Backbeats: 2 Steps to Soul Heaven-More 70s & 80s Steppers
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Presenting a brand new edition to the popular Backbeats range.
Since the introduction of the range under the Harmless label, the Backbeats series have been released at regular intervals and have showcased the talents of some of the best compilers in the world and experts in their respective areas.
The Backbeats series was designed to offer some of the best music in the world from some of the greatest independent labels over the last 50 years. We only use the full original 12 or album versions from the original artists, plus, with over 75 minutes of music on each Backbeats album, you can be assured of getting maximum musical value for relatively minimal outlay. Extraordinary on the ear, exceptional on the eye and easy on the pocket!
Welcome to Backbeats...
About the Artist
1 Arnold Blair Trying To Get Next To You
2 Leroy Hutson Lovers Holiday
3 The Dells Ain't It A Shame
4 The Jones Girls This Feeling's Killing Me
5 Ken Williams Sweet Music, Soft Lights & You
6 The Notations Take It Slow
7 Leroy Hutson Lucky Fellow
8 Curtis Mayfield Just Want To Be With You
9 Archie Bell & the Drells It's Hard Not To Like You
10 Intimate Strangers Love Sounds
11 The Staple Singers Let's Do It Again
12 The Dells I Touched a Dream
13 Natural Four Try Love Again
14 Al Green Loving You
15 Joyce Cobb How Glad I Am
16 Jean Carn We Got Some Catching Up To Do
17 Patti LaBelle Love, Need and Want You
18 Strutt Said You Didn't Love Him
Top customer reviews
The collection opens with Arnold Blair's 'Trying To Get Next To You' (1975), originally appearing on the Curtis Mayfield owned Curtom label. This is a timeless track that still retains the ability to impress, and one can hear why it would have been rediscovered during the mid to late 1980s 'Rare Groove' explosion. Leroy Hutson's 'Lover's Holiday' (1976) first appeared on the album 'Feel The Spirit', providing a great example of Hutson's productions skills and ability to deliver a well honed mellow groove. 'Ain't It A Shame' (1977) has featured previously on the Dewhirst helmed 'Original Mastercuts' series (on 'Rare Groove 3'), and it remains a classic, with wonderful harmonies weaving over lightly tripping orchestration and a deceptively driving bass. The Jones Girls' 'This Feelling's Killing Me' (1979) is taken from their work for Philadelphia International, and is another example of a beatifully swaying groove with tightly delivered vocals and light orchestration. 'Sweet Music, Soft Lights & You' (1976) by Ken Williams bears the musical influence of Marvin Gaye, melding a sweeteness of sound with a funk influenced lean. 'Take It Slow' (1975) is smoothly delivered before Leroy Hutson features again with 'Lucky Fellow' (1975). Older Hip Hop fans will recognise the use of the opening break on 'Love Sounds' (1975) by Intimate Strangers, having also appeared on 'Dusty Fingers Volume 5'. Having been warmed up, worked hard and worn out the listener is then greeted by The Staple Singers' 'Let's Do It Again' (1975), originally featured on the soundtrack of film with the same name (featuring Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier). 'I Touched A Dream' (1980) is a ravishing reminder of the vocal power of a group that had been preforming since the early 1950s. This is a track to simply savour, a gorgeous example of soul at its very best. The quality continues with The Natural Four's evergreen 'Try Love Again' (1974) and Jean Carn's 'We Got Some Catching Up To Do' (1981). Fans of Nelly and Kelly Rowland will also learn where the lead vocal line for 'Dilemma' (2002) came from, with Patti LaBelle's 'Love, Need And Want You' (1983).
So. Do you buy?
Fans of the 'Back Beats' series will be reassured that '2 Steps To Soul Heaven' manages to continue the pattern of providing exceptionally high quality catalogue at an outstandingly good price. This is a testament to the quality of the music recorded during the period covered and the artists featured. Some collectors might argue that many of the tracks have been featured previously on a number of compilations, including Dewhirst's 'Original Mastercuts' series in the early to late 1990s, but this is music that deserves to be heard and discovered by new audiences. 'Back Beats' works so well because it provides a tangible product (despite the continuing growth of download driven markets) within a well considered and coherent musical framing (and at a ridiculously cheap price).
Congratulations to Ian Dewhirst and the Harmless / Demon Music Group for issuing another great compilation, and for their continuing hard work.