Lou Beatty's Detroit Soul: Thirty Rare Gems from the Vaults of La Beat Records

Lou Beatty's Detroit Soul: Thirty Rare Gems from the Vaults of La Beat Records

     
 
While Motown was far and away the biggest R&B label in Detroit during the '60s and '70s, they weren't the only game in town, and Lou Beatty was one of many entrepreneurs who tried to steal a bit of Berry Gordy's thunder with his La Beat label, which released a small but steady stream of records from 1965 to 1971. La Beat didn't score any

Overview

While Motown was far and away the biggest R&B label in Detroit during the '60s and '70s, they weren't the only game in town, and Lou Beatty was one of many entrepreneurs who tried to steal a bit of Berry Gordy's thunder with his La Beat label, which released a small but steady stream of records from 1965 to 1971. La Beat didn't score any significant hits outside of Michigan during its lifespan, and a listen to Lou Beatty's Detroit Soul: Thirty Rare Gems from the Vaults of La Beat Records shows why -- Beatty's crew of artists, songwriters, and musicians lacked the polish and craft of what Motown was doing on the other side of town, while failing to match the passion and funk the Southern soul crews were releasing through Atlantic and Stax. Actually, this disc suggests La Beat's strongest influences were such Chicago soul acts as Jerry Butler, Tyrone Davis, and the Impressions, and while they don't match the best work of these masters, there are a few tracks here that would certainly merit the attention of Northern soul mavens, such as Nelson Sanders' pleading "I'm Lonely," "This Won't Change" from Lester Tipton, and Al Williams' "I Am Nothing." Elsewhere, James Shorter's "Ready for the Heartbreak" generates a potent dance groove, Shorter manages the same feat again with Don Hart on "It's in My Mind," and Beatty himself steps to the fore on the moving if clunky "A Family." Overall, though, most of this stuff is obscure for the reason that while it's competent, it isn't particularly special or inspired, and while soul completists may find this worthy of investigation, those with a more discriminating interest in classic R&B would be better off spending their money elsewhere.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/18/2006
Label:
Grapevine
UPC:
5025009302929
catalogNumber:
3029
Rank:
142131

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