There's nothing unfinished about this business – as The Blackbyrds are at the top of their game here – working in a sweet blend of jazz, funk, and soul – all produced to perfection by their mentor Donald Byrd! The groove is quite similar to some of Byrd's best from the time – a bit fuller than the first few records by The Blackbyrds, thanks to the addition of larger horns – and put together in ways that really has them soaring towards the skies on waves or righteous soul! There's vocals on most tracks, but they really take equal place next to the group's wonderful instrumentation – especially the heady keyboards of the mighty Kevin Toney, still a key member of the combo at this point. Titles include "Party Land", "In Life", "Time Is Movin", "Lady", and "You've Got That Something". LP, Vinyl record album
A wonderful soundtrack from Booker T & The MGs – a record that's probably much better remembered than the film for which it was written! The tunes show a whole new depth for the group – a style that still has some of the charm of their previous hits, but which also takes off in whole new directions too. Some tunes are pretty darn catchy, and others have a nicely bubbling sound – almost jazzy in parts, with a great scene-setting feel for the movie. Booker actually sings on 2 tracks – "Johnny I Love You" and "Blues In The Gutter" – and Judy Clay sings on "Children Don't Get Weary". Other than that, though, the whole thing's instrumental – with titles that include the megahit "Time Is Tight", plus "Cleveland Now", "Down At Ralph's Joint", and "Tank's Lament". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has wear, a promo stamp, a bit of pen, a split spine, and a partially split top seam.)
One of the best albums that Terry Callier ever recorded – and a masterpiece of the baroque soul crossover style that was going down at the Chess/Cadet label at the time! Terry's own folksy singing and playing would be more than enough to make this record great – but it's given an amazing edge by Richard Evans and Charles Stepney, who create these floating pillows of sound and washes of jazzy colors that fit Terry's moods perfectly, and really expand the emotional intensity of the songs. At the time of this release, the Chess empire was falling apart – but the forces that be put a great last push into the record, and Terry's backed by superb work from Chicago studio giants like Phil Upchurch, Don Myrick, Art Hoyle, Bobby Christian, Cleveland Eaton, Louis Satterfield, and Evans and Stepney themselves! Every track is a wonder, and titles include "Alley-Wind Song" , "Can't Catch the Trane", "Bowlin' Green", and "Until Tomorrow". LP, Vinyl record album
(Original pressing. Cover has some wear, with a fully split top seam and an ink stamp on the back.)
The fantastic first album by one of the most unique funk groups of all time! A key part of the crumbling British colonial network that produced some excellent music in the postwar years, Cymande was comprised mostly of West Indians who'd emigrated to England in the 60s, eventually meeting up under a shared musical vision – a completely new blend of funk, dub, jazz, and soul that was unlike anything else that had been recorded before, save for the work of a few other Brit groups of a similar nature. This first album's one of their greatest – and it's a refreshing batch of tunes that mix together heavy basslines, laidback drumming, and a righteous soul vocal style that's got a bit of a stoner touch. The album includes the group's massive cut "The Message", a bit of a minor hit when it was released (and later sampled quite famously) – plus the funky classics "Dove", "Zion I", "Listen", "Bra", and "Rickshaw". Pick this up, and sample one of the 70's most unique funk groups! LP, Vinyl record album
(Original pressing. Cover has ring & edge wear with top & bottom seams.)
One of The Dells' best albums from this period – and a real Cadet studios masterpiece, thanks to some incredibly groovy arrangements by Charles Stepney! The sound's a bit like some of the Rotary Connection albums put together under Stepney's supervision – but given that the group is the Dells, the vocals are much much better, with a much stronger soul component – and fused with some incredible musical arrangements! The whole thing's wonderful – and graced by an incredible gatefold cover that has pictures of miniaturized Dells members being served with eggs and bacon as part of a "musical menu"! Tracks include "Believe Me", "Always Together", "Hallways of My Mind", and the trippy "Agatha Van Thurgood". LP, Vinyl record album
(Blue label pressing, with small stickers and pen on both sides. Cover has wide clear tape on the top seam, a center split on the bottom seam, with some pen and small stickers on back.)
A massive album by Lamont Dozier – probably his best ever! Every cut's a winner, and the LP shines with a sharpness and tightness that's missing from some of Lamont's other LPs from the 70s. The songwriting is impeccable – and as the album progresses, you get that eerie "deja vu" feeling you can have when discovering a landmark work for the first time. There's a hint of funk in the mix, but the strongest point is the production – which bowls over the top with a mix of strings, piano, and Lamont's wonderfully honest vocals. Includes the wonderful soul anthem "Don't Leave Me", which comes up again in a very tight instrumental version – plus the tracks "The Picture Will Never Change", "Why Can't We Be Lovers", and "Slipping Away". Great all the way through, and a stunning bit of seventies soul that will have you returning again and again! LP, Vinyl record album
(White label promo. Cover has a cut corner, tracklist sticker, ring & edge wear, and some flaking at the bottom.)
