Collectors’ label RPM (part of the Cherry Red group) are currently running a box set series with the title prefix ‘Looking….. ‘. So far they’ve looked at things like mod music and the girl group scene but now they turn their attention to things a bit more soulful and maybe just a little but more. Specifically what ‘Looking Stateside’ looks at is “US R&B, Mod Soul And Garage Nuggets”
Across the 3 CDs’ mighty 80 tracks there are plenty of real, rare soul gems. Here’s just a selection; Georgia Lynne’s 1963 cut ‘Sugar Soul Shack Queen’ (her riposte to Jimmy Gilmer’s pop hit, ‘Sugar Shack’); Willie Jones’ ‘Where’s My Money’; The Locomotions’ ‘Make It Saturday Night’; The Swans’ ‘He’s Mine'( an early Jerry Ross Philly production); Chuck Jackson’s ‘These Chains Of Love’; The Showmen’s ‘Take It Baby’ and Joe Tex’s ‘I Wanna Be Free’ (a lovely 1963 dancer).
As with the other CDs in this series each of the 3 discs is themed. CD 1 focuses on early soul and R&B – the kind of stuff that would have been played in the best 60s mod clubs (had the discs actually been available in the UK back then!). CD 2 offers a great selection of mid 60s soul with the compilers focusing on the less obvious. The third CD casts its net a little wider – offering a smattering of soul alongside some rough and ready garage pop. Broad minded soul people though will love stuff like ‘Congo’ by the International Bongo Band and ‘As A Matter Of Fact’ from the Knickerbockers.
‘Looking Stateside’ is a totally refreshing collection. Lots of quality rarities – so many in fact that even seasoned collectors will find plenty that’s new and intriguing while the sleeve notes tell you everything you need to know. Great stuff!