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Blue Magic

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Oct. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Pid
  • ASIN: B008PVDA5I
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 186,318 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

ATLANTIC R&B1000. First pressing only limited release. Low-Price Edition. Digital remastering. Originally released in 1974.

Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD
Blue Magic was formed in Philadelphia in June 1973 when former member of The Delfonics, Randy Cain brought singer-songwriter Ted Mills in to do some writing with the Philly-based WMOT production company and a short time later, the group Shades of Blue, featuring Keith Beaton, Richard Pratt, Vernon Sawyer and his brother Wendell, came in for an audition. According to Marc Taylor, in his book A Touch of Classic Soul of the Early 1970's, "although the group performed well, they lacked a standout lead singer and WMOT executives in a rare wise decision for executives decided to put Mills with the Shades of Love and renamed the group Blue Magic. They were signed with Atco/Atlantic Records in the same year. Blue Magic were one of the earliest acts produced by Norman Harris, a Philadelphia records veteran. The group's harmonies were supported by the MFSB house band.
If you like your soul music so smooth it would make grease seem like sandpaper then Blue Magic are the band for you. This expanded edition of the album originally released in 1974 kicks off or more aptly glides off with the top ten hit co- written by guitarist Bobby Eli "Sideshow". it's the sort of seventies soul ballad that I truly despised at that time but I'm older , wiser , balder and know better now. Strings glide like gossamer swallows , the vocals range from truly high falsetto courtesy of Ted Mills to growly baritone . It's by no means the only classy track here though.
"Stop To Start", "What's Come Over Me", "Just Don't Want To Be Lonely" are all exemplary Philly soul . The truly lugubrious ballad "Spell" would placate a psychotic mastiff while "Answer To My Prayer" is more up-tempo with some addictive rhythmic backing strings .
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Format: Audio CD
Philly Soul had a distinctive face, and was rooted firmly in the Vocal group tradition. It had become a force in the early 70's as Thom Bell and Gamble & Huff had produced a string of hits, both R&B and pop, for groups like the O'Jays and the Delfonics. The latter had a very distinctive sound, due to the falsetto lead, and this in itself was a Black music tradition. They were soon followed by the Stylistics and Blue Magic, both out of Philadelphia and both of whom enjoyed huge success.

This album was Blue Magic's first, produced by Norman Harris, who had worked with Bell, as well as Gamble & Huff, and if you are familiar with the symphonic style of Philly Soul, then you know what to expect here. Ted Mills ethereal vocal leads the group through a series of tracks, which are among the best examples of the genre. Indeed it is rare to find a whole album which maintains the kind of quality on show here.

The album contains the hit singles "Sideshow", "Look Me Up" and "What's Come Over Me", and in fact "Spell" and "Stop To Start" had also been singles without hitting the heights. The whole album creates a relaxed and mellow feel, and I seem to remember it being ideal for generating a romantic mood when I had this album on vinyl on it's original release.

It is a surprise that it has taken this long to resurface on CD, but a welcome one. Recommended.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
I had a Blue Magic vinyl album which had all of these songs on but with a different cover. I recently gave all of my vinyl to my 19 year old son who deals in records. He got 40 quid for the Blue Magic album as was an import version. He happily paid for this download album for me. I used to always play this album when I was young and feeling a bit tragic at the end of any relationship so for me it's remembering my teen years in the 1970's when I was into Philly soul and Stax. Love Sideshow, which is much more dramatic than the rubbish cover by Barry Biggs but my all time favourite of this band is Just Don't Wanna Be Lonely. Smooth, easy classic track and should have done much better than it did in the charts..
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a truly great album from a group that for some reason never made it big here in the UK. They compare so well to The Stylistics. 'Payola' perhaps ? I am told this had and still has a massive influence on the charts....

The reviews below sum up the album with one exception. For me 'Spell' is the greatest soulful track ever made next to 'Me and Mrs Jones'. Never mind the comment made elsewhere in these reviews. If you like slow, romantic, soul songs of the mid 1970's then this is definitely the tops. Buy this CD, turn down the lights with the one you love and 'Spell' will take you to another world.

However do BE CAREFUL. I ordered this CD expecting 12 tracks as shown including the 3 bonus ones (in particular the Tom Moulton mix of Look Me Up) - well I just got the 9 track original. If you look below the track sample list you will see only 9 under 'Product Description'. I only noticed this after I received the CD ! I am sure it is an honest error but I got no response from Marvelio UK when I submitted their requested feedback. So 9 tracks it is...
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