required listening

CD Review


Kent Soul (UK) CDKEND 487

DETERMINATIONS-Save The Best For Me; ACT 1 - Do You Feel It; RAY GODFREY - I Love You More Than Anything - Hold On; GARLAND GREEN-Since You’ve Been Gone; RONNIE WALKER-Magic’s In The Air; FATBACK BAND-If You Could Turn Into Me; JOE SIMON-Your Time To Cry; MAXINE WELDON-I’m The Other Half Of You; CLARE BATHE-Forever; JACKIE VERDELL-The Storm Is Passing Over; C-BRAND-Plenty Of Love; JONESES-Beauty (Is In The Eye Of The Beholder); FLOWER SHOPPE-Kill The Monster; PHILLIP MITCHELL-If We Get Caught I Don’t Know You; US-If You Say You Love Me; VICTOR TAVARES-Falling In Love; LEROY RANDOLPH-(I Have Fallen Into) The Tender Trap; EQUATIONS-Boiling Like Water; LITTLE EVA HARRIS-Sugar Plum (Give Me Some); RICHARD BARBARY-Get Right; PRINCE HAROLD-Daddy’s Coming Home; VERNON BROWN-Of Your Life; INTERNATIONALS- I Ride Alone

Delving into the vaults of the Spring, Event and Posse labels, compiler Ady Croasdell has come up with this tasty selection of two dozen items recorded between 1967 and 1983, almost entirely previously new to Kent cd and including six emerging into the light for the first time.  Of the latter, Ray Godfrey (aka Raeford Gerald) - the only act to get two bites of the cherry - had both of his sides previously hidden, ‘I Love You More Than Anything’ being a swinging opus co-penned with Joe Simon (and Dock Price) and produced by Simon and John Richbourg, while the upbeat dancer, ‘Hold On’, from nine years later, found him recording at New Jersey’s Venture studios in collaboration with Tony Camillo.  Under his Raeford Gerald moniker, he wrote ‘I’m The Other Half Of You’ and also produced the powerful version of the ballad we have here, courtesy of Maxine Weldon, a lady more usually associated with the jazzier side of the spectrum.  That this is making its debut here is grounds alone for purchase of the cd.  From 1975, two further unissued items come from short-term group member going solo, Victor Tavares and ‘Falling In Love’, a mellow slowie and the minimally-named Us, a four-person aggregation whose ‘If You Say You Love Me’ is an uptempo piece, tightly harmonised and giving off a 5th Dimension vibe.  Elsewhere, the earliest items on display sit back-to-back at tracks 21 and 20 respectively: Richard Barbary’s 1967 offering, ‘Get Right’ is a femme-supported dancer, written with producer, Harold Thomas who also penned and produced the pop-slanted ‘Sugar Plum (Give Me Some)’, a 1968 offering from ‘The Locomotion’ girl, Little Eva [Harris], which first emerged on an Ace cd in 2004.  From the earliest, we jump into 1980 and the Posse label for the Joneses’ spirited ‘Beauty (Is In The Eye Of The Beholder) and Clare Bathé’s outing, ‘Forever’, a sterling ballad from a lady who deserved much more success than she managed to achieve as a ‘front of mic’ performer.  C-Brand were something of label-hoppers, landing on Spring in 1982 with the lightweight funk of ‘Plenty Of Love’ while, adding variety of this set, we have a touch of modern gospel from 1983 in the shape of Jackie Verdell’s clap-beat ‘The Storm Is Passing Over’, a song she wrote with Joe Simon, who also produced.  As a singer, Joe is represented here by his smash hit, ‘Your Time To Cry’ and he is joined by such other notable soul men as Garland Green and Phillip Mitchell, while special mention must go to ‘(I Have Fallen Into) The Tender Trap’, a plaintive item from Leroy Randolph who, thanks to Ady’s liner information, I have discovered was the brother of Don Covay.

US R&B Chart statistics  (peak positions: BB = ‘Billboard’, CB = ‘Cashbox’)...

Joe Simon  -  Your Time To Cry  (Spring 45, 108)  -  BB 3, CB 1                                                                                                                                           

review posted 6/3/20