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Any Major Soul 1974 – Vol. 2

April 21st, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

ams1974-2

The second volume of Any Major Soul 1974 is long overdue; Volume 1 ran in September. I still enjoy listening to the first part, and think that the second mix is very much its equal.

This mix has Stevie Wonder’s handprints all over it: he features with a track from his Fulfillingness First Finale album, and he wrote the tracks by Syreeta (by then his ex-wife) and Minnie Riperton.

You might remember The Soul Survivors as a ’60s soul band, especially for their excellent 1969 hit Expressway To Your Heart (Gamble & Huff’s first hit), but here we find the Philly outfit in 1974. Their self-titled LP that year was also their swanswong, other than two singles that followed in 1975 and ’76, which is a shame because one feels they still had something to offer. The founder members later reformed to perform, but never released another record.

Also holding out from the 1960s in this mix is Lou Courtney, who featured on Any Major Soul 1967. And that is exactly the gap between his first two albums, though Courtney released several singles along the way. Only one more LP would follow, in 1976. From 1978-79 he was a member of The 5th Dimension, but his greater success has been in songwriting, arranging and production — fields in which he worked before, during and after his recording career — collaborating with the likes of The Main Ingredient, Ben E King and Bonnie Raitt. His most famous writing credit probably is the hit Do The Freddie for Freddie and the Dreamers, which he co-wrote with the songwriter-producer Dennis Lambert.

The most obscure act here is The Street People about whom I’ve been unable to unearth any useful information. The second-most obscure singer must be Louise Freeman. A couple of singles in 1974, the second of which provided the b-side featured here, another single in 1977, and a couple of sides in the 1980s — and that’s it.

Sandra Wright also should be more famous. A gifted singer, and cousin of the blues great Memphis Slim, she had the misfortune of recording her opus just as the record company which was going to market it, Stax (through the Truth subsidiary, which had just made a hit of Shirley Brown’s Woman To Woman album), went bust. That 1974 album, Wounded Woman, is one of the finest soul LPs of 1974 — but nobody heard it. A couple of singles were released before Stax folded, and with that the yet to be released album sunk into obscurity. It was finally released in 1989 by the British Demon label and finally found an appreciative audience. Wright continued to perform, mostly as a blues singer, but never attained the stardom that Wounded Woman should have brought her. She died in 2010 at the young age of 61.

The soul experts might raise their hand at the inclusion of the Sam Dees song, pointing out that his The Show Must Go On LP came out only in 1975. But the song Worn Out Broken Heart came out first as a single in 1974.

As ever, CD-R timed, covers, PW in comments.

1. The Blackbyrds – Walking In Rhythm
2. The Persuaders – Hold On (Just A Little Bit Longer)
3. Moments & Whatnauts – Girls
4. The Street People – Baby You Got It All
5. Syreeta – I’m Goin’ Left
6. New York City – I’ve Had Enough
7. The Hues Corporation – How I Wish We Could Do It Again
8. Willie Hutch – Try It, You’ll Like It
9. Sandra Wright – I’ll See You Through (I’ll Be Your Shelter)
10. Bobby Bland – Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City
11. Laura Lee – We’ve Come Too Far Too Walk Away
12. Millie Jackson – It’s All Over But The Shouting
13. Lou Courtney – I Don’t Need Nobody Else
14. The Soul Survivors – What It Takes
15. The Tymes – Someway, Somehow I’m Keepin’ You
16. The Delfonics – I Don’t Want To Make You Wait
17. Sam Dees – Worn Out Broken Heart
18. Minnie Riperton – Take A Little Trip
19. LaBelle – Nightbird
20. Louise Freeman – How Could You Run Away
21. Stevie Wonder – It Ain’t No Use
22. The Natural Four – Can This Be Real
23. Chairmen Of The Board – Finders Keepers

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  1. halfhearteddude
    April 21st, 2016 at 07:08 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. crowesboy
    April 21st, 2016 at 15:55 | #2

    Nice job, thanks.

  3. Jim
    April 21st, 2016 at 20:39 | #3

    God, how I love these Soul compilations!!! THANK YOU

  4. manel c.
    April 21st, 2016 at 22:33 | #4

    Thnak you! This is a “delicatessen” soul selection. I likes the way you made these compilations (no obvious tracks, many gems that one can ignore if never heard the complete original album before,…). And the diversity, from the blues-soul of Bobby Bland to the ethereal ballads of The Delfonics. As a Philly Soul lover as I am, I likes ALL the stuff by the Soul Survivors, including their Atlantic album previous to their work with Gamble & Huff on Crimson, one Lp tahat includes the sensational “Mama Soul”. I purchased their TSOP album many years ago after the single and I was falling in love immediately with the mellow B side “Virgin’ Girl” (what a masterpiece of dramatic – symphonic soul-rock!!). Sadly, as you says, the only thing they published after was the maxi “Happy Birthday America”, and I have some LP’s from Mighty Clouds Of Joy and others where appears ex-members of the band as session musicians (Fred beckmeier on guitar and Neil Larsen on the keyboards, the same N. Larsen of N. Larsen – Buzz Feiten Big Band and the same who accompanied in concert Al Jarreau. A very fine jazz-fussion keyboardist. The two vocalists, brothers Robert & Charles Ingui continues to appears in nostalgic concerts.

    Cheers to all.

  5. bloved
    April 22nd, 2016 at 01:56 | #5

    Wow, thanks yet again for another amazing Any Major Soul comp! These are well curated, carefully prepared, with an excellent variety of classic soul. I treasure each and every one.

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