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King Elizabeth - Living In The Last Days (CD)€18,00
Memphis soul gospel queen Elizabeth King recorded her first single in 1970, and if all had gone as planned, she would have made her first album a few years later. Instead, it took another half century, but Living In The Last Days, the latest sacred soul long player from Memphis’s Bible and Tire imprint, captures King at the height of her powers, with the intervening decades only serving to stoke the flames of one of the most memorable voices in modern gospel music. Living In The Last Days is a triumph from the very first intimate vocal notes of the arresting opening track, ”No Ways Tired,” to the similarly moving closer, ”You’ve Got To Move,” dual studies in intensity that each build to a burning climax, bookending a searing selection of songs burnished by the down-home grooves of the Sacred Soul Sound Section. Additionally, the Sensational Barnes Brothers are on board for harmony vocals as are King’s old D-Vine Spirituals label mates the Vaughn Sisters and the D-Vine Spiritualettes.
Various - Everybody Makes A Mistake: Stax Southern Soul Vol 2 (CD)€18,00
Stax Records in Memphis was one of the centres of southern soul, yet due to it’s many hits and big city location, this often gets forgotten. We redressed that balance with the release of ”Nobody Wins: Stax Southern Soul” but there was so much more to play that we’re back with 20 more tracks that capture the deep emotion and soulful feel of the Memphis behemoth. First up we have found a bunch of previously unreleased tracks. There are two by Eddie Floyd, including his own version of ’Everybody Makes A Mistake’, first released by Otis Redding on ”The Soul Album”; and there’s a stormer called ’Standing In The Safety Zone’ by the Soul Children. We also have alternate takes of originally unreleased tracks by Ollie & the Nightingales and William Bell and have gathered up rare tracks that appeared as bonus tracks on CDs by Jimmy Hughes, Mavis Staples, Shirley Brown, the Newcomers, David Porter, Chuck Brooks and Veda Brown. Of those that saw release at the time, we have obscure B-sides by Eddie Giles, Israel Tolbert and Lee Sain. Singles from Randy Brown, Frederick Knight and the Nightingales are as good as anything the label released, and Isaac Hayes is present with his take on the Banks & Hampton single ’I’m Gonna Have To Tell Her’, one of the great southern soul songs. Packaged with in-depth sleeve notes and extensive illustrations.
Turner Ike & Tina - Come Together / ’Nuff Said (CD)€18,00
Two early 1970s albums from Ike and Tina. Whilst their live shows packed them in, the duo found it hard to rekindle the recorded success of ’River Deep, Mountain High’. However, these two albums paved the way for ’Nutbush City Limits’ in 1973 with ’Proud Mary’ being a US Top 5 single. Digitally remastered and slipcase. With extensive new notes
Sly & the Viscaynes - Yellow Moon: Complete Recordings 1961-1962 (CD)€20,00
The amazing, unpredictable, one and only Sly Stone has never made a secret of his innocuous beginnings as a teenaged hopeful in Vallejo, California in the early 1960s. His earliest experiences as a musician and performer on the path to future glories would act as a signal lesson for the youthful Sylvester Stewart in the realities of the music business. A trio of singles with his interracial high school vocal group the Viscaynes, followed by two more releases as a solo, recorded in Los Angeles with producer George Motola, comprise the fascinating apprenticeship Sly needed to undergo on the road to fame. For decades, Sly’s juvenilia has been treated with cynical disdain by a parade of disingenuous collections, most with low-fidelity sound, artificially extended versions, and tracks by unrelated artists. Even recent releases have continued to use the wrong versions of tracks first heard on these exploitative 70s-era compilations. ”Yellow Moon: The Complete Recordings 1961-1962” rectifies this injustice by offering up Sly and the Viscaynes’ entire output from the correct master sources. The earliest tracks are drawn from recently discovered tapes and include the extremely rare B-side ’Real, True Love’, the first disc on which Sly sang lead. There are also several unissued demo tracks produced by teen idol and Viscaynes mentor Gary Stites, as well as the sought-after Jasper Woods 45, featuring an incognito Richard Berry with the Viscaynes on vocal support. The package comes with an extensive liner note by compiler Alec Palao, with much heretofore unpublished information and fresh interview material from the group and associates, as well as commentary from Sly himself. ”Yellow Moon: The Complete Recordings 1961-1962” is truly the last word on Sly Stone’s very first phase.
