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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Carl AndersonProtocol (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Epic/FTG, 1985. New Copy ... $9.99 13.98
A great set in the short run of classics that Carl Anderson cut for Columbia Records in the 1980s – albums that never cracked the charts that strongly at the time, but which have gone on to be remembered well over the years! On this record, Anderson nicely balances a tight groove with some looser, more personal vocals – in the process avoiding some of the stiffer cliches of the Columbia hitmaking crowd of the time – and reminding us that the label could still come up with classy, well-rounded soul efforts like this! Titles include "Let's Talk", "Can't Stop This Feeling", "Love On Ice", "Girl I Won't Take No", "Saving My Love For You", "Somebody Up There Likes Me", and "What Will Happen Now". Bonus cuts include "Let's Talk (UK rmx)", "Light Me", and "Can't Stop This Feeling (12" ext version)". CD

Close matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Ron BanksTruly Bad ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1983. New Copy ... $13.99
One of the original Dramatics, singer Ron Banks strikes out here on his own – a slept on gem from the early 80s! The set's in a similar modern soul mode to LJ Reynolds, who also worked with him in the group, and was having a bit of a solo career of his own at the time. It's got sort of a D-Train feel to it – with classic male soul vocals over instrumentation that includes some slight electro touches, especially on keyboards and drum programs. Banks keeps the whole thing nice and soulful, thanks to some great vocal work, which you'll hear on the smooth mellow track "Let Love Flow", which has a beautiful down-tempo groove, and a nice two-step beat – plus the other mellow tracks like "Make It Easy On Yourself" and "You and Me". Uptempo club cuts include "Truly Bad", "Zap", and "She's So Good to Me". CD
Also available Truly Bad ... LP 14.99

Close matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Keith BarrowPhysical Attraction (with bonus tracks) ... CD
CBS/FTG, 1978. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
A great secular set from Keith Barrow – a singer who started in gospel, but who's always been best-remembered for this modern soul gem from the 70s! Keith's got a great range to his vocals – one you can hear right from the start, as he dips and soars effortlessly with a quality that's clearly inspired by the spirit – but set here to some wicked smooth soul arrangements from Johnny Allen. The album's got a mix of clubby moments and some even better laidback cuts – and the set also features a few tunes penned by Ronn Matlock, an under-credited master of modern soul. Titles include "Turn Me Up", "Physical Attraction", "You Know You Want To Be Loved", "If It's Love That You're Looking For", "Garden Of Love", and "Free To Be Me". CD features bonus tracks – "Turn Me Up (special disco version)", "Turn Me Up (inst)", "Physical Attraction (12" mix)", and "You Know You Want To Be Loved (7" mix)". CD

Close matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Bionic BoogieHot Butterfly (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Polydor/FTG, 1978. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
A dancefloor classic! The album's the second by Gregg Diamond's Bionic Boogie, and head and shoulders above the rest – a sublime blend of soul and club that's hardly been matched again! Diamond manages to make things groove, but never loses sight of the soulful styles that make the record so great – and works here with key contributions from a young Luther Vandross, who gives the album some of the same strong vocal arrangements he brought to his own first two albums on Atlantic! Luther sings lead on the album's legendary track "Hot Butterfly", and works in a group with Cissy Houston on other tracks – sweetly soaring with vocals that go far beyond most disco efforts of the time. Simply sublime, and with classics that include "Hot Butterfly", "Paradise", "Cream (Always Rises To The Top)", "Chains", and "When The Sh*t Hits The Fan (Rocket Pocket)". Includes 4 bonus cuts too – "Hot Butterfly (Jim Burgess disco rmx)", "Chains (Gregg Diamond spectacular rmx)", "Fess Up To The Boogie (Gregg Diamond disco rmx)", and "Chains (Jim Burgess disco rmx)". CD
Also available Hot Butterfly (Japanese pressing) ... CD 13.99

Close matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
BrothersDon't Stop Now (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1976. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
Great stuff – and the kind of group that would be easy to overlook if the tracks weren't so good! The Brothers were clearly some sort of a studio project designed to cash in on the disco craze – and they included Bhen Lanzaroni on keyboards, who'd also recorded a bit on his own as a studio player. The record's not hard-hitting funk, but it does have a smooth instrumental disco sound that's got a lot of nice jazzy touches, and which never lapses into the cliches you'd expect. The band were hip enough to cover Antonio Carlos & Jocafi's classic Brazilian groover "Voce Abousou", done here with vocals on the chorus only – and they come up with some nice numbers on their own, like "Make Love", "Brothers Theme", "Don't Stop Now", and "Under The Skin". This CD version is loaded with bonus tracks, too, including "Brothers Theme (12" Version)", "Make Move (12" Version)", "Under The Skin (12" Promo Version)", "Don't Stop Now (7" Version)", "The Word Is A Mess (7" Version)", "Brothers Theme (7" Version)" and "Voce Abousou (Vo-Say Ah-Bu-So) (7" Version)". CD

Close matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Keni BurkeChanges (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1981. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
A standout solo moment from the amazing Keni Burke – an artist who's come a long way from his youthful start in the 5 Stairsteps! Keni had recorded other adult work by the time of this early 80s set, but Changes is easily his best-remembered album – a masterpiece of 80s groove, all arranged and produced by Burke – who also played a fair bit of the music on the set as well! The tunes are upbeat and grooving – often with a rhythm that goes nicely right down the middle, and never tries to be too funky or clubby. This groove is epitomized by Burke's classic "Risin' To The Top" – a tune that's been sampled heavily over the years, to great fame – and which is probably the lasting legacy of this set. But the whole album's totally great – sophisticated 80s groove at its best – with other cuts that include "Who Do You Love", "Shakin", "Can't Get Enough", "Changes", "All Night", and "Hang Tight". CD features bonus tracks – "Shakin (7" mix)", "Can't Get Enough (7" mix)", and "Risin To The Top (7" mix)". CD

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Keni BurkeYou're The Best (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1982. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
A really wonderful album from Keni Burke – recorded around the same time as his classic Changes set, and in some ways even better than that record! The set's got a fantastic mellow soul feel – lots of tracks that are uptempo, but which manage to hang onto a soulful finish that really sends the whole set home – a groove that's never too forced, and which has keep this one at the top of list of classics over years! Burke's hitting a rare space that we'd only allow to a few – like Leroy Hutson or Webster Lewis. Keni's come a long long way from the 5 Stairsteps by this point – and he's never sounded so great! Titles include "Let Somebody Love You", "You're the Best", "Night Riders", and "Gotta Find My Way Back In Your Heart". Keni produced, wrote, and arranged the whole thing! CD features bonus tracks – "You're The Best (7" mix)", "You're The Best (12" mix)", "Night Riders (7" mix)", "Night Riders (12" mix)", "Let Somebody Love You (7" mix)", and "Let Somebody Love You (inst)". CD
Also available You're The Best (Japanese pressing) ... CD 19.99

Close matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Jenny BurtonJenny Burton (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Atlantic/FTG, 1985. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
A classic from Jenny Burton – only the singer's second album as a solo act, but already a set that has Jenny hitting on all burners! The mellow numbers are great – never sleepy or too commercial, but pushed into just the right blend of polish and soul – and the groovers have some electro touches that hint back and Burton's start working with John Robie – modes that are underdone here in ways that hold together a lot more strongly than the usual electro dancefloor cut. Some production is by Maurice Starr – and cuts include "Dancing For My Love", "Bad Habits", "Once In A Lifetime Love", "Load It Up", and "Love Runs Deeper Than Pride". CD features bonus tracks – "Bad Habits (7" version)", "Dancing For My Love (voc)", and "Dancing For My Love (dub)". CD

Close matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
ChansonChanson (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Ariola/FTG, 1978. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
A sweet little set from Chanson – a duo formed by a funky bassist and guitarist – who both bring a really strong focus to the rhythms on this set! The pair also get lots of great studio help from top-shelf talents on the instrumentation – key jazzy session players, as well as a number of members of Earth Wind & Fire – who seem to support the same soulful balance between funk and club of that classic group, taken to slightly more of a disco space by Chanson! The instrumentation is key – very well-crafted, and clearly the first element of the tunes before the vocals – although those are great too, and really serve as icing on the cake! Titles include "Don't Hold Back", "Why", "Did You Ever", "All The Time You Need", "I Love You More", and "I Can Tell". CD features four bonus tracks – 7" single mixes of four tracks on the album! CD

Close matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
ChansonTogether We Stand (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Ariola/FTG, 1979. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
The cover's a bit unassuming, and almost makes this set look like some throwaway disco album – but Chanson's got a lot more to offer than that, and groove tightly here in a really great modern soul vein! The rhythms are strong and bold – forged by the duo of bassist James Jamerson and guitarist David Williams – with a lean vibe that's somewhere in the space of Columbia Records modern soul of the time, with all the depth that might imply – but with plenty of clubby touches too! Key players include Harvey Mason on drums and Donald Myrick on sax – both players who give the record a really top-shelf, all-quality groove. Titles include "Rock Don't Stop", "Sing All Night", "Jack Be Nimble", "Magic Carpet Ride", and "Make It Happen". CD features bonus tracks – "Jack Be Nimble (12" mix)" and "Rock Don't Stop (12" mix)". CD

Close matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Chocolate MilkBlue Jeans (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1981. New Copy ... $13.99
One of the best later albums by Chocolate Milk – a bit different than their earlier work with Allen Toussaint, but still bouncing along in a sweet 80s groove, with more than enough traces of their roots as a funky combo! Leo Nocentelli's sitting in on guitar, adding some nice licks to keep some tracks a bit more firmly grounded in a New Orleans funk tradition, alongside some more modern production touches – and the album's got a compelling vibe that's partly pointed towards the boogie generation of the 80s, but with a heavier funk component overall! Titles include "Let's Go All The Way", "Like My Lady's Love", "Honey Bun", "Running On Empty", "Blue Jeans", and a version of Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long". CD also features 7" single mixes of "Honey Bun", "Take It Off", "Like My Lady's Love", and "Blue Jeans" – plus 12" mixes of "Video Queen", "Let's Go All The Way", and "Who's Getting It Now". CD
Also available Blue Jeans ... LP 5.99

