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on 15 March 2014
A great compilation, carrying on Tony Rounce's exemplary series of CDs for Kent. I first picked up 'The Show Must Go On' LP in a discards basket in the mid 1970s for about 25p. It sparked my interest in Sam as a composer and singer and it has been wonderful to see him gradually gain some kind of recognition and success, writing some million seller for the likes of Whitney Houston and having 2 CDs worth of powerful demos released. As with most of Rounce's releases it combines a few hits, some obscurities and some versions of well known songs that I have never heard. of. Ben E King's ghreat treatments get a mention but not a place, and, as Rounce acknowledges, the drearded drum machine makes an entry on a few of the later tracks but overall this is a very fine release, I look forward to the next in the series.
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on 7 April 2014
He can do it all- a very soulful singer and one of the best songwriters. For the best of his performing you need to get the CD The Show Must Go On. One in a Million only has one song sung by Sam- My World but this is one of the best soul ballads ever recorded full stop. The rest of the CD is interpretations of his compositions by various artists - 21 in total. Highlights are Dorothy Moore - Girl Overboard, The Chi-lites - Vanishing Love, Ester Phillips- Cry to Me, Jackie Wilson- As Soon as the Feeling Over, Clarence Carter- Changes, Millie Jackson- Mess on your Hands, Les McCann- So Your Love Finally Ran Out, Gladys Knight and the Pips- Save the Overtime, and finally Larry Graham- One in a Million You. In truth there is not a dud on the CD and if well written and produced soul is what you are looking for this CD is the answer.
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Totalling maybe a dozen singles across five or six American labels and one rare album in 1975 on Atlantic Records (“The Show Goes On”) – SAM DEES (born in Birmingham, Alabama) doesn’t have a massive Solo catalogue per say. But Dees is one of those hep cats (rather like Allen Toussaint) that write great songs made famous by other people – especially women. And that’s where this superlative CD compilation comes in.

Comprising of 22 cuts put down between 1971 and 1983 – “One In A Million” celebrates his prolific songwriting talent in style. And listening to this classy Ace Records CD compilation (on their much-loved Kent-Soul imprint) – its easy to hear why Dees is held in such respect and affection by both Producers in the industry and fans alike. Expertly and affectionately compiled/annotated by lifelong Soul Nutter Number 1 TONY ROUNCE – by the end of this generous listen (nearly 80 minutes playing time) you’re left with the same admiration he clearly feels for one of the many unsung heroes of the genre. Here are the Soulful spoils...

UK released March 2014 – “One In A Million: The Songs Of Sam Dees” on Ace Records/Kent-Soul CDKEND 411 (Barcode 029667241120) breaks down as follows (79:55 minutes):

1. My World – SAM DEES (1977 USA 7” single on Polydor PD 14455, A)
2. Stop This Merry-Go-Round – JOHN EDWARDS (1973 USA 7” single on Aware AW 035, A)
3. Girl Overboard – DOROTHY MOORE (1978 USA 7” single on Malaco 1052, B-side of “Special Occasion”)
4. You’re Love Is Like A Boomerang – COREY BLAKE (1975 USA 7” single on Capitol 4057, A)
5. A Woman’s Way – ROZETTA JOHNSON (1970 USA 7” single on Clintone CT-001, A)
6. Vanishing Love (UK Remix) – THE CHI-LITES (February 1977 UK 7” single on Mercury 6167 485, A)
7. Cry To Me – ESTHER PHILLIPS (1981 USA 7” single on Mercury 76103, A)
8. Standing In The Wings Of A Heartache – TED TAYLOR (from the USA album “Ted Taylor 1976” on Alarm LP 1000)
9. Just As Soon As The Feeling’s Over – JACKIE WILSON (from the 1975 US album “Nobody But You” on Brunswick BL 754212)
10. Changes – CLARENCE CARTER (from the 1970 album “Patches” on Atlantic SD 8267)
11. I Betcha Didn’t Know That – FREDERICK KNIGHT (1975 USA 7” single on Truth TRA-3216, A)
12. Run To Me – SIDNEY JOE QUALLS (1975 USA 7” single on Dakar DK 4546, A)
13. Mess On Your Hands – MILLIE JACKSON (2014 previously unreleased 3:07 mnutes edit of a track from her 1982 US album “Hard Times” on Spring SP-1-6737)
14. Good Guys Don’t Always Win – RAY CRUMLEY (1976 USA 7” single on Alarm 113, A)
15. So Your Love Finally Ran Out (For Me) – LES McCANN (from his 1979 US LP “Tall, Dark & Handsome” on A&M Records SP-4780)
16. The Show Must Go On – LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY (1975 USA 7” single on Aware AW 050, A)
17. What A Way To Put It – THE TEMPTATIONS (from the 1983 US LP “Surface Thrills” on Gordy 6032GL)
18. Spoiled By Your Love – ANITA WARD (1978 USA 7” single on Juana 3417, A)
19. Where Did We Go Wrong – L.T.D (1980 USA 7” single on A&M Records 2250-S, A)
20. Save The Overtime (For Me) – GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS (1983 USA 7” single on Columbia 03761, A)
21. Seconds Of Your Love – JOHNNIE TAYLOR (1983 USA 7” single on Beverly Glen Music BG 2016, A)
22. One In A Million You – LARRY GRAHAM (1980 USA 7” single on Warner Brothers 49221, A)
Notes: All tracks are STEREO except 1, 5, 15 and 19 - which are MONO

