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Classic 1970s Soul, R&B, and Funk, Vol. 5


1.
Band Of Gold Freda PayneBand Of Gold
by Freda Payne: Written by legendary Motown songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland under the pseudonym Edythe Wayne and Ron Dunbar (due to legal issues), Band Of Gold was first recorded by Soul singer Freda Payne. Released as a single in 1970, it reached No. 20 on the Soul/R&B Chart and No. 3 on the Pop Chart. It also spent six weeks at No. 1 on the U.K. singles Chart and thus became Freda Payne’s first Gold single. Freda’s sister Scherrie Payne (future member of the ‘70s incarnation of The Supremes) was among the backing singers, and Ray Parker, Jr. -– who enjoyed hit singles as a member of Raydio in the ‘70s, as well as several solo hits in the ‘80s –- played lead guitar on the track. The corresponding album, also titled Band Of Gold, reached No. 17 on the Soul/R&B Chart and No. 60 on the Pop Chart. In 2004, the single Band of Gold was voted #391 on the list of Rolling Stone magazines “The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time”.



[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

2
Check It Out Bobby WomackCheck It Out
and If You Want My Love, Put Something Down On It by Bobby Womack: In 1975, Soul singer Bobby Womack released his eighth studio album, I Don’t Know What The World Is Coming To, which made it all the way to No. 6 on the Soul/R&B Chart (it stalled at No. 126 on the Pop Chart). I Don’t Know What The World Is Coming To produced two singles, the flop It’s All Over Now (Soul/R&B No. 68), with Bill Withers, and Check It Out, which reached Soul/R&B No. 6 and peaked at No. 91 on the Pop Chart. The most distinctive track on I Don’t Know What The World Is Coming To was the soulful If You Want My Love, Put Something Down On It (whose understated string arrangement inspired Rod Stewart’s not so subtle Do Ya Think I’m Sexy).





[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

3.
I Cry Millie JacksonI Cry
and It Hurts So Good by Millie Jackson: Tough, sassy Southern Soul/R&B/Disco singer Millie Jackson released her second album It Hurts So Good in 1973. The LP was a hit among fans of the genre, reaching No. 13 on the Soul/R&B Chart, but It Hurts So Good only made it to No. 175 on the Pop Chart. Two singles were released from the album, the first one being It Hurts So Good, which became her third Top 10 hit and the highest charting single of her career, reaching No. 3 on the Soul/R&B Chart and No. 24 on the Pop Chart. The second single was Breakaway (Soul/R&B No. 16, Pop No. 110). It Hurts So Good’s greatest track, however, was the socially conscious ghetto lament I Cry.





[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

4.
Im Still In Love With You Al GreenI’m Still In Love With You
and Love And Happiness by Al Green: Produced by legendary record producer Willie Mitchell and released in late 1972, Soul/R&B/Gospel singer Al Green’s fifth studio album, I’m Still In Love With You, reached No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart and peaked at No. 4 on the Pop Chart. I’m Still In Love With You was certified Platinum by the RIIA for sales of one million units. The single I’m Still In Love With You spent two weeks at No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart and reached No. 3 on the Pop Chart, eventually selling over one million copies. Love And Happiness was also released as a single in early 1973, but – inexplicably – this classic Soul song only made it to No. 82 on the Soul/R&B Chart and No. 104 on the Pop Chart in the U.S. As a sign of justice, the song has nonetheless been included on several Al Green “Greatest Hits”/Best Of”-collections and was ranked No. 98 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time”. The album itself was ranked No. 285 on the same magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time”. Also available on Al Green's Greatest Hits.





[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

5.
Slippin Away Lamont DozierSlippin’ Away
and The Picture Will Never Change by Holland-Dozier: During their tenure at Motown Records, from 1962 to 1967, legendary songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland (composers/producers Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland, and lyricist Eddie Holland) wrote, arranged and produced numerous classic songs that came to define the “Motown sound”, including all of twenty-five No. 1 singles, ten of which were hits written for The Supremes. Following a legal dispute with Motown founder and owner Berry Gordy, Jr., the trio left the label in early 1968. Having founded their own record label, Invictus Records, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland recorded and released a number of classy songs as Holland-Dozier, albeit without commercial success. In 1975, several of these songs were included on Lamont Dozier’s misleadingly titled  “solo” LP The New Lamont Dozier Album: Love And Beauty.





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6.
Be Thankful For What You Got William DeVaughn3Be Thankful For What You Got
by William DeVaughn: A timeless Soul song evidently inspired by the sound and socially conscious lyrics of Curtis Mayfield. Written and first recorded by Soul/R&B singer William DeVaughan, Be Thankful For What You Got (from the album of the same title) reached No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart and No. 4 on the Pop Chart in 1974, selling nearly two million copies. The recording sessions featured members of MFSB, a large group of in-house studio musicians at the legendary Soul/R&B/Disco record label Philadelphia International, which was made famous by songwriting/production team Gamble & Huff and songwriter/ arranger/producer Thom Bell. In the U.K., Be Thankful For What You Got reached No. 31 on the Singles Chart (and in 1980, a re-recording peaked at No. 44).



