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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars KENT drop the ball with more "unreleased gems"......, 6 July 2012
By 
TCH (Cambs, UK.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Lost Soul Gems From Sounds Of Memphis (Audio CD)
KENT records is probably the superlative soul reissue label in the world with plenty of top ranking archival releases in their catalogue but after a recent hot streak of superb releases (Apollas, Paul Kelly, the FAME box, Etta, Clarence Carter, etc) they appear to be going through a wobbly patch due to their unfortunate occasion predilection for compiling 'unreleased' tracks. Whilst sometimes there are gems to be found in the vaults of record labels, it does require ruthless quality control since most unreleased tracks are unreleased for a reason - they are not up to snuff; that was true of the recent "Hall Of Fame - Rare & Unreleased Gems From the FAME Vaults" and even more so in this instance.

At least the "Hall Of Fame" set, whilst patchy, had some name artists and the tracks were mostly from the peak years of southern soul ('66-'71); this set on a much lesser known label has barely known names which for the 1st 18-tracks perform adequately if anonymously but the transition from track-to-track can sometimes be jarring (eg. the Barbara & the Browns tracks sound like they were laid down much earlier than anything else here) but nothing compared to what happens from tracks' 18-22. Simply put these are from the 1980's and thus sound horrendous suffering from overly glossy early 1980's production values and stick out like a sore thumb when compared to the earlier tracks from the 1960's. It is an astonishing lapse in taste that the compiler felt that the last 5-tracks (almost a quarter of the compilation) would provide listening satisfaction to the sort of listener this set is presumably aimed at (late 60'/early 70's southern soul fan) ---- well the compiler is wrong and KENT need to look at their quality control which seems to be increasingly lacking recently. A clue for them - on southern soul compilations tracks from the late 70's onwards are unlikely to cut the mustard since by that point disco and urban soul had taken over.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kent compilation has its moments but not enough of them., 11 July 2012
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This review is from: Lost Soul Gems From Sounds Of Memphis (Audio CD)
KENT records remain one of the great soul reissue labels. The quality of presentation is nearly always spot on and they have some knowledgeable people writing for them. In the past year they have bought out star compilations by the likes of Candi Staton, Paul Kelly and from the Fame Studio vaults.

This compilation rarely rises to the heights of previous releases containing lesser works by minor artists. Kent's compilers are in the habit of releasing unheard and unissued tracks from the vaults and more often than not they should have stayed unissued. It all adds up to a set that drags through its mostly mundane playlist.The moments to really enjoy are few but the deep voiced Rudolph Taylor's 'Big City Lights' is really nice and the one to transfer to your ipod. The Billy Cee contribution deserves mention.

I have to agree with the reasonable comments of the previous reviewer that the final cuts recorded in the 1980s should not have been included on a compilation of essentially 60s/70s material. They are all dire examples of neo-soul - more like cracked slate than gem stones.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just About OK Collection, 18 Mar 2014
This review is from: Lost Soul Gems From Sounds Of Memphis (Audio CD)
A lot of lacklustre stuff on this collection but some good moments such as cuts by Billy Cee. I think some reviewers have been a tad harsh.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ..there are tracks on here to like..., 10 Sep 2012
By 
Sean (Chatham, Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lost Soul Gems From Sounds Of Memphis (Audio CD)
Southern Soul; that easy armchair, for want of a simile; and yes, if you like southern soul, there are tracks on here to like; BUT, the last four tracks are rather incongruous, to put it nicely. From my point of view a `stand out' is `Save my love', by Billy Cee, and there are other good performances. However, as someone who started buying Kent Compilations over thirty years ago, I have to question to continuity of this, still worthwhile, in the right circumstances, collection.
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Lost Soul Gems From Sounds Of Memphis
Lost Soul Gems From Sounds Of Memphis by Various (Audio CD - 2012)
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