Essential 70s Chicago group soul, on CD for the first time. Contains eight US Top 40 R&B hits.
The Independents were a pretty big deal in the soul world in the early and mid-70s, with an impressive eight R&B chart hits, including a #1 smash – five of which crossed over to the Hot 100 – and two bestselling albums. They had highly capable lead vocalists in Charles Jackson, Marvin Yancy, Maurice Jackson (no relation) and Helen Curry, and in founder members Jackson and Yancy a formidable writing team that kept the hits coming for nearly three years. They also enjoyed the sponsorship of Chi-Town legend Jerry Butler, for whom Jackson wrote several 1970s hits. As prime exponents of Chicago group soul, there aren’t many who can equal their excellence.
This month Kent brings you “Just As Long”, a collection that finally gathers together all of the group’s recordings. An act with such outstanding qualities in every department has long deserved an anthology, so it’s something of a surprise they have been so poorly served in the CD era until now. Anyone who was buying mainstream soul in the early 70s will need no reminder of how great the group’s Wand 45s are. Time has done nothing to impair the brilliance of such hits as ‘Baby I’ve Been Missing You’, the chart-topping ‘Leaving Me’ and their fabulous two-part debut ‘Just As Long As You Need Me’. These and others like them are what kept Chicago soul in the public eye at a time when the Philly sound dominated. Rather than wait until their career was on a downward spiral, the Independents broke up while they were still full of potential and scoring big on the charts. It’s a shame they didn’t record more, but what they left is all here in this vital compilation.