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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Sly & The Family StoneThere's A Riot Goin' On (gold CD deluxe version) ... CD
Epic/Get On Down, 1971. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A landmark album in a landmark package – a set that takes this gem from Sly & The Family Stone, presses it up on a special hi-fidelity gold CD, then cradles the whole thing in special box with a heavy hardcover book with lots of new notes – and a fabric American flag sewn right onto the cover! The album's a wonderful moment Sly and crew – moving way past the straight funk approach of earlier records, into a complicated crossover soul style that's filled with warmth and righteousness! Despite the political tone implied by the "riot" in the title and the co-option of the American flag on the cover, the album's strongest suit is its warmth and personal soul message – sometimes filled with politics, sure, but always sounding like a sexy love song, no matter how hard it tries to get righteous! The flow is wonderful throughout – a very well-thought out album that shows that Sly was singing way past the singles scene – and the record's filled with great cuts like "Family Affair", "Luv N Haight", "Brave & Strong", "You Caught Me Smilin", and "Thank You For Talkin To Me Africa". Also features "There's A Riot Going On" – which runs for "0:00" minutes! The whole thing's completely sublime already – but in this special box, it's really something else. CD
(Limited edition boxed set with embroidered flag cover, 24k gold disc, hard cover book & photos.)

Close matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
CommonResurrection (2CD deluxe edition – with box and poster) ... CD
Relativity/Get On Down, 1994. New Copy 2CD ... $18.99 20.98
One of the best hip hop albums of all time – given the remastered, deluxe edition treatment! In 1994 when everyone seemed to be turning hardcore, Common Sense wasn't having it. Introspective tales of growing up and living on the South Side that fit perfectly with No ID's mellow production and spiced up with a couple guest appearances by Y-Not aka Twilight Tone. A classic LP, solid all the way through. Being in Chicago, people always ask us for this one, but the original is often impossible to find, even here. This incredible 2CD edition comes in classy box – each disc in its own gatefold style sleeve, with liner notes by Brian Coleman, plus a full sized poster. Disc one is the full original album, with "I Used To Love HER.","Book Of Life", "Chapter 13 (Rich Man vs. Poor Man)", "Nuthin' To Do", "In My Own World (Check The Method)", "Maintaining", "Communism", "Watermelon" and more. Disc 2 collects the 12" singles from the period, with "Resurrection" (Large Professor remix, Extra P remix, Large Professor remix instrumental and Extra P remix instrumental), "Resurrection 95", "Communism" (acapella and instrumental), and "I Used To Love HER" (acapella and instrumental). CD
(A beautiful box set edition of one of greatest hip hop albums of the past 20 years!)
Also available Resurrection ... LP 7.99

Close matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Souls Of Mischief93 'Til Infinity (2CD 20th Anniversary edition – with booklet) ... CD
Hiero Imperium/Get On Down, 1993. New Copy 2 CDs ... $24.99
The timeless classic Cali hip hop standard bearer from Souls Of Mischief – given the tricked out 20th Anniversary edition it deserves! As much as we love all the best Hiero output of the 90s & beyond, this is still our favorite, and besides, it's pretty much the blueprint for the Hieroglyphics sound. Jazz inspired, headnodding boom bap production at its finest – along with some of the finest ensemble rapping of the era, this one goes straight up on the top shelf. Original album tracks include "That's When Ya Lost", "Let Em Know", "Live & Let Live", "Make Your Mind Up", "A Name I Call Myself", "Disseshowedo", "What A Way To Go Out", "Never No More", "93 Til Infinity", "Limitations", "Anything Can Happen", "Make Your Mind Up", "Batting Practice", "Tell Me Who Profits" and "Outro". This great Get Own Down edition features a tick booklet and a bonus CD full of remixes and instros. CD
(Beautiful expanded anniversary edition from Get On Down – with a bonus CD and expanded booklet – and even the packaging raps. . .playing the title track when you open it up!)
Also available 93 'Til Infinity (2LP pressing) ... LP 21.99

