THE WHISPERS; Love Is Where You Find It/Love For Love (Robinsongs)

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The Whispers have to be one of soul’s must underrated and undervalued groups. Maybe that’s down to the fact they’re best remembered for ultra-catchy but lightweight dance numbers like ‘And The Beat Goes On’ and ‘It’s A Love Song’. But ask any long-term Whispers fan and they’ll tell you that when it comes to smooth and sophisticated , “proper”, harmonic soul the LA quartet are up there with the very best…. if you doubt that dig out their ‘A Song Donny’ or ‘Chocolate Girl’

Formed as a quintet back in 1963 and featuring unique twin lead vocalists – Walter and Wallace Scott –the Whispers recorded for labels like Dore, Soul Clock and Janus before finally finding a home with Solar in 1979. There they hit pay dirt with the aforementioned disco dancers but their Solar catalogue is littered with some superb soul ballads and there are plenty on this “twofer” which pairs their 1981 ‘Love Is Where You Find It’ with ’83’s ‘Love For Love’. Back in the good old vinyl days the Whispers’ Solar albums featured dance cuts on one side and the ballads on the other – something for everyone. Here the dancers might still enjoy ‘In The Raw’, ‘Turn Me Out’ or ‘Emergency’ but in truth they’re very much of their period – nostalgic timepieces. The ballads have survived better. Cuts like ‘Say Yes’, ‘Love Is Where You Find It’, ‘This Time’ and ‘Do They Turn You On’ still have validity and any soul group would be proud to have them in their repertoire.

With concise sleeve notes from Ralph Tee, this collection is an excellent, budget introduction to the Whispers for those who only know them from their hits.

(BB) 3/5