Various - Birth Of Soul: Los Angeles Special (CD)€18,00
Ace has very strong links with Los Angeles labels – from our original licensors Modern to ’50s labels such as Combo, Flash and Flip and ’60s soul imprints Mirwood and Money were also acquired; as were Dore and Era, who had notable soul singles in their broad canons. The latter two labels provide a variety of tracks on this early 60s compilation and the recent licensing of George Semper’s music provides the Mandarins’ big city soul collectors’ item ’That Other Guy’, as well as a previously unissued vocal group version of his popular song ’You Better Watch Out Girl’ by the Imperialites. Gary Paxton’s large and mixed stash of tapes included a goldmine of black music gems from soul’s first stirrings. Another brilliant white songwriter-producer who loved black music was George Motola and his recordings of the Vows, Chesterfields and Sylvester Stewart are highlights. H.B. Barnum has always been a major player in the city, his Little Star label was prolific in this period and we have included a duet of his two biggest solo stars Dorothy Berry & Jimmy Norman. Other great LA names such as Arthur Wright, Bobby Day, Hal Davis and Ed Cobb are also involved. Kent Harris’ in-demand Phillips Sisters 45 ’Let Me Be Your Little Dog’ features as does another R&B gem – Hank Graham’s first production ’Sneaking And Cheating’ by Esko Wallace. The world-renowned Spector sound is represented by the great Darlene Love, whose Jack Nitzsche-arranged and produced demo is up there with her best released work from the Gold Star studios. Future Motown star Brenda Holloway’s duet with Robert Jackson as the Soul-Mates shows her nascent talent and young Sylvester ”Sly” Stewart had a glittering career ahead of him. Tina Turner did OK too; her performance with Ike on ’Lose My Cool’ is superb and still under-the-radar. There are five previously unissued numbers including a Sam Cooke-style ballad from Billy Watkins cut at Modern, and Don Wyatt’s captivating beat ballad ’But What About My Broken Heart’. We could have done a box set of the great music that came out of Los Angeles during the early 60s and these are just two dozen fascinating examples of how that city’s soul sound came about.
Cropper Steve - Fire It Up (CD)
Steve Cropper was one of Stax Records main producers, songwriters and guitarist their house band Booker T. & the M.G.’s. Cropper was also a member of the Blues Brothers band
Rolling Stone magazine ranked him in the top 40 of its 100 all-time greatest guitarists
Steve Cropper has collaborated with some of the biggest names in music, including Otis Redding, Rod Stewart, Ringo Starr, Dolly Parton, John Lennon, Jimmy Buffett, and many more
Hazlewood Lee - 13 (CD)€18,00
Includes Lee Hazlewood comic strip, the story of 13 told through original artwork by Jess Rotter
Includes previously unreleased session outtake of “Cold Hard Times” plus never before heard Hazlewood compositions “Drums” & “Suzie”
Download card for complete 13 sessions including Larry Marks unreleased album, session outtakes and acoustic demos, 30 tracks total1
Lewis Barbara - Don’t Forget About Me: Atlantic & Reprise Recordings (3CD Box) (CD)€38,00
Soul Music Records is proud to present a first-of-it’s-kind compilation of recordings by renowned singer/songwriter Barbara Lewis spanning her six years with Atlantic Records (1962-1968) and her brief one-year tenure with Reprise Records (1972). This beautifully-packaged collection, sequenced in chronological order of recording session, includes the first CD release of a number of tracks from both the 1964 LP Snap Your Fingers (Barbara Lewis Sings The Great Soul Tunes) and the 1966 album, It’s Magic. With a total of (68) tracks, including seven non-album singles/B-sides, one previously unreleased cut from 1968 and both sides of Barbara’s sole Reprise single, ”Don’t Forget About Me” features an extensive essay by renowned UK writer Charles Waring with quotes from a rare 2020 interview with Barbara specifically for this box set and comments by Billy Vera and Sharon McMahan
Thomas Carla - Let Me Be Good To You: Atlantic & Stax Recordings 1960-1968 (4CD boxset) (CD)€40,00
Four CD set.
