It was back in 2010 that Kent/Ace issued a compilation that highlighted the writing/production/ arranging skills of Van McCoy. Now, even casual soul fans will know that McCoy was hugely prolific… (he worked on over 300 projects between 1959 and 1979, we’re told), so, after a 9 year hiatus, the Kent crew have (rightly) decided that the time is right to dip into the McCoy repertoire again.
‘This Is It’ is a wonderful 24 track selection from his output between 1962 and 1977 and it’s named for Melba Moore’s big 1976 hit. The album boasts plenty more big name and big tunes like Gladys Knight’s ‘Baby Don’t Change Your Mind’ and David Ruffin’s ‘Everything’s Coming Up Love’.
There’s also plenty of less well known items from soul second stringers like The Choice Four (‘If I Don’t Love You’), Toni Lamarr (‘Just In The Nick Of Time’) and Francine Baker (‘Mister DJ’). Soul collectors will, obviously, recognise other names like Bill Harris, Brenda and the Tabulations, the Spellbinders, the Vonettes, the Ad Libs, Sandi Sheldon, Chris Bartley and Major Lance for whom McCoy penned ‘Wait Till I Get You In My Arms’.
Yes, quite a line up here but whether it was a big star, a faded legend, or a soul wannabee, Van always worked with the same care and passion and employed the same production values; knowing that anything with his name on had to be nothing less than perfect. So, this really is it…. another great tribute to one of soul’s great backroom boys.