sábado, 28 de maio de 2016

Glass Family - Electric Band 1969

The Glass Family were a California based band during the 1967 to 1969 period.Uncertain if they were based in the Bay Area but they played at various San Francisco venue during this period. A superb mix of trippy pop-rock songs and ballads,it sold poorly but has earned a major cult reputation since,and makes its long-awaited CD debut here complete with three rare bonus tracks.

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Cass Elliot - Cass Elliot 1972

Cass Elliot's departure from ABC Dunhill Records and their bubblegum marketing of her was probably the greatest career move that this awesome vocalist ever made. RCA obviously had better things in mind for her, treating her with the same sort of care that they bestowed on Harry Nilsson. The company let this pair of world-class vocalists choose their own material and brought them together with great musicians and arrangers. The end result was possibly Elliot's finest solo album. She was certainly more comfortable with the material. One of the best performances is Judee Sill's "Jesus Was a Crossmaker," which is vaguely reminiscent of Laura Nyro's fine work of the period. Elliot's version ofRandy Newman's "I'll Be Home" is also a standout. Elliot's sister, Leah Kunkel emerges as a sensitive songwriter on this record, and Elliot's reading of "When It Doesn't Work Out" is absolutely graceful. Arranger/conductor Benny Golson's work perfectly frames one of the voices of a generation. AMG.

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Michael Condello - Phase One 1967

Formed in Arizona but based in California, Condello's Phase One album has some fine moments. it's sometimes like listening to some psychedelic comp because of the way it jumps from popsike to fuzz-driven garage stomps.
Mike Condello did it all in four decades in the music business: serve as music director for two local Phoenix TV shows (Teen Beat and The Wallace & Ladmo Show), lead his own bands like Hub Cap and the Wheels, parody the Beatles with Commodore Condello’s Salt River Navy Band, and even play with luminaries like Keith Moon, the Tubes, and Jackson Browne.

In 1968, he also led his own band - which released the psychedelic masterwork Phase 1 on Scepter Records. Featuring a young Bill Spooner (pre-Tubes) on guitar, the album flows and trickles through your mind with more saturation than Lucy and her diamonds in the sky- picking up a few nuggets, boulders, and pebbles in the emergent violet haze. Sadly, Mike Condello committed suicide in the 90s after suffering from severe depression. Thanks to Rockasteria!

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Danny Kirwan - Midnight In San Juan 1976

Guitarist/singer Danny Kirwan was a member of Fleetwood Mac, helping to bridge their early blues-rock phase to their eventual conventional pop/rock approach, from the late '60s through the early '70s (just prior to the arrival of Stevie Nicksand Lindsey Buckingham). Born Daniel David Kirwan in South London on May 13, 1950, Kirwan was spotted byFleetwood Mac members Peter Green and Mick Fleetwoodat the age of 18 fronting a local group called Boilerhouse.Green took the young guitarist under his wing, attempting to help Kirwan find other musicians to play with (that were up to his caliber), but when none where found, he was invited to join Green in Fleetwood Mac in August of 1968. Although Kirwan's presence helped inspire the band to issue such classic releases as 1969's Then Play On, 1970's Kiln House, 1971's Future Games, and 1972's Bare Trees, his fellow bandmembers quickly saw the dark side of the young musician, who was alcoholic and prone to mood swings.
The situation began to put a strain on the group, and after one specific incident while on tour in 1972 (which Kirwansmashed his guitar prior to a show and refused to play on-stage), the 22-year-old guitarist was handed his walking papers. Kirwan then embarked on a solo career, issuing such obscure releases as 1975's Second Chapter (which saw the guitarist joined by ex-Chicken Shack membersAndy Sylvester and Paul Raymond), 1976's Midnight in San Juan, and 1979's Hello There Big Boy!, before the once promising musician seemingly fell off the face of the earth. Rumors persisted throughout the '90s that Kirwan was by this time homeless and down on his luck, which he in fact confirmed himself in an interview with a London newspaper in 1993. But by the dawn of the 21st century, it appeared as though Kirwan had put his life back on track somewhat, while a 15-track compilation of his solo work, Ram Jam City, was issued in May of 2000. AMG.