Close matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ D-NiceCall Me D Nice (with bonus tracks) ... CD
BMG/Get On Down, 1990. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Boogie Down Productions DJ D-Nice steps out masterfully on Call Me D-Nice – his first solo album and solid dawn of the 90s hip hop album that stands up strongly today! D-Nice doesn't attempt to carry the socio-political tone of BDP or KRS-One for the most part – "Glory" being the notable exception. Funky braggadocio is the order of the day, with raw, blueprint beats and production by D-Nice himself, naturally. Includes "Crumbs On The Table", "Call Me D Nice", "The TR808 Is Coming", "It's All About Me" and "And You Don't Stop". This great Get On Down reissue has 6 bonus tracks: "Scott Made Me Funky", "D-Nice Rocks The House", "Crumbs On The Table (Stimulated Dummies Mix)", "Crumbs On The Table (Otis Mix)", "They Call Me D-Nice (40th Street Mix) and "The 808 Is Coming (DJ Pooh Remix)". CD

Close matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Howlin WolfMessage To The Young ... CD
Chess/Get On Down, 1971. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Funky blues work from Howlin Wolf – his key entry into the funked-up genre that Chess Records was cutting at the end of the 60s with other blues artists like Etta James, Bo Diddley, and Muddy Waters! As on records with those artists, Wolf's older modes are updated here for a hipper, younger audience – backed up with a bouncing batch of electrified backings arranged by Sonny Thompson, and conducted by Thompson and Cash McCall, the latter of whom is most likely playing a bit of guitar here. Tracks are a bit longer than usual, and filled with plenty of heavy guitar bits next to the vocals – and titles include "I Smell A Rat", "Miss James", "If I Were A Bird", "She's Lookin Good", "Turn Me On", and "Message To The Young". CD
Also available Message To The Young ... CD 7.99

Close matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ KhemistryKhemistry (LP sleeve edition) ... CD
Columbia/Get On Down, 1982. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
The only album we've ever seen from Khemistry – but a heck of a sweet little set, and one that's always been dear to our hearts! The trio features two gals and one guy, all working with a great sing-song approach on the vocals – and a snapping 80s groove on the rhythms! There's a warmth here that you don't always find in sets of this type – a simple, straightforward feel that keeps the whole album humming along nicely – even through some of the mellower numbers. Production is never too commercial, and the instrumentation's never too electric – and the album's got a simple charm that's kept it a favorite on rare soul lists for decades. Titles include "Can You Feel My Love", "There's No Me Without You", "I Can't Lose With The Stuff I Use", "Sucker For The Boogie", "I Got A Feeling", and "Walking Papers". CD
(In a very cool Japanese-styled, LP-like cardboard sleeve cover!)

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Nice & SmoothNice & Smooth ... CD
Fresh/Get On Down, 1989. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Classic east coast duo hip hop from Greg Nice & Smooth Bee – one of the last great things to come out on the Fresh label! The self-titled Nice & Smooth album has some good-natured jams, some straight-faced, semi serious stuff, and even the odd hip hop ballad (what ever happened to that genre?) – and they pull it all off with ease. With "Early To Rise", "More & More Hits", "We Are No. 1", "Nice & Smooth" and "Funky For You","Dope On A Rope", "Sum Pimped Out", "Gold", "Hit Me", Ooh Child" and "Skill Trade." 15 tracks in all. CD

Close matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ P Funk All StarsUrban Dancefloor Guerillas (plus bonus tracks) ... CD
Uncle Jam/Get On Down, 1983. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
George Clinton may have pretty well disbanded Parliament and Funkadelic by the time the 80s came around, but the Mothership is still soaring highly on this first album from the P-Funk All Stars project – featuring some (but not all) of George Clinton's better players from various groups! Urban Dancefloor Guerillas his a pretty great little set of jammed-up cuts produced by Clinton, Bootsy, Gary Shider, and Sly Stewart. The flame was still burning, even in the "dark years" of the litigious early 80s – on a set that's actually a bit more stylistically diverse than some the related projects, though unified by never wavering funk! Titles include "Copy Cat", "Pumpin' It Up", "Catch A Keeper", and "Generator Pop". This nice Get On Down version includes 2 bonus tracks: "Pumpin' It Up (Special Club Mix)" and "Generator Pop (12" Version)". CD
 
