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Close matches1
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Beggar & CoMonument ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1981. New Copy ... $12.99 13.98
The great first album from Beggar & Co – a sweet UK soul trio from the early 80s, and one who grew from the ashes of the equally great Light Of The World! The style here is similar to LOTW's variation on American funk of the time – particularly the tight blend of jazz and funk they shared with Earth Wind & Fire and Kool & The Gang – but as a trio, the sound here is leaner, too – more focused on the rhythms, with a snapping, catchy sound that's mighty nice – and which makes for great music all the way through! There's still plenty of live instrumentation and a very warm feel throughout – no tinny 80s modes here – and titles include "Break It Up", "You Need Love", "Bahia De Palma", "I Tried To Write A Song", "Keep On Running", "That's Life", and "Laughing On". CD

Close matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Bionic BoogieBionic Boogie (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Polydor/FTG, 1977. Used ... $12.99
The first album by Gregg Diamond's Bionic Boogie group – and a cooker of a set that follows strongly from Gregg's previous Hot Butterfly gem! Luther Vandross isn't on board this time around, but the overall groove is still totally great – upbeat, soaring, and put together with a jazzy undercurrent that really keeps things interesting – far more so than most other mainstream disco sets of the time! Brad Baker – of B Baker Chocolate Company – handled the arrangements – and the grooves spin out nicely from Diamond's keyboards, and a tight mix of strings and jazzy horns. Vocals are from the soulful trio of Gwen Guthrie, Ullanda McCullough, and Zachary Sanders – and titles include "Dance Little Dreamer", "Risky Changes", "Boogie Boo", "We Must Believe In Music", "Feel Like Dancing", and "Don't Lose The Number". CD features 2 bonus tracks – 12" extended mixes of "Dance Little Dreamer" and "Risky Changes". CD
Also available Bionic Boogie ... LP 3.99

Close matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Pattie BrooksLove Shook/Our Ms Brooks ... CD
Casablanca/FTG, 1977/1978. New Copy ... $13.99 14.98
A disco double-header! First up is Love Shook – classic disco from Pattie Brooks, and a soaring 70s set that's right up there with the best Casablanca Records grooves of the time! The rhythms here are upbeat and lively – strings mixed in with quick-stepping rhythms, all set to the vocals of Pattie, which have just the right sort of flow to take off nicely in the setting! Titles include "Love Shook", "Let's Make Love To The Music", "Girl Don't Make Me Wait", and a totally cool "Pop Collage Medley", which features bits of "Popcorn" and "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye". Next is Our Ms Brooks – a record that has Pattie reunited with the Soul Galore production team – working with backdrops that are full, but never too overblown – right in that perfect Casablanca mode! Titles include "Heartbreak In Disguise", "After Dark", "This Is The House Where Love Died", and "The Back-up Singer". CD

Close matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Keni BurkeYou're The Best (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1982. Used ... $6.99
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

Close matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Tyrone DavisLove & Touch (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1976. New Copy ... $14.99 15.98
An overlooked smooth soul gem from Tyrone Davis – cut during his early years at Columbia, and recorded with a sweet Chicago finish! Arrangements are by James Mack, who also handled the small backing group on the record – and Tyrone's singing with that raspy style we always love, fused into a mode that's a bit more modern than the work on his later Brunswick albums – with this laidback, warm style that really fits the spirit of the title – and which has Davis maturing into a style we never would have expected a few years before! The balance of southern and modern elements is great – and titles include "Beware Beware", "Put Your Trust In Me", "Give It Up", "You're Too Much", "Wrong Doers", and "Close To You". CD features bonus tracks – 7" single versions of "Give It Up", "Close To You", and "Wrong Doers". CD

Close matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
EnchantmentSoft Lights Sweet Music (with bonus track) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1980. New Copy ... $12.99 13.98
The only RCA album from Enchantment – and a great little set that has the group stretching out from their earlier records on United Artists! The groove here is still awash in the great harmonies we've always loved from the group – and production is by Don Davis, who always has a great ear for preserving the core soul of any act like this – while also helping them focus their sound as well! The mix is quite similar to excellent work Don did with the Dramatics at the end of the 70s – and Enchantment really benefit with a similar ear for a bouncy groove, and that great Davis way of knowing just the right point when to slow things down on an album, too. Titles include "Settin It Out", "I Believe In You", "Moment Of Weakness", "You & Me", "I Can't Be The One", "Soft Lights Sweet Music", and "I Can't Fake It". CD features a bonus 12" mix of "Settin It Out". CD

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
GirlsGirl Talk (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1984. Used ... $6.99
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
(Barcode has a cutout hole.)