[Purchase from Amazon]

7.
Dancing Machine Jackson 5Dancing Machine
by The Jackson 5: In 1974, Motown quintet The Jackson 5 released their eleventh official album, Dancing Machine, named after the last track on their previous LP, 1973’s Git It Together. The “new”, slightly shorter version was included because of its hit potential. Released as a single, Dancing Machine became the Jackson brothers’ first Top 10 hit since 1971, reaching No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart and No. 2 on the Pop Chart. The single was nominated for a Grammy award for “Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals”, and the album sold over 2.6 million copies worldwide. Also available on The Very Best Of The Jacksons (a.k.a. Jackson 5).



[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

8.
Child Of The Streets Sam DeesChild Of The Streets
and What’s It Gonna Be by Sam Dees: The majority of all music lovers wouldn’t recognize the name Sam Dees, but that’s neither because of a lack of talent nor commercial success. Soul/R&B singer, songwriter and record producer Sam Dees has largely written songs for other artists, ranging from Aretha Franklin, Teddy Pendergrass, Millie Jackson, The Temptations, and Gladys Knight & The Pips to George Benson, among many others. In 1975, Sam Dees released his solo album The Show Must Go On, which, quite rightly, is regarded by Southern Soul aficionados as a classic within its genre – just listen to Child Of The Streets and What’s It Gonna Be.





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9.
To The Other Woman Im The Other Woman Doris DukeTo The Other Woman (I’m The Other Woman)
by Doris Duke: Soul/R&B and Gospel singer Doris Duke seemed destined to become a star, but, regrettably, apart from one big hit single and three solid albums, it never happened. Sometime during the 1960s Doris Duke recorded some demos for Motown Records that were never released, and she also worked as a backup singer for several years. In 1970, her debut album I’m A Loser was released, a showcase for her raw, Gospel-imbued vocals and gritty Stax-inspired Deep Soul songs reminiscent of Millie Jackson (see above). The song To The Other Woman (I’m The Other Woman) was to be her only major hit, reaching No. 1 on the Soul/R&B Chart and No. 50 on the Pop Chart. As luck would have it, her success was cut short, when the record label, which had issued I’m A Loser, collapsed. In the subsequent years, Doris Duke recorded two more (unsuccessful) albums –- A Legend In Her Own Time and Woman –- in 1971 and 1974, respectively, and then more or less retired from the music business.



[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

10.
Boogie Nights HeatwaveBoogie Nights
and Always And Forever by Heatwave: In 1977, Funk/Disco band Heatwave released their enjoyable and immensely successful debut album, Too Hot To Handle, which reached No. 5 on the Soul/R&B Chart and No. 11 on the Pop Chart. Band member and keyboard-player Rod Temperton wrote and composed all the songs on the LP (he went on to write numerous hit songs for other artists; Michael Jackson’s Rock With You, George Benson’s Give Me The Night, etc.). Boogie Nights, Heatwave’s signature song, reached No. 5 on the Soul/R&B Chart and peaked at No. 2 on the Pop Chart and was certified Platinum by the RIIA for sales of two million copies. Always And Forever, a summery and breezy ballad, was also released as a single and became a hit (Soul/R&B No. 2, Pop No. 18). Also available on Heatwave's Greatest Hits.





[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

11.
I Cant Stand The Rain Ann PeeblesI Can’t Stand The Rain
and I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down by Ann Peebles: The sultry Southern Soul/R&B singer and songwriter’s engaging fourth album, I Can’t Stand The Rain, was issued on the famous Memphis-based Hi Records label (also home to Al Green, O.V. Wright, Syl Johnson, Otis Clay). Released in 1974, I Can’t Stand The Rain didn’t enter the Pop Chart, but it did climb to No. 25 on the Soul/R&B Chart. The memorable single I Can’t Stand The Rain, co-written with her husband, Hi Records staff songwriter Don Bryant, made it all the way to No. 6 on the Soul/R&B Chart and peaked at No. 38 on the Pop Chart. The remarkable I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down, written and composed by Earl Randle, another Hi Records staff songwriter, was also released as a single (Soul/R&B No. 31). Also available on The Complete Ann Peebles On Hi Records, Vol. 1.





[Purchase from Amazon or iTunes]

12.
Always There Side EffectAlways There
by Side Effect: Soul/Jazz-Funk quartet Side Effect’s second album, What You Need (Soul/R&B No. 26, Pop No. 115), produced by Wayne Henderson (of The Crusaders) and released in 1976, was by far the strongest set of songs the group ever recorded. Not only was it Side Effect’s creative peak, What You Need was also the only album of theirs that featured the greatest female lead singer they ever had, Helen Lowe, who possessed a powerful, very distinguished voice that proved to be a big asset. The gutsy Always There was issued as a single, reaching No. 56 on the R&B Chart and No. 2 on the Dance Chart.



[Purchase from Amazon]

 

For more classic 1970s Soul, R&B, and Funk, also read:

Classic 1970s Soul, R&B, and Funk, Vol. 1

Classic 1970s Soul, R&B, and Funk, Vol. 2

Classic 1970s Soul, R&B, and Funk, Vol. 3

Classic 1970s Soul, R&B, and Funk, Vol. 4

Classic 1970s Soul, R&B, and Funk, Vol. 5

Classic 1970s Soul, R&B, and Funk, Vol. 6

Classic 1970s Soul, R&B, and Funk, Vol. 7

Posted by Joel Grøndrup on Thursday, December 12, 2013
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