This is an absolute southern soul gem, with Bobby Patterson having a strong say in the proceedings together with songwriting partner Jerry Strickland. Tommie Young has one of the most distinctive and pure voices in soul music and on this LP she shines singing a batch of Patterson/Strickland tunes of the highest calibre. Anyone who does not get high on her “Everybody's Got a Little Devil in Their Soul” is most probably dead.
This, of course is the great Bobby Patterson under another name. The LP is classic “storytelling” southern soul, with some magical moments in “Right place, wrong time”, “Let’s do something different”, “I’ve got to forget you” and “I fell asleep (one time too many)”. But it’s a great LP all the way through. I found it in London in Camden Town for just a few pounds back in the nineties when nobody was after this kind of record.
This LP sports one of the nicest covers in soul music, with that psychedelic flower design and the small group picture in the corner. Musically it’s an exhilarating low-fi and rough soul bag full of funky and floaty moments. Singer apparently is Chris Bartley, also known for “The sweetest thing this side of heaven”, and a former member of the Ad Libs.
This group consisted of Ron Henderson, Reese Palmer, Wilbur Stewart, Johnny Johnson and William Britton and made floating soul music in the style of Marvin Gaye and Mike James Kirkland. Cream track is the great “I’ll be around”.
One of the great vocalists of Latin Soul, Ralfi Pagan never received the credits and fame that he so thoroughly deserved. His greatest hit is his version of David Gates’ “Make it with you”, but he did loads of much better and soulful records. This LP is arguably his best overall album, with sublime arrangements and J.R. Bailey among others as backing vocalists. In the late seventies he veered towards Disco and released some less interesting disco 12”records. He was brutally murdered in Colombia in 1978.
J.R. Bailey should have been a superstar given the quality of his voice and the songs he wrote. This LP is a 70s classic in the style of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s going on”, minus the ecology subjects and plus a heavy dose of romance. The songs are all fluid floaters with magnificent arrangements and an almost magical spell that is impossible to resist. J.R, can also be heard on an album by Ralfi Pagan, where he sings backing vocals and does some of the arrangements.
Chain Reaction were an English group originating from the UK Jamaican reggae scene. Members were Bruce Ruffin, also known as a solo reggae singer (remember “Rain”?), Dave Barker of Dave & Ansel Collins fame, and Bobby Davis. After releasing several reggae records (there is at least one album) they branched into soul music with this seminal LP, which was only released in the UK. It is full of beautiful smooth modern soul tunes, among them a winning version of Lamont Doziers “Why can’t we be lovers”.
Only 500 copies were pressed of this sole LP by Ohio soul singer Barbara Howard. Barbara has a beautiful voice and her interpretations of several soul classics is breathtaking. “Welcome home” is supported by plaintive horns and surpasses all other known versions. She does Aretha’s “Oh me Oh my” as well as “My song”; other beauties include the Doors’ “Light my fire” and “It’s not unusual”. What makes this LP stand out is the heartfelt and charmingly primitive production sound overall achieved by producer Steven Reece.