Close matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Herbie HancockFeets Don't Fail Me Now (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1979. New Copy ... $13.99 14.98
Sweet keyboard grooves from Herbie Hancock – and a set that has him taking up some of the territory of younger players he'd inspired – like Bobby Lyle, Webster Lewis, or Rodney Franklin! There's a fair bit of soul in the mix here, including some great work on vocoder – blended in with Hancock's work on jazzy keyboards – all wrapped up in a cosmic level that really fits the image on the cover, and which acts as a preface for some of the electro work to come in the early 80s! The blend is great – with that sublime balance that Hancock did better than anyone else – and titles include "Trust Me", "You Bet Your Love", "Tell Everybody", "Honey From The Jar", and "Knee Deep". Lots of bonus tracks – including "You Bet Your Love (special disco version)", "Honey From The Jar (special disco version)", "Tell Everybody (disco version)", and 7" mixes of some other tracks too. CD

Close matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Herbie HancockMonster (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1980. New Copy ... $13.99 14.98
A definite monster from Herbie Hancock – one of those great records from Hancock's second chapter at Columbia Records – a time when he was really evolving as an artist, and able to take on the world of soul as well as he did with jazz and fusion! The groove is a great fusion of the funky elements that Herbie created on some of his wilder earlier records, and the tighter style of funky soul at the time – a mode that's much hipper than disco, with almost a CTI current at times – but qualities that are even groovier in the hands of Herbie! The set's got some vocals – leads by Gavin Christopher, and backup by The Waters – and there's plenty of sweet keyboard lines as well – at a level that still blows away all the younger cats who were trying to horn in on Herbie's action. Includes the funky classic "Stars In Your Eyes" – which has a bassline that just won't quit – a sweet stepper called "Making Love", and the cuts "It All Comes Round", "Don't Hold It", and "Saturday Night". Great bonus cuts – including "Stars In Your Eyes (special disco mix)", "Go For It (special 12" version)", "Making Love (7" version)", "Stars In Your Eyes (7" version)", and "It All Comes Round (7" version)". CD
Also available Monster ... CD 24.99

Close matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Michael HendersonSolid (with bonus track) ... CD
Buddah/FTG, 1976. Used ... $11.99
The very first album from Michael Henderson – but a set that already finds him very much at the top of his game – thanks to previous work with Miles Davis and Norman Connors! Both artists gave Henderson a chance to do different things with his music, and by the time of this record, Michael's got both an ear for a funky bassline and a way of laying down a mellow vocal, too – a great blend of techniques that really helps give the record a lot more depth than some of Henderson's contemporaries! Unlike other bassists-turned-singers of the period, Michael never lets his core instrument take off too much and get in the way of the vocals – and instead, he shows a great sense of restraint for compressing down all the best elements into one mighty sweet groove. Titles include a version of "Valentine Love" that is different from the one recorded with Connors – plus the great original "Treat Me Like a Man", which is a nice nice sample cut from years back! Other gems include "Make Me Feel Better", "Let Love Enter", "Solid", "You Haven't Made It To The Top", and "Stay With Me This Summer". CD features the bonus track "You Haven't Made It To The Top (7" version)". CD
(Out of print. Barcode has a cutout hole.)

Close matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Hues CorporationRockin Soul/Love Corporation (with bonus track) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1974/1975. New Copy ... $15.99 16.98
A pair of classic 70s albums from Hues Corporation – back to back on a single CD! Rockin Soul is groovy crossover soul from The Hues Corporation – music that's perfectly tuned to come right out of the small speakers on an AM radio, yet still retain all the depth of the arrangements! The trio are hitting their best pre-disco stride here – as the album brings back the tune "Rock The Boat", which was a bit buried on their debut – and surrounds it with a number of equally grooving tunes arranged by Tom Sellers – numbers that don't yet have a straight disco approach, and which instead work through a mix of playful styles that bring the most out of the interplay between the vocals. In addition to "Rock The Boat", other titles include "I Got Caught Dancing Again", "No End In Sight", "Ease On Down The Road", "Love's There", "I'll Take A Melody", "Into My Music", and "Rockin Soul". Love Corporation is lesser-known 70s work from Hues Corporation – but still pretty darn sweet! As with other efforts for RCA, the overall sound is somewhat polished, but never too commercial – kind of a more mainstream take on harmony soul modes from a few years before – especially the mixed male/female approach at the end of the 60s. There's a bit of disco in the backings, but usually not too much – and most of the production is in that tight AM radio-friendly RCA mode that worked perfectly back in the day. Arrangements are by Michael Omartin, HB Barnum, and Larry Carlton – and titles include "He's My Home", "Gold Rush", "You Showed Me What Love Is", "Long Road", "One Good Night Together", "Soul Sailin", and "Sing To Your Song". CD also features one bonus track – "He's My Home (7" version)". CD

