Review: If you haven't heard Gloria Taylor's "Deep Inside You", possibly 1973's best soul tune - and one of the best soul tunes ever made - you haven't lived life to the full. That's our honest opinion. And, if that is true, you are still in time to change that with this glorious little 7" reissue from Expansion. The title tune is a blissful segment of music, always cutting through deeply for us, but "World That's Not Real" is only less appealing by comparison. Relative to the huge amounts of soul music out in the public sphere, it is certainly still an absolutely winning B-side. Recommended.
Review: When it comes to immaculately produced and brilliantly performed deep soul, you'll struggle to find a better example than Gloria Taylor's 1973 single "Deep Inside of You". The track became a favourite with DJs during the disco era thanks to its sensual groove - all elongated organ chords, gradually intensifying four-to-the-floor drums and eyes-closed guitar solos - and an awe-inspiring vocal from the Ohio-born soul-stress. This 7" reissue edition includes the marginally longer version initially featured on a later 12" single, as well as original B-side "World That's Not Real", a slightly more psychedelic soul affair that boasts another incredible vocal performance by Taylor.
Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One) (3:11)
Blues In The Night (3:13)
Review: A powerful Stax flashback of two tracks from Arkansas soul don Taylor's 1967 debut album Wanted One Soul Singer. As covered by the likes of Lou Rawls, "Ain't That Loving You" is heartfelt bluesy ballad with a sultry swagger and serious yearning on the choruses while the even rarer "Blues In The Night" closes the B on a super-tight floor-bound riff and gutsy delivery from Taylor. Both bonafide northern soul classics and confirmed rarities with both cuts regularly fetching triple figures, this reissue changes everything. For more reasons than one.
Review: Having released on classic powerhouses such as Capitol and Atlantic, as well as other lesser known but equally coveted soul labels, we can safely say that Wilson John Turbinton aka Willie Tee is up there with the greats. The multi-talented keyboardist and vocalist released an astounding volume of music before his death back in 2007, and not all of it easy to come by these days. So, we're pleased to see "Run Around" previously unissued and now on 7" for Super Disco Edits because it's a funky and timeless soul ballad with a warm twist and a touch of sexiness for the dance. The 'Sparse' mix on the flip is perhaps less seductive but Turbington lays out more space for his own vocal charm on this version. Excellent.
Thee Baby Cuffs, Cold Diamond & Mink - "My My My Baby" (4:46)
Cold Diamond & Mink - "My My My Baby" (instrumental) (4:46)
Review: The latest hot-to-trot missive on Timmion subsidiary Stylart pairs the label's house band, Cold Diamond and Mink, with Thee Baby Cuffs, a three-part vocal harmony group from California whose only previous release was an ultra-limited seven-inch single last year. The group's classic-sounding vocals - reminiscent of famous male soul combos of the early 1960s - act as a focal point on the side A original version, though it's the studied retro brilliance of Cold Diamond and Mink's on point backing track that stands out. The band's authentic production - all rising horn lines, rich bass, loose-limbed drums and '60s style hard stereo separation - can be heard even more clearly on the fantastic flip-side instrumental take.
Review: A regular triple-figure fetch on the auction sites, it was only a matter of time before Henry Thomas & Rise's beautiful 80s soul doublet experienced the strong-armed justice of Fryer. Not just reissued but sourced and tracked down - this is just the start of what will hopefully be a whole load of criminally slept on and unreleased soul from Henry and his troupe. "My Dreams Are Clouded" is a verified club banger with its FM synth ripples and low-down bass bumps while "Don't Wait Too Long" is the ultimate come home record. Slinky, swooning and soaked in raw dollops of emotion - Henry Thomas is, once again, on the rise.
Review: "Just Plain Funk"... Few titles come with such explicit promises and back up the goods quite as well as Don Thompson's 1977 party jam. Sleazy, low-riding, slo-mo funk with big juicy keys, clear story-telling and a groove that could glide through concrete, it'll have you rolling in the cubby hole within minutes. "Hang Loose" isn't just a pretty title, either; with its lavish horn leads and swaggering soft-organ groove, it's an order.
The Tolbert Family Singers - "Ride The Gospel Train" (feat Brother O C Tolbert) (3:36)
O C Tolbert - "Give It To Glory" (5:46)
Review: With Cordial Recordings, LoveVinyl's Roual Galloway is doing a terrific job in making rare, sought-after tracks available to a wider audience. In truth, you'll struggle to find a more rare and expensive gospel killer than The Tolbert Family Singers' "Ride The Gospel Train", a drum machine driven chunk of gospel-boogie with crunchy funk guitars that's been changing hands for hundreds of pounds online. Andrew Weatherall is a fan and it's easy to see why. Flipside "Give it Glory", a solo cut by Tolbert Family patriarch Brother OC Tolbert, is a sweeter and breezier slab of gospel-soul that has never before been released on vinyl. Two killer cuts for the price of one: nice one, Roual!
Review: Chop-walloping funk soul: AOTN bossman Fryer has allegedly spent the past 15 years trying to secure this '70s rarity. Silky, youthful and compounded with an insatiable groove, it's dangerously close to Jackson 5's best output and no one would blame you if you thought it actually was. Flip for "Dimona", a slower burner that swoons and shows the band's more mature side. This is the first time either side has seen a 45... You know what to do.
