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4.7 out of 5 stars
The Complete Invictus Recordings: 1969 - 1978
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
There's a huge haul in this mini box set - so let's get to the Soulful nitty-gritty right away... UK and USA released August 2014 - "The Complete Invictus Studio Recordings: 1969-1978" by CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARD is a 97-track 9CD British Box Set on Edsel COTBOXO1 (Barcode 501479789094). It offers fans their 4 studio albums, 3 solo LPs and 2CDs worth of Bonus Tracks - non-album singles, rarities and four previously unreleased tracks (two of which are new Tom Moulton remixes). Each CD-album is housed a hard-card 5" repro sleeve (American artwork) while the Bonus Tracks come in gatefold hard card 5" sleeve that uses the Invictus Label Bag as its artwork. It breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (38:16 minutes):
1. Give Me Just A Little More Time
2. Come Together
3. Bless You
4. Patches
5. Since The Days Of Pigtails (And Fairy Tales)
6. I'll Come Crawling
7. (You've Got Me) Dangling On A String
8. Bravo, Hooray
9. Didn't We
10. Feelin' Alright
11. My Way
12. Tricked & Trapped (By A Tricky Trapper)
Tracks 1 to 12 are their debut album "Give Me Just A Little More Time" - released April 1970 in the USA on Invictus ST-7300 and November 1970 in the UK as "Chairmen Of The Board" (with the same track list) on Invictus SVT 1002

Disc 2 (40:21 minutes):
1. Chairmen Of The Board
2. Everything's Tuesday
3. Pay To The Piper
4. Twelfth Of Never
5. All We Need Is Understanding
6. Patches
7. It Was Almost Something
8. Bridge Over Troubled Water
9. Hanging On A Memory
10. I Can't Find Myself
11. When Will She Tell Me She Needs Me
12. Children Of Today
Tracks 1 to 12 are their 2nd LP "In Session" - released November 1970 in the USA on Invictus ST-7304 and April 1971 in the UK on Invictus SVT 1003

Disc 3 (41:14 minutes):
1. Men Are Getting Scarce
2. So Glad You're Mine
3. Working On A Building Of Love
4. I'm A Sign Of Changing Times
5. Elmo James
6. I'm On My Way To A Better Place
7. Bittersweet
8. Saginaw County Line
9. Weary Traveller
Tracks 1 to 9 are their 3rd album "Bittersweet" - released October 1972 in the USA on Invictus ST-9801 and Invictus SVT 1006 in the UK

Disc 4 (37:19 minutes):
1. Everybody Party All Night
2. Skin I'm In
3. Morning Glory
4. Life & Death Pt. 1
5. White Rose (Freedom Flower)
6. Life & Death Pt. II
7. Let's Have Some Fun
8. Love At First Sight
9. Only Love Can Break Your Heart
10. Live With Me, Live With Me
11. Finder's Keepers
Tracks 1 to 11 are their 4th and final LP "Skin I'm In" - released October 1974 in the USA on Invictus KZ 32526 (no UK issue)

Disc 5 (41:41 minutes):
1. Saginaw County Line
2. God's Gift To Man
3. It Was Almost Something
4. Every Couple's Not A Pair
5. All We Need Is Understanding
6. Everything's Tuesday
7. I Never Get Tired Of You
8. My Credit Didn't Go Through
9. Things Are Bound To Get Better Later On
10. Mary Lou Thomas
Tracks 1 to 10 are the solo album by GENERAL JOHNSON called "Generally Speaking" - released 1972 in the USA on Invictus ST-9803

Disc 6 (38:02 minutes):
1. Hypnotic Music
2. Closet Queen
3. Night Comes Day Goes
4. Sunday Morning People
5. Gimme A Glass Of Water
6. Come Together
7. You Hurt Your Mother Again
8. Up-The Organization
9. Children Of Today
Tracks 1 to 9 are the solo album by HARRISON KENNEDY called "Hypnotic Music" - released 1972 in the USA on Invictus ST-9806

Disc 7 (42:41 minutes):
1. Everybody's Got A Song To Sing
2. Let Me Ride
3. Roller Coaster
4. Try On My Love For Size
5. It Didn't Take Long
6. Working On A Building Of Love
7. Funny How Times Slips Away
8. Two Can Be As Lonely As One
9. I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)
10. Danny Boy
Tracks 1 to 10 are the solo album by DANNY WOODS called "Aries" - released 1972 in the USA on Invictus ST-9808

Disc 8 is BONUS TRACKS: 1971-1973 (36:07 minutes) - all track are by COTB except where noted:
Tracks 1 and 2 are Savannah Lady and I'm In Love Darling by GENERAL JOHNSON - the A&B sides of a 1972 USA 7" single on Invictus IS-9093
Track 3 is Men Are Getting Scarce - it's the USA 7" single A-side edit at 3:13 minutes (the album version is 5:19 minutes) - released 1971 on Invictus IS-9103
Track 4 is Hanging On To A Memory - the non-album B-side to Tricked And Trapped (By A Tricky Trapper) - released 1971 on Invictus IS 9089
Tracks 5 and 6 are Elmo James (Single Edit - 3:28 minutes) and Bittersweet (Single Edit - 3:24 minutes) - the A&B-sides of a 7" single released 1971 in the USA on Invictus IS-9105
Track 7 is Let Me Down Easy - released 1972 as the non-album A-side 7" single on Invictus IS-9126
Tracks 10 and 8 are Everybody's Tippin' and Roller Coaster (Single Edit) by DANNY WOODS - the A&B-sides of a USA 7" single issued in 1971 on Invictus IS-9132. The A-side is non-album - the B-side a 2:53 minutes edit of the album version at 3:41 minutes
Track 9 is Everybody's Got A Song To Sing (Single Edit - 2:52 minutes) - the B-side of Working On A Building Of Love - a 1972 USA 7" single on Invictus IS-9122
Track 11 is Up-The Organization (Instrumental) by GENERAL JOHNSON - the non-album B-side to Sunday Morning People - a 1972 USA 7" single on Invictus IS-9112
Track 12 is Finder's Keepers (Instrumental) - the non-album B-side to "Finder's Keepers - a 1973 USA 7" single on Invictus ZS7 1251

