Sam Dees is the soul man’s soul man. Largely unknown in the mainstream, he’s revered by the soul cognoscenti who wouldn’t hesitate to put him in the same league as Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield and Stevie Wonder. Sam’s reputation rests chiefly on his magnificent Atlantic album ‘The Show Must Go On’ and the numerous songs he’s penned for many of soul’s top performers and in recent years Ace subsidiary, Kent has done a great job releasing much of his back catalogue – both as writer and performer.
This new set collects together 19 tracks that Dees recorded for Clinton Moore’s Showtime Productions in the 70s and the music is a mix of masters (possibly intended for an album) and demos. Some of the tunes will be familiar – notably alternate mixes of ‘So Tied Up’ and ‘What’s It Gonna Be Brother Man’ . There’s also the lovely ‘I Know Where You’re Coming From’ – known chiefly via Loleatta Holloway’s 1975 Aware waxing. If you want to sonically define the art and appeal of Sam Dees – this is the one to go for!
Previously unheard compositions include a great ballad ‘We’ve Got To Get It Together’, and the stripped down ‘Child’s Play’ . ‘It’s Over, Nobody Wins’ is another outstanding ballad. When he wanted, though, Sam, could also appeal to the rug cutters. Here there are a number of dance items – notably the busy ‘Total Love’ and ‘A Case Of The Boogie’ which is an awfully lot better than the title!
Other highlights include the sweet ‘We’ve Got To Get It Together’ and a “new” version of ‘Touch Me With Your Love’… but hey, this is Sam Dees, and in honesty all the tunes are proper soul highlights.