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THE WHOLE TRUTH...

Tuesday, 23 November 2010 19:47 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

shapesAs 2010 draws to an end the imaginative little TRU THOUGHTS label releases its second 'SHAPES' compilation of the year. Put together by head man Robert Luis, it offers a sparkling 30 tracks from right across the label's output, but like all previous 'Shapes' sets, it's not just a re-hash of old cuts. The set, you see, boasts more previously unreleased and exclusive cuts than any earlier 'Shapes' albums, while many of the tunes here have only ever been available on limited edition vinyl.

There are lots of highlights and what you choose may well depend on your mood – with the first CD being a little more laid back and the second aimed more at the dance floor. My hat-trick picks would be The Lanu Remix of Kylie Auldist's 'Community Service Announcement', the reggae-infused Boub tweak of Alice Russell's' 'Hurry On Now' and a lovely, simple acoustic remix of the Bamboos' 'Like Tears In The Rain' (featuring that Auldist girl again!).

Those with more energetic feet and more adventurous ears will find their own faves.... the album – SHAPES 10:02 – from TRU THOUGHTS hits the racks on December 6th.

 

THE WHOLE TAMMI...

Friday, 19 November 2010 14:40 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

tammiMotown collectors will be delighted at the December release of a wonderful two CD album that brings together everything the lovely TAMMI TERRELL recorded as a solo artist. 'Come On And See Me... The Complete Solo Collection' (Hip-O Select) offers a career-spanning 50 tracks that begin with her time at Scepter/Wand, before moving on to her brief time with JAMES BROWN; from there the album focuses on her stint with Chess/Checker before culminating in her golden period at Motown.

The album features ten previously unreleased tracks – including TAMMI'S only known live recordings and despite the titling, two of the cuts are actually duets. The Chess recoding 'If I Would Marry You' is a duet with JIMMY RADCLIFFE while the Motown recording 'Kissing In The Shadows' features TAMMI in tandem with JOHNNY BRISTOL.

Taken as a whole the album shows that despite her comparative youth, TAMMI was a consummate soul stylist and begs the question as to what she might have achieved had she lived. As we mark the 40th anniversary of her sad passing, the album allows us to celebrate a major and sorely missed talent. Full review on SJF soon.

 

REISSUE SOUL FEST...

Friday, 19 November 2010 14:38 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

dynamicThrough a new deal with Cherry Red Records, DAVID NATHAN'S label - soulmusic.com - has just made available a whole raft of collectable soul albums. Possibly of most interest is a twofer on underrated Motown group, THE DYNAMIC SUPERIORS. The quintet, who hailed from Washington, came to Motown at the end of 1974 and, working with ASHFORD and SIMPSON they recorded two superb albums – an eponymous debut (January '75) and July '75's 'Pure Pleasure'. Neither has been available on CD before and soulmusic.com is proud to present both LPs in one great package and listening, you'll soon realize that there was more to the band than 'Shoe Shoe Shine'.

Other new albums from the label include a two CD set on THE STYLISTICS (pairing the TEDDY RANDAZZO helmed sets 'In Fashion' and 'Love Spell'), a twofer from the CHI-LITES (76's 'Happy Being Lonely' and 77's 'The Fantastic Ch-Lites') and a pair of collections from MTUME... one pairs 'Kiss This World Goodbye' with 'In Search Of The Rainbow Seekers', the other offers 1986's concept, 'Theatre Of The Mind'.

Lots more goodies on other Cherry Red family labels too – notably the pairing of RAMSEY LEWIS' 'Upendo Ni Pamoja' with 'Sun Goddess', KING CURTIS' 'Music For Dancing The Twist' (which features DON COVAY) and two albums from A TASTE OF HONEY. Full reviews on SJF very, very soon.

 

COMPETITION WINNERS....

Wednesday, 17 November 2010 21:46 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

ministryThanks to all those who entered our MINISTRY OF SOUND DISCO ANTHEMS competition. As ever we had a sack load of entries, most of whom submitted the correct answer to our question as to the authorship of ODYSSEY'S 'Going Back To My Roots' – it was, of course, LAMONT DOZIER.

Sadly there can only be five winners and they are –GRAHAM ROBERTS of Great Yarmouth, KEITH POPE of Inverness, JAN LASKOWSKI of Hillingdon, ALAN COSTA from Brighton and LAMBIE FATA from deepest, darkest Australia! Copies of the album on their way to them very soon courtesy of our good friends at the Ministry.... in the meantime go to our reviews pages to check out SJF's thoughts on the album.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 November 2010 21:49

 

DIANA ROSS BROUGHT TO BOOK....

Wednesday, 17 November 2010 21:43 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

dianaOf all the great soul divas no one polarizes opinion more than DIANA ROSS. To some she got to where she is because of who she knew not how she sang while to others she's the soul goddess Supreme, blessed with huge charisma and a soulful depth to boot! Writer IAN PHILIPS clearly falls in to that second camp. He's been a fan of Ms. R since he first heard 'Stop In The Name Of Love' back in the 1980s and he's been smitten ever since. IAN is one of those besotted fans who travel to every ROSS gig when she's in the UK... the ones who snaffle up all the centre, front row seats and sing along to all the hits and throw the bouquets at the end. ROSS-expert bar non, IAN has just realized a long standing ambition – to publish a book about his heroine... and it's just hit the sales racks.

'DIANA QUEEN OF MOTOWN' (published by Bank House Books) is, as you can imagine from what I've said, a huge tribute to DIANA. Interestingly, it's not a biography as such. Rather it's an overview of her lengthy career achieved by examining her recording/film/ key performance output in chronological order. It's a great concept but because of where the writer's coming from there's nothing here that's objective. We lurch from one gushing appraisal to the next and the key events in the story (e.g. the sacking of FLORENCE BALLARD, ROSS'S relationship with BERRY GORDY etc ) are glossed over in a perfunctory way. So we learn nothing that's new.

Sadly, too, the text is peppered with errors – (e.g. DAVID RUFFIN wasn't the lead voice on the TEMPTATIONS' 'The Way You Do The Thing You Do' and 'The Impossible Dream' wasn't an ELVIS PRESLEY original, rather a show song from 'Man Of La Mancha') and IAN'S asides might raise a few eyebrows too – "In my opinion, Dennis (Edwards) was a more outstanding and gifted vocalist than David (Ruffin)"... well, more aggressive, louder... maybe, but better? Taken together, the errors and the opinions undermine some of the writer's credibility. Equally there's a whole "tribute" section at the end which seems a little pointless. The tributes come from people like LYNDA LAURENCE, SCHERRIE PAYNE, various members of the VANDELLAS and the MARVELETTES, LEEE JOHN (of IMAGINATION) and DAVID and CARRIE GRANT. Interestingly there's nothing from MARY WILSON or indeed any of ROSS'S more immediate circle.

That said the book is well presented in a most attractive package – though, given that the text is largely based on an assessment of DIANA'S albums it might have been an idea to use album pack shots for illustration. Still, for Ms ROSS'S legions of fans the book will be treasured ... if only to confirm what they already believe, and with Christmas around the corner I can see it filling many a stocking.

DIANA QUEEN OF MOTOWN by IAN PHILIPS is available now and is published by Bank House Books.

 

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