Lost Soul Gems from Sounds of Memphis

Lost Soul Gems from Sounds of Memphis


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Lost Soul Gems from Sounds of Memphis

Lagging far behind Stax, Hi, and Goldwax in the Memphis soul sweepstakes, the Sounds of Memphis label nonetheless recorded a lot more material in the 1960s and '70s than even dedicated collectors suspected. After the Kent/Ace label reissued more than half-a-dozen single-artist and various-artist compilation CDs, it discovered yet more tapes and acetates, from which this collection was drawn (and others were to be drawn in the future). All but four tracks on this 22-song anthology were previously released, and while exact recording dates aren't given (or were perhaps unavailable), they all originate from the mid-'60s to the mid-'80s, emphasizing the first decade of that span. None of these artists became stars, though Barbara & the Browns' profile has been elevated with a previous compilation of their material on Kent, and George Jackson had some success as a hit songwriter. While most of this was unissued (or came out on singles so obscure they almost might have been), the production quality is high and usually on the level of official releases, reflecting various trends in soul as the Memphis scene moved through changes. Usually they echo Memphis or at least Southern soul of the period in the emotional vocals and arrangements that are neither too raw nor too lush (some disco/urban contemporary-influenced '80s sides at the end excepted), sometimes with obvious similarities, whether intentional or not, to stars like Al Green. Though competent, the songwriting and performances are more typical of their time and place than they are exceptional. In this setting, Barbara & the Browns come out on top with a notably different alternate take of their 1966 single "I Don't Have to Wait" and the confidently upbeat "So Cruel," where lead singer Barbara Brown really wails; the songs and singing simply get to a higher standard than their surroundings. Vision's two-part "Play the Game" manages the uncanny trick of sounding very much like the late-'60s/early-'70s funk/psychedelic-influenced Temptations without imitating any one song in particular; if ever a CD of Temptations soundalikes is assembled, this would be a strong contender for the lead-off cut. An archival project of this nature is almost by definition limited to hardcore genre fans in appeal, but as usual, Kent does a good and respectful job of packaging it for that constituency, with thorough liner notes that even acknowledge minor annotation errors on previous Kent releases.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/03/2012
Label: Kent Records Uk
UPC: 0029667237826
catalogNumber: 6723782

Album Credits

Technical Credits

Dave Bartholomew   Composer
Pee Wee King   Composer
Redd Stewart   Composer
George Jackson   Composer,Producer
Bill Adkins   Composer
Charles Chalmers   Composer,Producer
Bill Cunningham   Composer
Stan Kesler   Composer
Erma Shaw   Composer
Dean Rudland   Liner Notes
Tom James   Composer
Linda Lucchesi   Composer,Producer,Executive Producer
Dan Greer   Composer,Producer
James Peterik   Composer
Marshall Jones   Composer
Eddie Thomas   Composer
Fran Farley   Composer
Caroll Lloyd   Composer
Stacy Davidson   Composer
Robert Blackman   Composer
Phillip Farley   Composer
Jerrod Minnies   Composer
Dan Culver   Composer

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