Thursday, June 30, 2016

*New* This Love Is For Real: The Sweet Soul Of Chicago 1968-1981

Wow, this one is full of sweet soul harmony all the way through! Looking over the track list one would have thought a homeboy out in one of California's L.A. or S.J. barrios put this compilation together. The packaging has its liner notes but besides the label name (Interstate Records) there is no information as to who put this CD out or their location. I will surely be keep an eye out for any other releases from them. The songs are all well known within collector circles. Sound quality is excellent and nearly every songs is a gem. This is also  the newly released LP version and both are hard to come by. Make sure you make this one a part of your soul music collection. A few years ago this would have been a 10 hands down but since nearly all tracks have been used on other compilations (given not always with this sound quality) I have to kick the rating down a couple numbers.
8 out of 10

*New* This Time Will Be Different: The Sweet Soul Of Philadelphia 1968-1982

Making it's legit first appearance on CD is The Cruisers' jam "Picture Us". Other highlights include the tracks by Broadway Express, The Futures, The Geminiles, The United Four and Choice Of Colors. Most tracks are available in throughout the many sweet soul compilations out there. The sound quality is very good on this release.
7 out of 10

Eccentric Soul: Sitting In The Park

The latest treat in the Eccentric Soul series from the kind folks at The Numero Group. Sweet Chicago soul presented here with top notch sound quality. Highlights include "It Ain't Fair" by Ahead Of Our Time, "Moaning And Crying" by The Donetells and "Returning Home From Vietnam" by The Additions.
7 out of 10.

Northern Soul vs Doo-Wop

"Finding A Sweetheart" by The Elgins is the best track on this release. The rest is just not made for the sweet soul or Doo Wop ballad fan.
2 out of 10

Sha-Boom Bang! Ramco Records 1956-1971

"Just Pretending" by The Versatiles drove this pick up. Other notable tracks include "You Better Watch Yourself" by Little Worley And The Drops, "Losing Your Good Thing" by Chuck Womack And The Sweet Souls and "I Found My Love" and "What I'm I Living For" by Danny And The Velaires. A recommended pick up for the Doo Wop fan.
5 out of 10

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Aretha Franklin

The first set contains the standard tracks that made her a legend. The second set has a couple of decent covers and ballads. Highlights on the second set are "At Last", "The Letter" and "Pledging My Love / The Clock". Her sound is more mainstream than most sweet soul fans like myself lean towards therefore the your angry comments for the next blog you visit.
3 out of 10

Ronnie NcNeir

A few good early 70's slow jams in "You Better Make Sure", "The Tears In My Heart" and "Daddy's Coming Home".
5 out of 10

Rhythm Machine

"Laying And Playing" and "You Make Me Feel Right, Think Right, Do Right" are the top picks on this one. If you like funky grooves this might be of much interest to you.
5 out of 10

Pied Piper

The first release did not do much for me but since it bugs me greatly not to have the complete set I had to purchase. The second release has some nice mid tempo tracks such as "Wait A Minute" by The Hesitations, "Love Will Find A Way" by Harry Gates and "They Say I'm Afraid (Of Losing You)" by Freddy Butler.
4 out of 10

Cruzin TV Oldies

Pretty much the same common cuts Thump Records uses over and over on their compilations. This time they included a DVD with each volume that is geared more towards the hip hop crowd. Unless you must have the DVD's I recommend you save your cash for one of the many better oldies compilations out there.
1 out of 10

Quinn Harris And The Masterminds

The first time I got a glimpse of "Stop! Telling Me Lies" it very much grabbed my attention. After acquiring this CD and listening to the track multiple times my excitement diminished. The track ended up just decent not great.
2 out of 10

Bobby Patterson

Mainly uptempo cuts on this release. Sprinkled throughout there are some deep soul ballads. "You Thought Me How To Love", "If A Man Ever Loved A Woman (Baby I Love You)", and "Married Lady" are my top picks.
5 out of 10

Saturday, June 11, 2016

* NEW * Gangster's Dedications Vol. 6

A few repeats and some ultra rare killer soul cuts that make this one highly recommended. Highlights include the tracks by Bits And Pieces, The Symphonics, Los Friends, George Campbell and a beauty by an unknown artist holding the fourth place on the play list. A must for the soul music fanatic.
10 out of 10

This evening is the kick off of Gangster Dedications Radio. If you enjoy rare sweet soul make sure you tune in. These collectors will be spinning hard to find jams for our listening pleasure. Don't miss out, June 11th from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm pst at

Lowrider Sundays

A promo CD with two mixes of pure soul from vinyl records that mix some known with a few more obscure jams. Nice addition to the soul collection. Make sure you note down their info and give them a listen on Sunday afternoons.
6 out of 10

Monday, June 6, 2016

* NEW * Tears From The Rain

This one leans a bit more on the southern soul style than sweet soul but none the less has a few jams that make it a must have for the soul music fan. Highlights include the tracks by Van Jones And The Jays, Cathy Davis, City Magic, Jerry Tyrone, Past Present & Future and an excellent cover of The Stylistics' "Stop, Look, Listen" by Los Dinamicos Exciters from Panama. Sound quality varies quite a bit as it seems minimal effort was put towards cleaning up some of the recordings.
7 out of 10