Warm and tender sounds from the legendary Malaco Records – one of the few labels to carry the southern soul torch after Atlantic and Stax dropped the ball in the 70s! The cuts here are the cream of the crop of Malaco – and showcase their great way of pushing older deep soul modes forward with a nice dose of modern elements – a style that was never slick or commercial, but which brought a new level of sophistication to the music that kept things going strong well into the 80s. Most of the tracks here are in a midtempo or mellow mode that fits with the "warm" in the title – and tracks include "Gonna Stay In Love" by The Duncans, "Friend Of Mine" by Tommy Tate, "Body English" by King Floyd, "Seeing You Again" by Ruby Wilson, "I Want You Back" by Fern Kinney, "This Is Your Night" by Johnnie Taylor, "Night Like This In Georgia" by GC Cameron, "I Can't Stop" by Power, and "Think About It Baby" by Margaret Reynolds. CD
Close matches: 22
Shirley Brown —
Fire & Ice ... CD Malaco/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1989. New Copy ...
A great later set from Shirley Brown – an artist you might know best for her Stax work of the 70s, but who sounds wonderful here in a completely different mode! The album was done for Malaco at the end of the 80s, but it's got a vibe that's much more contemporary R&B than some of the label's other offerings – less bluesy soul, and more this cool, classy approach to soul music that really offers a new showcase for Shirley's great vocals. A number of tracks have a sweet new jack groove – which works surprisingly well for Brown – and titles include "King Size Love", "Silent Treatment", "What Cha Gonna Do When The Money Runs Out", "Tell Me Something Good", "Take Me To Your Heart", and "Anticipation". CD
A real charmer from The Duncan Sisters – a set that's got a cool, classy vibe right from the start – and this great mode that mixes some older female harmony styles with more contemporary grooves – creating a nice sense of balance throughout! Our favorite cuts are the mellow numbers – which have the duo hit this kind of glow as they come together over gentle grooves – but their style seems equally well suited to the album's more upbeat cuts, too – which still echo some of the best female disco styles of the 70s. Production is tight, but never in a commercial way – and the album's a bit different than the usual Malaco outing of the time – but in a good way. Titles include "Gonna Stay In Love", "Let Me Be", "Communication", "Take The Heat", "If This Ain't Love", and "Lovin You Baby". CD
A Cali group, but one who cut this sweet 80s set for the Malaco label – a record that's definitely much more street beat oriented than most of the usual blues and southern soul you'd find on the imprint! The tunes have a snapping array of beats and keyboards, one that definitely matches the group's leather jackets on the cover – but the vocals can often be warmer than the instrumentation, with a nice indie soul feel throughout. Titles include "Back To Love", "Undercover Lover", "Killer Groove", "Love Hour", "Cleaning House", "Part Time Lover Full Time Fool", and "New Fool On The Block". LP, Vinyl record album
An amazing, unjustly obscure bit of southern funky soul – played with kind of a club oriented groove, and a strong nod towards middle-period Earth, Wind, & Fire – a far different vibe than a lot of the southern soul on the Malaco label! The band has some nice harmony vocals over a jazzy bass-heavy style – and the record mixes uptempo funky tracks with smoother mellower ones. Includes the dancefloor cuts "Dance Sing Along" and "Get Up And Dance" – plus great mellow numbers like "Summer Memory" and "Wake Up Your Mind". Other titles include "Farther Than Imagination", "Know You Better" and "You've Just Got To Be The One". This CD version is loaded with bonus tracks – including the extended 12" mixes of "Dance Sing Along" and "Get Up And Dance" – plus rare singles "The Funktionary", "Come On And Dance", "At The Party", "Whodat" and "All For You". CD
ZZ Hill —
ZZ Hill ... CD Malaco/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1981. New Copy ...