Close matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Bobbi HumphreyGood Life (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Epic/FTG, 1979. New Copy ... $12.99 13.98
Excellent later work from Bobbie Humphrey – working here in a style that's different than her early albums for Blue Note – but still equally great! Bobbi's a bit more of a singer here, but the record still features loads of great work on flute as well – in these tight, full arrangements put together by Ralph MacDonald and William Eaton, both of whom really know their way around a groove! At some level, the shift is similar to that made by Patrice Rushen on her first few Elektra albums – a style that's more compressed than before, yet still every bit as soulful – and a great evolution for Bobbi Humphrey as an artist. The whole thing's great – and titles include "Say The Word", "Sweet N Low", "Living For The Music", "Love When I'm In Your Arms", "Year From Now", and "The Good Life". CD features bonus 7" mixes of "Love When I'm In Your Arms" and "Sweet N Low". CD

Close matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Phyllis HymanPhyllis Hyman (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Buddah/FTG, 1977. New Copy ... $14.99 15.98
Far and away our favorite album by Phyllis Hyman – her first, and with lots of the same smooth jazzy soul touches you'd find in her work with Norman Connors! Phyllis is still as sophisticated as she is on later albums, but there's a bit freer style to the record – and Phyllis breaks a bit from her normally restrained classy sound, into one that opens up a bit more emotionally – really soaring out here in a way that's quite different than later hits, with a vibrancy that still makes this album our favorite Hyman effort after all these years. Arrangements are by Onaje Allen Gumbs and Jerry Peters – and the album features the sublime jazzy groover "Children Of The World", which would sound great next to any Roy Ayers cut of the time! Other tracks include "Loving You Losing You", "One Thing On My Mind", "No One Can Love You More" and "Beautiful Man Of Mine". CD features bonus tracks – "Do Me (7" version)", "Baby (7" version)", "No One Can Love You More (7" version)", "Loving You Losing You (7" version)", and her version of "Betcha By Golly Wow" with Norman Connors! CD

Close matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Jones GirlsOn Target (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1983. Used ... $11.99
Post-Philly, and the girls are working here with Fonzi Thornton and Robert Wright – who choose to start off the album with a silly bit of dialogue that has them talking to the singers from the production booth (possibly letting them know that Gamble & Huff are no longer in charge!) Here's a record that we dig a whole lot more than we remember – with a crisp, bright period production vibe that's kind of come full circle after all these years. The girls shoot for that popular 80s mode and they hit the mark – bullseye! Titles include "On Target", "I Can Make A Difference", "Curious", "I'm A Woman Here", "Knockin", and "2 Win U Back". This FTG edition has 3 bonus tracks: "2 Win U Back (12" Version)", "On Target (Instrumental)" and "On Target (12" Version)". CD

Close matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
KC & The Sunshine BandPainter (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Epic/FTG, 1981. New Copy ... $14.99 15.98
KC's definitely got an 80s look on the cover of this one – and the album follows with a groove that definitely matches that image – a re-tooled version of the Sunshine Band style of the 70s – one that's still pretty darn funky, just in more of an 80s sort of way! The basslines and keyboards reign supreme here – and KC's still got that wonderful ear for just the right sort of midtempo groove – the kind of cuts we always loved on his albums when you got past the hits, and which turn out be a great fit here for his smooth, blue-eyed vocals! Titles include "Stand Up", "Don't Say No", "Baby I'm Yours", "Summer Nights", "Sway", "The Painter", and "It Happens Every Night". CD features three bonus tracks – all short, long, and single versions of "It Happens Every Night". CD

Close matches16
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
KC & The Sunshine BandAll In A Night's Work (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Epic/FTG, 1982. New Copy ... $14.99 15.98
A sweet 80s groover from KC and his Sunshine Band – a set that's got the group sounding a lot different than during their Miami hit years of the 70s – but still every bit as groovy! The style is more 80s funk than before – a bit more emphasis on the keyboards, and basslines that rocked straight through the grooves – and Wayne "KC" Casey's voice often uses that cool level of processing you'll know from his hits, but in a wider range that even makes for some unusual moments on the mellower cuts and the ballads. Overall, there's still lots of sunshine in the mix – that ebullient atmosphere that always made KC and the group so great – and titles include "Don't Run", "Give It Up", "You'd Gimme Some More", ""When You Dance To The Music", and "You're Going Out Of Your Mind". CD features bonus tracks – covers of "Up Tight" and "Thank You Fallettinme Be Mice Elf Again" – plus "Bad Girl", and single mixes of "You'd Gimme Some More" and "Give It Up". CD