Possible matches: 112
Possible matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Horace AndyGet Wise ... CD
Pressure Sounds (UK), 1975. New Copy ... $14.99 15.98
Prime 70s work from Horace Andy – recorded in this laidback, soul-drenched style that almost recalls the Kingston sound of a few years before! The setting is very earthy and up-close – a perfect placement for Andy's really unique vocals, which almost approximate some of the more interesting male soul vocalists of the east coast scene of the time – particularly those at the higher end of the spectrum. Horace lilts up and down beautifully – over grooves recorded at Channel One, Black Ark, Dynamic Sound, and Randys – on titles that include "Roots Of All Evil", "Sexy Jean", "Let Your Teardrops Fall", "Get Wise", "Today Youth", "Feel Good", "Eighty Percent Badness", and "I Don't Want To Be Outside". CD

Possible matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Kay-GeesKeep On Bumpin' & Masterplan (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Gang/Octave (Japan), 1974. New Copy ... $22.99
The Kay-Gees' funkiest record ever – a set that's harder and sharper than anything else they'd ever record in years to come! Grabbing this one up is like finding a lost Kool & The Gang album from the early years – which is no surprise, since Ronald Bell of the group produced, and wrote a lot of the songs with the group – maybe acting as their mentor, and definitely giving the young group a great showcase for their boundless energy, and tight skills in the groove department! The band are incredibly tight – with lots of hard drums, choppy guitar, and the rolling party feel that made Kool & The Gang so great during their best years – captured here with a similarly raw production style. There's some great horns that blast in and out, sounding very off-beat at the best moments – like the classic "Who's the Man With the Master Plan", sampled by YZ many years ago – or other funky cuts like "Ain't No Time", "Get Down", and "You've Got to Keep on Bumpin". CD featuers bonus tracks – the unreleased instrumental "Let's Boogie", the unreleased disco version of "My Favorite Song", and the tracks "You've Got To Keep On Bumpin (parts 1 & 2)", "Hustle Wit Every Muscle (orig single)", and "Hustle Wit Every Muscle (disco version – original single)". CD
Also available Keep On Bumpin' & Masterplan ... LP 9.99

Possible matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Main IngredientRolling Down A Mountainside/Music Maximus ... CD
RCA/Expansion (UK), 1975/1976. New Copy ... $14.99
Double greatness from The Main Ingredient – two full albums on a single CD! Rolling Down A Mountainside is mid 70s magic from The Main Ingredient – a set that has the trio working with even more sophistication than on previous records, yet still holding onto all the harmonies that always made them great! Cuba Gooding's lead is wonderful – rich and full of feeling, and slinking nicely over arrangements from Rene Hall and Bert DeCoteaux, both of whom bridge the simpler styles of earlier work with some of the deeper ideas going down in soul music at the time. The title track is a killer a wonderful spacey soul track with sweeping arrangements and some weird moogy bits in the background – perfect for the group's sweet style, and a complicated captivating number that pushes past the formula of their earlier hits. The rest of the album follows with equally compelling modes – and titles include "Rolling Down A Mountainside", "Thanks For The Laughs", "That Ain't My Style", "Family Man", "I Want To Make You Glad", and "The Good Old Days". Music Maximus is wicked work from The Main Ingredient – a set that's even fuller and funkier than before, yet still a perfect setting for the tremendous harmonies of the trio! The "Roman orgy" cover makes this one look like it might be more of a disco effort – but the overall sound is a sweet mix of modern soul grooves, tight funky charts, and some deeper ideas that are arranged wonderfully by Leon Pendarvis and Lou Courtney. The approach is possibly most like Courtney's own great albums of the time – rooted in a respect for older soul styles, yet really able to open up to new ideas too – and the album features a great funky version of Leon Ware's "Instant Love", plus the tracks "Car Of Love", "Many Women In My Life", "Half A Chance", "I Gotta Know You", "Can't Get Ready For Losing You", and "Who You Really Are". CD