SoulMusic Records is proud to present a first-of-it’s-kind complete collection of all of the Atlantic and Stax recordings by Carla Thomas, released between 1960-1968. With a total of 94 tracks, Let Me Be Good To You celebrates ’The First Lady Of Stax Records’ whose 1961 classic hit ’Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes)’ led to the Memphis-based label’s distribution with Atlantic Records.
Sequenced by session, the deluxe 4-CD set includes tracks from Carla’s four solo albums, plus the famed 1967 King & Queen LP of duets with the late Otis Redding. The ’A’ and ’B’ sides of all of Carla’s singles – including (28) non-album tracks – are featured including Carla’s duets with her famous father, Rufus Thomas, along with five live recordings from Carla’s 1967 performances in London and Paris with the famed Stax/Volt Revue. Produced by SoulMusic Records founder David Nathan, Let Me Be Good To You – The Atlantic & Stax Recordings (1960-1968) boasts a stellar 8,000-word extensive essay by renowned UK writer Charles Waring with 2020 quotes from Stax executive Al Bell, famed songwriter/producer David Porter, Carla’s sister Vaneese (a recording artist in her own right) and former Stax publicist and songwriter Deanie Parker and others.
Parker Bobby - Soul Of The Blues (2CD) (CD)€22,00
Virtuoso blues guitarist Bobby Parker inspired John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Jimmy Page and many others yet it has taken 66 years since his recording debut for a vinyl LP & CD compilation to be issued under his name. The opening track Watch your Step was played on stage by the Beatles in their Hamburg days who by their own admission, took its riff to fashion the opening to I Feel Fine. And let’s not forget Led Zeppelin’s Moby Dick,which borrowed that same riff. What a great soulful blues singer Bobby Parker was too. From his 1956 recording of Titanic, to 1969’s It’s Hard But It’s Fair, the latest cut on this album, here are 15 unforgettable vocal performances plus two instrumentals that showcase his unique way of playing the blues. Bobby Parker originals are hard to come by – apart from the hit Watch your Step, everything else is a valuable collector’s item.
But this compilation brings them all together in one box and we can promise a treat in store for you.
Carter Kenny - Showdown – The Complete 1966 RCA Recordings (CD)€18,00
A scintillating, multi-million dollar LP finally gets a release 54 years late.
The massively admired Kenny Carter had three singles issued on RCA in 1966 but actually recorded 22 sides. Those singles and some previously unreleased tracks have made him a cult figure among soul connoisseurs. At last, we have the complete RCA sessions for you.
Kenny Carter had two workmanlike 45s issued in the early 60s, to no success. For some unknown reason, in 1965 RCA decided to put him into the large Studio A at Bell Sound in Manhattan with one of the top arrangers of the time, a 20-plus piece orchestra and four top backing vocalists. Three 45s were issued between April and October 1966; none of them charted but the sessions continued with a view to issuing an LP in November. It never happened.
The arranger Garry Sherman remembered it as a “a multimillion-dollar orchestra and chorus. In the violin section we had at least seven or eight Strads (each valued at $1,000,000+) – many were concertmasters for major symphony orchestras and are on hundreds of hit records.” Backing singers included Val Simpson, Nik Ashford, Leslie Miller and Toni Wine; several excellent songs were provided by Larry Banks’ songwriting team, which included Kenny, Tony May and Herman Kelley.
However, it was the additional jazz and show standards that gave the album its raison d’être. Garry Sherman wanted to move the songs into the current soul idiom, rather than turn Kenny into a nightclub singer. He moulded the arrangements to suit Kenny’s powerful vocals. Fortuitously, RCA hired a photographer for the sessions and we have eight shots that show the recordings as they happened.
We have had access to the tapes since the 90s but have only managed to release six of the unissued recordings in a piecemeal fashion, up to now. The full 22 tracks here vary from ballads to uptempo dancers. That voice, supported by such an intelligently utilised orchestra, makes it a true, as yet unknown, pinnacle of 60s soul music.