Close matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Chocolate MilkComin' (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1976. Used ... $13.99
Wicked funk from Chocolate Milk – and a set that perfectly combines their deep New Orleans roots with the tighter sound the Crescent City was brewing up in the mid 70s! The group work closely here with producer Allen Toussaint – and really show that stronger use of studio technology that Toussaint was perfecting at the time – a mode used famously in work for bigger artists, but which is totally perfect here to bring an even greater focus to the sound of the group! There's loads of sharp-stepping basslines and drums at the bottom, mixed with a cool compressed sound at the top – a way of being a bit smooth, yet still pretty darn funky all the way through. The mellower cuts are especially great – never sleepy, but slow grooving in a really badass way – and titles include "Comin", "Do Onto Others", "Starbright", "Feel the Need", and "Something New". CD features three bonus tracks – 7 inch mixes of "Starbright", "Something New", and "Comin". CD

Close matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Angela ClemmonsAngela Clemmons (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Portrait/FTG, 1982. New Copy ... $13.99
Soaring vocals from Angela Clemmons – a set that really has an amazing range, and a depth of sound that goes way past the usual from Epic Records at the time! Angela's got a way of stretching out right from the start – inflecting the lyrics with a rich power that easily matches or beats some of her bigger-name contemporaries at the time – and which really help give an extra something special to the record. Production is by Paul Leka, and a number of songs were written by Michael Brown – and the pair really help give the whole thing a personal feel, and keep the set from being just another run of the mill mainstream soul album from the early 80s. Titles include "Giving It Away", "Fill You Up", "Uneasy", "When You're Through I'll Be Waiting", "Mine", and "Sure Thing". CD features two bonus tracks – "Out Here On My Own (7" mix)", and "Give Me Just A Little More Time (12" mix)". CD

Close matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Norman ConnorsTake It To The Limit (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Arista/FTG, 1980. New Copy ... $13.99
Killer work from the mighty Norman Connors – a set that's heavy on grooves, but which has all the jazzy depth of his early work too! The set features arrangements by some killer modern soul talents – Al Johnson, McKinley Jackson, and Paul Riser – who beautifully blend their own sweet touches with Connors' rich ideas – carried out here with some sublime vocals by Al Johnson himself, plus work from Jean Carn, Glenn Johnson, Adaritha, and The Jones Girls too! The instrumental vibe is as strong as well – with great solos from Freddie Hubbard on trumpet and Gary Bartz on alto – and the combination of all these talents alone is testament to the continuing great vision of Norman Connors – one of the few cats who could make an album like this work so well! Titles include a great version of Steely Dan's "Black Cow", plus "Melancholy Fire", "Take It To The Limit", "Justify", "You've Been On My Mind", and an excellent remake of "I Don't Need Nobody Else". CD features three bonus tracks – "Melancholy Fire (7" mix)", "Take It To The Limit (12" mix)", and "Take It To The Limit (7" mix)". CD

Close matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
D TrainMiracles Of The Heart (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1986. Used ... $8.99
James D-Train Williams' first album for a major label – and a really great follow-up to the indie success of his initial recordings for Prelude Records! The style here is very similar to the clubby grooves of D-Train's earlier sides – thanks to strong keyboards, production, and songwriting help from Hubert Eaves – the jazzy talent who helped give Williams' his trademark sound! Instrumentation veers slightly more towards mainstream 80s soul at times, but the Eaves' sound is still very firmly in place here – and titles include the groovers "Oh How I Love You (Girl)", "Misunderstanding", and "Let Me Love You" – plus "You Are Everything", "I Got Your Number", "Stand Up & Fight", and "Miracle Of The Heart". CD features some great bonus ttracks – "Oh How I Love You (12" mix)", "You Are Everything (acapella)", "Misunderstanding (12" mix)", "Misunderstanding (acapella & house dub)", "Let Me Love You (12" mix)", and "Let Me Love You (dub)". CD
Also available Miracles Of The Heart (plus bonus tracks) ... CD 2.99

Close matches16
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
First CircleBoys Night Out (with bonus tracks) ... CD
EMI/FTG, 1987. Used ... $12.99
An overlooked killer from First Circle – the only album ever cut by this obscure Brooklyn group, and a sweet set of 80s groove all the way through! There's a tight bounce to the whole record – thanks in part to production from Randy Muller, who gives the set the same focus and energy as his work at the time with Brass Construction – but minus the brass, of course! Randy plays keyboards on the record, and those keys really dominate the overall groove – stepping tightly over bassy bottoms, with a rhythmic focus that almost outweighs the vocals – making lots of these cuts perfect for mixing and dropping on an 80s-styled dancefloor. Titles include "Workin Up A Sweat", "Miracle Worker", "Can't Find A Love", "In The Name Of Love", "Boys' Night Out", and "You're On My Mind". CD features 4 bonus tracks – all 12" mixes of cuts off the album. CD
(Out of print.)

Close matches17
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Full ForceFull Force (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1985. New Copy ... $9.99 13.98
Full Force getting busy in a mid 80s groove – the first set the group cut as a headline attraction – and a nice mix of 80s post electro R&B with plenty of influences from the hip hop producers of the time! The group's biggest crossover success was as the songwriting and production force behind some huge hits of the day, from UTFO to Lisa Lisa and many points between – and their own records were a unique mix of period group R&B and rap production that proved to be quite influential. 80s club funk, soul and a couple ballads from Full Force! Titles includes "Alice, I Want You Just For Me!", "Unselfish Lover", "Please Stay", "United", "Girl If You Take Me Home", "Half A Chance", "Let's Dance Against The Wall" and more. This CD version has 4 bonus tracks: "Alice (Bang Zoom)", "Girl (Funky Fresh Def Mix)", "So Unselfish (It's Okay, It's Okay): and "Let's Dance Against The Wall (12" Mix)". CD

Close matches18
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
GirlsGirl Talk (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1984. New Copy ... $13.99
An overlooked girl group from the 80s – but one who step out here with a sound to rival the hits of artists like Vanity 6 or The Mary Jane Girls! Like both of those acts, The Girls get help here from a bigger soul artist in the studio – Minneapolis giant Andre Cymone, who wrote and produced the record with a vibe that's very similar to his own albums of the time! Cymone always had some of the tightest grooves in the world of early 80s funk – and this album's filled with his trademark beats and basslines, and those lean keyboard lines that lay in plenty of punch underneath the vocals. The Girls sing with a style that's less harmonic than a triple-threat lead – and their catchy approach works well with the lyrics of the tunes. Titles include "Women & Men", "Don't Waste My Time", "SESEX", "Nu Boy", "My Man", and "What Do I See In You". CD features bonus tracks – "Don't Waste My Time (single mix)", "My Man (single)", "SESEX (12" voc)", and "SESEX (inst)". CD

Close matches19
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Billy GriffinBe With Me (with bonus tracks) ... CD
CBS/FTG, 1982. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
Stellar solo material from ex-Miracles mainmain Billy Griffin – a singer with the same great range as Smokey Robinson in the original incarnation of that group, really sounding great here on his own! Billy's got this high-soaring style that really works great for the album's blend of modern soul groovers and mellower moments – a quality that was perfected when Griffin was singing with The Miracles on late 70s Columbia Records. John Barnes produced and arranged the set, but Billy helped a lot with the tunes – and titles include the killer "Hold Me Tighter In The Rain" – a snapping bit of boogie that never gets old – plus "2nd Day Love Story", "Understand", "Stone's Throw From Heaven", "The Beat Is Getting Stronger", "Love Is Not A Word", "Be With Me", and "Breaking Out". CD features bonus tracks – "Hold Me Tighter In The Rain (7" mix)", "Be With Me (7" mix)", "Be With Me (12" mix)", "Be With Me (special new club mix)", and "2nd Day Love Story (7" mix)". CD

Close matches20
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Billy GriffinRespect (with bonus tracks) ... CD
CBS/FTG, 1983. New Copy ... $13.99
An even leaner groove than usual for Billy Griffin – a set that makes great use of 80s keyboards and basslines, which turn out to be a great fit for Griffin's wonderful voice! Billy's got this sharp, uncluttered style of singing – a mode first forged as the lead for The Miracles, then on his previous solo debut – taken even further here with arranger/producer John Barnes, who co-wrote most of the songs here with Griffin. The groove is tight, but also laidback – never slavishly looking for chart hooks, and instead inside just the right sophisticated space to match Griffin's maturing approach. Titles include "Save Your Love For Me", "Respect", "Serious", "So Many Ways", "Don't Ask Me To Be Friends", and "Dreaming". CD features bonus 7" mixes of "Save Your Love For Me", "Respect", "Serious", and "So Many Ways". CD
Also available
Respect ... CD 11.99
Respect (with bonus tracks) ... CD 8.99

Close matches21
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Billy GriffinRespect (with bonus tracks) ... CD
CBS/FTG, 1983. Used ... $8.99
An even leaner groove than usual for Billy Griffin – a set that makes great use of 80s keyboards and basslines, which turn out to be a great fit for Griffin's wonderful voice! Billy's got this sharp, uncluttered style of singing – a mode first forged as the lead for The Miracles, then on his previous solo debut – taken even further here with arranger/producer John Barnes, who co-wrote most of the songs here with Griffin. The groove is tight, but also laidback – never slavishly looking for chart hooks, and instead inside just the right sophisticated space to match Griffin's maturing approach. Titles include "Save Your Love For Me", "Respect", "Serious", "So Many Ways", "Don't Ask Me To Be Friends", and "Dreaming". CD features bonus 7" mixes of "Save Your Love For Me", "Respect", "Serious", and "So Many Ways". CD
Also available
Respect (with bonus tracks) ... CD 13.99
Respect ... CD 11.99

