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on 22 August 2010
The initial 'Back Beats' series extended over ten issues, with the promise that further volumes might follow. This release is part of the promised second batch, being Volume 18 in the series "conceived and compiled with love by Ian Dewhirst". The stated aim of the collection remains the same, to "entertain and educate" whilst bringing "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 volume the responsibility for the process of compiling falls to the very experienced Dean Rudland, a man renowned for his involvement with the Acid Jazz label in the early 1990s and the very successful 'Blue Break Beats' compilations. For 'Crate Diggin' Fever' Rudland writes of the act of searching through dusty record crates in search of an elusive and much sought after musical gem, something that record collectors have been doing for many years. " For Americans", he writes, " was something that grew up with the golden age of Hip was (also) something the British had been doing for many years, trekking across the States and shipping...back to the UK". Having been involved in the process this selection should be viewed as an example of the music that he and his contemporaries often sought to find and 'rediscover'.

This issue opens with The Futures' 'Ain't No Time Fa Nothing" (1978), likely to be familiar to those around during the 'Rare Groove' explosion of the mid to late 1980s, and is very similar in style to Earth, Wind & Fire. 'Don't Let It Go To Your Head' (1976) by Jean Carn is an absolutely wonderful record, featuring a plaintive yet seductive vocal over a grooving orchestral texture. Laura Lee's 'Crumbs Off The Table' (1972) is a song of a woman's emotional and physical despair, whilst Al Green's 'Love Ritual' (1975) propels along with a quirky guitar and keyboard underpinning. Fans of R&B and Motown will warm to Barbara Acklin's 'Just Ain't No Love' (1969) and Honey Cone's 'Sittin' On A Time Bomb' (1972), and older Hip Hop fans will smile in recognition with the opening of Archie Bell & The Drells' 'Don't Let Love Get You Down' (1976), and may also wonder at the potential of 'Beware' (1972) by Ann Peebles and Bobby Marchan's 'Push The Button' (1974).

So. Do you buy?

Much of the material here has been drawn from the Philadelphia International and Brunswick back catalogues, and except for one track (The Jones Girls 'You Can't Have My Love' (1984)) draws predominantly from the 1970s (with two from the late 1960s). Despite this fact the material is varied and, most importantly, is of sufficient quality (in qualitative and mastering terms) to ensure repeated listening. Undoubtedly, 'Crate Diggin' Fever' fits nicely within the expanding 'Back Beats' catalogue, and once again Dewhirst has managed to issue good quality music in a tangible product at an exceptionally low price.

Simply buy.
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on 4 August 2010
An unbelievable great collection of soul funky tracks:-

1 The Futures - Ain't No Time Fa Nothing - RARE GROOVE CLASSIC

2 Jean Carn - Don't Let It Go To Your Head - CLASSY SOUL TUNE

3 Laura Lee - Crumbs Off The Table - GREAT FUNKY SOUL TUNE



6 African Music Machine - Tropical - FUNKY INSTRUMENTAL GEM - INCREDIBLE

7 Maryan Farra and the Satin Soul - Stoned Out Of My Mind - GOOD SOULFUL INSTRUMENTAL

8 Jackie Wilson - Shake A Leg - GREAT FUNK SOUL TUNE

9 Alvin Cash - Ali Shuffle - DISCO FUNK

10 Tyrone Davis - Something You Got - KILLER DANCEFLOOR SOUL THAT ROCKS!

11 Barbara Acklin - Just Ain't No Love - CLASSIC SOUL KILLER!

12 Honey Cone - Sittin' On A Time Bomb - DITTO

13 Archie Bell & The Drells - Don't Let Love Get You Down - TOTALLY UNBELIEVABLE SOUL CLASSIC

14 The Jones Girls - You Can't Have My Love - SWEET SOUL MASTERPIECE

15 MFSB - Picnic In The Park - MAN ALIVE - WHAT A TUNE!

16 Ann Peebles - Beware - SMOKIN HARD FUNK SOUL

17 Holland & Dozier - Don't Leave Me (inst) - WICKED FUNKY DUB INSTRUMENTAL

18 Bobby Marchan - Push The Button - REAL UNCUT OLD SCHOOL FUNK - TOTALLY KILLER

19 Tommie Young - That's All A Part Of Loving Him - KILLER SOUL TUNE WITH FLUTE BREAK

20 Strutt- Front Row Romeo - KILLER FUNK JAM

21 Satisfaction Unlimited - Seeing Through The Eyes Of A Blindman

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on 13 May 2011
I've been diggin' and buying this kind of music for over 30 years and this is the best durn compilation of less obvious gems from the era that I've yet heard. Anything that can assemble Archie Bell & the Drells' glorious 'Don't let love get you down', the Average White Band's red-hot version of the Isleys' 'Work to do', Jean Carn's 'Don't let it go to your head' and the generally unsung Tommie Young's 'That's all a part of loving him' on the same disc should receive some kind of legion of honour. Hats off to Dean Rudland for such discerning taste. He has unearthed many more obscure gems from the likes of Tyrone Davis, Laura Lee, Jackie Wilson and the Jones Girls, so I say unto thee: 'Buy it without a moment's hesitation'. You will not be disappointed.
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on 1 March 2011
A graet compilation of souly funk and funky soul of the 70s. I already owe a lot of compilations, and I am astonished that someone could still surprise me with a load of new discoveries. There's a lot of compilations with rare tracks that should have stayed in the cellar. This stuff is great.
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on 24 July 2012
I Bought this for some classics from the days of vinyl but there were some pleasant surprises too - The Brilliant crumbs off the table is simply top drawer. There are a couple of 'unusual' versions tucked in there too. . . Work to do??? and Stoned out of my mind, both sounded very different but other than that this is worth it just it to hear signature tracks like Aint no time Fa Nothing and Don't let it go to your head ! ! ! !
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on 7 June 2012
Wonderful grooves from a great selection of artists at an amazing price. This came up as a recommendation and I'm so glad it did. Bring it on Amazon!
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on 5 May 2011
This album gets me dancing and it is full of soulful tunes. It is must album for anyone who want to hear to the 'real' soul.....
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on 26 October 2012
Cool grooves man! Cool sounds of the 70s my old man missed but im diggin now! Cool driving music. I dig.
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on 24 October 2013
trust me if you want something a bit special,buy me,i,ve got vinyl upon vinyl but nothing beats having these beats to hand any time of the year..seller is quick and disc is spotless..highly recommended.
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on 3 February 2015
If you are into Rare Groove, this album is not a bad starting point, with some tracks/artists that you may not have known or heard of. Great value
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