Review: DJ Fryer's Athens of the North label continues its relentless charge the annals of funk and disco, focussing attentions here on the mid '70s debut of Jeanie Tracy. Glance at the discography of the Houston-born singer and you are presented with a storied recording career that includes credits alongside Bobby Womack, Aretha Franklin and Sylvester so it's little surprise to see that original copies of Making New Friends / Trippin On The Sounds rarely change hands below the $1000 mark. Originally released on Marvin Holmes' Oakland-based Brown Door Records around 1975, this Athens of the North edition is a must for any self-respecting 45 wielding selectors out there! The A-side is a recognised classic of the rare groove canon but it's "Trippin On The Sounds" that you need to hear; a glorious horn-laden deep funk nugget.
Review: Super Disco Edits continues to unearth unreleased gold. Their latest 12" boasts two previously unheard gems by Doris Troy, an American soul singer whose career was revitalized when she moved to London and released an eponymous album on the Beatles' Apple Records in 1970. "What'cha Gonna Do" is a radical revision of Troy's popular 1964 single. This version was recorded in 1980, with Troy singing beautifully over a hazy reggae-soul backing track provided by popular jazz-funk combo Mystic Merlin (they of "Just Can't Give You Up" fame). Flipside "You Got Me Baby", meanwhile, was recorded a year earlier in New York, with producers David Nathan and John Simmons conjuring up a string-drenched disco anthem onto which Troy could brilliantly do her thing.
Review: Wah Dubplate cannot and will not be stopped. The incorrigible little bootleg unit marches on with its usual mishmash of funky, disco-friendly edits from the most improbable of producers out there and this latest outing is another minor success in what is a whole catalogue of hidden gems. Italy's Aldo Vanucci and Del Gazeebo turn up sounding wild and soulful; the farmer's opening edit of "Bobby's Grapevine" does the Mo-Town tricks, while the latter's re-visioning of "Billy's Missus" gives the original 'hey, Mrs.Robison!' a nice little dance makeover. Sweet as a nut.
Review: Raw Georgian soul from Ruby Velle and her ever ready Soulphonics: two of the most powerful songs from their recent sophomore album State Of All Things enjoy a little slice of 45 justice. Big full flavoured instrumentation, and an even bigger presence from Ruby herself, across the sides Ruby and co flex their full palette; "Broken Women" is so heavy and urgent it naturally carries a powerful and infectious rock feel while "Forgive, Live, Repeat" taps a little more into the early 70s with its extended organ blasts and more lyrical clarity from the provocative bandleader. Pay attention.
Review: Atlanta troupe Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics treat us to two of the many highlights from their recent sophomore album State Of All Things. Delivered on a limited white 45, both cuts surge with the full spectrum soul they've been developing over the last 12 years. "Call Out My Name", the triumphant Valli-esque album finale is a thumping yet vastly emotional northern soul shakedown while "Love Less Blind" shows the band in a slightly woozier, dreamer state as the band's clam-tight horn section get given the spotlight shine.
Review: Those who watch the X-Factor may remember Voices With Soul; the trio, which is made up of three female members of the Campbell family (Grace, Hilda and Corene) reached the last six of the TV talent competition back in the late noughties. Here, they're in full-on contemporary gospel mode, layering their impassioned, righteous vocals over a lushly produced, slow-burning backing track full of chiming synthesizer melodies, bustling synth bass and tumbling electronic sax solos. Arguably even better is the flipside "Promo Mix", which doffs a cap to classic British street soul - a homegrown 1980s variant that is constantly overlooked by dance music scholars - via tactile hip-hop beats and Soul II Soul style production.
Review: Released in celebration of Expansion's recent re-serving of two of Leon's early 80s albums - Rockin' You Eternally and Leon Ware - here's a delightful 45 that reminds us of his finest solo moments. "Why I Came To California" is a sun-kissed soul boogie groove with big horns and even bigger chorus. "Rockin' You Eternally" (which is, let's face it, one of the smoothest song titles to ever come from the 80s) showcases Leon's softer side. A ballad steeped in sentiment, play this loud enough and everyone in a five mile radius will stop and get smoochy.
Review: Emotional Rescue previously dived into the plush, soulful and verdant sound of Jaki Whitren and John Cartwright with the reissue of their essential International Times album back in 2013. Sadly Whitren and Cartwright passed away two years ago, and this 7" of previously CD/digital-only material materialises in tribute to these wonderfully talented souls. "That Will Be That" is an effervescent boogie jam with rich synths that interplay beautifully with Whitren's stunning vocal, while "This Time" takes a starkly opposite approach with just the most delicate of keys lingering behind Whitren's powerful, echoing vocal. It's a poignant note of remembrance for two gifted musicians who shone their light into the world.
Review: Mid '70s deep funk and smouldering soul, Miami-style. Only laying down a handful of 45s during her career, Lynn Williams wasn't particularly prolific but what she did release has since become highly collectable with both of these sides fetching heavy triple figures over the years. "It Takes Two" is a sultry hip-strutting deep funk jam with a sleaze hanging off the groove while "Don't Be Surprised" is a much darker, barbed soul affair. A string-surged ballad, entrenched in authentic emotion; it's the female equivalent of Isaac Hayes's "I Can't Go To Sleep".