Close matches22
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Major HarrisHow Do You Take Your Love ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1978. New Copy ... $13.99
One of the few 70s albums from the wonderful Major Harris as a solo act – and a lesser-known set that's a great follow up to the Major's previous records for Atlantic! The vibe here is a bit less Philly, but still in that mellow grooving style that works so well for Harris' vocals – a mature modern soul mode, with some excellent production from Jerry Ragovoy, who co-arranged the set with David Matthews. A few of the numbers go for a clubby feel, the best tracks are the mellower ones – which have Harris hitting those mature and personal notes that always made him one of the best romantic male soul singers of his time. Titles include "Lucky Day", "Night Moods", "How Do You Take Your Love", "Pretty Red Lips", "You're So Good You're Bad", "Your Sweet Song", and "This Is Forever". CD

Close matches23
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Michael HendersonDo It All (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Buddah/FTG, 1979. New Copy ... $13.99
Michael Henderson definitely does it all here – mixing jazz and soul and funk with his own strong sense of personality – all at a level that's head and shoulders above most of his contemporaries! Henderson's that rare breed in soul music – part of an elite 70s lineup who were rooted in jazz, able to sing soul, and yet still keep all the depth of their roots in their grooves! At times, Henderson sings with the poise and class of a jazz vocalist – at others, he's got the sensual slink of a R&B giant – always amidst instrumentation that goes way past the obvious, and avoids any of the commercial cliches that were plaguing mainstream soul at the time. There's a really timeless feel to the record – the sort that's kept Henderson at the top of the hip soul stacks for years – and titles include "Wait Until The Rain", "In The Summertime", "Riding", "To Be Loved", "I Do It All", and "Playing On The Real Thing". CD features bonus tracks – 7" mixes of "I Do It All" and "To Be Loved". CD

Close matches24
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Michael HendersonFickle (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Buddah/FTG, 1983. New Copy ... $13.99
A mix of 80s groove and mellower material from Michael Henderson – a sweet extension of the jazzy soul he first laid out in the 70s! The style here is a bit more electric and contemporary than before – less of the deeper, warmer tones – and a bit more synth drums and keyboards. But Henderson's mature, sophisticated approach to soul still holds it all together nicely – hitting its best vibe on the mellower cuts, which still let Michael's wonderful voice find some of its best notes. Titles include the great spacey stepper "Assault With A Friendly Weapon", plus "Love Will Find A Way", "Fickle", "Thin Walls", "You Wouldn't Have To Work At All", "Feeling Like Myself Once Again", and "Whip It", which was previously released, but makes a reappearance here. CD features bonus cuts – "Fickle (inst long)", "Fickle (7" inst)", and "Fickle (12" mix)". CD

Close matches25
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Michael HendersonGoin' Places (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Buddah/FTG, 1977. New Copy ... $13.99
Massive work from Michael Henderson – exactly the kind of record we point to when people ask us what all the fuss is about! Michael perfectly blends funky jazz, mellow fusion, and his own warm style of vocals here – in a sophisticated mix that puts him right at the top of the 70s intelligentsia of soul – with artists like Roy Ayers or Norman Connors – the latter of whom gave Henderson his start as a singer! Yet the album's definitely Michael's own – filled with beautiful original compositions that take his work on bass as their starting point, but move into a sublime array of jazzy elements shaped to suit the spirit of each tune. Titles include the classic mellow stepper "Let Me Love You" – plus other great tracks "I Can't Help It", "Won't You Be Mine", "Whip It", "Goin Places", and "I'll Be Understanding". CD features bonus tracks – including "I Can't Help It (7" version)", "Let Me Love You (7" version)", and "Won't You Be Mine (7" version)". CD

Close matches26
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Michael HendersonWide Receiver (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Buddah/FTG, 1980. New Copy ... $13.99
A soaring standout from Michael Henderson – proof that his move from jazz bassist to lead soul star was a great one! The album's got a tight groove that's right on the money – a style that's rooted in funky jazz, yet delivered with some straight soulful lyrics too – balancing things out perfectly for an audience that Henderson never would have hoped to reach a few years before! The overall format is very much in the style of the Norman Connors blend of jazz and funk – where Henderson got his start as a singer – and the vocals are nicely mixed with some great instrumental lines, too. Titles include "Reach Out For Me", "Wide Receiver", "I Don't Need Nobody Else", "Prove It", and "Ask The Lonely". CD also features bonus tracks – "Wide Receiver (parts 1 & 2)", "We Are Here To Geek You Up (7" version", "We Are Here To Geek You Up (12" version)", and "Can't We Fall In Love Again (7" version)". CD

Close matches27
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Nona HendryxHeat (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1985. New Copy ... $13.99
Nona's last album for RCA – and it's an edgy mid 80s dancefloor soul stormer that really helps solidify just how fearlessly creative Nona was in her solo years – as if we needed to be reminded! Nona's powerful, not-to-be-messed with vocals have the greatest presence of any element – and the production is heavy with terse synths, RX-11 drum programming, fuzzy guitars, sax, trumpet and a great crew of backing vocalists (which includes Fonzi Thornton). You can read that and think of myriad mid 80s albums with similar elements, but there's a hip, arty edge to Nona's work that is really something else. Don't sleep on this one! Includes "Revolutionary Dance", "A Girl Like That', "The Heat" (Part I & Part II), "I Need Love", "If Looks Could Kill (DOA)", "Rock This House" and "Time". This FTG version has 3 bonus tracks: "I Need Love (Extended Version)", "If Looks Could Kill (DOA) (Killer Club Mix)" and "Moving Violations 12" Version)". CD

Close matches28
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Glenn JonesEverybody Loves A Winner (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1983. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
Excellent work by Glenn Jones – even if the original record was only a 5 track EP! The set is one of those strange little records issued in the early 80s, when the music industry was trying to figure out a way to make money between the ever-escalating cost of the LP and the less-popular 12" single – but it easily packs as much punch as most other full length soul records from the same time. Glenn's incredible in the set – showing that he's one of the few really strong soul talents to emerge in the 80s, with a voice that's perfect for tight-grooving tunes and for mellower ballads. There's a fair bit of keyboard work on the set, and Glenn's voice holds strong in a great way – working wonderfully on titles that include "Everybody Loves A Winner", "Thank You For The Love", "I Am Somebody", and "Keep On Doing". CD features a huge amount of bonus tracks – 10 more than the original record – with the unreleased track "Share My Love", plus "I Am Somebody (12" mix)", "Finesse (ext rmx)", "On The Floor (7" version)", "I Am Somebody (7" inst)", "Show Me (7" version)", and other remixes too. CD

Close matches29
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Glenn JonesTake It From Me (plus bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1986. New Copy ... $13.99
Sweet 80s soul from the mighty Glenn Jones – one of the best mainstream singers of his generation, as you'll hear on this set of mellow grooving tunes! Instrumentation's pretty electric at most moments – lots of synth, keyboards, and beats – but Glenn's well-trained vocals bring in a nice sense of humanity and depth to most numbers – especially the mellower tracks, which are really some of the standout moments in the set. Production's handled by La La and Hawk Wolinski – and titles include "Be My Lady", "Love Will Show Us How", "Stay", "Set The Night On Fire", "All Work No Play", and "Take It From Me". CD features 7 more bonus tracks – including "Stay (TV track)", "Giving Myself To You (ext east coast version)", "Talk Me Into It (ext dance mix)", and "Set The Night On Fire (12" rmx)". CD

Close matches30
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Margie JosephKnockout (with bonus tracks) ... CD
HCRC/FTG, 1982. New Copy ... $9.99 13.98
The rare early 80s club soul set from Margie Joseph – kind of an bubbling, synth and programming era departure of the stunning female southern soul singer! The groove is definitely a left turn for Margie, but it's endearing modern club soul – with the dancefloor gem "Knockout" and others like it, plus more laidback gems that more of a showcase for incredible voice – which is still soaring and beautiful at this point! Titles include "Knockout" (special mix), "Moove To The Groove", "Gonna Get You", "Give It To Me", "Pull The Shade", "The One You Can Trust" and more – plus 3 bonus tracks: a re-edit and an extended mix of "Knockout" plus a previously unreleased remix of "Moove To The Groove". CD

Close matches31
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KashifLove Changes (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Arista/FTG, 1987. New Copy ... $9.99 14.98
Exactly the kind of record that shows why Kashif was one of the leading mainstream talents of the 80s – a set that not only has the artist really maturing as a singer, songwriter, and producer – but one that also has him reaching out to bring in a host of other talents from the time as well! The move is no surprise, given that Kashif had lent his talents to so many other artists' records in the past – and the favor seems to be returned by the album's work from Expose, Meli'sa Morgan, Doug E Fresh, Kenny G, Greg Phillinganes, and Whitney Houston – all of whom come across with a really organic feel that only seems to deepen the main sounds from Kashif. Titles include "Vacant Heart", "Fifty Ways", "Somebody", "Love Changes", "Loving You Only", "Love Me All Over", "Midnight Mood", "It All Begins Again", and "Who's Getting Serious". CD features lots of bonus tracks too – including "Love Changes (full version)", "Loving You Only (ext rmx)", "Love Me All Over (ext version)", "Love Changes (acapella)", "Kathryn (inst)", and "Love Changes (inst)". CD

Close matches32
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Evelyn Champagne KingCall On Me (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1980. New Copy ... $13.99
A wonderful gem from Evelyn Champagne King – her third effort with the great producer T Life, who always helped bring out the most soulful elements in King's music! Life's got a way of grooving, but never going for modes that are too easily commercial – still lots of disco and club in the mix, but with more than enough space for Evelyn to really stretch out and be her own woman on the vocals, too! This mix comes out especially well on some of the more midtempo groovers – which have this flourish and polish that's really wonderful – way beyond some of the cliches of King's contemporaries, and with a personal quality that really comes through right away. Some of these cuts include "Your Kind Of Loving" and "Call On Me" – both real standouts on the record – and other numbers include "Let's Get Funky Tonight", "I Need Your Love", "Universal Girl", "Bedroom Eyes", and "Just A Little Bit Of Love". CD features bonus tracks – "Let's Get Funky Tonight (12" mix)", plus "I Love You", "Is It Good", "Sweet Delight", and "Long Time Waiting On You". CD