One of the lasting classics on the Malaco label – and a key album in helping the company take control of the southern soul market in the 80s! ZZ Hill sounds just as great here as he did on earlier records – amazing vocally, with that trademark rasp that comes in at just the best moments – and working with some relatively traditional instrumentation overall. There's few of the contemporary touches that Malaco would later bring to their music – and most of the backings feature just organ burning along nicely in the background with a quality inherited from Memphis and Muscle Shoals. Titles include "Bring It On Home To Me", "Separate Way", "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry", "Rolling Stone", "Bump & Grind", and "Please Don't Make Me". CD
A standout classic from Fern Kinney – and a set that not only marked a big moment of evolution for southern soul, but also for the Mississippi scene as well! The set was recorded at the Malaco studios in Jackson, but has a vibe that's much closer to some of the TK Records material from Miami – that maturation of southern soul during the disco era – as warmer, more modern touches came into play with rootsier styles of vocals! Mike Lewis handled the string arrangements – giving the record the same disco vibe as some of his other work of the time, including Anita Ward's big debut – and Fern's vocals have this higher range than usual for a southern singer – almost more innately tuned towards clubby rhythms. Titles include a big hit remake of King Floyd's "Groove Me" – really marking the change from the original version – plus "Baby Let Me Kiss You", "Pillow Talk", "Sun Moon Rain", "Angel On The Ground", and "Under Fire". LP, Vinyl record album
(Shrinkwrap has some marker and a sticker. Cover has a cut corner.)
A standout classic from Fern Kinney – and a set that not only marked a big moment of evolution for southern soul, but also for the Mississippi scene as well! The set was recorded at the Malaco studios in Jackson, but has a vibe that's much closer to some of the TK Records material from Miami – that maturation of southern soul during the disco era – as warmer, more modern touches came into play with rootsier styles of vocals! Mike Lewis handled the string arrangements – giving the record the same disco vibe as some of his other work of the time, including Anita Ward's big debut – and Fern's vocals have this higher range than usual for a southern singer – almost more innately tuned towards clubby rhythms. Titles include a big hit remake of King Floyd's "Groove Me" – really marking the change from the original version – plus "Baby Let Me Kiss You", "Pillow Talk", "Sun Moon Rain", "Angel On The Ground", and "Under Fire". CD features bonus tracks "Let's Keep It Right There", "I Want You Back", "Movie Show", "Baby Let Me Kiss You (single)", "Sweet Life", "Tonight's The Night", and "Groove Me (single)". CD
A great little record from Dorothy Moore – a singer who was to the emerging southern soul Malaco Records what Aretha Franklin was to Atlantic a few years before! Moore was one of the first really strong talents to emerge on the label – a great singer with a style that works equally well on deep soul, smooth soul, and uptempo material – all of which is brought into play here, with a well-rounded blend that makes for an extremely thoughtful outing. Moore's approach takes the hard soul diva approach into a more sophisticated vein, a bit like Jackie Moore a few years before, but pushing things even more strongly with a timeless vibe that never ges old. Titles include "Love Me", "I Believe In You", "Too Blind To See", "Loving You Is Just An Old Habit", and "For Old Time's Sake". CD
Mighty Malaco recordings from Dorothy Moore – one of the leading torch-bearers of the southern soul sound at the end of the 70s – and an artist who definitely knows how to keep things real! Backings are full, but never overdone – and although there's a slightly modern soul feel to some of the arrangements, they're never too slick or urban – more in that new level of sophistication that was hitting some of the southern singers of the time. Titles include "Special Occasion", "What Am I To Do", "Being Alone", "He Knows Just Where To Touch Me", "We Need More Loving Time", and "The Going Ups & The Coming Downs". CD
Maybe the only full length set we've ever seen from Margaret Reynolds – a singer we know for deep soul work in the 70s, but who's coming across here with a bit more of a contemporary R&B vibe! The approach is filled with some strong 80s touches in the rhythms, which work especially well on the mellow tracks as they set a stepping pace that lets Reynolds then soar over the top in her own sort of way. The album's also got some upbeat numbers with lots of bass pedal riffs next to the keyboards – almost 80s clubby, but a bit more restrained – and titles include "Think About It Baby", "Keep In Touch", "Still In Love", "Natural Love", "Get Ready", "I Want You", and "I'll Do Anything". CD
