Customer Review

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent multi-label compilation mixing all the 60's soul genres including northern, southern, uptown & funky soul., 1 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Kent's Cellar Of Soul Volume 3 (Audio CD)
KENT records are a frustrating label, forever mixing the sublime and the mediocre in a seemingly random manner. After an exceptionally patchy 2013 (even by KENT standards) they have started 2014 in an outstanding fashion with this brilliant various artists, multi-label compilation. I've always maintained that KENT various artist compilations drawn from multiple labels/artists always beat their single label/artist compilations hands down and here is more proof of that with a sublime selection of mid- to late- 60's soul with only about 2-3 duds out of the generous 26 tracks. Another bonus is that this release doesn't contain any 'previously unreleased' songs which always makes me apprehensive since more often than not they were this way because they weren't up to snuff, a lesson KENT still don't seem to have grasped.

This compilation even improves on KENT's proven track record regarding multi-label/artist Northern Soul compilations (such as the exceptional 'Once Upon A Time In Wigan', 'Northern Monsters' & 4-volumes of Northern Soul's Classiest Rarities [surely due for another of these this year?]) in that it keeps you on your toes by mixing up the multitude of soul styles from the 60's including deep soul, northern soul, Motown-ish, funky soul, uptown soul and even perhaps a touch of psych-soul on J.J.Barnes brilliant, dramatic 'Baby Please Come Back Home'.

There are a few tracks replicated from earlier KENT releases including 'Funky Fever', 'Freedom Train' and 'The House That Jack Built' but this is forgivable due to the prodigious tracklisting length and that these are superior songs that contribute to the eclectic mix of soul stylings and so don't come across (too much) as cynical recycling.

The price of the CD is justified by the presence of the utterly infectious 'Gimme Little Sign' by Brenton Wood in primo sound, one of the best singles of the 1960's. There are plenty of other superior tracks here including the thoroughly uptown 'Giving Up' by The Ad Libs, the immortal proto-funk of 'Tramp' by Lowell Fulsom, the bluesy girl-group sound of The Ikettes on 'Peaches'n'Cream', the driving instrumental 'The Horse' by Cliff Noble & Co. (who'd form the basis of the Philly International MFSB band in the following decade), the soaring dramatic 'Casanova (Your Playing Days Are Over)' by Ruby Andrews and the similarly epic 'Ooh Wee Baby, I Love You' by Fred Hughes (with heavy hints of mid- to late- 60's Motown) and so on and so on.

The only real duds are the trite, cheesy 'With This Ring' by The Platters and 'Sharing You' by Carl Henderson.

The liners and packaging are exceptional in the usual KENT tradition and it is really a pity that KENT don't follow this multi-label approach more regularly to up the consistency on their releases in order to cut down the chaff such as the notorious compilations where they mix 60's tracks with those of later decades (including the dreaded 80's!). Oh well, a plea that will no doubt fall on deaf ears but we can all live in hope.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Feb 2014 22:41:39 GMT
M. A. Coyle says:
The Platters song was a big early Northern Soul spin though (before Dave Godin named the scene/sound). The Platters Kent CD is good if you enjoy the track.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Mar 2014 08:07:18 GMT
Hey, I like "With this ring." It's by a common group but nice to hear if played.
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TCH
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Location: Cambs, UK.

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