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Brown, James - Tell me what You're gonna Do
(Ember EMB-3357 UK-64 VG+ 375:-)

Well on his way to becoming soul brother number one, James Brown's recordings are exhilarative, which can be attributed to his urgent delivery. His ability to bring excitement to his upbeat songs goes without saying, but his serenading side is as majestic as some of the best melodramatic groups of the day.

1964 UK mono LP on a rough textured red & yellow Ember label, front laminated flipback picture sleeve. The sleeve shows a little wear with age - the vinyl is graded VG+.
Brown, James - Tour the USA
(London HA-8240 UK-65 VG+ 500:-)

The title is something of a misnomer, for this is no live album; rather it was recorded in a studio and was seen as an opportunity for James backing group The Famous Flames to step into the spotlight. Of course, the James Brown connection would be maintained by the presence of James on the front cover! Whilst this album is invariably overlooked by James Brown fans and seldom praised by those who are not, it was an important album in the James Brown catalogue, for it marked the continual growth of the artist who would become one of R&Bs biggest stars. The album is almost entirely instrumental and establishes the musical blueprint he would later take with the JBs. He doesnt quite get on the good foot, but there is more than enough here to keep anyone grooving.

Original UK pressing. The sleeve has a previous owners name on the back; the vinyl is graded EX.
Dells - There is
(Cadet LPS-804 US-68 VG+ 300:-)

The Dells are one of the finest and longest-lived R&B vocal groups in history, and what’s most amazing is that they’ve done it with nearly all the same members – they haven’t changed personnel since 1960. They were one of the very few doo wop outfits to successfully update their sound, finding their strongest commercial niche in the late ’60s and ’70s as a polished smooth soul harmony group.

This breakthrough album marked The Dells transition from their doo-woop roots to contemporary soul. It features the long version of their classic balland ‘Stay in My Corner”, as well as the upbeat “There Is”, this excellent album is classic Chicago harmony from start to finish.
Detroit Emeralds - I'm in Love with You
(Westbound WB 2018 US-73 SS 300:-)

Although lesser-known than their other Westbound labelmates, the Detroit Emeralds were an excellent Detroit soul group with a funky sound, and they sold loads of records in local markets where they were getting lots of airplay. This was their third album.

Original US pressing; Still Sealed!
Ebonys - Ebonys
(PIR KZ-32419 US-73 VG+ 275:-)

Camden, New Jersey based Ebonys, were the forerunners and perspective candidates to become a super-group under Kenny Gamble’s and Leon Huff’s newly-founded Philadelphia International Records in the early 1970s. The first PIR single by the Ebonys is actually the first PIR that you could call a hit.

In early summer of 1971 a powerful soul ballad named "You’re the Reason Why" climbed the charts. Recorded at Sigma Sound Studios and backed by MFSB, the song was written and produced by Gamble & Huff and arranged by Thom Bell. PIR decided to release the Ebonys’ first album in the latter part of 1973, and eight out of the nine tracks on display were either past or future single sides. The only non-single track was called "I’ll Try", but what a track it was! – an over 6-minute long deep soul ballad in the best Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes/Teddy Pendergrass vein!

Original US pressing; both sleeve and vinyl are graded VG+.
Floyd, Eddie - California Girl
(Stax STS-2029 US-70 EX 275:-)

Edward Lee Floyd is best known for his work on the Stax record label in the 1960s and 1970s including the number 1 R&B hit song "Knock on Wood".

Eddie Floyd got the '70s underway in fine form with this release. The title track and two other singles, including a good version of "My Girl," made their way into the charts.

Original US pressing. The sleeve has a cut-out hole in the lower right corner; the vinyl is graded EX.
Gaye & Kim Weston, Marvin - Take Two
(Tamla TS-270 US-66 VG+ 275:-)

Best known as a duet partner of Marvin Gaye, Agatha Natalie Weston signed with Motown during the company's early days, scoring a minor R&B hit in 1963 with "Love Me All the Way." The following year, she recorded her first duet with Gaye, "What Good Am I Without You".

One of the most gifted, visionary, and enduring talents ever launched into orbit by the Motown hit machine, Marvin Gaye blazed the trail for the continued evolution of popular black music. Moving from lean, powerful R&B to stylish, sophisticated soul to finally arrive at an intensely political and personal form of artistic self-expression, his work not only redefined soul music as a creative force but also expanded its impact as an agent for social change.

Though most listeners best remember his duets with Tammi Terrell, Kim Weston was his first ultra-successful collaboration with a female singer. Their voices were magic together, as evident on their hit 'It Takes Two'.