A southern funky nugget from Sho-Nuff – issued at an early 80s point when the Malaco label was open to other modes besides just blues and deep soul! The record's got a tight clubby crackle that feels like something from the New York indie scene of the time – a lean groove that's very post-disco – and which has snapping basslines and keyboard bits mixing well with the group's use of two different lead singers, each with a different range! These two voices rise together in a great way, then trade off too – which creates a playful lyrical vibe that really matches the upbeat spirit of the music. Titles include "Tonite", "It's Alright", "Smile", "Let's Love", "What Am I Gonna Do", and "Dancin Funn". CD
A great one from Ruby Wilson – a lesser-known soul singer from Texas, sounding great here in an early 80s set recorded at Malaco! Wilson's got this full, rich approach that's right up there with classic deep soul divas – and it's a perfect fit for the mix of modern and southern styles that Malaco was laying down at the times – full on the groovers, which almost feel like late run club tracks that would have hit bigger a few years before – and even more powerful on the straighter soul tracks, which include numbers by George Jackson and Jackie Verdell. Titles include "Love Has Come", "Bluer Than Blue", "Seeing You Again", "Why Not Give Me A Chance", "The Feelin's Still There", and "I Thought I Would Never Find Love". CD
A wonderful later album from GC Cameron – a singer you might know best as the early lead in The Spinners – sounding quite different here in a Malaco Records setting! The album's got Cameron slow-stepping through some great mellow soul cuts – warm, sensuous tunes that work perfectly with his vocal approach – produced with just a few southern soul inflections by the team of Tommy Couch and Wolf Stevenson. The overall approach is light years from Detroit – and titles include "Let's Share", "Hearts & Flowers", "Give Me Your Love", "No Lovin Til Friday", "Love Trap", and "Night Like This In Georgia". CD
Produced by Tommy Couch, with tracks that include ZZ's classic "Down Home Blues" – plus "Givin It Up For Your Love", "Woman Don't Go Astray", "When It Rains It Pours", and "Love Me". LP, Vinyl record album
An overlooked gem from the early 80s Malaco catalog – a set that's got more of a mid 70s funky soul feel overall, with just the right mix of upbeat cuts and ballads! These guys can actually harmonize wonderfully on the mellow numbers – with a compelling approach that's right up there with the best male groups of a few years before – but they're also tight enough to step out strongly on the groovers, all without losing their sharpness on the vocal tip – with a warm feel that's more indie club from the 70s than you'd guess from the label or the date. Titles include "Hott", "Groovin", "Old Fashioned Girl", "Betcha Didn't Know That", "I Can't Stop", and "My World". CD features two bonus tracks – DJ and instrumental versions of "Play It Again Sam". CD
Sho-Nuff deepens their sound nicely for this second set for Malaco Records – still sticking in the lean club funk sound of their debut for the label – but also reaching a bit more on the lyrics and vocals too! Ballads show up a bit more than before, and almost evoke an old school group soul approach that's quite a surprise – especially when the higher-voiced lead mixes in with the deeper harmonies – creating some nice mellow moments that really stand out! There's still plenty of groovers – the kind of dancefloor numbers the group first started cutting for Stax in the 70s – and titles include "You Got Me Workin", "Queen Of The Night", "Don't Be Lonely", "Don't Use Me Up", "Sho-Nuff Groove", and "Choosin You". CD
Tommy Tate —
Hold On ... CD Malaco/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1979. New Copy ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
A real killer from Tommy Tate – perhaps the greatest record ever from this overlooked southern soul singer – and a real lost gem in the Malaco Records catalog! Tommy wrote most of the songs himself – and he turns out to be a hell of a writer, too – very much on a par with folks like George Jackson or Sam Dees on the scene at the time – and the production of the album is very laidback and open – allowing Tate's vocals to really grow, flow, and find their own sort of space – the kind of stripped-down deep soul session that was hardly being recorded at the time. The whole thing's great – a real feather in Tommy's cap, and the kind of record that could easily stand next to southern soul classics on Atlantic – and titles include "A Thousand Things To Say", "All A Part Of Growing Up", "Little Boy", "My Wife", "Friend Of Mine", "Do You Think There's A Chance",a nd "Hold On". CD