Disc 9 is BONUS TRACKS: 1973-2014 (42:30 minutes) - all track are by COTB except where noted:
Track 1 is Finder's Keepers (Vocal) - the non-album A-side version - a 1973 USA 7" single on Invictus ZS7 1251
Tracks 2 and 3 are Only Time Will Tell and Only Time Will Tell (Instrumental) by GENERAL JOHNSON - the A&B sides of a 1973 USA 7" single on Invictus ZS7 1252
Track 4 is Skin I'm In (Single Edit) - the A-side to the 1974 USA 7" single on Invictus ZS8 1276
Track 5 is Everybody Party All Night (Single Edit) - the A-side to the 1974 USA 7" single on Invictus S INV 2523
Tracks 6 and 7 are You've Got Extra Added Power and Someone Just Like You by COTB featuring PRINCE HAROLD - the non-album A&B-sides of a 1976 USA 7" single on Invictus ZS8 1278
Track 8 is Come On In And Dance - the non-album A-side of a 1978 USA 7" single on ICA Recording Group ICA-023
Tracks 9 and 10 are What's The Use and Where There Is Faith There Is Hope - two PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED tracks. There are no writers credits and were found in the vaults in 2014.
Tracks 11 and 12 are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED 2014 TOM MOULTON REMIXES of You've Got Me Dangling On A String and Give Me Just A Little More Time

I love the aesthetic feel of the oversized 5" Repro Sleeves - very nice indeed front and rear. The 36-page booklet is gorgeous - full colour-plates of all 7 LPs - with further photos of the band and rare Euro 7" picture sleeves. DEAN RUDLAND (with help from TONY ROUNCE - both long-time Soul aficionados) did the superlatively detailed and informative liners notes - their huge knowledge and love for the label and the period lifting every paragraph. The remasters are done by PHIL KINRADE at Alchemy in London and are wicked - full of presence and power. Comparing them - they sound better to the 2009 versions Edsel gave us when they presented this catalogue in 2CD sets years back.

It's cool to hear the albums again minus the bonus tracks - just as I remember them. The first two LPs had the Invictus hits - "You've Got Me Dangling On A String", "Everything's Tuesday" and "Pay To The Piper". But for me it's the lesser-heard "Skin I'm In" album from 1974 that has more magic and the American "Aries" solo album by Danny Woods is a bit of a forgotten Seventies Soul masterpiece. The only slip-up I can see is the absence of the Instrumental of "Morning Glory" which was a B-side - other than that - this is exemplary stuff.

Pitched at twenty of our pounds - it works out at a few pence over two quid per CD - which is a bit of a deal frankly. Top job done by Edsel and congrats to all involved...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2015
Chairmen of the Board, HDH's premiere all-male group of their post-Motown era, includes all of their Invictus albums and non-album tracks, PLUS the single mix of "Come on in and Dance" issued on ICA Records (the 12" mix is unfortunately NOT included). This collection also includes the individual singers' (General Johnson, Danny Woods & Harrison Kennedy) solo album releases (Eddie Custis was the only one that did not have a solo album). A superb collection of material for HDH and Chairmen of the Board fans. Highly recommended!
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on 2 May 2015
This is a cracking release that includes the complete albums that the band put out plus solo members albums which make it an exceptional package. My musical taste is quite varied as you will see if you have read my previous reviews. Chairmen were a fabulous band that released strong albums and were successful in Soul's heyday. Great value for money and with 9 cds and an excellent booklet- thanks to the label for a very fan friendly package.
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Ridiculously cheap compilation of The Chairmen of the Board's Invictus recordings. It's a decent companion to the "Holland Dozier Holland Complete 45s" if you feel like exploring this particular artist further.
Very pleased with it and, at this price (£17 odd for 9 CDs when I got it), it's virtually being given away
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 26 August 2014
Invictus: the label known for it's stunning soul legends, such as Freda Payne and Chairmen of the Board. General (Norman) Johnson, lead singer, sounds so much like Levi Stubbs of The Four Tops, you begin to wonder where the Motown Sound came from, especially when listening to the tracklist from his album Generally Speaking, one of nine fantastic albums in this collection.

When ordering this, I thought it was a compilation of Invictus artists. Look no further than Amazon for that. I saw it last night as an upcoming release! If you love Old Soul labels, make sure to look it up.

Johnson's Everything Is Tuesday is a long forgotten, and much-loved song I haven't heard played since the 60s, when it was first released for airplay. It's on the Generally Speaking tracklist. There's so much stuff on these 9 albums, I'm so grateful not to have rejected it as a selection when I realised what I'd done. The music is just beautiful.

Harrison Kennedy is featured on his own album, as is Danny Woods. This is the perfect selection for late night listening, when you can get your own mitts on the stereo, after everyone else has crept off to bed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 November 2014
Absolutely fabulous! Loving the Tom Moulton remixes
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on 18 February 2015
Incredible value for money. Been listening to albums at work, great happy music. If you're into Motown, you can't go wrong with this. Holland and dozier influence shines throughout!
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on 10 June 2015
Thank you i love it Great box set
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on 17 July 2015
Amazinng value
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on 23 May 2015
love it
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