Friday, 06 December 2019 12:00 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altLast month we highlighted the new mix on PETER SYMPHORIEN'S raw 'This Ever Changing World'. The new tweak clocked in at at just over 7 minutes... maybe a bit too long for some? Well to help out, radio jock, JOHN LEECH has sliced it down to a more manageable 4 minutes.... this "radio edit" is out now!

Last Updated on Friday, 06 December 2019 12:12



Thursday, 05 December 2019 19:40 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt'American Graffiti' is the title of a classic George Lucas movie that focused on coming of age stories in the late 50s and early 60s and the soundtrack reflected what, to many was (indeed is) a Golden Age of American pop music. 'NEW YORK GRAFFITI' is the title of a wonderful new 4 Cd, 107 track compilation from Cherry Red's RPM imprint that covers much the same period but comes at things from a slightly different angle.

Subtitled '1619 – 1750 Broadway... an Independent American Pop Story 1958-1968', the collection focuses on the pop music created around that part of Broadway that centred on the legendary Brill Building. More specifically it looks at the records that came out of the plethora of independent song publishers and small record labels that eventually came under the control of Edward (Ed) Kassner and what was to become his President label/publishing conglomerate.

Don't expect too many big names here nor too many smash hits; but that doesn't take anything away from the quality, intrigue and relevance of the music. Indeed it makes the whole package that much more important for collectors.

"Big" names... well yes... not too many. But take a listen to the cuts from "Neil and Jack" and you'll hear the familiar tones of a certain Neil Diamond! While soul anoraks will know that the album's Shirley Elliston became Shirley Ellis while Doris Willingham whose beaty 'You Can't Do That' closes the collection was soon to morph into deep soul queen Doris Duke! Elsewhere there are cuts from Richard "Some Other Guy" Barrett and Bobby "Montego Bay" Bloom while he was with The Imaginations.

The music is offered chronologically and ranges from doo-wop through to early soul and from novelty songs to classic 60s pop...with lots of other flavours in the mix too. The biggest hit here is Marcie Blane's 'Bobby's Girl' (covered in the UK by Susan Maughan) but you can also hear a version of 'Prisoner Of Love' (from Billy Duke) cut long before James Brown's take and plenty more (like Bobby Sherman's 'Do You Wanna Dance') that will set bells ringing. Interestingly, seeing as how in the 50s and early 60s UK singers aped their US counterparts, 'NEW YORK GRAFFITI' offers plenty of mid 60s US beat groups (like the Druids and the Barbarians) doing their hardest to copy the Merseybeat sound!

The box comes beautifully packaged and has a full essay and extensive recording information and archive pix.... a great Christmas present for any serious music collector!

Last Updated on Friday, 06 December 2019 19:48



Monday, 02 December 2019 21:16 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altLast month we spotlighted SOUL 4 REAL.... an indie soul label that specialises in releasing quality soul on 7" vinyl. We highlighted three of their singles in their catalogue of nine records – one from Calvin Richardson, the other two from Jimmy Gresham.

Here's a rundown of Soul 4 Real's other singles, starting with possibly the most eye catching... two previously "new" 2015 sides from PRINCE PHILLIP MITCHELL.... 'Just The Beginning' / 'Something New To Do'. Two classic Mitchell sounds ... the first an alternative version of one of his well-known items, while the latter is his version of a song maybe better known in the Bobby Sheen version.

Fans of group soul will be delighted by two singles offering four cuts from THE MASQUERADERS. The first 7" pairs 'Prophet Of Love' / 'You´re The One' while the second offers 'Oh My Goodness' / 'We Fell In Love'. There's a tougher group sound on the ANGLOS' 'Broke Down Piece Of Man'/'Four Walls Of Gloom'. The former is a cover of a Sam and Dave song and, listening, it's easy to hear why when their best known outing, 'Incense' was released in the UK, many thought that the lead singer was Stevie Winwood!

Soul 4 Real's remaining two releases represent the best of southern country flavoured soul. DAN PENN'S 'Blue In the Heart' / 'Time To Get Over You' have the flavour of demos and anoraks might well know 'Blue In The Heart' in the Irma Thomas version. WILSON WILLIAMS was the cousin of Jerry "Swamp Dogg" Williams and once worked as a member of the Platters; but his Soul 4 Real single offers two of his rare 70s solo outings.... 'Ghost Of Myself' / 'Don´t Let My Foolish Words Keep Us Apart'.

Find out more @


Last Updated on Thursday, 05 December 2019 19:47



Monday, 02 December 2019 21:12 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altFounded by sax man Ben Mendes and drummer Toon Oomen, THE EMINENT STARS are a Europe-based soul, funk and blues instrumental combo who take their inspiration from the music of New Orleans in the 60s and 70s. We last heard of 'em a few years back with the album 'Sittin' In' which featured plenty of Meters-inspired workouts – notably the opening 'Ben's Dungeon' and the feisty and sparse 'Jumping Beans'.

The band now return with a new 9 tracker, 'Bumpin' On' which, more or less, carries on where 'Sittin' In' left off... that's to say , plenty of tough, rough, organic, feisty funk and soul with a European flavour. Highlights include the vocal 'Bar Shift' – the tale of a drunkard in a late night bar and the moody, atmospheric 'Let's Get Together'. The album also offers a nine minute plus medley – 'The Club'/'Tune In' which was recorded live.

THE EMINENT STARS; 'Bumpin' On' is out now on TRAMP RECORDS



Sunday, 01 December 2019 19:34 BILL B E-mailPrintPDF

altEveryone's favourite modern soul man MARC STAGGERS returns to the fray with a little something for Christmas... a double A sided single, no less!

The Staggers siblings, Marc and Ron, have always been loud in the praise and appreciation of Motown and with the new single... 'Missing You' / 'Never Knew Love Like This' they show their appreciation for all things Gordy. The former, with a Christmas message (well it's December now, listen out for the jingle bells!) is solidly built on the chassis of the Supremes' 'You Can't Hurry Love' – bright and brisk; the latter (not the Alex O'Neal/Cherrelle classic, by the way) is bright and brisk too and owes less to Motown and is more what we expect of Mr S. My guess is that the familiar intro to 'Missing You' will win it the plays over the upcoming Christmas season.... out now! Love the cheesy cover art too!!!

Last Updated on Sunday, 01 December 2019 19:39


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