Close matches33
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Evelyn Champagne KingFace To Face (plus bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1983. Used ... $8.99
Evelyn Champagne King will always be most popularly remembered for her massive disco pop crossover hits of the late 70s, but she progressed really nicely throughout the 80s, keeping up with the evolving dancefloor soul sounds of the times – and Face To Face is a lean, clubby electro soul and funk flavored set with catchy hooks and sweet vocals by Evelyn! The production duties are split almost evenly between the team of Leon Sylvers, Foster Sylvers & Joey Gallo and Andre Cymone – both of which embrace synth and programming, with Cymone's coming off a bit clubbier – but all of it nicely frames Evelyn's lovely vocals. Includes "Action", "Face To Face", "Shake Down", "Telll Me Something Good", "Don't It Feel Good", "Makin' Me So Proud", "Givin' You My Love (What Cha Gonna Do With It)", "Teenager" and "Let's Get Crazy". This 2011 FTG edition has 4 bonus tracks: "Shake Down (Dub Version)", "Teenager (12" Version)", "Action (12" Version)" and "Shake Down (7" Version)". CD
(CD case has a cutout hole.)

Close matches34
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Evelyn Champagne KingSo Romantic (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1984. New Copy ... $9.99 13.98
Evelyn King's still gliding high here – working with that upbeat, catchy style that really helped her hit big during the early 80s – a perfect fit for the hook-heavy sound of her vocals! The mode's a bit like Denise Williams at the time, although maybe a bit less commercial – and King brings in a host of different producers to help give different shape to different tracks in the set – almost in a way that tries to reach out towards a number of (then) contemporary soul modes – some mellow, some upbeat and grooving. Titles include "I'm So Romantic", "Till Midnight", "Out Of Control", "Just For The Night", "Heartbreaker", and "Talking In My Sleep". CD features lots of bonus tracks – including "Just For The Night (TV inst)", "Just For The Night (7" mix)", "Till Midnight (12" rmx)", "Till Midnight (dub)", "Out Of Control (12" rmx)", and "Out Of Control (voc dub)". CD

Close matches35
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Evelyn KingLong Time Coming (2CD set – with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1985. New Copy 2 CDs ... $19.99
Evelyn King is in solid 80s groove territory here – working with a fair bit of beats and keyboards – and getting help in the studio from T Life and Rene & Angela! The former sweetness of King's poppier hits is nicely suppressed here amidst the fuzzy guitars and flashy electronics – and the beats have a definite full-on approach that's a real change from before, and which almost makes the vocals hit the backburner at times. But Evelyn still has plenty of room to add her own charm to the music – especially on the few mellower cuts, but also on the hooks of the catchier upbeat tunes too. Titles include "Slow Down", "Your Personal Touch", "I'm Scared", "High Horse", "Chemistry Of Love", and "A Change Is Gonna Come". 2CD version features 14 bonus tracks – lots of rare mixes of tracks that include "Slow Down", "High Horce", "Give It Up", "Your Personal Touch", and "Take A Chance". CD

Close matches36
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Gladys Knight & The PipsOne & Only (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Buddah/FTG, 1978. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
The last Buddah Records album from Gladys Knight & The Pips – and a set that's a great summation of all the new territory the group hit with the label! The album's a mix of the mellower ballads that made Gladys one of the biggest female soul singers of the 70s, and some of the upbeat groovers that turned out to be a really great fit for the group's style – a mode that's not really disco, but which offers a strong mix of strings and rhythms. Tony Camillo and Van McCoy both bring some good production elements to the record – and titles include "Sorry Doesn't Always Make It Right", "Come Back & Finish What You Started", "It's A Better Than Good Time", "Saved By The Grace Of Your Love", "Butterfly", and "The One & Only". CD features lots of bonus tracks – including "It's Up To You (7" mix)", "It's A Better Than Good Time (full extended mix)", "Saved By The Grace Of Your Love (12" version)", "I'm Still Caught Up With You (7" version)", "It's A Better Than Good Time (7" version)", "Everybody's Got To Find A Way (7" version)", and "Stringman (demo)". CD

Close matches37
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KrystolGettin' Ready (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Epic/FTG, 1984. Used ... $14.99
An 80s girl group classic from Krystol – the debut album from this tight quartet who really seem to rise to the challenge of the album's polish! Production is quite tight – handled by Leon Sylvers III, and a few others, in that west coast Sylvers mode of the time – but the girls have a way of stepping out with their own sort of feeling – harmonizing, switching leads, and even trading lines that really give us a feel for the character of each member of the group – singers Tina Scott, Roberta Steiger, Karon Floyd, and Dee Marie Warren. There's definitely a vibe here that prefaces lots of other female group soul to come – and titles include "Obsession", "Same Place Same Time", "You're The One For Me", "Nobody's Gonna Get This Lovin But You", "You Ask Too Much", "Acrobat", "After The Dance Is Through", and "Information 411". CD features four bonus tracks – "After The Dance Is Through (vocal mix)", "After The Dance Is Through (inst)", "Nobody's Gonna Get This Lovin But You (special version)", and "Nobody's Gonna Get This Lovin But You (inst)". CD
(Out of print.)
Also available Getting' Ready ... LP 9.99

Close matches38
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KrystolPassion From A Woman (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Epic/FTG, 1986. New Copy ... $9.99 13.98
Poppy passion from Krystol – a sweet 80s trio with a definite way with a hook! The set's got a well-balanced mainstream sound – one that helps the vocals find a fullness right away, either on the leads or harmonies – both woven together over the top of the tight, beat-heavy grooves! At points, there's almost a retro vibe – as if an older girl trio mode's being revived for a new 80s scene – but with a definite contemporary spin. There's a decidedly commercial appeal to the sound – but Krystol were also never too overplayed back in the day, which makes the album a nice discovery – and a great surprise when you start digging through all the potential singles on the set. Tracks include "Love Attack", "Passion From A Woman", "He's So Jive", "Baby Make Up Your Mind", "Scared Single", and "Precious Precious". CD features bonus tracks too – "Passion From A Woman (ext)", "Passion From A Woman (acapella)", "Passion From A Woman (radio)", "Passion From A Woman (dub)", "Passion From A Woman (7" version)", and "Precious Precious (7" version)". CD

Close matches39
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KrystolTalk Of The Town (plus bonus tracks) ... CD
Epic/FTG, 1985. New Copy ... $9.99 13.98
Bumping, bouncing soul from Krystol – one of the strongest female groups of the 80s, and one of the few who really helped push the sound further at the time! The groove here is equal parts funk and soul – and has a brashness that a girl act wouldn't have had a decade before – lots of echoes of new rhythms learned from the streets, fused with top-shelf production that helps send the whole thing home strongly! The style is tight, yet never clunky commercial – and Leon Sylvers' production really helps keep a lean quality to most of the tracks. And sure, the costumes on the cover look a bit silly, but the vocals have a lot more depth than you might expect! Titles include "Love Is Like An Itchin In My Heart", "C'Est La Vie", "I Want A Man Who Can Dance", "Hard To Believe", "The Things That Men Do", "Talk Of The Town", and "Shattered Glass". CD features lots of bonus tracks – "Love Is Like An Itchin (long vocal)", "Love Is Like An Itchin (edited)", "Love Is Like An Itchin (ext dub)", "The Things That Men Do (radio)", and "The Things That Men Do (club)". CD

Close matches40
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New Stacy LattisawTake Me All The Way (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Motown/FTG, 1986. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
Stacy Lattisaw's first album for Motown – the nicely grooving Take Me All The Way from 1986 – featuring production from some of the biggest and brightest modern soul producers in the game at the time, and most importantly, lovely vocals from Stacy! There's a cohesive modern vibe all the way through, despite the lengthy list of producers – which include Kashif, Narada Michael Walden, Jellybean Benitez and others. It's from that mid-to-late 80s era of Motown when the legendary label was fully embracing modern production and it was paying of hugely for old school and younger acts alike – and this one should busted out much bigger than it did! Includes "Jump Into My Life", "The Hard Way", "Take Me All The Way", "Longshot", "Nail It To The Wall", "Over The Top", "One More Night" and more. This FTG edition includes a pair of Jellybean Benitez remixes – nicely elongated mixes of "Jump Into My Life" and "Nail It To The Wall". CD

Close matches41
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New Paul LaurenceHaven't You Heard (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Capitol/FTG, 1985. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
A nice mid 80s groover from Paul Laurence for Capitol – whose biggest successes, arguably, were in his services as a songwriter and producer for other artists – making a pretty great case for his own work as a headline act on Haven't You Heard! May may not have heard it, actually, but it's well worth checking out. The sound is blueprint 80s synth soul on one level, but the melodies really soar here, and the songs are strong and hit-worthy. Paul's a solid singer, too. You should hear this! Tiles include "Strung Out", "She's Not A Sleaze" (with Freddie Jackson & Lillo Thomas), "You Hooked Me", "I'm Sensitive", "Haven't You Heard" and more. This FTG edition has 4 bonus tracks: "Strung Out (International Version)", "She's Not A Sleaze (Extended Version)", "Strung Out (Extended Dance Mix) and "You Hooked Me (Single Version)". CD