Original US pressing; both sleeve and vinyl are graded VG+.
Grandmaster Flash - The Message
(Sugar Hill SH-268 US-82 VG+ 275:-)

The classic debut album by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five – one of the pioneering groups in hip hop-history! With prototypical party jams and the original conscious rap landmark "The Message", all over old school grooves laid down under Sylvia Robinson's watchful eye by the Sugar Hill rhythm section; that funky depth keeps it fresh to this today!

Original US pressing. The sleeve has some minor creasing - the vinyl is graded EX.
Harrison, Wilbert - Let's Work Together
(Sue SSLP-8801 US-69 VG+ 300:-)

Kind of a "revival" record for Wilbert – cut during the big R&B comeback years of the late 60s, recorded with a sound that's almost rawer than his original 50s work! The style is pretty laidback and more bluesy than you'd expect – Wilbert working with a small combo that features rough guitar and harmonica, singing sad little versions of tunes that include "Let's Work Together", "Blue Monday", "Soul Rattler", "Stagger Lee", "Stand By Me", and "Tropical Shakedown".
Harrison, Wilbert - Let's Work Together
(London SH-8415 UK-70 EX 400:-)

Kind of a "revival" record for Wilbert – cut during the big R&B comeback years of the late 60s, recorded with a sound that's almost rawer than his original 50s work! The style is pretty laidback and more bluesy than you'd expect – Wilbert working with a small combo that features rough guitar and harmonica, singing sad little versions of tunes that include "Let's Work Together", "Blue Monday", "Soul Rattler", "Stagger Lee", "Stand By Me", and "Tropical Shakedown".
Hathaway, Donny - Extension of a Man
(Atco SD-7029 US-73 EX 275:-)

Perhaps Donny Hathaway's greatest album from the 70s, and certainly the one with the most amazing arrangements! The record was Donny's last studio session, and it's got him working at a level that's far advanced from even his groundbreaking earlier work – using complicated rhythms and sophisticated string passages – but also throwing in some killer jazzy bits that make for some of his funkiest work ever!

Original US pressing; both sleeve and vinyl are graded Excellent!
Hayes, Isaac - Black Moses
(Enterprise ENS-5003 US-71 VG+ 350:-)

Released the same year as the breakthrough "Shaft"soundtrack, 1971's "Black Moses" melds Hayes's superior skills as an architect of progressive soul sounds with his talent as a song interpreter.

Clifton Davis's magnificent "Never Can Say Goodbye" is given loving - and arguably definitive - treatment here. In its rich majesty, Hayes's reading of Kris Kristofferson's "For the Good Times" provides an intriguing counterpart to Al Green's spare 1972 version of the same tune. Two Bacharach-David songs, "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" and "Close to You," sound not at all misplaced beside two Curtis Mayfield numbers. Though full of covers, "Black Moses" is an Isaac Hayes record through and through, and one of his finest.

US 14-track 'Dynaflex' 2-LP set, housed in a fantastic fold-out 'cross' picture sleeve with a deletion hole.
Hearts of Stone - Stop the World
(VIP VS-404 US-70 EX 300:-)

Soaring soul from Hearts Of Stone – a group who only ever cut this one album for Motown, but who really use the best of the label's talents to hit the same sort of groove as The Originals! Like that better-known group, these guys have a sound that really bridges the 60s and 70s – not as heady as other Motown groups of the period, but still with some modern funky soul touches in the mix – and a real old school sense of harmonies that makes the vocals breathtaking throughout.

The Sleeve has a small cut-out hole in the upper left; the vinyl is in Excellent condition!
Ice - Afro Agban
(MusiDisc 30-CV-1325 Fra-74 EX 500:-)

Ice was formed originally as The Bobby Boyd Congress in Long Island, New York in 1970. Upon deciding that the funk scene in the United States was too saturated for them to viably compete in, they relocated to France in 1971; there recording one album before Bobby Boyd would return to America. It was then they named themselves Ice.

In 1973, Manu Dibango scored a big hit with "Soul Makossa", so, at the urging of their producer Pierre Jaubert, they changed their name to The Lafayette Afro Rock Band and began recording songs with African sounding names, some of which would not be released until 1974 under the Ice moniker on the album entitled "Afro Agban".

Original French vinyl; both Sleeve and Vinyl are graded Excellent.
Ingram, Jim - Drumbeat
(Respect TAS-2606 US-74 EX 300:-)

Jim Ingram was a self-taught musician, a DJ & newsman for WJLB-FM where he ran a twice-daily show called "Drumbeat Commentary" during the 1970's and 1980's.

