Moments (1976) Moments with You (LP) Stang 1030

Moments

Moments with You 

1976

Stang 1030

**** recommended


While the second side of this album is filled with forgettable attempts at disco funk produced and written by the group (Ray, Goodman, Brown), Side One is produced by Sylvia Robinson and filled with endless Carol Sager-penned gems for fans of that slow and mellow soul that came out of various East Coast cities in the late 60s and early 70s.


If you think they stopped making mellow magic once disco hit town, check out the first side on this Bicentennial-year offering.  This side doesn’t have a weak moment and might have been the best side this group offered in the ten years of their existence (1968 – 1978).  It’s also another feather in Sylvia’s many-feathered hat.

— winch (author of

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Timi Yuro (1963) Make the World Go Away (LP) Liberty 3319

Timi Yuro

Make the World Go Away

Liberty 3319

1963

**** (recommended)

When an Italian-American from Chicago sings an album full of hillbilly songs, probably the last thing you’d expect is a set of soul music, but that’s what you get.


Not only is this a soul album, it’s a good one, likely coming out of Ray Charles’ albums from a few years earlier.  Like with Ray’s country albums, sometimes the arrangements are a bit much, but fortunately Yuro’s voice shines through.


If you’re looking for an intro to this talented singer, this is a good place to start.

— winch

author of

Diana Ross (1980) Diana (LP) Motown 155

Diana Ross
Diana
Motown 155
1980
Written and Produced by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers

Rating:*** (Noteworthy)

After Ross split for a solo career, the Supremes slowly faded into obscurity, and by the end of the 70s, it looked like Ross was headed for a similar fate.  Edwards and Rodgers came to the rescue with this album.  In many ways, this was another Edwards-Rodgers album: they not only provided the bass and guitar but wrote and produced this set.  While this helped put Ross back at the top, its success likely didn’t hurt Edwards-Rodgers.  Most listeners simply saw this as a Ross album, but the recording industry likely took notice of the team behind the hits.

“Upside Down” jumpstarts the proceedings, but perhaps it would have been more effective to ease into that number because the rest of the set sounds quite weak after that opener. Fans of Edwards-Rodgers should get a bang out of “Upside Down,” “I’m Coming Out,” and perhaps a few other numbers, but much of the material is filler–only for hardcore fans of Ross.

— winch 

Betty Wright (1968) My First Time Around (LP) Atco 33-260

Betty Wright
My First Time Around
Atco 33-260
Produced & Arranged by Brad Shapiro and Steve Alaimo
1968 

 

Good Shit *****

Solid debut from this Florida 14-year-old soul sister.


As the shag zebra-striped outfit suggests, this album wasn’t bubblegum soul but rather a young girl singing like a woman of experience, the presentation making no apologies for the fact that this set is dripping like the dew on a waterbed.  Wright handles the material with ease, contributing one cut herself and making the others her own.  The backing band is in fine form, the arrangements wrapping around her vocals like a silk slip, Murcia snaking his guitar licks into the mix.

This includes all her first A and B sides, and plenty of other gems.  While some cuts are simply classic, the entire set is strong.  No filler this time around.

— winch

The Impressions: This Is My Country (1968) Curtom CRS-8001

The Impressions
This Is My Country
Curtom CRS-8001
1968
Producer: Curtis Mayfield
Rating: **** (Recommended)

Impressions’ first album for Mayfield’s Curtom label.  The title track and “They Don’t Know” foreshadow the direction Mayfield would soon take, but for the most part this continues with the sound they’d established with ABC-Paramount.  The set is written by Mayfield with two cuts co-written with Donny Hathaway–another pioneer of the social-themed soul of the 70s.