LOVE COMMITTEE; Law & Order (bbr)

lc

Love Committee were a Philly vocal group who evolved out of The Ethics. The two main men were now long-serving Temptation Ron Tyson and big-voiced, gospel reared Joe Freeman. Ably supported by Norman Frazier and Larry Richardson, they endured something of an itinerant career till they pitched up at the Salsoul subsidiary, Gold Mind in 1977. There they cut two albums and this one – ‘Law and Order’ is the best remembered. It’s remembered primarily for the wonderful ‘Cheaters Never Win’ – as good a piece of Philly dance action as any of the acknowledged genre classics. Driven by the famed engine room of Earl Young, Ron Baker and Norman Harris, it combines the best passion of the Trammps with the harmony finesse of the O’Jays and it makes this first-time album CD reissue a must for soul collectors.

The 8 tracker boasted four more up-tempo numbers but none have the magic of ‘Cheaters’ though ‘Put It In The Back Of Your Mind’ does have a certain attraction. The LP’s ballads are, as you’d expect, sweet Philly confections … very much based on the classic Thom Bell template. Indeed Bell had worked with the group in their Ethics days and was about to record an album with them when a management dispute drove him away. He went off and found the Stylistics… and we know what happened there. Sadly, the Love Committee never scaled the same heights as the Stylistics… though Ron Tyson did eventually join the Temptations, of course, and since then he’s never looked back.

This reissue comes with four bonus cuts – including a great 12″ Tom Moulton mix of ‘Cheaters Never Win’. There’s a decent essay which includes some bitter comments from group member Joe Freeman (label and management rip offs!) … and you get all the original art work which… and I’ve never got this … portrays the group in cowboy gear!

(BB) 3/5