When you hear of a project (say a 70s compilation from Atlantic Records and associated labels), you start to think of the tracks you would select for such a broad and daunting task. Then, when you see the actual track listing, you automatically think of the tracks that have been left off. The real skill in producing compilations is to make them so interesting that the listener is left wanting a Volume 2, even before the CD has cycled into its repeat mode. This compilation is one of these - with tracks that have been (or still are) on record collectors' wants lists.
This compilation features a vast array of artists from the less well-known (but popular) Dynells' Call On Me and Sons of Robin Stone's Got To Get You Back, to the well known, such as Ben E King's Supernatural Thing or Sam Dees' Fragile, Handle With Care. All the tracks deliver soul from dance styles to ballads. Bettye Swann's Kiss My Love Goodbye is filling the dancefloors on the rare soul scene, while emptying the wallets of those who wish to own a copy, (not bad for a B-side that peaked at #71 in 1974). The likes of Bridge's Baby Don't Hold Your Love Back, the hard to locate Larry Wu and Let Me Show You and Prince Phillip Mitchell's I'm So Happy were filling the floors at modern soul venues back in the late 70s/early 80s. The popular mid-tempo offerings from Vivian Reed, Save Your Love For Me, TSU Toronados' What Good Am I and Betty Lavette's You'll Wake Up Wiser became favourites at soul nights at the likes of the Norfolk Village in London. There they would be played (and sung by the Village Choir) alongside more mellow sides, like those from the vastly under-rated Ron Matlock with You've Got The Best Of Me, Dee Dee Warwick's superior version of Suspicious Minds and the Persuaders' Thin Line Between Love & Hate, a ballad of tremendous proportions.
If those artists and tracks haven't whetted your appetite, then the likes of the evergreen Garland Green with Just My Way Of Loving You or Margie Joseph's Come On Back To Me Lover should line you up for more SO SOULFUL 70s from Darrow Fletcher, NA Allen, Barbara Lynn, Major Harris, the Patterson Singers, the Enticers and Patti & the Lovelites.
All those Atlantic artists and no inclusion for Aretha, Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett, Jackie Moore et al - Listen, enjoy and ponder on what Volume 2 might bring.
By Dave Halsall