Close matches42
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Eloise LawsEloise (with bonus tracks) ... CD
ABC/FTG, 1977. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
The warm, sweetly grooving Eloise album from Eloise Laws – a nice bit of smoothly produced LA soul, with arrangements by Gene Page, and production by Linda Creed and Jerry Goldstein. Eloise's vocals are really wonderful here, exuding warmth something of relaxed approach to her singing that works really well with the jazzy soul accompaniment. The standout tracks have more of a laidback, lightly soaring vibe – including "Someone Who Still Needs Me", "You're Incredible", and "Love Comes Easy" – but the more uptempo cuts such as "Number One" and "Baby You Lied" acquit themselves nicely, too. Ronnie Laws lays down sax solos on a few numbers, and Lonnie Jordan plays arp – and there are other great players in the mix, including Paulinho Da Costa, Wah Wah Watson, Ray Parker and others. Other tracks include "1,000 Laughs", "Love Is Feeling" and "Forever Now". This remastered FTG edition includes 2 bonus tracks: 12" extended versions of "Number One" and "1,000 Laughs". CD

Close matches43
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Janice McClainJanice McClain (with bonus tracks) ... CD
MCA/FTG, 1986. Used ... $14.99
The nearly-lost debut album from Janice McClain – a singer who probably burned brightest in the mainstream with her late 70s single "Smack Dab In The Middle", but who really stands out here as a much more mature artist overall! There's definitely a few groovers on the record, but Janice is perhaps even better at the mellower numbers and ballads – and the set include some midtempo burners that we totally love – the kind of smooth-stepping tracks that often get overlooked on albums of this period, but which are often the favorites that keep us digging year after year. Yet the groovers are pretty great too – sung by McClain in a proud, bold voice that's mixed with some mid 80s street soul rhythms from a variety of different producers. Titles include "Give A Little Bit Of Love", "Passion & Pain", "Second Chance On Love", "When Love Calls", "It's Gonna Come Back To You", "Hideaway", "The Rhythm Of Our Love", and "Last Goodbye". CD also features two bonus tracks "We're Not Too Young (extended)" and "Passion & Pain (dub)". CD
(Out of print, punch through barcode.)

Close matches44
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Melba MooreOther Side Of The Rainbow (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Capitol/FTG, 1982. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
An early 80s classic from Melba Moore – best known for one of her biggest hits, "Love's Comin' At Ya", an enduring number that's got an irresistible groove! Like many of Melba's other albums, this one does a wonderful job of delivering radio-friendly pop soul and still hitting us on a deeper soul level – with some great vocal work from Melba! Her voice soars over the period production details that sound fresh once again. Other titles include "Underlove", "Mind Up Tonight", "How's Love Been Treating You", "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar-Pie Honey Bunch)" and "The Other Side Of The Rainbow". This edition includes 3 bonus tracks: "Underlove (M&M Mix)", "Love's Comin' At Ya (Instrumental)" and "Mind Up Tonight (Instrumental)". CD

Close matches45
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Melba MooreRead My Lips (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Capitol/FTG, 1985. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
An early 80s set from Melba Moore – recorded at a time when she was really coming into her own! Read My Lips has Melba working nicely with some tight Capitol soul backings – often a bit heavy on the beats, but in a way that guides the tunes strongly from the bottom, and lets Melba's vocals really shine over the top! The instrumentation is heavy on the keyboards, and also features some polished guitars – and production is by Beau Huggins and the Hush Productions team – on titles that include "The Love Of A Lifetime", "Read My Lips", "I Can't Believe It", "When You Love Me Like This", "King Of My Heart", "Winner", and "Mind Over Matter". CD features lots of bonus tracks – including "I Can't Believe It (ext version)", "Read My Lips (special mix)", "When You Love Me Like This (special club)", "Winner (inst)", "Read My Lips (ext)", and "When You Love Me Like This (monster groove mix)". CD

Close matches46
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Melba MooreWhat A Woman Needs (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Capitol/FTG, 1981. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
An early 80s set from Melba Moore – with some bubbling club soul grooves carried over from the 70s, plus spacier and funkier touches – largely produced by McFadden & Whitehead and featuring Kashif on moog bass! Given the production style here and the release date, we get the feeling that Melba & co. were resisting the prominent drum machine sound and otherwise more programmed backdrops that were taking hold in chart soul at the time, and even if she'd succeed with the more pronounced 80s vibe just a little later on, this record still feels plenty modern to our ears. A slept on gem! Includes "Let's Stand Together", "Your Sweet Lovin'", "What A Woman Needs", "Take My Love", "Overnight Sensation", "Each Second", "Piece Of The Rock", "Let's Go Back To Lovin" and more. This CD includes 2 bonus tracks: "Take My Love (Edited 12" Version)" and "Just You, Just Me". CD
Also available What A Woman Needs ... LP 4.99

Close matches47
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Perry & SanlinFor Those Who Love/We're The Winners ... CD
Capitol/FTG, Early 80s. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
A sublime double-header – both rare albums from Perry & Sanlin, together on one CD! First up is For Those Who Love – the first Capitol effort from Phil Perry & Kevin Sanlin – two excellent harmony soul singers who were part of the legendary Montclairs who recorded for Paula earlier in the 70s – and it's a slick batch of modern soul tracks produced with a nice jazzy tinge. Charles (ex-Independents) Jackson handled the album, as he did work for Natalie Cole on Capitol, and so much other great stuff for the label around this time – and the record sparkles with the best modern soul that was coming out on Capitol at the time. The duet style is a bit in the mode of The Valentine Brothers, with either singer taking the lead, and the other coming in on the choruses – and the album's very well handled throughout. Includes a great remake of "Can't Hide Love", plus "Since You (Came Into My Life)", "I'm So Glad There's You", "We Belong Together", and "It's Alright". We're The Winners features production by Richard Evans, and feels very much like work issued under his name in the late 70s – tight, grooving, and nicely funky – but also with a sophisticated edge that has some undercurrents of jazz in the mix, too. Keyboards are by Les McCann, who plays Fender Rhodes on the set – and the whole album has a cool and jazzy feel – with that great early 80s Capitol Rare style – mixing up smooth production, tight soul songwriting, and some nice instrumental elements under the vocals. Tracks include "We're the Winners", "Special to Me", "Shake Down", "Show Stopper", "Wait Till The Next Time", and "Just Like Magic". CD

Close matches48
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Process & The Doo RagsToo Sharp (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1985. Used ... $8.99
A nearly-lost relic of 80s groove – and a sharp little side project from Rick James! Process and group are clearly going for a sound to rival the Time on this set – working as a well-costumed group ensemble with a bass-heavy funky groove at the bottom of every track – and their groove is definitely as sharp as any of the big names from the Twin Cities who were topping the charts at the time! And although you might be attempted to dismiss them as a copycat combo, the group actually comes off pretty darn well – with songs that we dig quite a lot – and which have held up surprisingly well over time. Titles include "Ooh Wee", "Stomp & Shout", "Serious Freak", "Too Sharp", "Come Into My Life", "Dance The Way You Want (Party Freaks)", and "Daddy's Home". CD features three bonus tracks – "Stomp & Shout (long inst)", "Stomp & Shout (7" version)", and "Stomp & Shout (short inst)". CD

Close matches49
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Evan RogersLove Games (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1985. Used ... $8.99
A pretty sweet 80s synth/pop/funk/R&B set by Evan Rogers – a few years after his time in the funky soul group Dayton (which is what we know Evan best for around here) – a mid 80s album that's heavy with the synthy sounds of the era and highlighted by some catchy songs and Evan's genuinely great voice! There's a song here called "Don't Jump To Conclusions", and that could be the unofficial motto after you see Evan's uber 80s coif and style on the cover – but this is a really fun record worth checking out! His voice is warm and genuinely soulful and the songs are insistent as can be. Includes "Hold On", a cool cover of Prince's "Private Joy" with some searing guitar as a counterweight to the electro soundscapes, "Full-Time Lover", "Sweet 16", "1-Track Mind", "Be Mine Tonight" and more. This 2011 edition from FTG has 3 bonus tracks: "Secret Love (12" Version)", "Stay Here With Me (12" Version)" and "Hold On (Remix)". CD

Close matches50
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Alfie SilasAlfie/Be Yourself (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1982/1983. New Copy ... $9.99 13.98
A pair of Alfie Silas albums for RCA – back to back on a single CD! First up is Alfie – filled with sweet crossover grooves from Alfie Silas – a singer with the same hook-heavy approach used by other 80s female singers like Denice Williams or Cheryl Lynn – set up here with some great grooves to match! The tunes are all pretty upbeat and catchy – playful tunes that never try too hard for the charts, yet have an instantly appealing sound that should have made this album way bigger than it was. Rhythms are straightforward, never too overdone – and Alfie surprises us with some deeper tones on a few of the album's hipper tracks. The album contains the singles "There I Go" and "A Puppet To You" – plus the tracks "Put The Freeze On", "Body Heat", and "Can't We Do It All Again". CD also features bonus tracks "A Puppet To You (12" mix)", and "A Puppet To You (inst)". Be Yourself is a shorter album than usual – part of the "mini LP" format that RCA was trying out in the early 80s – but a set that steps forward strongly with some great studio help from Larry Graham – who produced, wrote all tracks, and also plays drums, bass, and keyboards. Alfie's catchy vocals get just the right sort of focus from Graham's grooves – and titles include "Be Yourself", "Just A Little Bit", "You Put The L In Love", "Stay With Me", and "I'm Available". Also features the bonus track "You Put The L In Love (12" mix)". CD

Close matches51
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Smoke CityI Really Want You ... CD
Epic/FTG, 1985. Used ... $8.99
A damn great bit of 80s soul – the only album ever issued by Smoke City, but a killer set that we've loved for many years – especially given the group's link to the Chicago scene! The set's perfectly put together – head and shoulders above so much other major label soul of the time – with a mature, sophisticated groove that's really wonderful – almost an extension of the styles explored by Philly International at the start of the 80s, taken forward at a time when so many others were amping up their drum machines and going for too-commercial riffs in their grooves. The vocals alternate nicely between lead male singer Daveon Overton and female singer Starr – and the album also alternates between 80s groove, quiet storm numbers, and even a few slyly jazzy numbers that are perfect for the hipper side of the mainstream soul spectrum at the time. Titles include "Dreams", "Life Of the Party", "Time To Jam", "Back Seat Kind Of Girl", "In The World Of Fantasy", and "Cafe Francois". CD