He produced a Soul/Spoken-word LP in 1974, which feature the self-titled track "Drumbeat". This track, although not a huge success at the time, would later be sampled by the Chemical Brothers in their classic "It Began In Afrika".

Original US pressing. The sleeve has a cut-out hole in the lower right corner.
J.B.'s - Doing it to Death
(People PE-5603 US-73 VG+ 500:-)

An incredible album – a landmark piece of funk that nobody should be without, funk fan or not!

The album is the second to feature James Brown's famous backing combo of the early 70s. This album has the group playing hard, long, and loud, in the free funk improvisational mode that was James' real contribution to the music at the time - some of the best funk ever recorded!

Original US pressing; the vinyl has some discolorations on side 2; the sleeve is graded EX.
Jackson 5 - Boogie
(Natural Resources NR-4013T1 US-79 VG+ 800:-)

In a bid to cash in on the post-Motown successes of the Jackson 5 - this ten-song odds and ends collection actually turned out to be a rarity due to its brief shelf-life. The contents consist primarily of previously unissued tracks, although there are also remixes of the early Jackson Five smashes "ABC," "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "Dancing Machine".

Very Rare Original US pressing. The sleeve has a few creases - the vinyl is graded EX.
King, Anna - Back to Soul
(Smash SRS-67059 US-64 SS 800:-)

In the years before Marva Whitney, Lyn Collins, and Vicki Anderson, Anna King was James Brown's major female singer – and she was a killer! This is her only album, on which you find "Baby Baby Baby", a great track done as a duet with Bobby Byrd and "If You Don't Think", a hard wailing soul number, in the manner of James' best work in the style.

Original US pressing; Still Sealed!
La Clave - La Clave
(Verve V6-8819 US-73 EX 700:-)

Latin funk outfit La Clave's sole album, recorded for Verve in the early '70s and then issued briefly in 1973, is shrouded in mystery even now.

Consisting of ten cuts where a percussion-heavy ensemble led by Latin music percussion legend Benny Velarde and featuring the vocals of Tito Garcia and Johnny Nelson, the group lay down some of the most infectious, solid summer grooving music to come out of the early '70s.

Original US pressing; both sleeve and vinyl are graded EX.
Lance, Major - Live at the Torch
(Contempo COLP-1001 UK-73 VG+ 500:-)

Blessed with a warm, sweet voice, Major Lance was one of the leading figures of Chicago soul during the '60s and the top-selling artist for OKeh Records during the decade.

This recording by Major Lance is widely regarded to be the greatest live Northern Soul recording put to wax! Just listen to the party vibe...bonkers! The venue reached full capacity that night, apparently there were as many people outside the club as inside, still trying to get in. Not a gig to forget if you were lucky enough to gain entry.

Original UK pressing. Both Sleeve and Vinyl are graded VG+.
Last Poets - Right On!
(Juggernaut LP-8802 US-71 EX 300:-)

One of the wildest albums ever by the mighty Last Poets! Billed as "a woodstock in poetry", this is the soundtrack to the obscure film RIGHT ON!, which was shot using the first version of the Last Poets that included Felipe Lucianao, David Nelson, and the wild card Gylan Kain.

Most of the record is spare percussion, with the band shouting over the top – and the sound is even rawer than the group's first LP on Douglas. The titles should say it all – as the record features "My Pretty N*gger", "Tell Me Brother", "Die Nigga!", "James Brown", "Soul", "Poetry Is Black", "Into The Streets", and "Library".

Original US pressing; both sleeve and vinyl are graded EX.
Little Beaver - When was the Last Time
(Cat ‎CAT-2609 US-76 VG+ 275:-)

Born William Hale on August 15, 1945, in Forrest City, AR, Little Beaver moved to Florida when he was a teenager. After recording for other labels, he recorded sides for the Cat label, an imprint of Henry Stone's TK Records of Hialeah, FL.