Possible matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Ronnie McNeirLove's Comin' Down (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Motown/Expansion (UK), 1976. New Copy ... $14.99
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". And while the core record alone would be enough to celebrate, Expansion's also done and dug out another 7 bonus tracks from the Motown vault of the 70s – material that Ronnie recorded for other albums that never materialized, every bit as great as the main stuff here! The discovery of this material is incredible – and makes for an overstuffed CD that's sure to get McNeir's name back out there again. Bonus tracks include "Start Over As Your Man", "Betcha I'll Prove", "Dream Come True", "For Those Who Don't Believe", "Just You Babe", and "I Can't See Myself Without You". CD

Possible matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Artie ShawI Can't Get Started ... CD
Verve (Japan), 1953. New Copy ... $11.99
A surprisingly wonderful album from Artie Shaw – one that takes his older groove and nicely strips it down for the 50s, and which features some especially great guitar work from Tal Farlow! Other players in the group include Hank Jones on piano, Joe Roland on vibes, Tommy Potter on bass, and Irv Kluger on drums – coming together in a loosely swinging mode that has lots of interplay on the longer-than-usual tracks on the set. Titles include the originals "When The Quail Come Back To Town", "Lugubrious", "The Grabtown Grapple", and "Lyric". CD
(SHM-CD pressing!)

Possible matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Kim TolliverCome & Get Me I'm Ready ... CD
Chess/Reel Music, 1973. New Copy ... $5.99 12.99
One of the deepest soul records ever issued by Chess Records – and the album wasn't even done in Chicago! The album's the only full effort issued under the name of Kim Tolliver – a singer who'd worked previously for Fantasy as Kimberley Briggs – and it's a sublime effort from Tolliver and husband Fred Briggs, who'd worked together previously on work for Stax by Margie Joseph! The style here is quite unique – a mix of Kim's southern soul-styled vocals with some fuller, richer touches – almost in the same way that Gloria Scott comes across on her classic album with Barry White – but a bit more rough around the edges overall. The production is amazing – with a great sense of space and style – and some key use of echo that really underscores the emotion of the tunes. A good part of the album was recorded in Miami – with echoes of the TK modes of the time – but other recording was also done in Cleveland, which might account for the more unique aspects of the set. Regardless of location, though, the album's a tremendously individual effort – a bold, raw statement from Tolliver – filled with emotion that few of her contemporaries could match, and free of any crossover soul cliches that were really bogging down other artists at the time. Most tracks here are original – as original in conception as the sound of the record – and titles include "The Other Side Of Town", "The Way He Used To", "She Don't Know You Like I Do", "Takin A Woman's Stand", "I'm Losing The Feeling", "Learn To Get Along Without You", and "I Need You/Drop Whatever You're Doing". CD

Possible matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ VariousBest Of Down & Wired Vol 3 & 4 – A Dose Of Psychedelic Funk & Blue Eyed Soul ... CD
Perfect Toy (Germany), Late 60s/1970s. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
The spare look of the cover here hardly does the music justice – as the set's filled with full, rich grooves – mostly funky rock cuts from the American underground of the 70s – but delivered with a sound that's plenty soulful overall! Imagine kids who were raised on both the soul of James Brown and Otis Redding, and the jazzier rock styles that came into play at the end of the 60s – then witness the album's wonderful blend of fuzz, funk, and really soaring styles – sometimes with a full-on nod to the Hendrix generation, other times with a vibe that's more Memphis or Muscle Shoals! As with all the other Perfect Toy compilations, the material here is very well-chosen, and thoughtfully researched – which makes for a package that's way more than a random assortment of tracks – although one that's hidden by an unassuming cover. Titles on this third volume include "I Chose To Sing The Blues" by The Revival, "Messin With The Kid" by The Aftermath, "Fire" by The Turks, "Come On & Get It" by Heather Black, "Pappy's Rug" by Pump, "Red Wine" by Sancho Bros Band, "My Land" by Friends, "Dizengoff" by Babe Wallace, "Get Out Of My Life Woman" by Fabulous Impacts, "Suffering Soul" by Guitar Murphy, "Drifting" by George Brigman & Split, "Run Clarence Run" by The Inn Crowd, and "Baby That's All" by Gentle Uprising. CD

