THE DRAMATICS; New Dimension (Expansion)


The Dramatics never quite made the soul Premier League; though – for all the right reasons – soul cognoscenti revere them… and they’ll be delighted that Expansion have just reissued their 1982 Capitol outing ‘New Dimension’ .

Founded in 1962, the Dramatics peaked during their tenure at Stax in the 70s. Then they went through various personnel changes before pitching up at Capitol. For this recording the group consisted of Willie Ford, Lenny Mayes, Craig Johnson and Ron Banks who produced the set and also supplied most of the songs. The set’s lead single was the upbeat, discofied ‘Live It Up’ and it enjoyed some chart success (peaking at #40). In truth, that and the other up-tempo items haven’t travelled down time too well, but Dramatic fans in particular and lovers of sweet, soul harmony groups in general will relish stuff like ‘Treat Me Rght’, ‘I Believe In You’ and ‘I Don’t Want To Lose Your Love’. As examples of 80s harmony soul they’re hard to beat. Sadly the album failed commercially and Capitol didn’t take up the option for more albums. Disillusioned, I guess, Ron Banks quit for a solo career and the remnants of the Dramatics drifted from one small label to another… though Banks did rejoin for occasional projects.

(BB) 3/5