100 Proof Aged In Soul – 100 Proof (1972)


100 Proof Aged In Soul – 100 Proof
1972 Hot Wax HA 712
Vinyl transfer at 24-bit / 192 khz

Classic soul here, on an album that has only been reissued on CD in Japan. Nice and warm northern soul arrangements and production values, pure pleasure from start to finish. The group was put together by the very busy Holland-Dozier-Holland team and featured veterans of R&B groups like The Falcons, The Contours, and The Originals.  The record was produced by General Johnson, who also has a few writing credits on it, and it has a similar sound to other gems from the other Detroit ‘HDH’ labels Hot Wax / Invictus Records catalogs, like Chairman of the Board.  There aren’t any big hits here like their first albums, Somebody’s Been Sleeping In My Bed, but there’s no duds here either.   Alongside the very fine original contributions, there is a cover of the early Bee Gee’s tune “Words” as well as The Association’s “Never My Love”, which closes the record.  I’m posting it today to help your 2020 go out on a mellow and upbeat note.  I have a super-clean copy of it and did a vinyl transfer sometime in 2019 just for fun, with editing and tweaks done sometime this year.

A1 Everything Good Is Bad 4:53
A2 Since You Been Gone 3:50
A3 Nothing Sweeter Than Love 3:50
A4 Ghetto Girl 3:47
B1 Words 3:56
B2 I Don’t Care If I Never Get Over You 3:59
B3 Don’t Scratch Where It Don’t Itch 3:46
B4 Don’t You Wake Me 3:39
B5 Never My Love 4:02

Arranged By – H.B. Barnum, McKinley Jackson, Paul Riser
Producer – General Johnson, Greg Perry
Producer, Executive Producer – Ron Dunbar
Recorded By, Mixed By – Barney Perkins, Ed Redd, Jerry Hall

 


 

 


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Eddie Hazel – Rest In P (1994) (P-Vine Records PCD-2884)

Eddie Hazel – “Rest In P”
1994 P-Vine Records PCD-2884
Released in Japan

Eddie Hazel would have turned 70 years old in April of this year.  This collection of rarities by Hazel is a delight for longtime fans and should impress the neophyte, though I wouldn’t recommend it for the totally uninitiated – those people should start with the first three Funkadelic albums, then Standing On The Verge of Getting It On, and then his solo album Games, Dames, and Guitar Thangs.   (More comments below the break) Continue reading

Roy Ayers Ubiquity – Everybody Loves The Sunshine (1976) (2016 UMG Gold Reissue)

Roy Ayers Ubiquity – Everybody Loves The Sunshine
Original release 1976 Polydor
2016 Reissue – Polydor / The Verve Music Group B0024310-01

This 40th anniversary gold pressing is a nice reissue of one of the high points of Roy Ayers Ubiquity’s catalog. There is less vibraphone and a lot more Arp on this one. Every song a winner. Also, it seems like only a matter of time before the track “Lonesome Cowboy” gets used in a Coen Brothers film. Or maybe Tarantino. Anyway enjoy it before they ruin it.  The whole album successfully grafts its cosmic jazz-funk onto the kind of broad positivity preached by pre-Riot era Sly Stone (with “People And The World” sounding like a bit like a discarded Family Stone jam).

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Roy Ayers Ubiquity – Virgo Red (1973) (Polydor PD-6016)

Roy Ayers Ubiquity – Virgo Red
1973 Polydor PD-6016
Vinyl rip in 24-bit/192 kHz | Art scans at 300 dpi

An underrated Roy Ayers Ubiquity album, Virgo Red has to overcome the fact that it leads off with its weakest track, a cover of the Hot Chocolate song “Brother Louie”, which became a #1 hit for Stories and was ruined for all perpetuity by disgraced comedian Louis C.K. Blame it on his time playing with hirsute Herbie Mann if you will, but Roy seemingly couldn’t pass up an opportunity for cheesy covers of pop songs. Continue reading

Helio Matheus – Matheus Segundo Matheus (1975) (AOTNLP017)


Helio Matheus – Matheus Segundo Matheus (1975)
Original release, RCA-Victor, Brazil
2018 Reissue, Athens Of The North, AOTNLP017

A short-and-sweet Friday post for you to get your weekend started on point.  Scottish label Athens Of The North (or AOTN) serves up a reissue of this cult classic that, thanks to a collector’s market gone mad, I will never be able to afford as an original pressing. No idea what they used for their source but it sounds pretty decent, so I feel like this label has done music fans a huge favor by making it available.   As you can see below, the list of contributing musicians here is huge and includes members of Azymuth, Sá, Rodrix & Guarabyra and other heavyweights. Helio himself was well established as a writer and arranger in MPB circles at this time, but recorded very little under his own name. It’s a solid offering of samba-soul, samba-rock, MPB, and even a little dreamy orchestral psychedelic pop thrown in. It may have some questionable lyrics (for example, “Briguenta”) but the grooves make up for it. Plus it has maybe the best back-cover photograph of all time..

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