Close matches52
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New TeaseTease (RCA) (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1983. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
A mix of bassy funk and mainstream electro grooving from Tease – the RCA album from the group, and a record that seems to share a lot with the Minneapolis groove of Prince and The Time! In fact, there's a partyful snapping quality to most of the tracks here that's very much in the Morris Day mode – tight tight tight rhythms from the group, done in a way that matches their sporty leather suits on the cover – with a sharpness that never lets up, and a great sense of a hook alongside the electric funk in the rhythms! Ollie Brown produced and arranged, and titles include "Bite", "Flash", "Boys & Girls", "Saturday Night", "Pretty Little Lady", "Put The Brakes On Baby", and "I Found In You". CD features two bonus tracks – "Flash (12" mix)" and "Flash (inst)". CD

Close matches53
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Wanda WaldenSearchin' For Love (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Elektra/FTG, 1981. New Copy ... $13.99
A great little soul set from Wanda Walden – and probably one of the best things to come from the Narada Michael Walden camp in the early 80s! Narada produced and arranged, but the record's got a deeper feel than any of his own work of the time – a more soulful quality that's smooth, but never slick – and which casts Wanda in space that's almost a bit like Minnie Riperton in her last few years. A few numbers are a bit easygoing, but others have some respectable bite – and tracks include "Holdin On", "Wanna Love You Tonite", "It's Gone Now", "Just To Love You", "Lost & Found", "Don't You Want My Lovin", and "Take Your Heart". CD features bonus tracks – "Don't You Want My Lovin (7" mix)" and "I Must Be Dreamin (12" mix)". CD

Close matches54
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Ren WoodsOut Of The Woods (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1979. New Copy ... $13.99
A sweet solo debut from Ren Woods – a singer who'd had previous experience on screen and on records – but who really comes into her own on this full length set! Al McKay of Earth Wind & Fire produced – and the set's got some of the warmth of EWF soul of the time, but a slightly different vibe, too – maybe a bit more groove-oriented, with Ren's vocals mixed into the rhythms in a strong way. The arrangements are all played at a nice more uptempo pace, skitting away in a jaunty mode that doesn't rely so much on hooks as the overall vibe and dancefloor accessibility, plying the modern soul mode that worked so well for other artists on CBS at the time, like Cheryl Lynn or Jackie Moore. There's even a nice disco break at the beginning of "I Love The Way You Do It" and other titles include "Sticks & Stones", "Straight to Love", "I'm In Love With You", "Everybody Get Up", and "Hooked On A Love Groove". CD features bonus tracks – "Everybody Get Up (12" mix)", "Everybody Get Up (inst)", and "Straight To Love (7" mix)". CD

Close matches55
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New Pia ZadoraWhen The Lights Go Out (2CD edition – with bonus tracks) ... CD
FTG, 1988. New Copy 2CD ... $19.99 21.98
Maybe the strongest record ever from Pia Zadora – at least from a soul music perspective – thanks to strong studio help from the team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis! The famous pair worked with Pia on all the tracks – both as writers and producers – and their trademark groove really works well for Zadora's voice – giving it a bit more push and kick than on previous records, at a level that shows that she's maybe more at home with contemporary R&B than she is with jazz or standards. Plus, the obvious Jam/Lewis ear for a hook certainly helps a lot – and Pia's unabashedly poppy in all the right moments! Titles include "I Don't Wanna Love", "Dance Out Of My Head", "Still Remembered", "It's Always Been The Same", "Silence", "I Really Like You", and "Since I've Been Lovin You". Special 2CD version – with 6 bonus mixes of "Dance Out Of My Head" and 5 mixes of "Heartbeat Of Love". CD

Close matches56
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New Norman ConnorsSaturday Night Special (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Buddah/FTG, 1975. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A brilliant mix of soul and jazz from the legendary Norman Connors – a key album in breaking Norman out back in the 70s – and a record that's still pretty darn perfect all these many years later! You can hear Connors' deep roots throughout the set – but they're often used towards a more sophisticated soul agenda, too – blending in elements of jazz vocals and modern R&B, at a level that so many other artists would copy in years to come – but which Norman virtually helped invent with this landmark album! There's some mellow moments on the record that are every bit as wonderful as the funky ones – some laidback tracks that feature sublime vocals from Jean Carn, pre-Philly – and which also really introduce the soul side of Michael Henderson – an artist who most folks had previously known as a bass player. Connors mixes the funky and the smooth at a level that rivals the best Roy Ayers material of the same time – and titles include the massive hit "Valentine Love" – plus "Saturday Night Special", "Kwasi", "Dindi", "Akia", "Skin Diver", and a sweet version of "Maiden Voyage"! CD features bonus 7" mixes of "Saturday Night Special" and "Valentine Love". CD

Close matches57
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New JunieBread Alone/5 ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1970s. Used ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A pair of funky soul sets from the early 80s by Junie – Bread Alone and 5 back-to-back in one set! Bread Alone is a nice batch of slicked up funk – not as crazy has his stoned-out albums on Westbound, but just as great overall! There's plenty of 80s bass pedal whomping in the mix, but production's nice and smooth, with some good doses of soul that keep the record from being a silly throwaway funk effort. Junie's actually written some pretty tight grooves for this one – and the tracks have more catchy lines and honest lyrics than we can remember from earlier albums. Tracks include "Nagual's Theme", "Funky Parts", "Seaman First Class", "Bread Alone", "Why", "Love Has Taken Me Over (Be My Baby)" and "Apple Song". Junie moves the groove a bit more into cosmic boogie and even a little bit of early rap styled funk on 5 – with synthy grooves, rubbery bass lines, and some surprisingly tender twists and turns, too! A stylistically varied, but pretty solid little set from Junie! With the tracks "Rappin About Rappin", "Jarr The Ground", "Last One To Know", and "5". CD

Close matches58
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New KleeerI Love To Dance (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Atlantic/FTG, 1979. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
The first-ever album from Kleeer – and a set that's already got them head and shoulders above most of their contemporaries! The set's got just a bit of the keyboards that would later really define the Kleeer sound – and has some surprising disco elements, too – used by the quartet as a way to step away from the overblown mainstream of the time, into a groove that's leaner and cleaner for the next generation! The great Woody Cunningham is at the lead of the group – singing, drumming, arranging, and writing a good portion of the work – and the group members have already had plenty of experience as The Jam Band, Pipeline, and Universal Robot Band – years of background practice that's really helped them forge some very strong grooves. And while the title may reference the danceability of the times, there's also some nice deeper elements going on too – on titles that include "I Love To Dance", "To Groove You", "Kleeer Sailin", "Amour", "It's Magic", "Keep Your Body Workin", and "Tonight's The Night". CD features bonus tracks that include "Keep Your Body Workin (voc)", "Keep Your Body Workin (7" version)", "Tonight's The Night (7" version)", "It's Magic (long)", and "It's Magic (7" version)". CD

Close matches59
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New Gene Van BurenWhat's Your Pleasure (with bonus track) ... CD
Motown/FTG, 1982. Used ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
An overlooked Motown nugget from the early 80s – the smoking debut of Gene Van Buren! Gene's a fully-formed artist right from the get-go – writing and producing the set with a rich, mature groove that's totally great – some of the upbeat funky soul tracks that were Motown's biggest asset in the early 80s, mixed with some even better mature moments that are especially wonderful – that sort of all-adult soul approach the label would take on more strongly later in the decade, showcased beautifully here by Van Buren's talents. The groovers have a bit of electro touches – usually some mini-moog keyboards – and the mellower ones have a warmer sound that really rounds things out nicely. Titles include "When Is My Turn", "Enjoy Yourself", "I Love You More", "Rock The House", "One", "I Give Good Love", "What's Your Pleasure", and "Action". Also includes the bonus track "You Excite Me". CD
(Out of print, punch through barcode.)

Close matches60
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New Blue MagicWelcome Back ... CD
Capitol/FTG, 1981. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A wonderful album – one of the group's best! The album was a "comeback" effort – but it's still got stone Philly production from Norman Harris, with a sound that's right up their with their best Atco sides from the mid 70s. In fact, the harmonies are even better than before, if we do say so ourselves – and the album's proof that sublime harmony soul recordings were still being produced in the 80s! Titles include "The Oscar", "Feelin The Love", "Let There Be Love", "Standin' On the Edge of a Love Affair", "Who Could Ever Leave You", "Land of Make Believe", and "Welcome Back". CD

Close matches61
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New CashflowCashflow (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Atlanta/FTG, 1986. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Mid 80s funky soul from Cashflow – a rare one cut for the Atlanta label, and produced by Larry Blackmon – a group R&B effort that seamlessly combines the club ready soul, funk, 80s rap influences and otherwise tightly thumping grooves Blackmon worked with at the time! Cashflow had a hit with "Mine All Mine", but the rest of the record is nearly as nice as that one – post electro, keyboard heavy synth soul & funk production with group vocals that range from quite strong lead and backing vocals – plus a Larry Blackmon rap in the middle of "Party Freak", a cut that works nicely in the She's Strange era Cameo mold! Other tracks include "Can't Let Love Pass Us By", "Spending Money", "Reach Out", "I Need Your Love" and "It's Just A Dream". This remastered FTG edition includes bonus 12" extended versions of "Party Freak" and "Mine All Mine". CD

Close matches62
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New Chi-LitesSteppin' Out (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Private I/FTG, 1981. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A sweet new groove from The Chi-Lites – working here as a trio, and stepping out with a lean groove to match! The album's got the 80s soul vibe you'd expect from the group's image on the cover – lots of keyboards and beats alongside the vocals – which themselves are slightly transformed by the approach, and come across with a bit more boldness than in the early days. Eugene Record is still at the helm – and wrote most of the tracks on the set, and was also the driving spirit of the project. Original members Marshall Thompson and Robert Lester complete the group – and titles include "Do What You Want", "Stop What You're Doin", "Gimme Whatcha Got", "Little Girl", "Runnin Around", and "Let Today Come Back Tomorrow". CD features bonus tracks "Gimme Whatcha Got (7 inch mix)", "Gimme Whatcha Got (club)", "Gimme Whatcha Got (dub)", "Stop What You're Doin (club)", "Stop What You're Doin (inst)", and "Let Today Come Back Tomorrow (7" mix)". CD
Also available Steppin' Out ... LP 4.99