Great Miami Soul, includes 'Concrete Jungle' and 'Listen to the Heartbeat' - a killer LP!
Mandingo - Primeval Rhythm of Life
(Studio Two TWO-400 UK-73 EX 400:-)

Some of the weirdest Afro grooves ever recorded - a groundbreaking mix of exotica, Afro Funk, and electric 70s production. A tight, thumpingly savage barrage of jungle rhythms and sterling electronics! The record's a landmark from the Brit easy scene, but it's also got an amazing funky sound that sets it apart from anything else like it! There's heavy percussion, weird electronics, fuzzy guitars -- and incredible production throughout!
Natural Four - Natural Four
(Curtom CRS-8600 US-74 EX 400:-)

Sweeeeet soul from the 70s! The Natural Four were one of the greatest soul harmony groups of the 70's – and their work on the Curtom label has an amazing "rough with the smooth" quality that really sets them apart from east coast groups of the time! Part of the strength of the set has to do with Leroy Hutson – who arranged and produced the whole album, and gives it a superdope quality that makes it stand proudly with the best work on Curtom Records of the time. The sound is full and polished, yet also honest, earnest, and personal – in that great mix of moods that Hutson and Curtis Mayfield could bring to their own work of the time. The whole set's a classic!

Original US pressing; both sleeve and vinyl are graded EX.
Redding, Otis - Otis Blue
(Rhino R1-547282 US-15 EX 300:-)

Many people's choice as their favorite Otis Redding album, much of OTIS BLUE finds the quintessential soul singer in atypically sensitive mode. The heartbreaking "I've Been Loving You Too Long" remains one of his, and perhaps soul music's, greatest performances.

Record Store Day 2015 Exclusive Release. Limited to 7500 (#0154). 2LP Set (1 stereo, 1 mono) 180 gm + 7" blue vinyl single Anniversary release - “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” b/w “I’m Depending On You” in printed Atco sleeve.
Sharp, Dee Dee - Cameo Parkway Sessions
(London HAU-8514 UK-78 EX 350:-)

Dee Dee Sharp hit the biggest with her first record for the Cameo/Parkway label, a blessing that pigeonholed the Philly songstress as a teenybopper forever to be identified with her number one smash from 1962, "Mashed Potatoes Time." Born Dione LaRue on September 9, 1945, she played piano from an early age, and directed choirs at her grandfather's and other churches in Philadelphia. After her mother suffered debilitating injuries from a car accident when LaRue was only 13, she gained a job as a background singer and developed the skills to work on sessions by Lloyd Price, Frankie Avalon, Fabian, Bobby Rydell, Jackie Wilson and Chubby Checker.
Sugarhill Gang - Sugarhill Gang
(Sugarhill SH-245 US-80 EX 275:-)

Although the Sugarhill Gang didn't invent hip-hop, they were the first rap act to have a huge international hit. Released in 1979, "Rapper's Delight" was millions of listeners' first exposure to hip-hop -- before that, very few people outside of New York even knew what hip-hop was. The Sugarhill Gang were also among the first rap acts to record a full-length LP; when this self-titled debut album came out in 1980, the vast majority of old-school MCs were only providing 12" singles. So The Sugarhill Gang is a historically important album even though it is a bit uneven.

Original US pressing: both Sleeve and Vinyl are graded EX.
Supremes - A bit of Liverpool
(Motown 623 US-64 VG+ 300:-)

Even though it is named "A Bit of Liverpool", this album actually contains cover versions of various bands from the British Invasion Era.

Original US STEREO vinyl; both sleeve and vinyl are graded Very Good+.
Supremes - Merry Christmas
(Motown S-638 US-65 VG+ 275:-)

Christmas albums are usually done to appease recording artists who have had some success; they rarely sell well because the holiday season is short, but some disprove the stereotype and sell seemingly forever -- like this one. The Supremes put their warm harmonies on 12 classic Christmas songs, everything from "White Christmas" to a rousing "Joy to the World." Diana Ross' angelic, sweet, innocent voice is a perfect match for favorites like "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town".

Original US pressing; both sleeve and vinyl are graded VG+.
Terrell, Tammi - Irresistible
(Motown MS-652 US-7? EX 300:-)

Tammi Terrell had a sexy, hypnotic voice and alluring sensibility that not only made her an ideal partner for Marvin Gaye, but could have resulted in substantial impact as a solo singer. This album includes her finest solo single, “I Can’t Believe You Love Me,” and some other great numbers, although Terrell never received any songs for herself that matched what she did with Gaye.