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sexta-feira, 27 de maio de 2016

Darrell Banks - Here To Stay 1969

In this album more superb soul ballads and crying songs from Darrell Banks, who not only made some excellent singles but had done some songwriting and producing for Stax in the '60s. Sadly, he was killed before he ever attained the level of popularity and exposure that he merited. AMG.

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Headband - A Song For Tooley 1973

Headband were a progressive, blues rock band formed in Adelaide in February 1971 by bass guitarist Chris Bailey; drummer Joff Bateman; singer-songwriter and keyboardist Peter Beagley (later known as Peter Head); and singer-songwriter and guitarist Mauri Berg. The group supported Elton John (in 1971), The Rolling Stones (in 1973) at their Sydney performances. The band finished third in the 1972 Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds – a national performance competition between the best groups representing each state. Headband released an album, A Song for Tooley (September 1973) and four singles before disbanding in 1974. Bailey later joined The Angels and then Ganggajang, Berg joined Fraternity (with Jimmy Barnes on vocals) and Head formed Mount Lofty Rangers (which included future AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott) and later went solo.

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Redwing - What This Country Needs 1972

Redwing was a band from Sacramento, CA. The band evolved out of the New Breed and later Glad, which included Timothy B. Schmit (Pocothe Eagles) in the lineup. After Schmit left in 1970 to joinPoco, his replacement in the band was Andrew Samuels. The other members of Redwing were Tom PhillipsRon Floegal, and George Hullin. At that time Tom Phillips had been influenced by Rusty Young's steel guitar playing in Poco and started playing the steel guitar himself with Redwing. The band's third album, 1973's Take Me Home, was a country-flavored effort mixed with rock and bluegrass. Their forth album, Dead or Alive, was more rock-oriented, and the band hoped it would be their breakthrough album. Around this time the band added fifth member John Myers as a permanent bass player replacing Lyberger.In early 1970 the band cut its first album, Redwing, for United Artists. Their second album, What This Country Needs, included Schmit again as bassist (since Andrew Samuelshad switched back to guitar and the band couldn't settle on a permanent bass player). During this period the band went through five more bass players before finding Dale Lyberger. AMG.
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Terry Callier - The New Folk Sound Of Terry Callier 1965

The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier was not released until 1968, about three years after the project was originally completed; while the long delay almost certainly crippled the momentum of Callier's fledgling career, the impact on the music itself was at most minimal -- while not the singer's best album, it's his most timeless and inviting, adhering closely to the folk stylings addressed by the title while largely ignoring the mystical jazz dimensions which texture his later material. Surprisingly, none of the album's eight songs are originals, relying instead on traditional tunes like "900 Miles" and "Cotton Eyed Joe"; while Callier's spiralling acoustic guitar lines and the use of two bassists (Terbour Attenborough and John Tweedle) reflect his admiration of John ColtraneNew Folk Sound is for the most part stark and simple, possessed of a subtle grace which spotlights his remarkably moving vocals to excellent effect -- it's a debut which holds all the promise fulfilled by his classic recordings for Cadet. AMG.

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Third Rail - ID Music 1967

The Third Rail are best remembered today because their closest brush with hit-single status, 1967's "Run Run Run," appeared on Lenny Kaye's pioneering original Nuggets compilation in 1972. But while that album was the shot that kicked off the great garage rock revival, the Third Rail's music was a far better example of the glorious products of the pop music factory that was the Brill Building rather than teenage rock & roll run wild and free. Group founder Artie Resnick was a seasoned pro in the music biz, having written "Under the Boardwalk" and "Good Lovin'," and vocalist and co-writer Joey Levine was a teenaged pop prodigy who (like Resnick) would later become a major player in Buddah Records' mighty bubblegum empire a few years down the line. But in 1967, Levine was just a bit too clever for his own good, which is a big part of the pleasure of the Third Rail's sole album, ID Music. Like "Run Run Run," ID Music is filled with witty social commentary that is surprisingly enjoyable despite the fact it's more than a bit dated all these years later, and the songcraft is both clever and extremely pleasurable, especially on the baroque pop "The Invisible Man," the willfully goofy "She Ain't No Choir Girl," and the Madison Avenue takeoff "Dream Street." While ID Music's songs, production, and performances are all buffed to a high gloss, the craft and the intelligence of the music is a delight throughout, and its attempts at lyrical subversion only add to the fun, especially when one knowsLevine would eventually go over to the other side and enjoy a very successful career writing commercial jingles. A very amusing product of its times. AMG.

