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on 11 May 2013
The Demon Music Group has continued to add to the steadily expanding 'Back Beats' series, and for this, the 35th release, the ever reliable and experienced Ralph Tee takes the helm to deliver 19 tracks under the generic title 'Lay Back & Chill' (BACKB035), with a retrospective encompassing the years 1972 to 2002.

The disc opens with the simply sublime voice of Luther Vandross and 'Once You Know How' (1982), a mellow opener replete with subtle string accompaniment and the beautiful phrasing of a dearly missed legendary singer. This is followed by the piano edged groove of 'We Never Said Goodbye' (1980) by Dionne Warwick and the distinctly electronic driven sound of Glenn Jones' 'Stay' (1990). Patti Austin takes up 'Say You Love Me' (1976), opening with an acoustic setting which gradually opens up to an expansive and swaying sound. Lou Courtney's 'What Do You Want Me To Do' (1973) takes the sound back to an altogether older setting, with an opening vocal vamp and a deliciously deceptive classic take on hormonal raging via the telephone. Keni Burke delivers the beautifully melodic (and painfully short) 'Paintings Of Love' (1981) whilst Linda Williams soars over the slow stepping 'No Love, No Where Without You' (1979)(from the album 'City Living'). The quality continues with the affirmative slow burn of Phyllis Hyman's 'Gonna Make Changes' (1978) and 'By Your Side' (1976) by Tower Of Power. To this you can add the superlative voices of Gladys Knight & The Pips, The Isley Brothers and Angela Bofill's 'Love Light' (2002).

So. Do you buy?

Fans of the 'Back Beats' series will already be aware that this continues to be a project informed by a love and respect for the music involved, and a genuine desire to see the music made available to a new and wider audience, whilst also rewarding the ears of the experienced connoisseur. That the Demon Music Group continues to do so at such an incredibly low price is to be applauded, particularly at a time when tangible music product is struggling against a culture of free music downloads. Ideally each 'Back Beats' album should work as a spur to explore the back catalogue of each artist involved, and for less than £5 pounds the listener gets to experience the sound of real soul.

Quality product and exceptional value for money, if you want to experience the slow pulse of serious soul then this is a fine place to start.

Highly recommended. 9/10.
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on 29 March 2013
Great tracks spanning mainly 1970's and 1980's slow jams. Ralph Tee's compiling at its best (well done that man). At this price its a steal.

Quality throughout but my personal favourites are the the Lou Courtney track with the great talk in vocal,Gladys Knight's "The Making of You" and the Isley Brothers "I once Had Your Love"(these guys can do no wrong for me on the mellower numbers

Back beats is a great series even for the more serious collectors - you'll always find sonething to raise the goose bumps.
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on 3 October 2015
After initial disappointment a track listed was not on this set, I just left it on the side. However this morning I put it in CD player, its a quality selection of modern soul, set a beat or three below 2 step, 19 tracks selected by soul connosseur Ralph Tee. Stand-out tracks for me inc. dionne Warwick We never said Goodbye, Lou Courtney's sublime classic What do you want me to Do, followed by Esther Phillips' Brother Brother. 3 new ones to me Keni Burke's Paintings of Love, and the best- imo. Earth Wind and Fire and a nice slice of "spiritual crossover "They Don't See. These gems are supported by the likes of Phyllis Hyman, Michael Henderson, Gladys(Knight) Chapter 8, and a previously unreleased version of Lovelight by Angela Bofill. The people behind the Backbeats compilations are gurus of soul music so its hard to go wrong with these compilations, veterans of UK soul/ dance scenes. Enjoy.
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on 27 April 2015
I agree with Mary below, it constantly surprises me just how good this comp is. Every time i hear it, it just gets better and better. I've been buying soul music for well over 20 years and this is as fine a comp of Mellow late-70s-style soul as you can ever hope to hear. Every song is a winner in it's own right. This is easy on the ear but is no way lightweight. There is so much quality and maturity in the performances, the song writing and the production. And unlike most comps where you end up cherry picking your best few tracks; this one plays beautifully from start to finish. I can also recommend the first Mellow Mastercuts compilation from back in '92 for a compilation of similar vibe, quality and consistency. 10/10.
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on 3 May 2015
An absolute gem. Any album that opens with Luther is always off to a winner. Classic Soul oozing from every track. Louis Rawls Aint that love baby is worth the price in itself. I love this album. Highly recommended for any serious soul lover. Buy it you will love it. Crash. Xx
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on 13 April 2013
Well done to Back Beats for releasing another quality collection of wonderful soul. There are several lesser known but nevertheless, outstanding tracks here. Some tracks have been hard to find previously but can now be had for little money. Highly recommended.
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on 17 November 2013
This is a very good compilation as it blends several styles and they are all very enjoyable, even those new to me.
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on 15 August 2013
cool and great tracks.Nice for the weekend just to chill out with or just back ground music while in the garden.
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on 15 May 2013
Its rightly named you just want to lay back and Chill. Not dancers but still a good listening album.For the money you can't go wrong all V/G tracks .Another plus mark for Back beats how do they do it. StefCc/o Leek Soul club the home of genuine soul since 1993.
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on 11 December 2014
This constantly surprises me as to the quality of the tracks on it - so good.
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