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Gene Lawson Presents the Uplook Records Story
     

Gene Lawson Presents the Uplook Records Story

 
Run by Philadelphia talent scout and promoter Gene Lawson, the small Uplook label put out a few singles in the late 1960s and early '70s, around the time that Philly soul was really coming into its own as a major style. This CD gathers 21 tracks associated with Uplook, nine of which came out on 1967-1970 singles, the rest of which were unreleased at the time. Many of

Overview

Run by Philadelphia talent scout and promoter Gene Lawson, the small Uplook label put out a few singles in the late 1960s and early '70s, around the time that Philly soul was really coming into its own as a major style. This CD gathers 21 tracks associated with Uplook, nine of which came out on 1967-1970 singles, the rest of which were unreleased at the time. Many of the traits associated with the Philly soul sound are here: the funky but slick beats and playing, the snazzy horns and sweeping strings, the low piano riffs, the vibe tinkles, the impassioned but sweet vocals, and the mix of pop and R&B in the songwriting. What it's missing, à la many soul rarity compilations geared toward the British market, are songs that scream "hit." Much of it sounds like filler that could have been used on Philly soul LPs, albeit pretty good filler. As far as the artists, you haven't heard of most of them, but the CD would be notable if only for the inclusion of three previously unissued tracks recorded by Teddy Pendergrass -- the very first recordings, in fact, that he made as a lead singer in the studio. While these three songs (all written by producer Jesse Herring) are just okay, Pendergrass already sounds like a commanding pro on vocals -- a talent that, of course, would flower soon afterward, when he began recording as part of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. Also of note is Tony Talent's 1967 single "Gotta Tell Somebody (About My Baby)"/"Hooked on You," recorded for Van McCoy's Vando label when Talent was still in junior high (and included here as Talent was signed to Lawson's talent and promotion agency); both sides were penned by McCoy, though they're not among McCoy's better '60s compositions.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/20/2007
Label:
Grapevine
UPC:
5025009303322
catalogNumber:
3033
Rank:
195566

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