Sunday, 16 October 2011 19:09 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

debargeDEBARGE were one of Motown's great success stories of the 80s. The family band (brothers EL, RANDY, MARK and JAMES along with sister BUNNY) released their first album in 1981 and for the next four years they became chart mainstays. Though their music (an infectious mix of tender ballads and frothy dance tunes) has remained popular, the group's four Motown albums have long been out of print, thwarting both fans and collectors

Now, though, the problem's been solved as Universal - via their Hip-O Select imprint – reissue all four LPs in one beautifully packaged and accurately annotated set – 'Time will Reveal; The Complete Motown Albums'. The 1981 'DeBarges' and '82's 'All This Love' LPs fill the pack's first CD while 'In a Special Way (1983) and 'Rhythm Of The Night' ('85) take care of the second disc.

Collectors though will treasure the set's third CD. This contains 10 cuts – a mix of remixes and rarities. Five of them are previously unreleased and consist of an alternative version of 'All This Love' along with four instrumentals. The whole thing's packed with highlights including STEVIE W's delightful harmonica input to 'Love Me In A Special way' and – as with all Hip-O Select product - there's great art work, annotations and a career overview.

Last Updated on Sunday, 16 October 2011 19:17



Saturday, 15 October 2011 11:19 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

jean_wellsbbe Records (Barely Breaking Even) have just released their autumn offerings ... four varied and enigmatic albums, of which the clear standout is a wonderful retrospective on soul diva JEAN WELLS. Rightly titled 'SOUL ON SOUL', the 24 tracker is an almighty sweep through the Florida-born soulstress' back catalogue. With sleeve notes by the redoubtable DEAN RUDLAND, the album features classics like 'Have A Little Mercy', 'If You Ever Loved Somebody', 'What Have I Got To Lose' and 'After Loving You' . This new release is essentially a re-run of Kent's 1994 long-deleted CD on JEAN but as a bonus here we get three previously unreleased tracks. Listening, it easy to hear why JEAN'S work was  championed by key soul taste makers like DAVE GODIN and more recently  by RALPH TEE. There'll be a full review of this epic, must-have, proper soul release on SJF very soon.

The second bbe release is very different but enigmatically intriguing; it's 'Deep Impressions' from KATALYST. KATALYST is the alter ego of Aussie ASHLEY ANDERSON. ANDERSON made his earliest recordings using the MOONROCK name and he enjoyed some success when his music appeared on the famed Cafe Del Mar albums. In 2002 he debuted as KATALYST with 'Manipulative Agent' – an award winner down under. 'Deep Impressions' is his third full album and features input from people like STEPHANIE McKAY, MR CLEAN, JADE MACRAE, STEVE SPACEK, BOOTIE BROWN, BUFF 1 and THE COIN LOCKER KID who brings 21st century vibes to a version of SHIRLEY ELLIS' 'The Clapping Song'.

GIT'S 'Imagination' (the third of bbe's new albums) is an experimental hip-hop set. The sounds have underground appeal and are built around electronic samples and heavy drum breaks, while the fourth new bbe set is even more futuristic. JULIEN DYNE'S 'Glimpse' comprises of 19 futuristic tracks which are heavy on layered harmonies and percussion.

Last Updated on Saturday, 15 October 2011 12:41



Thursday, 13 October 2011 19:04 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

MJThe never-ending story that is MICHAEL JACKSON rolls on as the singer's estate collaborates with Epic Records for another "new" album. This time around MJ's music gets the famed CIRQUE DU SOLEIL treatment. The Quebec-based organization stages spectacular music/multi-media/dance extravaganzas that incorporate circus skills, massive light shows and much, much more, and after wowing audiences in Las Vegas for several years, CIRQUE DU SOLEIL now presents 22 shows all over the world.

One of their most famous shows was based around the music of THE BEATLES and the subsequent FAB FOUR album, 'Love' (produced by SIR GEORGE MARTIN and his son, GILES) became a best seller.

That success has inspired the organization to work on the music of MICHAEL JACKSON and the result is not only a show but the new album 'Immortal'. The album comes in both a de-luxe double disc version and as a single CD, and it sees musical designer KEVIN ANTUNES take a fresh, creative approach to redesigning more than 40 of MJ's best tunes. It's taken ANTUNES over a year to create what he calls "a powerful tapestry that will allow listeners to enjoy a new soundscape".

You can find out more @



Friday, 07 October 2011 15:50 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF  were proud to be amongst the first media outlets to champion indie soul maven, MAYER HAWTHORNE (check out our 2009 interview with him). Now comfortably signed with Universal/Island, the man who has consistently wowed both tastemakers and soul lovers alike throughout the past two years is all set to drop his brand new LP – 'How Do You Do'.

The 12 tracker is stuffed with MAYER'S unique take on the sounds of classic soul. Echoing through the album are flavours of THE DELFONICS, CURTIS MAYFIELD, THE ESQUIRES and many more. There's a few surprises too – a BEATLE flavour here, a hint of STEELY DAN there and all topped with a guest appearance from SNOOP DOGG.

It's all most intriguing and typified by the lead single – 'The Walk'. The catchy and seemingly innocuous 60's soul groove is underpinned by a vitriolic lyric. Full review of the album on SJF very soon.


PHILLY @ 40...

Friday, 07 October 2011 14:29 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

Philadelphia-International-Records-logoPHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL RECORDS is forty years old! HARMLESS RECORDS are kick starting the celebrations with the release of a two CD, 21 track re-mix project – 'Philadelphia International: The Re-Edits'. The label has brought in top international remixers and producers to tweak some venerated Philly war horses and thankfully people like DJ APT ONE, JIMMY THE TWIN, J*SKI, and the MORNING STAR team have approached the matter with total respect for the originals.

The first CD in the pack is labelled 'Uptempo Good Time Philly ' and features classics like 'Satisfaction Guaranteed', 'Message In Our Music' and 'Life On Mars' while the second CD is tagged 'Mellow Slinky Philly'. Here you'll find the new takes on stuff like 'Was That All There Was', 'Nights Over Egypt' and 'Darlin' Darlin' Baby'.

The compilation will be followed by a comprehensive 'Philadelphia International 40th Anniversary Box Set' .... and there's lots more in the 2012 pipeline. You can see an outline of the 40th anniversary activities and releases by going to

Last Updated on Friday, 07 October 2011 14:38


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