlantic in 1971. We’re told however that this is the first time that the two songs have been paired on a 7”.

Whatever the case might be, the recordings show that Tommy Tate was a fine, classic soul man who, because of things like poor business choices and unfortunate incidents throughout his career, didn’t quite make it. This new single stands as a fine testament to him!

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