Various - The ’Sound’ Of The R & B Hits (CD)€20,00
With the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Georgie Fame and many more mining Motown songs, “The ‘Sound’ Of The R&B Hits” was the first UK compilation of studio recordings from Berry Gordy’s hugely influential label. Now doubled in length, this collection traces the evolution of Motown in the UK to the moment it scored its first chartbuster in May 1964.
“R&B in Britain is much bigger than anyone suspects,” declared Record Mirror. This observation, in an edition dated 25 April 1964, was based on the results of its Rhythm & Blues Poll – the first conducted by a weekly pop paper in the UK. Very few of the artists listed in the categories had scored hits or even had many records issued in the country, but the poll was timely. Following some wider attention through records and the media, R&B was beginning to emerge dance-step by dance-step from the underground. Arriving in shops around the time of the Record Mirror poll, the Stateside label’s “The ‘Sound’ Of The R&B Hits” LP played a role in opening hearts and minds to the righteous music.
The poll winners reflected two strands of R&B resonating with Record Mirror readers. Several years after recordings by Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley were released, the spirit of Chicago blues had been revived by new British groups such as the Rolling Stones, who released their debut LP in the same month as the poll. The Stones and their blues idols were riding high in the poll. But the creators of the other side of R&B were also represented. Their contemporary music was exuberant, fast-paced and sophisticated. Many of these captivating R&B records originated from the Motown Corporation based in Detroit. For example, Mary Wells was the Top Female Singer and the Miracles were voted Best Male Group in Record Mirror. “The ‘Sound’ Of The R&B Hits” was compiled as a showcase for – as the sleeve note stated – the “sound that identifies a Tamla-Motown production”.
Many music fans, including Ace Records co-founder Roger Armstrong, were drawn to the Stateside LP due to its intriguing connection to “With The Beatles”. The group’s second album, released a few months earlier, included versions of three Motown songs. Tony Barrow’s sleeve note made clear the Beatles’ “immense admiration” for the Miracles so, unsurprisingly, five tracks by the Miracles are included on “The ‘Sound’ Of The R&B Hits” – although ‘You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me’, covered on “With The Beatles”, is not one of them. Beatles fans would also notice the presence of the original of ‘Money’ and recognise the name of the Marvelettes from the Beatles’ LP sleeve. Although ‘Please Mr Postman’ – the last song on side one of “With The Beatles” – was not amongst the three Marvelettes tracks featured on “The ‘Sound’ Of The R&B Hits”, it is among the 14 bonus tracks on this CD compilation.
“The ‘Sound’ Of The R&B Hits” was issued when only a small minority knew about the joyous music masterminded by Berry Gordy’s stable of artists, writers and producers. Its track listing is so quirky that the Ace team has selected 14 tracks from the same era to complement the Stateside compiler’s concept of “the sound that identifies a Tamla-Motown production”. As you listen, marvel at the fact that not one of these 28 tracks became a hit in the UK. Then tip your hat to the pioneers and champions who banged the gong for this sublime music to be signed, sealed and delivered at last. Can I get a witness?
Wilson Jackie - Body and Soul / You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet + 4 bonus (CD)€15,00
2 LPs on 1 CD. Limited edition 6-panel Digipak with comprehensive inside booklet
Jackie Wilson was a very important influence on the soul era that followed his prominence in the music business. An electrifying showman and one of the best R&B singers and performers of all time, Wilson’s athletic stage moves influenced performers from Elvis Presley to James Brown, and his astounding vocal range include high-pitched whooping, operatic pop, crooning, and everything in between. This essential release complies two of Wilson’s LPs for the Brunswick la Bel in their entireties: Body and Soul (1962) and You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet (1961). Long unavailable, both splendid albums have been packaged together in this remastered collector’s edition, which also includes 4 bonus tracks from the same period. There’s no better proof of Jackie Wilson’s talents than these consistent, stylish and exuberant recordings.
”No other singer of his generation so perfectly combined Jame’s Borown rough, sexy style and Sam Cook’s smooth gospel-polished pop”. – Rolling Stone Magazine
Burke Solomon - King Of Rock `n` Soul: Atlantic Recordings 1962-1968 (3CD) (CD)€37,50
Great three CD set that celebrates the recordings that Solomon Burke made for the legendary Atlantic Records label between 1960 and 1968.