Possible matches16
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ VariousSwamp Pop By The Bayou – Let's Get Together Tonight ... CD
Ace (UK), Late 50s/Early 60s. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Drop the "pop" from the title, and focus on the "swamp" – as the sounds here are a heady brew of all that was going down in the backwaters of the Louisiana scene at the end of the 50s – strands of blues, hillbilly, R&B, and early rock modes – all served up with a style that's quite different than some of the more polished work coming from up north! Some of these cuts echo familiar New Orleans modes, but most are very unique numbers that really show the special sort of vibe that was happening in Louisiana at the time – a real musical crossroads whose influence had later impact on styles in Texas, Tennessee, and other points south! As usual with Ace Records, not only is the choice of music great, but the presentation is too – with loads of notes that really illuminate these 28 rare tunes – titles that include "If You Don't Want Me" by Warren Storm, "Never Let Her Go" by Gene Terry & His Downbeats, "I'll Be Coming Home To You" by Hal Young & The Electras, "Where Should I Go" by Gabe Dean, "The Snake" by Merton Thibodeaux, "Lucy Lou" by Vince Anthony & The Blue Notes, "It's Too Late" by Rocket Morgan, "Now Is The Time" by Charlotte Hunter, "Play A Song For My Baby" by Rod Bernard, "Searching For Love" by Charles Page & The Rockin Aces, and "I Got Loaded" by Ken Lindsey. CD

Possible matches17
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ VariousLet's All Go Down & Blow Our Minds – The British Psychedelic Sounds Of 1967 (3CD set) ... CD
Grapefruit (UK), 1967. New Copy 3CD ... Out Of Stock
A stunner of a set – one that goes way way past familiar psych classics of the late 60s – and explosively shows the huge wave of new sounds and ideas that were going down on the UK scene in 1967! The package brings together 80 tracks from a huge number of labels – Pye, Polydor, MGM, Regal Zonophone, Track, CBS, and so many others – plus material licensed from the artists themselves – all in a mindblowing array of rare singles that capture that perfect moment when things started to get tripped-out, but never too self-indulgent – when artists were able to pack a universe of freak and fuzz into the space of a three minute single! Think of key early 45s by Pink Floyd or The Move, and you'll get the vibe here – on titles that include "Busker Bill" by The Truth, "Cept Me" by Focal Point, "Toyland" by Alan Bown, "Subway" by The Tickle, "Time To Start Loving You" by The Mickey Finn, "The Squire Blew His Horn" by The Uglys, "Your Servant Stephen" by The Peep Show, "Toy Soldier" by The Riot Squad with David Bowie, "Eiderdown Clown" by The Scots Of St James, "Cos It's Over" by The Summer Set, "Evil Woman" by Guy Darnell, "Look At The Sun" by Louise, "Flames" by Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera, "Smokeytime Springtime" by The Doves, "Keep It Out Of Sight" by Paul & Barry Ryan, "Listen To The Sky" by The Sands, "Laughing Man" by The Marmalade, "Ginger" by TJ Assembly, and "Pink Purple Yellow & Red" by The Sorrows. CD

Possible matches18
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Mal WaldronComplete Remastered Recordings On Black Saint/Soul Note Vol 2 (Up & Down/Update/Sometimes I'm Blue/Sempre Amore/Dedication/Our Colline's/I'l ... CD
Black Saint (Italy), 1980s/Early 90s. New Copy 11CD ... Out Of Stock
A fantastic run of work from pianist Mal Waldron – an artist who was already years ahead of his time when he broke on the scene in the 50s, but never got a chance to fully explore all of his many musical ideas until he formed a strong partnership with the Black Saint/Soul Note label in the 80s! This huge set features 11 different albums, each one a slight variation on Waldron's talents – all records that are packaged here in individual record-style covers – so that you get a CD version of the albums as they originally appeared on the market. Most of these are more intimate recordings – and the set includes one solo album, two duets each with David Friesen and Steve Lacy, albums with singers Judi Silvano, Tiziana Ghiglioni, and Kim Parker – a quartet date with Anthony Braxton, and another with Chico Freeman – and also one more trio album. Includes the full albums Up & Down, Update, Sometimes I'm Blue, Sempre Amore, Dedication, Our Colline's A Treasure, I'll Be Around, Six Monk's Compositions, Communique, Riding A Zephyr, and Remembering Mal. CD

