"RCA Soul" Vol 1 - Rare Collectable & Soulful

From the inception of Britain's Northern Soul club scene onward, the RCA label adorned more crowd-favorite singles than seemingly any other label, but for years none of the company's truly rare classics ever appeared on CD, making the 1997 release of Rare Collectable and Soulful, Vol. 1 a real event: Not only was compiler Ady Croasdell granted access to RCA's vaults, but among the 30 master tapes he brought back, 13 tracks were previously unreleased. The end result remains one of the gems of the vast Kent catalog, as well as one of the seminal Northern Soul collections ever issued -- truly essential listening for anyone with even a passing interest in the classic soul of the mid- to late- '60s. Highlights include the Cavaliers' "Ooh It Hurts Me," Lorraine Chandler's "What Can I Do?," Sharon Scott's "(Putting My Heart Under) Lock and Key," and Roy Hamilton's "Crackin' Up Over You." by Jason Ankeny, AMGEver since me and Roger Armstrong got wedged into the Scepter /Wand / Musicor vaults about twelve years ago and came away with unreleased recordings like Maxine Brown's Torture, Chuck Jackson's What's With This Loneliness and Melba Moore's The Magic Touch, I've been hooked on hearing those kind of tapes that haven't been aired for thirty years but damn well should have been. From time to time I've had a nice tickle like Carla Thomas' magnificent unissued Stax recording I'll Never Stop Loving You (featured on Do The Crossover Baby CDKEND 105), or even the big batch of unreleased Aware/Hotlanta tapes by Sam Dees (CDKEND 125), John Edwards (CDKEND 127) and Loleatta Holloway (CDKEND 135). However, those fell on my doorstep, rather than having me delve through old scotch tapes boxes to unearth them. So it wasn't until a full 10 years on from my first serious fix that I was to fully satisfy my craving. Although I didn't actually make it into the vault to get my fingernails dirty, I was there in a New York studio when tape boxes from 1966 were opened for the first time since the tracks were laid down and their full glory was revealed to me. I got to touch the boxes and reels, was able to copy down all the information contained thereon and, joy upon joy, saw the full session sheets that virtually put me back in the United Sound Studios, Detroit, at the peak of the soul music boom. The songs themselves were of at least equal quality to the ones that actually did come out of these sessions and as these were Lorraine Chandler's I Can't Hold On, The Metros' Since I Found My Baby, Roy Hamilton's Reach Out For Me and Sharon Scott's Could It Be You, that was very high quality indeed. As RCA has a wealth of great soul records that have never made it on to CD, we've mixed in the unreleased with the released and spread the project over 2 volumes. (Vol 2 is CDKEND 156). Highlights of the released tracks for me are The Insiders' I'm Just A Man, a vivacious well-crafted song performed by the boys who went on to become the Main Ingredient, one of the greatest of all the 70s vocal groups. Also Johnny Nash's Hugo and Luigi produced big ballad I'm Leaving from a different soul era but exquisitely made. The unreleased songs are all exciting but the one that always does it for me is Kenny Carter's original cut of What's That On Your Finger. I drone on about this one extensively on the sleevenotes so here I'll merely say that anyone who has already heard it will be buying the CD on the strength of this track alone. (Ady Croasdell)

1. Ooh It Hurts Me - The Cavaliers 2. Push A Little Bit Harder - The Metros 3. Change Your Ways - Willie Kendrick 4. What Can I Do - Lorraine Chandler 5. (Putting My Heart Under) Lock And Key - Sharon Scott 6. Take Me Away - Carolyn Cooke 7. What's That On Your Finger - Kenny Carter 8. It Hurts Too Much To Cry - H.B. Barnum 9. Today Is My Day - Dean Courtney 10. Since You're Gone - The Barons 11. Love Sick - The Dynamics 12. She'll Be Leaving You - Willie Kendrick 13. It's Better - Sharon Scott 14. Mend The Torn Pieces Of My Heart - Lorraine Chandler 15. Having Fun - The Bobbettes 16. Don't You Know (A Good Love When You See One) - Tony Mason 17. Crackin' Up Over You - Roy Hamilton 18. I'm Just A Man - The Insiders 19. I'm Leaving - Johnny Nash 20. Let The Music Play - Roy Hamilton 21. What Have I Done Wrong - Faye Crawford 22. Come On Strong - Nancy Wilcox 23. It Didn't Take Much (For Me To Fall In Love) - Percy Wiggins 24. I'll Never Forget You - The Metros
...served by Gyro1966...

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