Four classic Motown albums from Thelma Houston – plus bonus tracks too! Thelma's one of those singers who must have been waiting years for disco to come around and help her find a reason to sing! Her career was slightly ill-timed in the beginning, coming along with a baroque soul beginning that was great, yet somewhat out of place in the early 70s. But enter a record like Devil In Me – which takes Thelma's beautiful voice and fills it up with strings and disco rhythms – and you've got a well-done set that suddenly makes her whole sound make sense! Arrangements are surprisingly great, and relatively cliche-free on the best numbers – handled by Kim Richmond, James Carmichael, Greg Wright
, and Michel Rubini. Titles include "I'm Here Again", "Triflin", "I've Got The Devil In Me", "Give Me Something To Believe In", "Memories", "Your Eyes", and "I Can't Go On Living Without Your Love". On Ready To Roll, Thelma is really using her amazing vocal range to match the dynamic energy of the songs on the set – exactly the kind of material that help her open up to her full potential! The expected clubby tracks are balanced by mellower, more personal numbers – and Thelma takes them all with the sort of care and confidence that always put her on the top shelf of mainstream female soul singers at the time! Titles include "Love Is Comin On", "Saturday Night Sunday Morning", "Strange", "Midnight Mona", "Can't We Try", and "Pardon Me". Ride To The Rainbow is a bold little set from Thelma Houston – produced with a strong disco finish, in a way that makes the best of her fierce diva vocals! The album's got a unity that's nicely appreciated – especially since some of Houston's other records could be a bit too unfocused or overblown – and the production by Hal Davis and arrangements by Arthur G Wright
all have a strongly soulful quality that never steps too far out of line. Titles include a cover of "Love Machine", plus "Saturday Night Sunday Morning", "Ride To The Rainbow", "Paying For It With My Heart", "I Wanna Be Back In Love Again", and the excellent modern groover "Give It To Me". Reachin All Around is a record that really shows the great sort of growth that Motown experienced at the end of the 70s – a time when the label was really reaching out with some of its younger talent, and helping artists like Thelma Houston to find her groove! Some of the studio talents here are names you'd recognize from earlier Motown music, others are newer names – and together, they help Thelma soar with this wonderful energy – that mode that she brought to the disco generation, but very much alive and well here as she moves into a shifting array of styles and groove. Titles include "You Never Were My Friend", "The Best Years Of My Life", "Lies", "Little Bit Of Heaven & A Little Bit Of Hell", "Stormy Weather/
I Can't Stand The Rain", and "Don't Wonder Why". Bonus tracks include "Love Masterpiece" and "If You Won't Let Me Walk On The Water".