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Dark - Artefacts From The Black Museum 1972

The British band Dark made one extremely rare album in 1972, Dark Round the Edges, that melded the hard guitar rock of the era with a jamming sensibility on multi-sectioned long tracks with improvised-sounding passages. Though hardly brilliant, the record has some interest as an effort with metallic hard riffs that uses more musical intelligence than much heavy metal and hard rock of the era and is rawer in its execution and production without being lo-fi. As is the case with some albums pressed in very small quantities (only about 60 were issued in 1972), original editions now attract prices among collectors that are totally out of proportion to the music's rather average worth. Indeed, some of the gatefold versions of the original LPs are valued as high as 1,500-2,000 pounds. You don't have to pay that much to hear the music, as it's now been reissued more than once, as have some other odds and ends that the band and other projects of their members recorded, from both the 1970s and the 1990s. AMG.

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Cass Elliot - Road is No Place For A Lady 1972

There was a reason the Mamas & the Papas were such a popular band, racking up ten Top 40 hits in two and a half years, The Road Is No Place For a Lady is evidence of just how important Mama Casswas to the hit mix. This album is an exquisite high, from the opening piano of the Albert Hammondclassic that almost made it twice -- "(If You're Gonna) Break Another Heart" to the slick adult pop ofWebb's "Saturday Suit." With legendary session guitarist Cris Spedding providing little touches of wah-wah on "Walk Beside Me" to Elton John percussion guy Ray Cooper adding his magic, this album is a work of art. Just play it next to David Cassidy's failed The Higher They Climb to feel the difference.Cass exudes real power from within, and the superb arrangements by Larry Fallon and Del Newmanare what give Lewis Merenstein's production real depth. This is Elliot going deeper into her Judy Garland phase. Great album cover by photographer Ave Pildas has Elliot's living room spread out on railroad tracks, an owl in a glass case reflected in the mirror, Elliot's only company for afternoon tea. The final track on side one, "All My Life" contains all the loneliness depicted on the front and back cover photos. The tragedy of this album is that "(If You're Gonna) Break Another Heart" didn't destroy the charts upon release. It is total pop sophistication, Mama Cass' voice soaring over the strings, piano, and backing that is a Phil Spector hit without the wall of sound. Really brilliant pop to be studied and cherished. Her solo hits coming in 1969, this 1972 recording is the singer just two years before her passing. Say Hello has real pop magic that Bette Midler fully understood on her 1972 debut. This album is almost like the passing of the torch. "Who in the World is exquisite, a real departure from the rest of the album; beautiful Larry Fallon strings help Elliot convey the sentiment. Fallon hit with "Brandy" by Looking Glass that same year, and Rolling Stones producer Jimmy Miller had Fallon add strings to an unreleased version of "Wild Horses." That so many talents in their prime help Mama Cassdeliver on each song, the sweeping chorus of "Love Was Not a Word," the tremendous early version ofPink Floyd producer Hurricane Smith's "Oh Babe, What Would You Say" who would hit with it just a few months later, to the title track, emphasizes what a musical time the early '70s were, and how respected Mama Cass was in musical circles. An uplifting album by an underrated star. AMG.