A bit confused at points, but one of the funkiest albums on Invictus! The 8th Day group was a loosely conceived batch of Detroit soul talents designed to cash in on a concept of the Holland-Dozier-Holland team – but fortunately, they also included some wonderful talents that could make some great music when they wanted to. One of these was the vastly under-discovered Detroit organist Lyman Woodard –who contributed the fantastic track "Cheba" to the album, an incredible organ groover that's unlike anything you've ever heard, rolling on with this pinched Hammond sound over congas, all-instrumental, and completely seductive! Another was Melvin Davis, who had recorded the song "Good Book" as a solo artist – but which was released here as if it was by the group. There's also a great guitarist in the group – unnamed due to the lack of liner notes – but who really shines on the funky tracks "Anythang", "Rocks In My Head", and "Heaven Is There To Guide Us", all with a fuzzed-out Detroit 70s groove! LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has some wear, some stains, pen on the back, a mostly split bottom seam, and some splitting on the other seams, with some pieces of tape along the top.)
A great comeback for The Emotions – a post-Columbia album issued after a few years away from the business – but one that still has the girls' very much at the top of their game! The record's got a wonderful feel that's quite different from other directions the group might have pursued at the time – and most tracks are free from the too-commercial sounds that other female artists were shouldered with at the time – styles that oddly were often inspired by The Emotions' big successes of the late 70s. The vocals are great throughout – mixing leads and harmonies nicely – and arrangements are handled by Benjamin Wright, Billy Osborne, and Wayne Vaughn. Most tunes have a mellow or midtempo groove – with definite 80s instrumentation on keyboards and beats, but never in a way that's too over the top. Titles include "All Things Come In Time", "Sincerely", "Can't Blow Out The Candle", "You're The One", "Are You Through With My Heart", "Never Let Another", and "I Can Do Anything". LP, Vinyl record album
A great little album from The Emotions – largely because it sounds a lot like prime mid 70s Earth Wind & Fire, with female vocals added over the top – ultimately, pulling away with a soulful charm all its own! Maurice White produced the whole set, and it's got a soaring spacey sound that provides a perfect spiritual edge to the girls vocals – taking them way past the hits, into much more sophisticated soul territory. There's a beautifully righteous vibe going on throughout – a sound that's almost like Minnie Riperton at her 70s Capitol best – and titles include "Love Vibes", "Walking The Line", "Time Is Passing By", "I Wouldn't Lie", "Smile", and "Spirit Of Summer". LP, Vinyl record album
Marvin Gaye's last album for Motown – and a wonderful cap to a great run of sexy soul for the 70s – filled with great mellow grooves that rival the genius of his earlier work in the decade! There's a glowing, slow-burning feel to some of the best numbers here – a vibe that's right out of the I Want You era, with touches of Let's Get It On too. But there's also a slightly more mature approach too – a bit more cautious, even when confident – no doubt informed by the struggles of his Here My Dear album, which also echoes somewhat in this set. The record's more proof that even when not coming across with a classic hit, Marvin's still very much at the top of his game – an artist that stands head and shoulders above his contemporaries – with none of the too-commercial or too-dated modes that held other folks back! Titles include "Life Is For Learning", "Praise", "Funk Me", "Far Cry", "Love Party", and "Love Me Now Or Love Me Later". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has a cutout notch.)
Marvin Gaye —
MPG ... LP Motown, 1969. Very Good ...
Great late 60s work from Marvin Gaye – a pre-What's Going On set that still shows him picking up some of the hipper, deeper themes bubbling under at Motown – a bit of the heavier bass and politics of Norman Whitfield camp, touched with some of the sweeter soul from earlier years! The mix is really great, and makes the record a key transitional one in Gaye's years at Motown – a great hint of the deeper styles to come, and proof that even in these earlier years, Marvin was still capable of sounding plenty righteous! Titles include the hit "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby", plus "That's The Way Love Is", "The End Of Our Road", "Seek & You Shall Find", "This Magic Moment", "It's A Bitter Pill To Swallow", "I Got To Get To California", and "It Don't Take Much To Keep Me". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has ring & edge wear, with a fully split top seam and center split bottom seam.)