Close matches63
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New Norman Connors/Aquarian DreamYou Are My Starship/Norman Connors Presents Aquarian Dream ... CD
Buddah/FTG, 1976. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Sublime sounds from the mighty Norman Connors – two classics on a single CD! You Are My Starship is a masterpiece of mellow soul and jazzy grooves from the groundbreaking Connors – an album that sails to the stars on a sweet blend of mellow moments and more upbeat tracks too! The record features some crucial vocal talents from Michael Henderson and Phyllis Hyman – both relative newcomers here, and making a great transition from jazz to soul with Connors help – hitting this amazing territory that would inform countless other artists in years to come – but never be done again this well! The instrumentation is wonderful, too – schooled in the jazz roots of Connors' music – and featuring Gary Bartz on alto, and both Hubert Eaves and Onaje Allen Gumbs on keyboards. Titles include the seminal title cut "You Are My Starship" – one of the best late night slowjams ever – plus remakes of "The Creator Has a Master Plan" and "Betcha By Golly Wow" – and the cuts "So Much Love", "Just Imagine", and "We Both Need Each Other". Norman Connors Presents Aquarian Dream is a wonderful debut from Aquarian Dream – a group who first appeared under the direction of Norman Connors – and who also have lots of the same blend of jazz, soul, and funk you'd find in Connors' own music of the time! Yet Aquarian Dream are very much their own bag, too – a distinctly different group who are to Connors what Ramp was to Roy Ayers – a separate entity that shares the key production talents of their sponsor – but who break out in a wonderful vibe that's all their own! The album's best remembered for its key clubby groovers, but we also love the mellower moments too – which have a sublime stepping quality that really comes through via instrumentation from Claude Bartee on tenor and soprano sax, and Jacques Burvick on a whole host of cool keyboards. Gloria Jones (not the famous one) is a great lead singer – and titles include the classic Chicago club track "Phoenix" – plus "Look Ahead", "Once Again", "Let Me Be The One", "I'll Always Love You T", and "Treat Me Like The One You Love". CD

Close matches64
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New Blue MagicMessage From The Magic ... CD
Atco/FTG, 1978. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A really great step for the mighty Blue Magic – a group who are always great, no matter what the setting – and who make the move away from Philly disco to some warmer mellow sounds from the west! The album's done with production from Skip Scarborough, who really brings a new sort of groove to the record – a bit of the cool, compressed style of the Earth Wind & Fire generation – but used in just the right way to balance out the wonderful harmonies of the quintet – who still can hit the best heartbreaking modes of their earlier records. There's a few midtempo groovers here that take off wonderfully – but in a different way than the Sigma Sound style of previous albums – and titles include "Can't Get You Off My Mind", "If You Want Me To", "Still In Love With You", "Message", and "I Waited". CD

Close matches65
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New Chocolate MilkComin' (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1976. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Wicked funk from Chocolate Milk – and a set that perfectly combines their deep New Orleans roots with the tighter sound the Crescent City was brewing up in the mid 70s! The group work closely here with producer Allen Toussaint – and really show that stronger use of studio technology that Toussaint was perfecting at the time – a mode used famously in work for bigger artists, but which is totally perfect here to bring an even greater focus to the sound of the group! There's loads of sharp-stepping basslines and drums at the bottom, mixed with a cool compressed sound at the top – a way of being a bit smooth, yet still pretty darn funky all the way through. The mellower cuts are especially great – never sleepy, but slow grooving in a really badass way – and titles include "Comin", "Do Onto Others", "Starbright", "Feel the Need", and "Something New". CD features three bonus tracks – 7 inch mixes of "Starbright", "Something New", and "Comin". CD
Also available Comin' (with bonus tracks) ... CD 13.99

Close matches66
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New Ohio PlayersEverybody Up (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Arista/FTG, 1979. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
The Ohio Players may have skimped a bit on the budget for a sexy model this time around, but the album's still very much in the best mode as the rest of their 70s classics for Mercury Records – a sweet mix of ensemble funk with some upbeat styles that were perfect for the clubs! The group's shifted a bit by the time of this one and only album for Arista, but they've still got most of their best strengths right out front – including that subtle sense of wit that always made the group one of the most charming mainstream funk acts, as well as the sharp instrumentation that ensures that most of the tracks are still tight and funky at the core. Titles include "Don't Say Goodbye", "Everybody Up", "Take Da Funk Off Fly", "Something Special", "Say It", and "Make Me Feel". CD features two bonus tracks – "Everybody Up (12" promo mix)" and "Take Da Funk Off Fly (7" mix)". CD

Close matches67
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New Gene PageHot City (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Atlantic/FTG, 1974. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
An excellent album of Barry White-styled instrumentals – put together by Barry's right hand man Gene Page, and produced by Barry himself! The record's one of the best that Gene Page ever cut – apart from his seminal blacksploitation soundtracks – and it's very much in the mode of White's Love Unlimited Orchestra albums from the same time, although perhaps with less of a string section – and more of an emphasis on funky drums at the bottom. Players are an all-star cast of LA studio groovers that includes David T Walker and Ray Parker on guitar, Ernie Watts and Wilton Felder on saxes, and Clarence McDonald on keyboards – and tracks are mostly originals by Page and White. Titles include "Jungle Eyes", "She's My Main Squeeze", "I Am Living In A World Of Gloom", "Satin Soul", and "To The Bone". Bonus tracks include 7" versions of "Satin Soul" and "All Our Dreams Are Coming True". CD

Close matches68
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New Process & The Doo RagsToo Sharp (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1985. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A nearly-lost relic of 80s groove – and a sharp little side project from Rick James! Process and group are clearly going for a sound to rival the Time on this set – working as a well-costumed group ensemble with a bass-heavy funky groove at the bottom of every track – and their groove is definitely as sharp as any of the big names from the Twin Cities who were topping the charts at the time! And although you might be attempted to dismiss them as a copycat combo, the group actually comes off pretty darn well – with songs that we dig quite a lot – and which have held up surprisingly well over time. Titles include "Ooh Wee", "Stomp & Shout", "Serious Freak", "Too Sharp", "Come Into My Life", "Dance The Way You Want (Party Freaks)", and "Daddy's Home". CD features three bonus tracks – "Stomp & Shout (long inst)", "Stomp & Shout (7" version)", and "Stomp & Shout (short inst)". CD
Also available Too Sharp (with bonus tracks) ... CD 8.99

Close matches69
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New AttitudePump The Nation (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RFC/FTG, 1983. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A wicked bit of 80s groove from this cool little combo – a trio that features lead vocals from Cindy Mizelle and Stephen Miller, plus supporting vocals and keyboards from Khris Kellow! The groove here is nice and lean – lots of bass and keys riffing out in a snapping, funky 80s groove sort of mode – with vocals that are spare and simple enough to fit right in with the highly rhythmic grooves. There's almost a P-Funk influence at points, but one that's much more stripped-down than George Clinton's at the time – and titles include "Love Me Tonight", "I Wanna Get To Know You Better", "We Got The Juice", "We're Going Off", and "If You Could Read My Mind". CD features 2 bonus tracks – "We Got The Juice (dub)" and "Pump The Nation (extended)". CD

Close matches70
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New Philip BaileyContinuation ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1983. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
An 80s soul classic from Philip Bailey – stepping out here from Earth Wind & Fire in a set that has him sparkling strongly as a solo act! The vocals still have that trademark Bailey sound – a wonderful range that's never overdone, and which seems to shine especially well on the mellow and midtempo tunes in the set! Production is by George Duke, who does a lot to preserve the jazzier warmth of Bailey's previous settings – and although there's a bit more crossover potential here, the sound is still never too commercial or aimed at the charts. Titles include "It's Our Time", "Trapped", "I Know", "I'm Waitin For Your Love", "Desire", "The Good Guy's Supposed To Get The Girls", and "Your Boyfriend's Back". CD

Close matches71
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New Regina BelleAll By Myself (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1987. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A sweet debut from soul singer Regina Belle – a nice dose of class and sophistication in the world of mid 80s R&B! Regina's got a well-developed style right from the start – the kind of poise that you might hear from someone like Phyllis Hyman, especially on the mellower cuts – with nice undercurrents of jazz that really help send the whole thing home – and really keep the album away from cloying commercial styles too! The set features some mighty nice instrumental elements alongside the vocals – including keyboards from Dexter Wansel and alto from Don Myrick – and titles include "Show Me The Way", "Intimate Relations", "Gotta Give It Up", "So Many Tears", "Please Be Mine", and "You Got The Love". CD features lots of bonus tracks – "Without You", "Show Me The Way (ext)", "You Got The Love (rmx)", "How Could You Do It To Me (rmx)", "So Many Tears (cool mix)", and "Show Me The Way (inst)". CD

Close matches72
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New BloodstoneParty ... CD
T Neck/FTG, 1984. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
One of Bloodstone's great groovers from later years – work that has a very different feel than the group's fragile harmony soul of the 70s, and which has them taking off into a much more confident sound! Production is by McKinley Jackson, and the album's a mix of a few funky 80s groove numbers with some even better mellower tracks – tunes that glide along in a rich production mode, and showcase the maturing vocals of the group wonderfully. Titles include the sweet stepper "Instant Love", a really great spacey soul track – plus "It Feels So Good", "Why Be The First One Home", "Contagious", "Feel The Heat", and "Bloodstone's Party". CD