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Zerfas - Zerfas 1973

Zerfas' only and very obscure album is uneven but fairly worthy just-post-psychedelia, and actually one of the better (and certainly least heralded) attempts to tap into a late-'60s Beatles sort of vibe, albeit one that has a sadder tinge than the original article. As with all such efforts, be aware right away that this is a stylistic and not a qualitative comparison; it's not nearly on the level of the White Album, and actually not all of the cuts are heavily Beatles-influenced. As it happens, however, the songs where theBeatles-ish vocal harmonies and guitar textures are emphasized are the best ones, like "The Sweetest Part," which is a little like George Harrison's All Things Must Pass-meets-Badfinger. Maybe you can add a little of the most Beatlesque Move into the equation for "I Don't Understand," though that cut has a delicious artificial-sounding fluttery wobble to the instrumentation and cathedral organ that aren't explicitly imitative of anyone. Weird backwards and spaceship-emulative effects are sprinkled throughout the album, and not always to a good end; the forced demonic joviality of the opening "You Never Win" is a rather misleading opener, for instance, that might turn off some listeners who'll quite like some of the rest of it. On the whole, there are some quite respectable fusions of late American psychedelia with late-'60s/early-'70s British psych-prog, with decent knacks for pleasing melodies, good vocal harmonies, and focused arrangements with a touch of odd spaciness. AMG.

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Mellow Candle - Swaddling Songs 1972

Filled with multi-layered harmonies and complex arrangements, this unfortunately underlooked album of beautiful, flowing, and wonderfully recorded British folk-rock (originally released in 1972) has been a favorite of record collectors for years. Luckily, the strength of the music holds up beyond its scarcity. Not merely electric updates of lost traditional numbers, the album works because it establishes a voice and a sound that is truly compelling. The arrangements range from the zigzagging light progressive bent of the opener, "Heaven Heath," to the more storming tempo changes of "Dan the Wing." Strewn across the record is some truly remarkable guitar work, with the blanks filled in with lush violin and piano fills. The high-toned, occasionally strained interplay of Alison Williams and Clodagh Simonds may not always reach the notes as they ought to be reached (this rings especially true on the bombastic "The Poet and the Witch," an otherwise fine song), but their voices have their own peaceful rewards. The vocals see most of their limitations during the more up-tempo numbers -- which is fine, seeing that this record is able to soar on the quieter moments. On "Silver Song" (the one track that was actually released as a single with "Dan the Wing" during Mellow Candle's short tenure at Decca's Deram Records offshoot), the band falls into a mid-paced ethereal haze, within which it finds its strongest points. Gliding guitars and equally haunted vocals wrap around each other in a fog of vaguely mystical lyrics. The crystal clear recording and the lack of reliance on overly fantastical lyrics make Swaddling Songs sound remarkably current. Anyone who is able to track down the CD reissue will be more than pleased with this lost treasure. AMG.

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Food - Forever Is a Dream 1969

At one point in the movie Repo Man, the main character opens a can of food labeled "Food." The Chicago band Food was rather like an equivalent to that can of food in the world of late-'60s psychedelia: an album that had a lot of the common ingredients found in psychedelic rock, but wasn't especially tasty or distinguishable from a lot of other offerings on the racks. Their sole album, Forever Is a Dream, came out on Capitol in 1969, and tended toward the softer and more orchestrated side of psychedelia. At various times, it went into punchy soul-tinged horn rock, lush ballads, and folkiness, often with the kind of distorted instrumental and vocal textures common to the era. AMG.

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Michael Siegel - Sounds of the Office 1964

Folkways website says, "This mysterious album opens with banging and creaking and could be mistaken for a minimalist sound piece. It is in fact the sounds of an office from 1964. Rustling papers, drawers closing, typing and footsteps are just a few of the sounds heard on this album." While field recordings archive may be nothing special, these days, they probably wouldn't exist without records like "Sounds Of The Office", originally released in 1964. These are just normal, everyday sounds of an office environment, but one from 50 years ago. Taken out of context, an interesting phenomena occurs; it becomes a piece of musique concrete sound sculpture, a surreal tapestry of hissing industrial buzzes and clangs and disembodied conversations, which is further exacerbated by the facts that most of these machines, and probably most of these people, are dead and moldering, transforming the set into an industrial ghost dance on par with Eraserhead. As usual, it's also packaged with Folkways ridiculously awesome graphic design. Listening to Sounds Of The Office will forever change the way you hear the world around you, the way you view your home and work, making life 10x more surreal; the hallmark of good psychedelia. For burgeoning concretists, or if you happen to be running a Mad Men live action role playing campaign, get this platter! And then move on to records like "The Sounds Of Medicine", "The Sounds Of The Sea", and "The Sounds Of The Junkyard".