US 2nd Pressing on the "A Product of Motown" label.
Three Degrees - Maybe
(Roulette SR-42050 US-70 EX 350:-)

Philly soul vocal group the Three Degrees were discovered by producer and songwriter Richard Barrett, who was a key force for 1950s groups the Chantels, Little Anthony & the Imperials, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, a.0. In 1970, the Three Degrees scored their first national chart hit with a remake of the Chantels' "Maybe", which went to number four R&B in summer 1970. The group had a cameo in the classic 1971 movie The French Connection, and in 1973, Barrett worked a deal with Gamble & Huff's Philadelphia International Records, which released their PIR debut album, The Three Degrees, at the end of 1974.
Tolbert, Israel - Popper Stopper
(Warren/Stax STS-2038 US-71 300:-)

Blind Israel Tolbert had a genuine surprise smash with “Big Leg Woman” in 1971. It’s a great party record, a throwback with rural image lyrics that recalls blues songs of long ago, a feeling reinforced by the subdued slide guitar fills, superb keyboard work and some funky drumming and horns.

Original US pressing: Still Sealed!
Walker, Jr - Soul Session
(Tamla Motown STML-11029 UK-66 VG+ 500:-)

Motown's skilled but mostly anonymous instrumentalists very rarely stepped out on their own. The lone exception to the rule was tenor saxman Autry DeWalt, whose rough-and-ready, old-school R&B was a marked contrast with the label's typically smooth, polished product.

Released to ride "Shotgun's" back "Soul Session" is uncut, polyunsaturated Junior Walker & the All-Stars, loaded with tight grooves!

Original UK pressing; both sleeve and vinyl are graded VG+.
van Peebles, Melvin - Ain't supposed to Die
(A&M SP-4223 US-71 EX 350:-)

Melvin Van Peebles' status as a pioneering African American filmmaker likely obscures the fact that he also busted barriers and blazed trails as one of the forebears of rap music. If there's anyone who can draw from a large pool of life experiences, it's Van Peebles, a supremely creative individual who can also list Air Force bombardier, cable car driver, postal worker, portrait painter, journalist, novelist, playwright, and actor in his resumé. Not only that, but he has lived in several locations throughout the U.S., Mexico, France, and Holland. Most of the attention aimed at Van Peebles throughout the years has been through the films he has written, directed, and scored — including The Story of a Three Day Pass (1968), The Watermelon Man (1970), and Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971) — but he also revolutionized black music with several albums that combined rapping with out-there jazz and funk.
Whitney, Marva - Live and Lowdown
(King KS-1079 US-69 VG+ 500:-)

Amazing female funk! Years after James Brown first rocked the Apollo Theater with his own live recordings, he returned to the Harlem showplace with the sock-soul diva Marva Whitney – one of his greatest singers ever! This album's a monster all the way through – hard and heavy funk, of the type that's been the blueprint for countless singers to come, especially most of those in the Desco/Daptone/Soul Fire mode. Backing is by the JBs, James produced, and the music is fantastically funky!

Original US pressing; both sleeve and vinyl are graded VG+.
Wonder, Stevie - Uptight
(Tamla Motown STML-11036 UK-66 wos VG+ 350:-)

Stevie Wonder began demonstrating his production skills and compositional acumen on his first of two albums in 1966. Although still just a teenager, Wonder was already anxious to do more than simply grind out love tunes. He covered Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" and also contributed "Pretty Little Angel" alongside the monster hits "Nothin's Too Good for My Baby" and the title song. It was also a signal Wonder had moved beyond simply paying homage to Ray Charles and now wanted to establish his own musical identity.
Wright, O.V. - The Bottom Line
(Hi HLP-6008 US-78 SS 275:-)

Second in a series of three Hi studio albums, O.V. Wright was finally allowed to record for Willie Mitchell's own label, since his former employer, Don Robey, had sold Backbeat to ABC in 1973. Come the end of the '70s the famous Hi sound started to lose a little of its tightness, but this is fairly overcome by Wright's exceptional vocal qualities. The shimmering "A Little More Time" deserves special mention: starting out as a roll call of soul singers who had died way before their time, it's a tribute of prophetic proportions. Soon enough Wright would join their league.

Original US pressing; Still Sealed!
Wright, Sandra - Wounded Woman
(Demon FIEND-138 UK-89 EX 1200:-)

A lost southern soul album from the 70s – recorded down at Muscle Shoals by singer Sandra Wright, and originally intended for release on Stax Records – but never issued at the time!

Sandra's a great singer – deep soul, but with a touch of class, too – and the approach here shows that maturing Muscle Shoals sound, recorded at the Broadway Studio by David Johnson – at a level that's a bit in the Ann Sexton side of the spectrum – a sparkling, sophisticated feel that almost reminds us of the best female soul coming from Detroit or Chicago at the time, but with a slightly deeper range. Stax issued a few singles, but never issued the full album – which makes this one even more of a treasure for collectors of that time!

Original UK pressing; both sleeve and vinyl are graded EX.