Close matches73
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New Norman ConnorsRomantic Journey (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Buddah/FTG, 1976. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A warmly romantic journey from the stellar Norman Connors – but a set that's also got a fair bit of spiritual jazz undercurrents too! Norman's at that perfect Starship point in his career – giving equal space to the vocals and instrumental passages on the record – at a level that perfectly sums up his unique, sophisticated blend of jazz and soul! The sublime Eleanor Mills sings on some key cuts – a singer we love from her earlier New Jersey soul sides – and Prince Phillip Mitchell handles the male leads, with a level of class that even goes beyond his own records. Reeds are handled by Gary Bartz and Pharoah Sanders – both players who bring in a nice sort of depth to the record – and Sanders really sparkles on a remake of his classic "Thembi", taken in a mellow stepping tone, as well as a reading of Gato Barbieri's "Last Tango In Paris". The whole album's wonderful – and other titles include "Once I've Been There", "Romantic Journey", "Destination Moon", "For You Everything", and "You Are Everything". CD features bonus 7" mixes of "Once I've Been There" and "For You Everything". CD

Close matches74
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New Genobia JeterGenobia (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Arista/FTG, 1986. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
One of the few secular soul albums ever cut by Genobia Jeter – a gospel singer who broke into R&B with this smooth mid 80s effort – a mix of tracks handled by different producers, taking Genobia from mellow quiet storm numbers into more club-oriented groovers. Hubert Eaves handles some of the most uptempo work on the set, and Genobia also gets backing from Robert Wright and Lesette Wilson, both of whom use a similar keyboard-driven groove to Eaves' sound. Titles include "Together", "Sunshine", "Peace Of Mind", "Take A Look", "All Of My Love", and "We Got Love". CD features four bonus tracks – an edit, remix, and dub of "Together" – plus an instrumental take on "All Of My Love". CD

Close matches75
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New Johnny KempJohnny Kemp (with bonus tracks) ... CD
CBS/FTG, 1986. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Classic 80s soul from Johnny Kemp – a sweet-voiced singer who steps out beautifully on this Columbia debut! Johnny's got a sound that's somewhat informed by some of the crossover soul of a few years back – but although his music is commercial, it's still got plenty going on at the bottom – a catchy mid 80s approach to the dancefloor, with lots of bouncing basslines, stepping rhythms, and sweet keyboard bits! The mellow songs are almost as great as the groovers – thanks to the sensitivity of Kemp's vocals – and titles include "Just Another Lover", "Can't Get Enough", "Anything Worth Having", "All Night", "Cover Girl", "Bring Your Love Around", and "Penthouse Lover". Bonus tracks include "Cover Girl (voc 12")", "Cover Girl (7" version)", "Cover Girl (inst)", "Anything Worth Having (inst)", "Anything Worth Having (7" version)", "Just Another Lover (ext rmx)", "Just Another Lover (inst)", and "Just Another Lover (7" version)". CD

Close matches76
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New Gladys Knight & The Pips2nd Anniversary (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Buddah/FTG, 1975. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
The second anniversary of Gladys Knight & The Pips on Buddah Records – and an album that really shows the new level of depth the group were able to hit at the label! A key factor on the album is work by Eugene McDaniels – who produced the record, and wrote a good number of tracks too – really pushing Gladys and the group into righteous territory they wouldn't have touched a few years before – a deeper groove that really matches some of their best soundtrack material of the mid 70s! Gladys really stretches out wonderfully with her leads – and the Pips provide just the right sort of warm backdrop to hold things together. Titles include "Street Brother", "At Every End There's A Beginning", "Summer Sun", "Feel Like Making Love", and "Money". CD features bonus tracks that include "Money (long mix)", "We Don't Look For Trouble", "Alone Again", and "Rainbow Ride". CD

Close matches77
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New Gladys Knight & The PipsI Feel A Song (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Buddah/FTG, 1974. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Rock-solid Buddah work from Gladys Knight & The Pips – still pretty righteous on the vocal tip, but often a bit fuller and more polished than before! Knight shows a great talent for a mature ballad here – no big hits, but that's part of the charm of the set – as there's a personal, intimate quality to the tunes that also comes from the less-familiar nature of the lyrics. A few more tunes get a bit uptempo – to be expected when Tony Camillo's helping with production and arrangements – and the album features the great sample cut "Don't Burn Down The Bridge", plus the tracks "I Feel A Song", "Seconds", "Love Finds Its Own Way", "Better Go Your Way", "The Goings Up & The Comings Down", "Tenderness Is His Way", and "The Need To Be". CD featuers lots of bonus tracks, too – including "The Makings Of You", "Make Yours A Happy Home", "Make Yours A Happy Home (alt mix)", "To Be Invisible", "Hold On", "Mr Welfare Man", "The Way We Were/Try To Remember (single)", and "On & On (single)". CD

Close matches78
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New Gladys Knight & The PipsIn The Beginning (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Bell/FTG, Early 60s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Really great pre-Motown music from Gladys Knight & The Pips – a collection of early singles that were issued by Vee Jay and the Fire/Fury labels, but which already show the group head and shoulders above most of their contemporaries! Many of these cuts are from the start of the 60s, and show the quartet working out the first modes of group soul in a really great way – balancing Gladys' strong lead with sublime harmonies from The Pips – often set to some excellent early compositions from Van McCoy, who gives the group a great deal of class right from the start. Titles include "Letter Full Of Tears", "Either Way I Lose", "Giving Up", "Stop & Get A Hold Of Myself", "Tell Her You're Mine", "Lovers Always Forgive", "Every Beat Of My Heart", and "Operator". CD adds in some nice bonus tracks too – "The Devil In Me", "Another Love", "Go Away Stay Away", "Why Don't You Love Me", and "Who Knows". CD

Close matches79
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New La LaLa La (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1987. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Catchy 80s soul from La La – an artist with a groove that's right up there with some of the bigger Columbia acts of the time, even if she never hit their heights! The production work here really helps set the scene nicely – as La La gets support from Full Force, Jon Morales, Lenny White, and others – and Kashif clearly had a hand in the set too – not just from the few writing credits we can see, but also in the overall way the grooves are structured. Definitely a set that fits nicely next to his work of the same time – with cuts that include "Deal With It", "All Work No Play", "So Into Love", "Love Me Just A Little", "I Don't Wanna Go", "We'll Keep Shining", and "I Got A Thing For You". CD features lots of bonus tracks – including "On The Money (FF on the $ mix dub)", "My Love Is Acapella", "Love Me Just A Little (12" version)", "Love Me Just A Little (just a little FF big mix)", "We'll Keep Striving (ext)", and "I Got A Thing For You (ext)". CD

Close matches80
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New Cheryl LynnIn Love (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1979. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Cheryl Lynn follows things up nicely from her famous debut – mostly sticking in the same upbeat territory as her earliest club hits – a groove that's perfect for her bold, soaring vocals! The album sports a few mellower cuts, but it's the groovers that really keep things together – great late disco numbers, served up with plenty of class, and just the right sort of lean energy to help Lynn step strongly into the 80s groove generation! Titles include the sweet mellow groover "Don't Let It Fade Away" – plus "Hide It Away", "Feel It", "In Love", "Love Bomb", "I've Got Just What You Need", "Chances", and "I've Got Faith In You". CD features bonus tracks – "In Love (7" version)", "Feel It (7" version)", and "Keep It Hot (special version)". CD

Close matches81
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New Mass ProductionTurn Up The Music ... CD
Cotillion/FTG, 1981. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
It's easy to turn the music up with grooves this great, as Mass Production are totally on top of their game here – arranging and producing their 9 piece ensemble with the tightness of a much smaller group – and always going for that bass-heavy funk sound they helped invent at the end of the 70s! There's a few great tracks here that have a warmer soul approach than usual – a mellower groove that's especially nice, and which makes for some of the most captivating tunes on the record – but the best-remembered numbers are those which take advantage of the full group's energy in all its glory. Most tracks written by vocalist Ricardo Williams, and titles include "Saucey", "Bopp", "Sunshine", "Turn Up The Music", "Clinch Quencher", "Diamond Chips", and "I Got To Have Your Love". CD

Close matches82
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New Melba MooreCloser (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Epic/FTG, 1980. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
An overlooked set from Melba Moore – an Epic session from the start of the 80s, and one that's served up with a nicely understated groove! There's a bit of disco in the mix, but the sound's never too far over the top – and in a way, Melba's working in the same sophisticated territory as some of the Philly International singers of the same generation – moving past easy club or chart soul, into a well-rounded, fully mature mix of music. Given the great vocals that Moore's always brought to her music, the format is a great way for her to keep on growing – as you'll hear on titles that include "Closer", "Something On Your Mind", "Shame", "Next To You", "Rest Inside My Love", and "Never Gonna Let You Get Away". CD features four bonus tracks – "You Stepped Into My Life (7" mix)", "Pick Me Up I'll Dance (7" mix)", "Burn (special disco mix)", and "Night People (12" mix)". CD
Also available Closer ... CD 11.99

Close matches83
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New ZappNew Zapp IV U (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Warner/FTG, 1985. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Zapp at the height of their powers – a bit more focused than before, but every bit as funky! Roger's production here is impeccable – done with a great ear for the most soulful side of the group's talents, which keeps them far from some of the more commercial groups who were copping their vibe, but never got things right. Great proof of this is the mellow cut "Computer Love" – a slow stepper that has the group showing their sweeter side, but never losing their cool – a bit like some of the best Fatback ballads of the early 80s. Other cuts are mostly funky – filled with tight basslines, keyboards, and electro bits – and tunes include "It Doesn't Really Matter", "Computer Love", "Radio People", "Rock N Roll", "Make Me Feel Good", and "Ja Ready To Rock". CD bonus tracks include "It Doesn't Really Matter (Long Version)", "It Doesn't Really Matter (7" Version)", "Computer Love (LP Remix)", "Computer Love (Instrumental)" and 2 more. CD
Also available New Zapp IV U (180 gram pressing) ... LP 9.99
 
 
 



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