BARBARA MASON: Give Me Your Love (Label: Soul Brother)

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BARBARA MASON: Give Me Your Love

For a short time in the early sixties Barbara Mason was the teen queen of Philly pop soul. Her reign was based on the innocent charm of hits like ‘Yes I’m Ready’ and ‘Sad, Sad Girl’… both early examples of the classic, lush, sweet Philadelphia soul sound. In the seventies – pacted with Buddha – she made a feisty comeback with a more mature sound and altogether more adult lyrical approach. Both of Barbara’s Buddha albums have just been reissued by London’s Soul Brother Records and they reveal that time hasn’t staled their sultry soulfulness. ‘Give Me Your Love’ was originally released in 1972 and though the (then) risqué cover shot attracted a deal of attention it was the music that carried the day. The set opens with a nine minute version of her earlier hit, ‘Yes I’m Ready’, and the raps and monologues transform what was essentially a teen-pop song into a serious exploration of relationships. The theme is continued with cuts like ‘Bed And Board’, ‘Who Will You Hurt Next’ and the sublime ‘You Can Be With The One You Don’t Love’ – one of the greatest love ballads to come out of Philadelphia. Barbara, though, decanted to Chicago to record the album’s title cut – a breathy version of the Curtis Mayfield classic which rightly became an R&B hit. It’s a typical (for the time) Mayfield production and a touch tougher than the sweeter Philly productions of the rest of the album. (Much of the music was recorded at Sigma using the classic MFSB studio players). The LP’s nine cuts are here in their entirety and as a bonus Soul Brother have added the 1973 single edit of ‘Yes, I’m Ready’. What you don’t get is the risqué cardboard pop up picture that came with the original vinyl album… but the wonderful music more than makes up for that! More information at
(BB) 4/5