Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Newcomers

The latest in an already impressive soul music catalog by Ace Records. Besides the songs we are familiar with already like "Mannish Boy" and "Girl, This Boy Loves You" we also get treated to other fine sweet soul tracks such as "It's Me Who Loves You", "Betcha Can't Guess Who", "The Exit" and "(Paint On Me) The Face Of A Clown". At initial play first thought that came into my mind while listening to "It's Me Who Loves You" was that they simply were attempting to capitalize on the success of "Mannish Boy". Much to my surprise when reading the liner notes "It's Me Who Loves You" was released first but fell victim to poor promotion and management as sadly was the case with this fine group.
Make sure you grab your copy before they disappear.
7 out of 10


A couple of hard to find releases by Haze. They had a sound that was up there with the likes of The Ohio Players and Earth, Wind & Fire in the mid to late 1970's. The first release features the killer soul ballad "I Do Love My Lady" and another nice track in "When We Were Kids". The second release does not contain a track list on the back. It does contain a nice booklet with lyrics and photos of the band member. The outstanding track on this release is "I'm In Love". A solid addition to any soul collection.
5 out of 10

Tracks on the Haze II Resurrection release:
1. I Need Somebody
2. Love Keeper
3. Music Is My Life
4. I've Got A Song To Sing
5. Let's Have A Party
6. Let The Disco Funk Yo' Mind
7. Love Rhyme
8. Faces, Traces, Places
9. Time (Won't Change Our Minds)
10. Loud And Proud
11. I'm In Love
12. Players In The Night Parade
13. You Are The Joy Of My Life

Mike James Kirkland (Mike And The Censations)

Now here is a man who got far less recognition than he deserved. Mike James Kirkland has a voice that I just can't get tired of. Good tracks as a soloist include "Together", "O Me O My" and "Blota Blota". The Don't Sell Your Soul release contains his solo albums plus the tracks recorded under Mike And The Censations. Killer sweet soul material such as "There's Nothing I Can Do About It", "Victim Of Circumstance", "Shopping For Love" and "Gonna Try Get You Back" make this release a must have. Strongly recommended.
9 out of 10

The Sylvers

Mainly funk and disco dance numbers on these releases by the this incredible sibling group. "Wish That I Could Talk To You" has been a personal favorite of mine for years. Other notable slow jams include "Ain't No Doubt About It", "Through The Love In My Heart" and "That's What Love Is Made Of". "Misdemeanor" by Fosters Sylvers is a nice jam for the old school fans. Sadly Foster Sylvers' cover of "I'm You Puppet" is no where to be found on their available CD compilations. A must for the collection.
6 out of 10

East Of Underground

A killer cover of The Fuzz's "I Love You For All Seasons" included in this release. That track alone for me made this pick up well worth it. "East Of Java" and "Walk On By" are decent.
6 out of 10

Fontella Bass

Not much offered here when it comes to sweet ballads. Her covers of "Gee Whiz" and "Baby What You Want Me To Do" are decent. On the Free release the sole track that sticks out is "I'm Leaving The Choice To You" but even that did not even begin to quench my thirst for sweet soul ballads.
2 out of 10

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Peaches And Herb

More than a fair share of covers have been done by Peaches and Herb. Their biggest hits came in the early 80's with "Reunited" and "I Pledge My Love". During the 60's they cut some very good ballads such as "Close Your Eyes", "Because Of You", "Let's Fall In Love", "(We'll Be) United" and "The Door Is Still Open To My Heart" featuring a solo Herb. No collection is complete without this duo.
7 out of 10

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Dore Story, Postcards From Los Angeles 1958 - 1968

Once again Ace Records brings us some hidden gems in a very well put together package. "There's Something On Your Mind" was the first recording by a young Little Ray who would briefly become the lead singer of the legendary East L.A. band Thee Midniters. Other notable tracks include "Baby, Baby All The Time" by The Superbs, "Last Year About This Time" by The Symbols, "Hey Lady" by The Entertainers IV and "Every Once In A While" by The Debonaires. This one is a must.
8 out of 10

Blood In Blood Out Soundtrack

For me this one was a mess of styles that should not be used in the same release. Nothing worth mentioning, you know the good ones. You will not miss much passing this one up. Official release.....have my doubts.
1 out of 10

2 Firme

A reshuffle job of rare and common oldies picked from other compilations. Highlights include tracks by such acts as The Conservatives, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Dupremes, The Uptites and Eddie Benitez. Another good compilation to have if your collection is limited and you are on a budget. I gave it a lower rating since it is completely made up of repeats.
5 out of 10

The Serenaders

"Only Mine", "I'll Cry Tomorrow", "The Letter" and "The Masquerade Is Over" are the the best off of this release. Lots of upbeat songs with some Acappella mixed in.
5 out of 10

The Blue Jays

Another excellent Relic Record Productions release. Good liner notes and sound quality. Besides the title track, "Tears Are Falling", "Let's Make Love", "A Casual Kiss" and "That's All It Took" make this a must have for the Doo Wop fan.
8 out of 10

Playin' Hard To Get, West Coast Girls

"Write Me A Letter" by The Blossoms, "I Want To Get Married" by The Delicates and "How Long Must This Fool Pay" by Yvonne Carroll were the top tracks for me here. I really did not care much for the rest of the material but I had to have a clean copy of The Delicates' song so I picked up.
2 out of 10.