Chicago has been the musical home for a whole string of soul artists from the early 60s onwards. Many of them, including Gene Chandler, Walter Jackson and later the Artistics, owed a good deal to the influence of Curtis Mayfield of the Impressions. Curtis fashioned both the vocal style and helped shape the arrangements and productions that indelibly stamped these records as being in the Chicago soul sound. But all of these artists had something else in common, someone who would later, in the late 70s and early 80s, extend or rejuvenate their careers and bring them some of their biggest hits. That man was Carl Davis, the founder of the Chi-Sound label.
In CHI-SOUND we examine the story of Carl Davis' label, covering a selection of his best productions. Gene Chandler is represented with five numbers, including his worldwide smash Get Down which was a disco favourite through much of 1979. In compiling this CD, we recognised that many memories from that era will stem from the club scene of that time and so we have decided to use the longer disco/album cuts. So the fact that there are only 15 tracks on this CD doesn't mean Ace is changing its policy - there just wasn't room for any more of Carl's music!
No Chi-Sound compilation would be complete without a contribution from the Impressions. In 1981, the group made For Your Precious Love a hit all over again, some 23 years after they had first done so.
The Chi-Sound label had many interesting records by newer acts as well as the established Chicago favourites. Sidney Quall's I Don't Do this To Every Girl I Meet is a UK club favourite. The Chi Sound Theme (aka Windy City Theme) is not only the signature tune for the label but also that of Kiss FM's Norman Jay.
By Peter Gibbon