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Any Major Soul 1972 – Vol. 2

August 28th, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

Any Major Soul 1972 - Vol.2

The second volume of Any Major Soul 1972 features a number of well-known acts, but few of them doing their better-known songs. This compilation demonstrates the sheer quality from which labels could choose singles.

Aretha Franklin, for example, covers Dusty Springfield’s “A Brand New Me” (though I prefer the original). A composition by Philly soul giants Thom Bell, Jerry Butler and Kenneth Gamble, Aretha departs from the early Philly soul to give it a southern soul vibe which turns into an extended jazzy outro.

One famous name missing on both volumes is Stevie Wonder, who released two soul classics in 1972, Music Of My Mind and Talking Book. Like the two Donny Hathaway classics also issued that year, these should be in every good record collection. Stevie is represented here by his ex-wife Syreeta, whose eponymous album he produced and wrote seven out of nine songs for, including the featured “Keep Him Like He Is”.

Few soul songs have give rise to a documentary. Billy Paul’s “Am I Black Enough For You” provided the context for a 2009 documentary by Swedish director Göran Hugo Olsson, which examines the career of Billy Paul, Philly soul, money in the record business and black politics. The song was Paul’s follow-up single to the crossover mega-hit “Me And Mrs Jones”. Needless to say that it did not provide another crossover hit. An expression of Paul’s political activism, its choice as a single did much to undermine the career of Billy Paul, even as it appeared at the same time of soul singers making statements of African-American assertiveness — it was the year, after all, in which Aretha Franklin, universally admired Queen of Soul, titled her LP Young, Gifted and Black.

Between The Blossoms and The Glass House there was some controversy. The latter were on Holland-Dozier-Holland’s Invictus Records; the former were ready to sign for the label. The Blossoms — Darlene Love, Fanita James and Jean King — had been one of the great backing bands of the 1960s. Some great Phil Spector productions, such as The Crystal’s “He’s A Rebel”, were recorded by the trio but were credited to others.  By 1972 they were recording with the Dozier and the Holland brothers.

The trouble came when they apparently released The Blossoms’ recording of a great gospel-soul song titled “Touch Me Jesus” (which featured on Saved! Vol. 2) under the Glass House moniker, even though Glass House singer Scherrie Payne (Freda’s sister) sounded nothing like the very recognisable Darlene Love. The Blossoms didn’t sign with Invictus, and — probably still pissed off at the betrayals of Spector — sued H-D-H instead. Don’t let that put you off The Glass House, though — they were excellent.

Jazz fans might be surprised to encounter Leon Thomas here, and, indeed, Thomas was a jazz singer, even singing with Count Basie’s band in the 1960s. But he also dabbled in soul, as he did on 1972’s Blues And The Soulful Truth, which has some soul songs, a few funk numbers, a bit of blues, and some jazz, including a ten-minute avant-garde piece titled “Gypsy Queen”.

Followers of 1990s soul will be interested to learn that the lead singer of The Montclairs was Phil Perry, who in 1991 had a hit with a cover of Aretha’s “Call Me”. Perry was scheduled to play a set of lunchtime jazz at the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001. Luckily he had not yet arrived when the towers came down, but for years after he was in an artistic depression. With The Montclairs he recorded only one album, 1972’s Dreaming Out Of Season.

As always: CD-R length, covers, PW in comments.

1. The Temptations – What It Is
2. Billy Paul – Am I Black Enough For You?
3. Ann Peebles – How Strong Is A Woman
4. Earth, Wind & Fire – They Don’t See
5. The Dramatics – Thank You For Your Love
6. The Glass House – V.I.P.
7. The Montclairs – Dreaming’s Out Of Season
8. Al Green – What Is This Feeling
9. Aretha Franklin – A Brand New Me
10. Bobby Womack – Woman’s Gotta Have It
11. Bill Withers – Lonely Town, Lonely Street
12. Syreeta – Keep Him Like He Is
13. Leon Thomas – Love Each Other
14. Grady Tate – I Just Wanna Be There
15. Eddie Kendricks – Someday We’ll Have A Better World
16. The Soul Children – Hearsay
17. The Bar Kays – Be Yourself
18. Bobby Patterson – I Get My Groove From You
19. Ollie Nightengale – Here I Am Again
20. The Blossoms – Cherish What Is Dear To You
21. The Supremes – Your Wonderful Sweet Sweet Love
22. Ruby Andrews – You Made A Believer Out Of Me

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  1. halfhearteddude
    August 28th, 2014 at 07:12 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. JohnnyDiego
    August 29th, 2014 at 12:42 | #2

    While I am a huge fan of 60s soul music (sometimes called Northern Soul) (and less so a fan of the Motown Sound) I am fairly well stocked with 70s soul music as well. Your ‘Any Major Soul’ series has been a part of my collection ever since I discovered it several years ago and I am grateful for each new edition to that series.
    I am curious to just how you compile these compilations. The work must be time consuming and arduous. Your efforts to tag each song are unparallelled and much appreciated. I’m curious because way way back in 1972 I was the only one (I thought then) in the universe who owned a copy of Leon Thomas’s album “Blues and the Soulful Truth.” So I was surprised indeed to see a song from that album included here.
    Once again thank you, Dude, for all the work you do. It is much appreciated.

  3. halfhearteddude
    August 29th, 2014 at 21:24 | #3

    I tag albums as I encode or download them. The longest process is to choose which tracks not to use, and to make sure the mix keeps to the maximum length, i.e. to fit on a CD-R (I doubt many people still burn mixes on to CD, but it’s a good discipline to maintain).

  4. JohnnyDiego
    August 31st, 2014 at 13:02 | #4

    My question really was how do you find the material? In the case of Leon Thomas, as I stated, I didn’t think too many people knew of him. He was far less popular than, say, Al Green in 1972 so the fact that you included him tells me that somehow you discovered this particular song or perhaps owned the album at one time. What points you toward a song? Better yet, how do you discover it? If you’re anything like me you can’t spend 24/7 listening to music.

  5. halfhearteddude
    August 31st, 2014 at 17:13 | #5

    I bought stupid amounts of second-hand LPs in the 1980s and early ’90s, so much of the stuff comes from LPs I discovered then. More rare stuff I’ve downloaded from various sites over the years. funkmysoul.gr is a great repository of some really rare stuff, but there are many others whose name Ive forgotten. The Leon Thomas stuff comes from one of those. “Love Each Other” is such a relief after that long, heavy “Gypsy Queen”, so that sticks.

  6. Vintage Spins
    September 1st, 2014 at 15:43 | #6

    I think you need to correct DECEMBER 11th, 2001 to SEPTEMBER 11th, 2001!

  7. halfhearteddude
    September 3rd, 2014 at 17:53 | #7

    Indeed, Thanks for the alert.

  8. zyderock
    September 9th, 2014 at 01:09 | #8

    Couple quick comments. I too love these mixes and I am one at least who burns them to disc. I only have a CD player in my car and so I do burn ’em so I can listen while driving.
    Also love the story about the Blossoms/Glass House. I get to mix shows for an organization called the Society of Singers whenever they do a benefit and our last one a couple months ago was billed as Celebrate 20 Feet with SOS. Some of the amazing ladies that sang that night were Scherrie (stunning vocalist!), Fanita James, Tata Vega, Susaye Green and Billie Barnum. Have fun reading all the credits they each have and know that allmusic only has partial bios on them.

  9. halfhearteddude
    September 11th, 2014 at 07:17 | #9

    That’s brilliant. So glad they’re still performing.

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