Possible matches19
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ VariousSamples Outta LA – Funk ... CD
Playoff (France), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
They're not lying about the samples here – as every single cut on the collection has been used as the basis for some famous hip hop cut over the years – including a fair bit of classics from the west coast scene! Yet hearing these original grooves, we're also reminded of what makes hip hop so great – that the core building blocks are real soul sounds, heavy on the kinds of basslines, guitar riffs, and beats that have helped shape the sound of contemporary cuts for more than a few years. And sure, it's familiar territory – but man, do all these cuts sound great together! Titles include "Funky Worm" by Ohio Players, "Body Heat" by Quincy Jones, "Let's Have Some Fun" by The Bar-Kays, "Get Up To Get Down" by Brass Construction, "I Wanta Do Something Freaky To You" by Leon Haywood, "Star Child" by Parliament, "Heartbreaker (part 1)" by Zapp, "Intimate Connection" by Kleeer, "Atomic Dog" by George Clinton, "So Ruff So Tuff" by Roger, and "Cutie Pie" by One Way. CD

Possible matches20
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
BangMother/Bow To The King ... CD
Svart (Finland), 1972. New Copy ... $7.99
Bang have opened up their lineup a bit since their tight debut as a trio – but the core energy of their music is very firmly still in place – right down to the excellent sound they get recording down at the Criteria Studios in Miami! These guys are one of those groups that should have been huge – tight, focused, and incredibly hard-rocking – gifted with a great ear for penning a tune, and a strong ability to find really fresh formations from the familiar lineup of guitar, bass, and drums! There's a open, honest quality to the album that makes it wonderfully free from cliche – as does the lack of any posturing on any group members either a sense of unified cohesion that some of their contemporaries might have taken as a model. Drummer Tony D'Iorio isn't in the group this time around, but he's still helping write the tunes – and the drums are taken over by the equally strong Duris Maxwell and Bruce Gary. Some tracks also feature some surprising soulful backing vocals by singers Donny Gerrard, Clydie King, and Vanetta Fields – and titles include "Mother", "Humble", "Idealist Realist", "Bow To The King", "Tomorrow", and "Feel The Hurt". CD

Possible matches21
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Bar-KaysLight Of Life/Injoy ... CD
Mercury/Cherry Red (UK), 1978/1979. New Copy ... $11.99
A pair of Mercury Records gems from the Bar-Kays – back to back on a single CD! Light Of Life is proof that even a move to a major label couldn't keep the Bar-Kays down – as the group are working here in a great groove that's wider, fresher, and stronger overall than any of their Stax albums! Sure, the whole thing's not guitar-based funk all the way through, but the group are also maturing, and really opening up a lot – working equally well on ballads and mellower midtempo numbers, as they were on the still tight funkier tracks. The overall sound is almost that of the Ohio Players when they moved to Mercury, but without the chart hits, and more of a focus on working at a level that's even higher than before! The band still jams it hard on the funky cut "Give It Up", but also kicks back with some beautiful harmony vocals on "I Lean On You/You Lean On Me", get some great pop hooks in on "Shine", and come together nicely on the tracks "We're The Happiest People In The World", "Angel Eyes", "Are You Being Real", and "Love's What It's All About". Injoy is later Bar-Kays at their best – still plenty funky, but also working in a smoothly soulful style that became the group's trademark sound at Mercury! The album's got a real bass-heavy appeal from the start – working in a mode that shares a lot with Cameo, The Gap Band, and some of the other mainstream funk acts at the time – yet which still occasionally shows the group's roots in the rougher Memphis scene. There's actually some great ballads on the album alongside the funk – tunes that sweeten the set nicely, and provide a good counterpoint to the more uptempo numbers. Titles include "Girl I'm On Your Side", "More & More", "Running In & Out Of My Life", "You've Been", and "Up In Here". CD