Solomon is generally acknowledged as one of the greatest soul singers to emerge during the genre’s golden days. He signed to Atlantic before ’soul music’ became a bona fide sub-genre of African-American music and it was Solomon who helped define this new movement and he was, in fact, one of the first artists to use ’soul’ to describe his music. He would eventually be known the world over as ’The King of Rock and Soul’.
His Atlantic recordings are presented in chronological order of recording across the three discs and each session is identified by date, location and all the musicians present are identified (where known).
This celebratory definitive collection includes the content of all six of the LPs released during Solomon’s tenure with Atlantic plus all non-album tracks for a total of 79 soulful cuts.
Various - Birth of Southern Soul – These Arms of Mine (CD)€15,00
Less up-tempo, frantic and danceable – and considerably more melodic – than regular 60s Soul, the roots of SOUTHERN SOUL can be dated back to the mid-50s.
This 60-track, 2-CD set comprehensively explores the birth of Southern Soul, from the point where Gospel, R&B and even rural Country began to merge.
Many of the genre’s biggest names are featured herein, notably Ray Charles, Bobby Bland, Sam Cooke, Ted Taylor, Ivory Joe Hunter, Brook Benton, Solomon Burke, Arthur Alexander, Irma Thomas, Johnny Adams, Little Willie John, Betty Lavette, Little Esther Phillips, etc.
Also included are deep Soul cuts from James Brown, Otis Redding, Roy Brown, Ruth Brown, Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas, William Bell, The Tams, Barbara Lynn, Sugar Pie DeSanto, Joe Tex, etc., names perhaps more readily associated with regular R&B and/or 60s Soul.
This is a unique and irresistible collection of hits and collectors’ obscurities, many of the latter unavailable elsewhere on CD.
Various - The Soul Of The Memphis Boys (CD)€18,00
The long-awaited follow-up volume to the successful Memphis Boys: The Story of American Studios (CDCHD 1330) showcasing the brilliant accompaniments of this top session group, directed by Chips Moman.
This new release focuses primarily on the studio’s sublime southern soul output by headline stars and lesser knowns, primarily from quality labels such as Atlantic-Atco, Bell-Amy-Mala and John R’s Sound Stage 7 in the years 1967-72. The vast majority of tracks are making their Ace CD debut.
Soulful tracks by Jerry Lee Lewis, Dusty Springfield, the Box Tops and Elvis Presley sit easily here, along with a rare cut by Darlene Love and the Blossoms. Features the studio group s extraordinary guitarist Reggie Young, who has two well-received Ace CDs to his name: Forever Young (CDCHD 1500) and Reggie Young: Session Guitar Star (CDCHD 1537). Compiled by experts John Broven and Red Kelly (known as the Soul Detective), who has written a detailed note to go with an introduction from Memphis Boys keyboardist Bobby Wood.
A beautifully illustrated booklet completes the package.
Various - Soul Voices ~ 60s Big Ballads (CD)€18,00
Male soul balladeers from the 60s are particularly admired and there are many A-listers here: Roy Hamilton, Walter Jackson, Lou Johnson, Kenny Carter and Jimmy Radcliffe to name a few.
The majestic sound grew out of the first soul records which were made in New York in the 60s – three quarters of the featured tracks were recorded there – and have a timeless quality, but one which is virtually impossible to replicate nowadays. Four are previously unissued vintage recordings. The Kenny Carter is outrageously good and is a Larry Banks song. Clarence Pinckney is largely unknown but performs well on a great Billy Terrell song, while recognised, high-quality soul vocalists Junior Lewis and Billy Watkins add substantially to the oeuvre. Rare releases by Brooks O’Dell, Herb Johnson and Al Hibbler complement known but expensive collector s discs from Clyde McPhatter, Garrett Saunders, Jimmy Beaumont and Roy Hamilton.
Overlooked CD-only old recordings have the spotlight shone on them, Walter Jackson’s Forget The Girl and Tommy Hunt’s terrific male take on Don’t Make Me Over being particularly noteworthy. Throw in great tracks by Freddie Scott, Tony Mason, Garnet Mimms, Ben E King and more and it really is a must-buy soul CD. Compilation and notes by Ady Croasdell.