By common consent UK reissue specialist, Ace Records’ subsidiary, Kent, has done the most sterling of work for soul collectors. The label began back in the 80s issuing (mainly) compilations drawn from the back catalogue of US label group Kent/Modern (hence the “Kent” name). One of the first long players that featured non Kent/Modern material was the acclaimed ‘On The Soul Side’. The 16 tracker offered soul rarities and in-demand items from labels like Capitol, Liberty, Minit and United Artists and, though over the years Kent has released hundreds more soul compilations, I suggest that few match the variety, class and soulfulness of the pioneering ‘On The Soul Side’.
Well if you missed it first time around, those nice Ace/Kent people have just reissued it on a CD with the original 16 tracks enhanced by a further 10 cuts that perfectly match the feel of the original collection. In respect for that original LP, the first 16 tracks are sequenced in the same order as before and from Patrice Holloway’s ‘Love And Desire’ through to Timi Yuro’s ‘What’s A Matter Baby’ you’ll hardly draw breath. If you don’t know the album, let me just list a few of the cuts – The O’Jays’ ‘Lipstick Traces’, Bobby Sheen’s ‘Dr Love’, The Showmen’s ‘It Will Stand’ and Jimmy Holiday and Clydie King’s ‘Ready Willing And Able for starters. That should convince you that my use of the “classy” adjective up top was spot on!
Then there’s the ten “newcomers”… none more welcome than the mighty ‘Love Is A Hurting Thing’ from Lou Rawls; still a majestic definition of sophisticated soul. The other nine cuts come from Clydie King, The Magnificent Men, Patrice Holloway, June Jackson, Bobby Womack, Earl King, Sylvia Robbins, Marv Johnson and Merry Clayton and if that’s not enough to get you investigating, you shouldn’t really be visiting this site!