Possible matches22
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Beginning Of The EndNassau Funk ... CD
Alston/Playback, Early 70s. New Copy ... $12.99 16.99
Fantastic funk from Beginning Of The End – one of the coolest, grooviest, most unique funk groups of the 70s – and one who've got a real criss-crossing of styles in their sound! As you'd guess from the title, these guys hail from Nassau, in the Bahamas – but their sound is hardly the stale calypso of the earlier generation, or some of the more familiar island hybrids that were playing for the tourists. Instead, these guys completely reinvent funk from the ground up – adding in lots of their own special styles of rhythm and inflection, with elements that were learned from their home scene, but then refitted for a mode that's much more American funk overall – making these guys one of the few island acts to challenge the likes of Fatback or Kool & The Gang! The set's an extremely well-chosen batch of tracks from the group's few recordings – and titles include the classic "Funky Nassau (parts 1 & 2)", plus "Monkey Tamarind", "Super Woman", "Doin The Funky Do", "That's What I Get", "When Se Made Me Promise", "In The Deep Bahamian Boogie", "Fishman", "Pretty Girl", "I've Got The News", "Bluestrain", "Jump In The Water", "Gee Whiz It's Christmas", "Sleep On Dream On", "Trip To Nowhere", and "Come Down Baby". CD
Also available Nassau Funk ... LP 15.99

Possible matches23
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Bobbi BoyleBobby Boyle Sings (Japanese paper sleeve edition) ... CD
Encino/Muzak (Japan), 1970. New Copy Gatefold ... $14.99
A really beautiful album from singer Bobbi Boyle – the kind of local jazz singer who never fully got her due, but didn't let a lack of fame stop her from giving her all! The set's got this amazingly intimate sound – mostly just Bobbi's piano or vibes, with guitar and bass in the background – which leaves plenty of room for Boyle to really open up, stretch out, and bring a very personal feel to her music – the kind of hip presentation that you'd normally hear from a much bigger name jazz singer. Bobbi only worked the small club scene of the San Fernando valley at the end of the 60s – but she's got a quality here that matches the hippest singers in New York at the time – on titles that include "Get Together", "Windmills Of Your Mind", "Rain Sometimes", "No Easy Way Down", and her own great "Love Please Tell Me". CD

Possible matches24
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Brian CharretteOnce & Future ... CD
Posi tone, 2016. New Copy ... $11.99 16.99
Stunning Hammond work from Brian Charette – a player who's fast becoming one of our favorite contemporary organists in jazz – given his way of both acting completely fluid on the keys, while still able to lay down a chunky rhythm at the bottom! The mix is one that few folks could ever get so right – maybe Jack McDuff or Charles Earland at their best – but Charette's also not just one of these retro-styled organists – and instead, acts with a spirit that's very much his own, as he effortlessly mixes soulful, modern, and groovy elements in a trio here with Will Bernard on guitar and Steve Fidyk on drums. Brian handles all the basslines with the organ – and beautifully so – and titles include "Zoltan", "Hot Barbecue", "Tyrone", "Latin From Manhattan", "Da Bug", "Road Song", "Falling Forth", "Blues For 96", and "The Scorpion". CD
Also available Once & Future ... CD 5.99

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Omar ColemanOmar Coleman & Westside Soul ... CD
3 On The B, 2016. New Copy ... $6.99
Funky blues from the contemporary Chicago scene – a great third set from Omar Coleman – an artist who just seems to get better and better with each release! Omar takes the "westside" in the title seriously – as the music here has that same blend of blues roots and funky soul that first started bringing from the west side of the Windy City back in the 60s – a mode that was snapped up by some of the better indies in town, and which is revived very strongly here by Coleman. The production quality is definitely modern, but there's a core groove with a sound that stretches back decades – and the key use of Hammond and Fender Rhodes really helps to that effect. Titles include "Sweet Little Woman", "Rotten Old Lady", "Good Provider", "Somebody's There When I'm Not Home", "Going Down", "Whisper To A Moan", and a take on "Jody's Got Your Girl & Gone". CD
Also available Omar Coleman & Westside Soul ... CD 5.99