Landmark club grooves from the great Loleatta Holloway – and a record that definitely has her at the top of the disco game for the 70s! Holloway's working here with a nice variety of arrangers and producers – including Bobby Womack, Norman Harris, Dan Hartman, and Tom Washington – each of whom add some sweet little touches that let Holloway's vocals really take off, and find a space that's even more proud and powerful than ever before! Rhythms have an incessant Salsoul groove – that great approach that was often tightly funky at the core, and which really helped transform a key few singers like Holloway – taking them to the clubs, but without losing any of the depth of their roots. Key proof of this is the sublime leadoff track – "Love Sensation" – one of the greatest Salsoul tracks ever, and maybe one of the best female disco numbers too. The cut's a monster, one of the most anthemic dance tracks of all time – and it's followed by other good numbers that include "Two Became a Crowd", "My Way", and "Short End of the Stick". LP, Vinyl record album
A pretty great album by The Ice Man's Band – the instrumental group who worked behind Jerry "Iceman" Butler on some of his cool early 70s work. The album's nice and laidback – with some very nice mellow keyboards and smooth dope guitar, and the whole thing's a very nice kicked-back instrumental set. Reggie Burke is on the keys, and the real highlight on here is the group's amazing cover of "People Make the World Go Round", a sample favorite from way back! Also includes "It's Down to That", "To Be Continued", "I Wanna Be Where You Are", and a bunch of Jerry Butler hits. LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has some wear, a cutout hole and fully split top & bottom seams.)
Michael Jackson —
Bad ... LP Epic, 1987. Sealed Gatefold ...
The third great album in the trilogy that includes Off The Wall and Thriller – and a set that still has Michael Jackson running strong at the height of his solo powers! Quincy Jones is still at the helm, and Michael more than proves that he can still come up with a pop tune without going too far over the top – catchy, compelling numbers that played well all over the world of pop – but which still hang onto just a little part of his soul roots too! That balance is a key factor to the success of this set – a record that helped re-ignite interest in Jackson's music, and introduce him to a whole new generation – while still keeping most of the older fans plenty pleased too. Titles include "Just Good Friends", "Smooth Criminal", "Bad", "Another Part Of Me", "Man In The Mirror", and "Speed Demon". LP, Vinyl record album
(Sealed original pressing – with label hype sticker on shrink!)
Al's first major label record – cut when he was an emerging soul jazz vocalist, but before he'd gone totally over the top in super-slick hit mode. The album's got a good 70s LA jazzy backing, with guests like Dave Grusin, Arthur Adams, and Larry Bunker keeping the music moving at a nice pace. Includes the title cut "We Got By", plus "Sweet Potatoe Pie", "Spirit", "Susan's Song", and "Alladin's Lamp". LP, Vinyl record album
(Great Japanese pressing, with obi! Cover has a promo sticker in one corner, and a slightly bumped corner.)
(Cover has split top and bottom seams, but is otherwise great.)
US ... LP People, 1974. Very Good ...
A killer-diller bit of essential funk – the only full album cut by Maceo with James Brown production! The set's got Maceo coming back strongly into the JB fold, with a fierce array of funky cuts that kick it every bit as hard as the best JBs work of the time. No surprise, the JBs are working with Maceo on the arrangements and backing – letting his funky horn take the lead, but coming up on their own with the impeccably tight rhythms that have forever made them the blueprint for funk forever! Features the great tracks "Soul Power 74" and "Parrty", which you may have on compilations, but also the great album tracks "I Can Play For (Just You and Me)" and "Soul of a Black Man", a 10 minute long, slow soul groove, with vocals by James Brown. LP, Vinyl record album
(Original pressing. Cover has a cutout hole and a light stain and small split on the top seam.)
A tight little "best of" set from Mandrill – featuring a great batch of tracks from their famous funky albums for Polydor! Titles include "Symphonic Revolutions", "Hang Loose", "Children Of The Sun", "Mandrill", "Ape Is High", "Fencewalk", "Cohelo", "Mango Meat", and many more! Nice and funky – with some good LA Latin touches! LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has a cut corner, some wear, and a half split top seam.)
Malcolm McLaren —
Fans ... LP Island, 1984. Near Mint- ...
After his Duck Rock/Buffalo Scratch days, this was Malcolm McLaren's next project – an attempt to update opera into a post-disco, hip-hop inflected dancefloor sound. The groove takes electronic beats and layers vocals and washes of sound over the top – presenting famous vocal passages with a sense of camp and knowledge of opera that may well be the closest thing McLaren ever came to outing himself! Includes the sublime hit "Madam Butterfly", plus "Carmen", "Fans", "Boy's Chorus", and "Death Of Butterfly". LP, Vinyl record album
(Includes the lyric sleeve. Cover has a promo stamp.)
