Most helpful positive review
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Pure Seduction in Music
on 20 March 2010
This is Volume 8 in an (initially) projected 10 Volume series "conceived and compiled with love by Ian Dewhirst". The stated aim of the collection being to "offer some of the best music in the world from some of the greatest independent labels over the past 50 years..(using)...only the full 12" or album versions". This is a sentiment previously expressed by Dewhirst in his previous role as conceiver and compiler of the 'Original Mastercuts' collection - a series that provided a musical education in quality black music. Since the demise of the 'Original Series' Dewhirst has continued his engaging in the issuing of quality driven music compilations, always displaying the light touch expertise and willingness to guide, in a manner that is never patronising.
For this particular edition Dewhirst looks back to a time when music was not so readily available as today, when a music collection represented (in some quarters) the measure of a man, a "definite advantage when it came to the natural selection process". So if you are minded to relax, perhaps in the company of someone special (however fleetingly), read on...
Opening with the mighty 'I'm Still In Love With You' by Al Green (1972), this is a collection that reeks of quality, that manages to steer a faultess course between presenting the popular and lesser known musical gems together. Some will recognise Ann Pebbles' 'I Can't Stand The Rain' by way of Missy Elliot and Da Bratt or even Tina Turner, and many are likely to instantly recognise The Chi-Lites 'Have You Seen Her' (1971) (by way of a UK confectioner) and Teddy Pendergrass' 'The Whole Town's Laughing At Me' (1977), and that is just the first four tracks out of seventeen! The quality continues with inclusions from The Average White Band (here proving that 'Pick Up The Pieces' was not an abberation in quality), the Paris track 'I Choose You' (1984 - and also featured by Dewhirst on an earlier 'Original Mastercuts Classic Mellow' release) and The Jones Girls' 'Eternally' (1980). Ranging between 1971 and 1984 Dewhirst provides an undoubted lesson in capturing a mood and feeling, as evidenced through black music. Much of the material has been drawn from albums that the musical mainstream might have missed or ignored, but even 20 or so years later the sheer excellence of musicianship shines through. If you forget drum machines and think strings you'll have an idea of the musical journey at hand, although the combination of 'the groove' and love is demonstrated in Dexter Wansell's 'The Sweetest Pain' (1979).
So. Do you buy?
As a musical educational 'tour de force' it is hard to remember as well a considered compilation being issued in recent years. Undoubtedly commercial considerations inform the collection and issuing of every and any music series, but one is always struck by Dewhirst's ability to present collections that appear to be informed by a genuine love and deep knowledge of the subject at hand. This collection is no exception to that rule, and for an extremely reasonable sum the listener has the opportunity to exalt in music where subtlety and quality combine in equal measure.
The mastering is good, the liner notes interesting, and one suspects that Dewhirst is urging the listener to explore further the artists presented, because he appreciates the transcendental and transformative nature of music.
For fans of quality music, and for those interested in exploring the 'inspiration and foundation' this collection is unmissable. A very easy, well deserved 10/10 collection. Full marks to Dewhirst and the Demon Music Group.