Close matches17
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Evelyn Champagne KingMusic Box (with bonus tracks) ... CD
RCA/FTG, 1979. New Copy ... $11.99 13.98
Niceness from Evelyn King to cap the end of the 70s! She's really in great form here – stepping out with some fully clubby backings, and working with the mighty T-Life, who's really got a great ear for her groove! The style's a bit less disco than previous albums – some simpler soul at points, mixed with other upbeat modes that hearken a bit more towards the sound of the dancefloor in the early 80s – almost a precursor to that decade's groove at points. Evelyn's vocals are proudly soaring throughout – never too over the top, and always right on the money – and tracks include "Music Box", "I Think My Heart Is Telling", "Out There", "It's OK", "No Time For Fooling Around", and "Make Up Your Mind". This FTG edition has 4 bonus tracks: "Music Box (12" Version)", "Out There (12" Version)", "Make Up Your Mind (12" Version)" and "Out There (7" Version)". CD

Close matches18
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Patti LabelleI'm In Love Again (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Philadelphia International/FTG, 1983. New Copy ... $14.99 15.98
A seminal album from the great Patti Labelle – a set that allowed the singer to mature strongly and find her own voice away from the funky, rockish style of Labelle – this sophisticated style that marked a whole new level of the singer's career! The Philly International label turned out to be a perfect setting for Patti – as they too were also growing past some of their earlier styles – moving past the chart soul of the 70s, and some of their bigger disco hits – and finding just the right place to allow their artists to keep on growing strongly over the years. The album's an all-adult affair – no clunky commercial moments at all, and instead this great blend of jazzy currents and sophisticated soul – all handled with the excellent second generation Philly International approach! Titles include "I'm In Love Again", "Love Lives", "Love Need & Want You", "I'll Never Never Give You Up", "If Only You Knew", "Body Language", and "When Am I Gonna Find True Love". CD features bonus tracks – 7" versions of "I'm In Love Again", "If Only You Knew", "I'll Never Never Give You Up", and "If You Only Knew". CD

Close matches19
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
ManhattansThere's No Good In Goodbye (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Columbia/FTG, 1978. New Copy ... $12.99 13.98
A stone classic from The Manhattans – still going strong long into the 70s with a classic harmony approach! The title tune sets the whole album up perfectly – and is the kind of a sad, slow ballad that the group was always perfect at – a number that grabs you with a compelling title, and follows up with a sublime lyric that holds on for the entire track! The rest of the set follows in a similar sweet ballad mode – served up with impeccable Bobby Martin production that's smooth, yet still lets the vocals come to the forefront in a classic harmony mode. Titles include "There's No Good In Goodbye", "Share My Life", "Am I Losing You", "Happiness", "You're My Life", "Goodbye Is The Saddest Word", "Everybody Has A Dream", and "Movin". Bonus tracks include single versions of "Don't Say Goodbye", "Here Comes The Hurt Again", and "Everybody Has A Dream" – plus x-rated versions of "Here Comes The Hurt Again", "Don't Say Goodbye", and "That's Not Part Of The Show" – and "Am I Losing You (alt version without rap)". CD

Close matches20
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
MtumeJuicy Fruit (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Epic/FTG, 1983. New Copy ... $14.99 15.98
Sweet funky work from Mtume – a set that's nicely heavy on the keyboards, and which really set a new standard in 80s groove at the time! The keyboards are great, and the basslines are too – and Mtume's jazz roots are still nicely in place here – bringing a bit more sophistication to the tunes than some of his contemporaries, and keeping things catchy and swinging throughout. The set's one of the mighty Mtume/Lucas productions of the time – and titles include the groovy "Juicy Fruit", plus "Hips", "Would You Like To Fool Around", "Green Light", "Hip Dip Skippedabeat", and "Ready For Your Love". CD has a silly amount of bonus tracks – 7 more titles that include "Prime Time (12" mix)", "Juicy Fruit (fruity inst mix)", "Would You Like To Fool Around (12" mix)", "Let's Fool Around (sensual instrumental)", and "Green Light (voc mix)". CD

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