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, "...it was something that grew up with the golden age of Hip Hop...it 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.
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.
on 24 October 2013
trust me if you want something a bit special,buy this.trust 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.