VARIOUS ARTISTS: ‘Masterpiece 7’ (Label: PTG Records, Vinyl Masterpiece )

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: 'Masterpiece 7'

Here’s a very enjoyable nostalgic musical trip down memory lane that will appeal to ’80s soul fans. The previous six installments of this compilation series from the excellent Dutch-based reissue label, Vinyl Masterpiece, have passed me by, but if they’re half as good as the present volume then they’ll definitely be worth adding to your CD collection. There are some great dance grooves here, including the extended version of Michael Wycoff’s ‘Tell Me Love,’ Mtume’s infectious ‘Prime Time’ – featuring the wonderful vocals of the criminally underrated Tawatha Agee, also known for her work with Luther Vandross – and the catchy ‘Step Into The Light’ by Japanese soul man, Toshiki Kadomatsu, first released on Ark Records in 1984. Add to this great cuts by The O’Jays (‘Love You Direct’), The Whispers (‘Tonight’), Freez (‘Can’t Keep My Love’), Brandi Wells (‘Watch Out’), Lee Prentiss (‘Love This Way’), Barbara Jayne (‘I Like The Way You Move’) and the Real Thing (‘Street Corner Boogie’) and you have an album that captures the essence of ’80s dance-oriented soul without resorting to the obvious and over-familiar songs that litter most major label compilations chronicling the same era. Terrific entertainment – so put on your boogie shoes.
(CW) 4/5