Johnnie Taylor —
Good Love ... CD Malaco, 1996. Used ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
A pivotal moment in the development of southern soul – as the album was one of the first really big hits to come out of the growing Malaco scene in Jackson, Mississippi. The style of the record is a mix of older female southern soul styles, plus some of the warmer mellow production that was coming out of the Alston/Miami scene at the same time. And although Malaco mostly moved into cheesy blues during the early 80s, this one's very much in a popular crossover soul style. Features the title hit "Misty Blue", plus "It's So Good", "Too Much Love", "Ain't That A Mother's Luck", "Enough Woman Left (To Be Your Lady)", and "The Only Time You Ever Say You Love Me". CD also features the bonus track "Here It Is". CD
Really great work from Roger Hatcher – the much lesser-known brother of Motown singer Edwin Starr – and a Detroit artist with a much more down to earth vibe! This rare album is one of the few ever recorded for the short-lived Guiness Records label – who also gave the world Newban – and it's got a sweet, laidback sort of groove that's almost in a hip southern soul mode – a bit of the best Malaco style, mixed with maybe some of the wonderful Don Davis modes that were coming from Detroit at the time. Hatcher's voice has this wonderful crackle that's even more wonderful on some of the album's more righteous tracks – but it also works well on the mellower ones too – and titles include "I'm A Junkie For Your Love", "Daylight Savings Time", "Struttin", "My Thang", "Kung Fu & You Too", "You Must Have Come From Heaven", and "Your Love Is A Masterpiece". CD
A great collection of work by singer David Hudson – a great vocalist who recorded for TK during the end of the label's hit years, and in a mode that was quite different than other artists on the Miami scene at the time! The groove here is sweet and smooth modern soul – done with a great mellow approach that clearly draws from the styles forged by Latimore for TK during the earlier part of the 70s, but which also borrows nicely from some of the work going on up north at the time. There's still some great Miami soul touches in the work – especially in the guitar lines and the way the rhythms flow out in a mellow and warm mode – but the album's also got a mature, sophisticated groove that we really love – and which is a nice contrast to the way that southern soul was changing over at the Malaco studios at the time. Titles include "I Have Never Loved A Woman", "When I'm Loving You", "Let Me Wrap You In My Love", "Scratch My Back", "Ease Up", and the hit "Honey Honey". CD
Syl Johnson, back in action and sounding great – and working here with key help from the younger generation too! As the title indicates, Johnson's singing here with up-and-coming vocalist Melody Whittle – a contemporary artist, but one with deep soul touches that work perfectly with Syl's classic approach – all wrapped up here with a style that's partly old school, and partly that modern evolution of the southern soul style you might find on a label like Malaco – further proof that Johnson just keeps on growing after all these years! Daughter Syleena makes an appearance on the set, and shades things in with some of her own flavors too – and titles include a few remakes of old tracks too. Tracks include "Mr Invisible", "I'm With You Too", "Turn Back The Hands Of Time", "Is It Because I'm Black 2006", "Ms Fine Brown Frame", "Loving On The Run", "Baby I'm Scared Of You", "Goodie Goodie Good Times", "Mellow Down Easy", "I'm Just A Freak For You", and "Just Make Love To You". CD
One of the best-remembered moments from the mighty King Floyd – a southern soul singer who came into the game slightly later than some of his Atlantic Records contemporaries, but who still packs a punch that's right up there with the best of them! The album's best known for the huge hit "Groove Me" – a slinky, catchy tune that's gotten King plenty of play over the years – but the whole thing is pretty darn great, and shows a new sound and style of southern soul coming into play – as Floyd's working in Jackson, at the Malaco Studios, with Wardell Quezergue producing – in a sound that's a bit free of some of the more obvious Memphis and Muscle Shoals modes, yet without any of the cliches that would later hold some folks back too. King balances things perfectly throughout – and in addition to "Groove Me", the set also features "Let Us Be", "Messing Up My Mind", "What Our Love Needs", and "Don't Leave Me Lonely". CD
King Floyd —
Well Done ... CD Chimneyville/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1975. New Copy ...
