A second collection drawn from the great Van McCoy’s songbook, showcasing many in-demand dance-oriented gems.
It’s been a while coming but our second collection of songs written by Van McCoy is finally here. It may have taken longer than expected for “This Is It!” to reach fruition but we are glad to bring you a selection we feel is as strong as, if not stronger than, 2010’s “The Sweetest Feeling” (CDKEND 334), our first exploration of his songbook. The 48 songs anthologised over our two CDs are but a small fraction of the approximately 300 he wrote between 1959 and 1979. This new collection serves as a memorial to Van, who packed a lot into his career and was just 39 when he died 40 years ago this July.
Whereas “The Sweetest Feeling” covered 1962-1973, “This Is It!” continues through Van’s most commercially successful years and comes to an end in 1977. The content showcases many of his most popular dance-oriented tracks but slowies have not been overlooked entirely. As well as northern soul favourites by Sandi Sheldon, Kenny Carlton, the Vonettes and others, there are several of Van’s most commercially successful songs and productions, including Melba Moore’s title track and Gladys Knight & the Pips’ UK chart monster ‘Baby Don’t Change Your Mind’. You will hear from artists whose association with Van spanned a significant chunk of their careers and others who cut just one or two of his compositions. One thing they all have in common is that their recordings of his songs are generally considered to be among the best they ever made.
Following his chart-topping hit with the instrumental ‘The Hustle’ in 1975, Van began to invest more time in his own career as an artist. However, as can be seen from the later tracks in this collection, he was still up for as much writing, arranging and production work as ever. In the final year of his life he produced albums and singles on Aretha Franklin, Johnny Nash, Thelma Houston, Tommie Young, Zulema and Stacy Lattisaw. Van may have left us too soon but the records that bear his name in some capacity will live forever in the hearts of record collectors the world over.