One of the greatest lost treasures on Motown – the rare third album from Ronnie McNeir, an artist who did plenty for the label back in the 70s, but only managed to ever get this one record released! The set's a gem – arguably his best record ever – and that's saying a lot, given the strength of his RCA and Prodigal sets. And like those records, this one's a sweet soul spectacular – written, arranged, produced, and performed by Ronnie – with the tight, warm, all-together quality that makes him an equal to Leon Ware back in the day – and which makes this record almost a great counterpart to Ware's Musical Massage set for Motown – another one-off album that's become the stuff of legend! The songs are amazing – totally fresh and deeply personal, but never in a cloying or commercial way – perfectly balanced on top of some gently grooving rhythms, spare keyboards, and soulful undercurrents that are a perfect example of the maturity that Detroit soul was hitting in the 70s. A young Ray Parker Jr plays lead guitar, but most other instruments are by Ronnie – and titles include "My Love Is Coming Down", "Funky Situation", "Selling My Heart To The Junkman", "Say You Will", "Goodbye After Sunday", and "It Won't Be Long". Brilliant stuff from one of the 70s' greatest artists! LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has a cut corner, some wear, and a light stain.)
A album of club tracks, as you might guess from the title, but every bit as strong as Melba More's other work from the late 70s! The album's got some top-shelf club help throughout – including production from Van McCoy and McFadden & Whitehead, the latter of whom also contributed a few key tracks – and the whole thing's also mixed by Richie Rivera with a soaring, spacious sound, and one that's never too cloyingly commercial. Melba's strong vocals are right at home in the setting, and even the longer tracks don't seem to dampen her enthusiasm at all. Titles include "Standing Right Here", "Free", "Play Boy Scout", "Promised Land", and "Make Me Believe In You". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has a cut corner, a promo sticker, and some wear.)
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". LP, Vinyl record album
(Includes the printed inner sleeve. Cover has some light wear & a cutout notch.)
One of the most obscure – and best – albums by David Oliver, a smooth soul singer who recorded at the end of the 70s, with a warmly spiritual sound that had touches of Leon Ware, DJ Rogers, and other 70s smooth soul greats. This gem is produced by Wayne Henderson – who's really working at the top of his game here to give Oliver the best sort of jazzy backing, a slow stepping groove that's avoids some of the pitfalls that he fell into on earlier records. Titles include "Love TKO", "Easier Being Friends", "My Lady", "The Masquerade Is Over", "You've Got My Love With You", and "It Was Fun While It Lasted". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has some wear and a bit of sticker residue.)
Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes —
Black & Blue ... LP Philadelphia International, 1973. Very Good- Gatefold ...
Just Sold Out!
Classic Philly soul from Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – a killer batch of studio tracks, despite the live image of the group on the cover! The album's got a slightly more expansive feel than some of the other Teddy Pendergrass-era albums by The Blue Notes – almost a mini-symphony of soul, and one that takes arrangements from Bobby Martin, Norman Harris, and Vince Montana – and wraps the vocals up in a soaring, righteous sort of feel! The rougher, more personal Teddy Pendergrass style of I Miss You is folded a bit more into the harmonies of the rest of the group here – and the result is a powerful wave of soul that pushes The Blue Notes right to the top of the pack. The album features classics like "The Love I Lost" and "Is There A Place For Me" – plus other nice material like "Concentrate On Me", "It All Depends On You", and "I'm Weak For You". LP, Vinyl record album
(Cover has a cut corner.)
Ohio Players —
Fire ... LP Mercury, 1975. Very Good Gatefold ...
Just Sold Out!
One of the biggest albums ever for Ohio Players – a set that took their earlier funk sound and targeted firmly at the mainstream with a lean, mean groove that a million other groups copied at the time! There's still plenty of the soul of the early years in the group's approach here – and sometimes, the mellower tracks show a wonderful talent for harmonies coming even more fully to the top. But the real appeal of the record has always been the bold, bassy grooves that hit strongly just as ensemble funk was exploding in the mainstream during the early years of disco – making plenty of space for the Players and their contemporaries to grab up new audiences who never would have touched a record like this five years before! There's plenty of grit in the grooves on the best numbers – a style that's maybe not as dirty as on Westbound, but still more than enough to make any real funk fan proud. Titles include "Fire", "Together", "Together/Feelings", "It's All Over", "Runnin' From the Devil", "Smoke", "What The Hell", and "I Want To Be Free". LP, Vinyl record album
Whoppers indeed – a killer collection of vocal group material from the 50s – issued here in a classic package with a great "juvenile delinquent" cover! The tracks here are almost pre-doo wop in their historicity – work done when the genre was just getting started, by artists who helped bridge musical styles from an earlier era. Titles include "Sweethearts On Parade" and "Take Me Back To Heaven" by The Dominoes, "Marie" and "Sugar Lump" by The Four Tunes, "Crying In The Chapel" and "It's Too Soon To Know" by The Orioles, and "Green Eyes" and "I'll Always Be In Love With You" by The Ravens. LP, Vinyl record album
(Original pressing, with deep groove. Vinyl has marks that click on a few tracks. Cover has a split top seam, some splitting on the other seams, light wear, and some small stains on the back.)