Wonderful work from King Floyd – post-Stax, post-Atlantic, but still sounding great here – with that undeniable charm that always makes his records sound so great! Floyd's got a way of singing that's deep, but also a bit effervescent too – this crackling sort of energy in the way he puts over a lyric, even bluer one – which really gets some great support here from a small backing combo at Malaco, who can really hit the right sort of "Groove Me" mode at times! The set's a great example of the way that Malaco easily picked up the torch when those other two labels were starting to lose their coverage of the south – and King's very much at home on a sweet set of tunes that include "I'm Gonna Fall In Love With You", "I Don't Think I Could Face It", "I Feel Like Dynamite", "Movin' On Strong", "So True", "Can't Give It Up", and "Try Me". Nice photo of some ribs on the cover, too! CD
An obscure little modern soul groover – with a jazzy funk touch that you wouldn't expect from a record cut at Malaco Studios and released on the southern soul heavy Chimneyville imprint – usually home to much rootsier material! The group's got a soaring groove – with a lot of uptempo moments and few mellower ones – always exuberant, and filled with a sense of joy and power that really comes through right away! The groove is upbeat, and has the same sense of positive energy you'll find in the lyrics and tight instrumentation – and titles include "Dance To The Funk", "Come & Go Away With Me", "You Make Me So Happy", "Reachin Out", "Time Is Wasting", "Don't Be Lonely", and "Trust In Me". CD features 4 bonus tracks – "Flying Too High", "I Don't Love Nobody But You", "The Whole World Is Dancin'" and "That's Why". CD
A full album's worth of material from the legendary Irma Thomas – most of it never heard before! Irma got her start as one of the most important female soul singers from New Orleans in the 60s – but the music here was all recorded for Atlantic Records at the start of the 70s – at a time when Irma was really ready to explore new ideas and stretch out creatively! All the depth of her older vocals is very much in place – and the collection features this really surprising range of settings for Thomas to groove on – dates recorded in Detroit, Philly, Miami, and at the Malaco studios in Jackson – each of which showcase another side of the singer, and almost act like a roadmap for the directions of soul music at the start of the 70s. Two tracks here were issued on a single – "Full Time Woman" and "She's Taken My Part" – but it's all the other unreleased tracks we really love, especially some of the more urban-styled material that makes a nice change from more southern soul modes we usually hear from Irma. Titles include "Try To Be Thankful", "Shadow Of The Sun", "Waiting For Someone", "Our Love Don't Come That Easy", "Time After Time", "Tell ME Again", "Could It Be Differently", "A Song For No Name", and "Adam & Eve". CD
Down home soul from New Orleans vocalist Marva Wright – an album that was recorded in the early 90s, but with music styles that stretch many years back! Overall, the production and instrumentation is relatively modern – a bit in the Malaco Records mode of later years – but most of the numbers have a R&B approach that's great for Marva's gospel-trained vocals – as full and rich as you might expect from her picture on the cover, and recorded here with a nice sense of grit amidst the more professional arrangements. Titles include "What's Wrong", "Three Times", "Can't Nobody Love You", "It's Gonna Be All Right", "Before I Met You", "Born With The Blues", "The Glitter Queen", and "Been & Gone". CD
Eddie Floyd —
Experience ... CD Malaco/Ultra Vybe (Japan), 1977. New Copy ...
