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Good compilation and (at last) "Love Is In Season" is on CD
on 23 September 2012
This review is for: The Ultimate Collection (Detroit Spinners - Music Club Deluxe 2CD)
For years I have wanted the wonderful "Love Is in Season" on CD and finally here it is. The album it comes from "Crossfire" has not received a CD release and because the single wasn't a hit, it doesn't appear on compilations. So that was reason enough to buy this and it sounds awesome on CD, better than my well-played 12" single.
So what about the rest? This is a very good overview of the Detroit Spinners UK and U.S. singles from the Atlantic record label (1972 onwards), focussing mostly on the 7" single versions and is the first time a more comprehensive collection has been put together covering 2 discs. There are some singles missing here, but nothing vital. All the main singles are here, a few album tracks and some great B-Sides like the B-Side of "Working My Way Back To You"; "Disco Ride", which was actually the A-Side in America and is here in its full 6:23 version.
There can't be many people who don't know the classics "Could It be I'm Falling In Love (later a hit for David Grant & Jaki Graham)" and "I'll Be Around (later a hit for Terri Wells) and "Are You Ready For Love" will be instantly familiar due to Elton John's number one hit version. Most of these tracks were produced by the legendary Thom Bell (also producer of The Stylistics), but Michael Zager produced the disco flavoured hits from the late 70s, including "Body Language (which cleverly interpolates a snippet of Michael's own hit; "Let's All Chant"), the superb Sam Cooke cover; "Cupid" and the UK number one hit; "Working My Way Back To You" which was originally a hit for Frankie Valli's group, The Four Seasons. Also worthy of mention is the excellent "Magic In the Moonlight" which has a great funky production sound courtesy of the late Freddie Perren (producer of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive", Peaches & Herb "Shake Your Groove Thing", and "Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel" by Tavares, as well as being involved as writer and producer on Motown classics from the likes of The Jackson 5).
All in all this is a good compilation, but it's not all good news; the sound quality on "Ghetto Child" suffers from some kind of slight distortion. I've checked on another CD I have and the sound quality is fine, so it is definitely an issue with the mastering here. It's a shame that one track has this, but most people will probably not notice because it isn't horrendous. Aside from that one track the quality is generally good. The only other thing I have to say here is that with up to 79 minutes available on a CD, both these discs only run to around 60 minutes so the longer 12" versions of the big hits could have been added or some more tracks. But whatever... at £5.00, this is a bargain.