VARIOUS: We Got A Sweet Thing Going On (Soul Junction)

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UK indie label Soul Junction specialises in unearthing hard-to-find rare groove soul tunes and reissuing them on 7″ vinyl. They don’t often do CD albums, so when they do, you can be sure that they’re top notch and this new 16 track compilation maintains their reputation for quality.

‘We Got A Sweet Thing Going’ is an album dedicated to the art of the harmony soul sound and none of the featured artists (except one) ever made soul’s major leagues but that doesn’t make their contributions to soul’s history any less.

The tone of the album is set from the start with the busy beater that is ‘Shake Cheri’ from the Hopkins Brothers. The song has long been a Northern favourite and easy to hear why. Their second contribution to the compilation is a whole lot more mellow – a sweet ballad called, ‘Kiss Of Fire’. Indeed fans of the smouldering harmony ballad will find lots here to excite and intrigue them. ‘You’re The One’ from the Candi Bars, for instance, is an unknown item that has all the hallmarks of the genre’s classics…. it’s a quite lovely cross between soft Philly soul and the sound of the Chi-Lites. There’s more of the same on the wonderful ‘In The Book Of Guinness’ from Elbowed Out – a mixed race group from Seattle. This one’s very much in the Eugene Record style and possibly the only soul song to use the Guinness Book Of Records as its theme!

The compliers have used a degree of license to include three items from solo artists. They are Curt Darin’s ‘Two On A Cloud’… a great summery vibe; Jesse James’ ‘I Don’t Want A Divided Love’ … a sweet sound with a gritty vocal; and Oliver Cheatham’s ‘Good Guys Don’t Make Good Lovers’. Cheatham, of course, is the artist we alluded to up top… the one who did enjoy a modicum of success; though the track here is a million miles away from the swagger of his ‘Get Down Saturday Night’.

Find out more about this great little collection @ www.souljunction

(BB) 4/5