London-based EPSILON RECORDS is one of a pleasingly growing number of indie vinyl issuing labels that specialise in meeting the demand for rare and esoteric vintage soul. And their latest offering couldn’t be rarer. Their new 45 features two cuts from Milwaukee’s “Godfather of Soul”,  HARVEY SCALES, ably supported by his band THE SEVEN SOUNDS.

The singer (and top songwriter) died in 2019 aged 78 and though he’s not a “big name”, his work is revered by serious soul and  funk collectors.  Born in Osceola, Arkansas in 1942, Harvey grew up Milwaukee. In 1961 with a friend Albert Vance, Harvey formed the Seven Sounds and recording for labels like Cuca, Magic Touch and Chess, he enjoyed moderate success with songs like ‘Love-Itis’ while tracks like ‘I’ll Run To Your Side’ and ‘Giving U What U Want’ eventually became rare soul favourites. Whilst recording at Chess, Harvey became friendly with top writer/producer Don Davis who was also working with Stax artist Johnnie Taylor. The link brought Harvey a contract with Stax and his Memphis recording, ‘I Can’t Cry No More’ remains an underground soul favourite. When Stax folded, Taylor and Davis moved to Columbia and there Scales offered the pair a new song he was working on called ‘Disco Baby’. With some editing and input from Bootsy Collins, the song became ‘Disco Lady’ and with it Johnnie Taylor secured the very first platinum single, selling over two million copies. Scales then went onto provide songs  for people like Dells, the Dramatics and the O’Jays. He continued his own singing career with a contract with Casablanca where he cut two LPs.

The new Epsilon 45 pairs two songs from the early part of his career. The A side is a song called ‘Love That One’ . The track was recorded during Scales’ time  at Cuca Records (1963-66) and was  never released. It’s  a rough-hewn, mid-tempo soul groove, a little less funky than the stuff he and  the band were knocking out at that time. It did appear on a 2020 Numero Group Harvey Scales  compilation  but this is (we believe ) the first time on vinyl.

The B side is a “for real”, deep soul ballad – ‘Don’t You Ever Let It End’. This was originally released in 1969 as the A side to a Magic Touch single with an instrumental, ‘The Sound Of Soul’ on the flip. Original copies are now going for around £100. Those two tracks were released digitally by Numero Group earlier this year

HARVEY SCALES & THE SEVEN SOUNDS; A: LOVE THAT ONE / B: DON’T YOU EVER LET IT END out 15th March…learn more @ https://www.epsilonrecord.com/