The 16-page booklet is the usual fact-filled, photo-strewn event – pictures of American and UK 45’s, album sleeves for Jackie Wilson, The Temptations, Les McCann and Loleatta Holloway as well as track-by-track info from the ever-brilliant TONY ROUNCE. The remasters from DUNCAN POWELL are beautifully realised – most quality Productions in the first place. It does dip a bit on the Mono mixes of say L.T.D – but overall this is a real pleasure to listen to for all the right reasons.

The emphasis is on love songs and ballads – and nine times out of ten – Dees will move and impress you. The beautiful “My World” was initially released 1977 on the tiny New London International label (1003) in the USA as “In My World”. And while Polydor liked the singing they thought the Production wasn’t up to snuff so they had Dees recut it with Tommy Couch at Malaco and that’s the version presented here (“Say Yeah” is the flipside – recut at the same sessions). The brilliant love groove of “Cry To Me” by Esther Phillips features an uncredited Sam Dees singing ‘improvised vocal lines between Esther’s lead’ and is a first time on Kent-Soul CD (superb transfer too). You’re then hit with the tortured beauty of “You’re Love Is Like A Boomerang” (a winner) - while the “you’ll cook his supper...but he’ll find complaints about something...” lyrics of “A Woman’s Way” feature a fantastic sassy and street-smart vocal by Roszetta Johnson (credited as Rozetta on the label).

After her full-on hardcore songs - Millie Jackson’s gut-wrenching vocals on the newly compiled edit of “Mess On Your Hands” comes as a shock – a hurting tune about (would you Adam and Eve it) a cheating man. It’s a clever compiler choice because it focuses on the song’s strengths and what people forget – her great voice. Another cool inclusion is Les McCann’s impassioned Teddy Pendergrass vocals on “So Your Love Finally Ran Out On Me” from his underrated “Tall, Dark & Handsome” album of 1979 which contains an impressive five Sam Dees songs (this track is first time on CD too). “Where Did We Go Wrong” by L.T. D (Love, Togetherness & Devotion) is a co-write with Jeffrey Osbourne. And on it goes to the full-on smooch of Larry Graham’s “One In A Million You” – a single that shifted just that in 1980 (a USA R&B Number 1).

I must admit that despite the obvious quality on offer here – by the time you get halfway through – you may feel that if you hear yet another set of lush strings – you may indeed want to kill someone instead of giving them a cuddle. But don’t let my cello phobia put you off – this is a class act through and through (Sam Dees’ talents are still in demand to this day).

Well done yet again to Kent-Soul for giving the man his dues...
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on 8 June 2015
From a golden era of story telling ,preaching, Gospel voice RnB Soul from Memphis ,Detriot , Philadelphia . Great soul man like Soloman Burke, Sam Cooke , Otis , Marvin , Johnny Bristol , Teddy Pendergrass, Chuck Jackson and so many more
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