.I don’t think I’ve so much fun putting together an Any Major Mix as I had with this one. So much great music to choose from, so much great music I hadn’t played in a while. As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R.
This mix is not a representative overview of ’60s soul. Some essential artists are not represented here: Sam Cooke, James Brown, Temptations, Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield (well, he is very much present on Major Lance’s deceptively titled track. And the Five Stairsteps, with a song released four years before their famous Ooh Ooh Child, evidently have heard a Curtis song or two before). There are some well-known tracks on here – hopefully not too obvious, though – complementing some less famous tracks. Perhaps some songs will provide surprises. Dionne Warwick takes time out from bacharaching to provide a nearly camp girl-band type song. Johnny Adams gives Release Me, most famous in its Engelbert Humperdinck rancid cheese version, the soul treatment, showing that this is in fact a great song.
Philly soul exponent Bunny Sigler found some fame in the 1970s; the closer on this set was his isolated hit (reaching #22 in the Billboard charts) of the 1960s. DeeDee Sharp, another successful Philly singer, represented here (with a b-side track), even married the co-doyen of the city’s famous sound, Kenny Gamble. Some songs set the scene for the sound of '70s soul, perhaps none more so than the Delfonics La La Means I Love You, which created a lush sound which would be widely copied by the likes of the Chi-Lites, Stylistics et al. And going back to the essential sound of '60s soul, check out Peggy Scott on the cover with Jojo Benson: you’d not think that she could belt out a song as she does here. The wonderful Carla Thomas and Otis follow them: by comparison with Peggy & Jojo, those two are pictures of restraint.
There are some fascinating stories behind many of the artists represented here. The most tragic is that of the Bar-Kays, Stax session musicians, who were decimated in the plane crash that also killed Otis Redding, with whom they were touring. And who'd think that the Soul Survivors, another Philly band with a Kenny Gamble connection, were all white?
And, since you ask, my favourites of this mix? Today, it’s Tighten Up and Loveland.
1. Archie Bell & the Drells - Tighten Up (1968)
2. Major Lance - Monkey Time (1963)
3. Soul Survivors - Expressway To Your Heart (1967)
4. Aretha Franklin - Since You've Been Gone (1968)
5. Peggy Scott & Jojo Benson - Lovers' Holiday (1969)
6. Otis Redding & Carla Thomas - Bring It On Home To Me (1967)
7. James Carr - Dark End Of The Street (1967)
8. Jerry Butler - I Stand Accused (1964)
9. Johnny Adams - Release Me (1969)
10. Irma Thomas - I Wish Someone Would Care (1964)
11. Brenda Holloway - Operator (1965)
12. Dionne Warwick - Get Rid Of Him (1964)
13. The Tams - Hey Girl Don't Bother Me (1964)
14. Stevie Wonder - Until You Come Back To Me (1964)
15. Dee Dee Sharp - There Ain't Nothing That I Wouldn't Do (1965)
16. Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - Jimmy Mack (1967)
17. Jr Walker & The All Stars - What Does It Take (To Win Your Love) (1969)
18. Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band - Love Land (1969)
19. David Ruffin - My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me) (1969)
20. Robert Knight - Love On A Mountain Top (1968)
21. The Delfonics - La La Means I Love You (1968)
22. The Five Stairsteps - Don't Waste Your Time (1966)
23. O.C. Smith - Son of Hickory Holler's Tramp (1968)
24. Sonny Charles & the Checkmates - Black Pearl (1969)
25. The Marvelettes - Don't Mess With Bill (1966)
26. Robert Parker - Barefootin' (1966)
27. The Bar-Kays - Soul Finger (1967)
28. Bunny Sigler - Let The Good Times Roll (1967)
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