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CongosHeart Of The Congos (40th anniversary 3CD edition) ... CD
17 North Parade/VP, 1976. New Copy 3CD (reissue)... $22.99 24.98
A classic slice of Jamaican roots – and an essential record from the godlike hands of Lee Perry! The set was produced by Perry at Black Ark – and instantly became the stuff of legend, even though the initial version of the album got very limited exposure – which has led to years of differing reissues and versions of the record! Yet the core sound is always very much in place, no matter what the setting – very spiritual lyrics from the group themselves, set to nicely stripped-down rhythms and instrumentation that are a great contrast to the wave of more polished international reggae releases that were garnering mainstream attention at the time. The lasting power of the set is proof that maybe when it comes to roots, you've got to really go to the roots to get it right – as you'll hear on classic tracks that include "La La Bam Bam", "Fisherman", "Congoman", "Children Crying", "Open Up The Gate", and "The Wrong Thing". This amazing 3CD package features the full album, the rare Lee Perry original mix of the album, and 10 more bonus tracks that include "Congoman (12" mix)", "Congoman Chant", "Solid Foundation (Disco Cork mix)", "Foundation Dub", "At The Feast", "Don't Blame It On I", "Neckodeemus", "Fisherman Dub", "Noah Sugar Pan", and "Bring The Mackaback". CD
Also available Heart Of The Congos (40th anniversary 3LP edition) ... LP 34.99

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Sugar Pie De SantoGo Go Power – The Complete Chess Singles 1961 to 1966 ... CD
Chess/Kent (UK), Mid 60s. New Copy ... $11.99
A much-needed look at the mighty Sugar Pie DeSanto – a singer who really rocked Chess Records back in the 60s! DeSanto came to the label already boasting one hell of a groove – a rock-solid sense of rhythm that made all of her tunes groovers right from the get-go – and a raw vocal power that easily rivaled, if not beat, that of Etta James – her labelmate at Chess, and partner on a few duet tracks here! The collection's a non-stop soul party throughout – as upbeat as Northern Soul, but with plenty of deep soul elements as well – and it's the first time many of these cuts have been brought together on CD, and certainly never before as wonderful as this. Kent serves up some great notes and vintage photos with the package – the latter of which show Sugar Pie in action on stage, clearly one of the sexiest singers to work the circuit back in the 60s! Titles include "In The Basement (parts 1 & 2)", "Soulful Dress", "Witch For A Night", "Ask Me", "Good Timin", "Mr & Mrs", "Mama Didn't Raise No Fools", "Crazy Lovin", "There's Gonna Be Trouble", "Jump In My Chest", "Somewhere Down The Line", "Use What You Got", "Never Love A Stranger", "I Love You So Much", "Go Go Power", and "I Don't Wanna Fuss". CD

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DelfonicsDelfonics/Tell Me This Is A Dream ... CD
Philly Groove/Kent (UK), 1970/1972. New Copy ... $11.99
Sublime soul through and through – 2 classics from The Delfonics, back to back on a single CD! First up is self-titled record The Delfonics – the third album in an amazing early run from The Delfonics – the kind of work that set a whole new standard for group soul in the 70s! A number of the tracks here had already risen to fame before the album's release as singles – and these are mixed with some additional tracks that are woven together in a near-perfect symphony of sound! The mighty Thom Bell arranged most of the numbers here – save for 2 by Anthony Dorsey – and the group's heavenly harmonies are in amazing form on both mellow ballads and a few more righteous numbers. Titles include "Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time", "Funny Feeling", "Over & Over", "Baby I Love You", "When You Get Right Down To It", "Delfonics Theme", "Trying To Make A Fool Of Me", "I Gave To You", "Down Is Up Up Is Down", and "Think About Me". Tell Me This Is A Dream has The Delfonics just getting better and better! The longer the group recorded, the more they picked up this strange spacey quality that pushed them past some of their contemporaries of the early 70s. And on an album like this, they prove that they're way more than just Thom Bell puppets by showing that they have a rich talent for a wide variety of complicated arrangements that really push the vocal group sound of the 70s. They take many stylistic risks, coming up with really sinister new harmonies, and always managing to stay clear of the cliches that buried some of their mates on the charts. Bell still arranges some of the material, but the record also features work by Norman Harris and Caldwell MacMillan, who did the real genius work on the record. This masterpiece includes the sublime "Hey, Love", plus "Walk Right Up to the Sun", "I'm A Man", "Too Late", "Love You Till I Die", "Looking for a Girl", and "Round & Round". CD
 
 
 



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