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Cropper Steve - Fire It Up (CD)€17,00
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.
Welch Lenny - Meets O.C. Smith – Cadences – Early Recordings, 1957-1962 (CD)€15,00
Jasmine further expands its catalogue of ’Early Soul’ this month with ’Cadences’ – a superb collection showcasing the early singles of two future giants of black American music, Lenny Welch and O.C. Smith.
Both of these great singers would find their biggest success in the 1960s, but both began recording in the mid-1950s and both spent a period of their career with New York’s Cadence label – the common factor in this compilation.
The talent was there from the very beginning, as you will hear. Although very few of these singles were actual hits, they collectively broke the ground for the success that would eventually come for Lenny with ’Since I Fell For You’ in 1963 and O.C. a few years later with ’The Son Of Hickory Holler’s Tramp’ in 1968.
Beautifully sung and beautifully produced, these recordings display a musical sophistication that was not always present in rhythm & blues records of their era. Listening to them now, it’s easy to see that both men were destined for eventual success. It’s less easy to see why that success took as long as it did to arrive.
Some superb music – mastered, as always, from the finest available sources – that capably represents a time when Rhythm & Blues was transitioning into Soul, and was being assisted in that transition by two highly able and highly enjoy-able vocalists.
Townsend Ed - New in Town and Glad to Be Here! (CD)€15,00
More ’Early Soul’ from Jasmine ! Before he became a respected songwriter and in-demand record producer during the 60s and 70s, the late Ed Townsend sought success as a singer in the Nat King Cole/Brook Benton mode. That he never quite reached the commercial heights of those great talents is a little inexplicable, to say the least.
Ed’s singing career got underway, after a couple of false starts, when his recording of his own song (and future soul classic) ’For Your Love’ placed high on the pop and R&B charts in 1958, immediately leading to the two albums paired for a first-ever UK CD reissue here by Jasmine.
’New In Town’ and ’Glad To Be Here’ both considerable style and class, with their choice of repertoire and the scintillating arrangements of the great Nelson Riddle. They were not huge sellers, but not through any fault of the singer, the songs or the consummate musicians under Riddle’s direction. 60 years on we don’t have to worry about any lack of chart action, and can enjoy these two superb albums on their many merits.
Ed moved into writing and production in the early 60s, working with such big names as Dionne Warwick, the Impressions and Marvin Gaye – for whom he came up with ’Let’s Get It On’. If you want to know more about how Ed’s musical journey would lead him to there, ’New In Town And Glad To Be Here’ will take you where it all began for this important figure in black American music.
Various - Lux And Ivy Dig The Beatniks: A Collection of Finger Lickin’ Grooves, Deep Thinkin’ Diatribes and Exploitation 45s (2CD) (CD)€15,00
A double CD featuring a host of classic beatnik 45s as dug by The Cramps’ Lux and Ivy.
• Featuring super rare sides, weird pontification, finger clicking hipness, deep thinking diatribes and the inevitable mention of goatees on a set of suitably ginchy grooves.
• Including Edd ‘Kookie’ Byrnes, Don Morrow, Langston Hughes, Slim Gailliard, the late great Ken Nordine, Rod McKuen, Cal Tjader, Babs Gonzalez and a host of others searching for the “cool”.
• With revered beat poets Kenneth Patchen and Lawrence Ferlinghetti set to jazz and mindless tunes by Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge and Bob Dorough among others.
• Featuring a blast on novelty 45s from Cacique And His Tribe, The Jokers, The Expresso’s, Honkers, Dick Summers, Three Bips And A Bop, Steve Allen and Sylvester Statuslack Hup.
• Remastered from the original sound sources with sleevenotes by MOJO magazine’s Dave Henderson.
Wells Mary - Early Years: Complete Motown Releases 1960-62 (CD)€13,00
This collection comprises the A and B sides of all he singles from these formative years, plus all the tracks from her two albums during this era, “Bye Bye Baby – I Don’t Want To Take A Chance” and “The One Who Really Loves You”, not otherwise released as singles.
It naturally features the hits already mentioned plus the other chart entries from these releases “I Don’t Want To Take A Chance” and the R&B No. 2 “The One Who Really Loves You”.
It’s a fascinating insight into the creative world of the early years of Motown, and a great showcase for one of the most distinctive voices of the era