Around February 4, 2015 (delayed)
A key album in the Malaco transition from raw southern soul to classy southern blues – a genre that seemed to accept most of the older stars from Memphis and Muscle Shoals during the 80s. Eddie's still singing it nice and strong here, although possibly with a bit more class than on earlier records. Most of the cuts were written by Eddie or Mack Rice, and titles include "Prove it To Me", "Feel My Body", "Take A Chance On Me", and "You're Gonna Walk Out On Me". CD
The return of a legend – or maybe more accurately, the first time this legend's ever really gotten his due! Ralph Jackson's been working in the Alabama soul underground for decades – yet this smoking album may well be the first time he's ever really gotten out front, and able to do his thing – working with a tight group of younger musicians who really respect the southern soul vibe that Ralph's going for – and help him hit a really great sound in the process! The set's a soul record through and through – not one of these modern funk workouts with an old singer thrown into the mix – but the kind of old school album you'd hear from Malaco or Criteria Studios – particularly during that point when deep soul was growing up in the 70s. Production and arrangements are right on the money – and all tunes are written by Jackson, save for one totally great cover of The Ides Of March classic "Vehicle"! Other titles include "You've Been Very Good To Me", "Searching", "For Just One Second", "I Can't Leave Your Love Alone", "I'll Take Care Of You", and "There Must Be A Reason". CD
The great Jesse James keeps on going – with a sound that's every bit as good as the old days, even though he's updated his lyrics to include the world of Facebook! James is part of a great deep soul underground – an artist who was a soul singer back in the 60s, but who's moved into more of a bluesy vibe over the decades – but in a style that still has plenty of southern soul in the mix, like some of the excellent 80s material on the Malaco label. The album's issued on the tiny Gunsmoke label, but has a great sound that rivals the bigger indies – as well as a hell of a lot of charm, as you might guess from the cover. Titles include "Can I Still Be Your Friend", "You're All In My Dreams", "Hate Will Destroy The World", "Why Do U Have 2 Lie", "It Doesn't Seem Like Xmas 2 Me", and "I Lost My Baby On Facebook". CD
The post-Stax, Epic southern soul of the Soul Children – 1976's Finders Keepers and 1977's Where Is Your Woman Tonight back-to-back! Finders Keepers is a strong little album by the group – recorded with a very different sound than the Stax work – but one that's still totally great overall! The grooves are a bit warmer and more modern soul styled – uptempo at times, but never in a throwaway club mode – and in a way, the shift is a bit similar to that taken by The Dramatics at the same point. There's still plenty of nicely rough edges in the vocals – that raspy sense of soul that first made us fall in love with the group – and by this point, the lineup has been reduced to a trio, with more of a focus on male vocals than before. The session's filled with work by great Detroit talents who include Don Davis, Steve Mancha, and Harvey Scales – and tracks include "Finders Keepers", "A Little Understanding", "We Got To Get Our Thing Together", and "I'm Just A Shoulder To Cry On". Where Is Your Woman Tonight is another Epic gem with the group going for a smoother soul sound. Some tracks are a little uptempo, in hopes of a crossover hit – but mostly, just a a solid effort with the group continuing to grow from a raw soul group into a smoother one. This session features production by David Porter at Malaco studios, with the kind of mellow slightly funky vibe that the studio was perfect at for a few years. Titles include "Take Me Make Me", "Head On Collision", "Where Is Your Woman Tonight", "There Always", and "You Don't Need A Ring". CD
An excellent album from King Floyd – possibly his best, and proof that the harder side of southern soul sound was still alive and well in the 70s! The record was one of the first few big ones to come out of the Malaco studios in Jackson – which would soon become one of the biggest hubs of southern soul production after the slowdown at Memphis and Muscle Shoals – and Floyd's kicking it hard in a way that would make Otis Redding or Arthur Conley proud. The backings are mighty tight, but in a way that's much fresher than some of the bigger southern studios of the time – and titles include a great cover of Otis Redding's "Hard To Handle", which begins with a great breakbeat – plus "Here it Is", "Woman Don't Go Astray", "Do Your Feeling", "You've Got Me", and "Think About It". CD