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Dayde - J' Aime 1971

Joel Dayde was the vocalist of Zoo at the time of their first LP in 1969. His solo career had a promising start with J'Aime (1971), enhanced by the guitar duties of Claude Engel (ex-Omega Plus and Magma). This is nice jazzy rock.

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Improved Sound Limited - Improved Sound Limited 1971

This Nuremberg group began to play together as early as 1961 under the name Blizzards. They used the name Improved Sound Limited from 1966 onwards. In the late sixties, they specialised in delivering soundtracks for German television and movies by Michael Verhoeven. "Engelchen Macht Weiter, Hoppe, Hoppe Reiter" (1969) was the soundtrack from a Verhoeven film, released on the same label as the first Gomorrah album. I don't know this one (presumably a late beat rock effort), but their self-titled double album for Liberty was very inspired by the American folk-rock of Bob Dylan and The Band. Dylan was mentioned several times in the clever lyrics (from now on written by Axel's brother Bernd), for example, in "Doctor Bob Dylan". Improved Sound Limited also merged some more European elements into their folky rock style, such as some fine flute phrases. Regrettably, their passion for American music led them closer to country music on "Catch A Singin' Bird" (1973). Quite good compositions and lyrics ("The Dark Lord" was about Tolkien's "Lord Of The Rings"!), but not exactly performed in the idle way most of us like, I'm afraid. Pedal steel guitar was played by Frank Baum and Ralph Nowy guested on trumpet and sax. Improved Sound Limited changed their name to Condor in 1976 and released a much worse album: "Rathbone Hotel" (1976).

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Stevie Wright - Hard road 1973

From 1965-1969 he was the lead singer for the Sydney-based rock and roll band The Easybeats, widely regarded as the greatest Australian pop band of the Sixties.
During his time with The Easybeats he was popularly and affectionately known as "Little Stevie". Hard Road is the debut solo album from Asinger Stevie Wright. The album's first single "Evie (Part 1)" was hugely successful and the title track was later covered on Rod Stewart's 1974 album Smiler. The album itself reach #2 on the Australian albums charts in 1974 was the 16th highest selling album in Australia that year. The compact disc is currently out-of-print and has become quite rare. A digital edition was available on iTunes as of June, 2014.

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quinta-feira, 12 de maio de 2016

Ben Webster - Stormy Weather 1965

Recorded around a month after the veteran tenor Ben Webster moved to Europe, this high-quality set with pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Niels Pederson, and drummer Alex Riel features Webster stretching out on the traditional "Londonderry Air," two originals, and seven familiar but fresh standards. Webster, although neglected in the U.S., was still in peak form in the mid-'60s, as this and his other Black Lion sets covering the period show. AMG.

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American Dream - American Dream 1970

Todd Rundgren produced this lost Philadelphia band’s only album back in 1970 off the Ampex record label. The American Dream’s album blends power pop, lite psychedelia, blazing hard rockers, folk-rock and roots music effectively throughout its 12 songs (almost 50 minutes of good music!).
Key influences are not a surprise, as listeners may hear strands of Crosby Stills Nash and Young, the Nazz, and the Beatles. The playing is full of youthful energy and the band manages to balance out hard rockers with attractive folk-rock power ballads. Raspberries has a slight psychedelic hangover, as it begins with a phased drum intro and showcases some wigged out guitar playing. Other quality songs like the Other Side, Storm (full of great Beatles-like melodies), I Ain’t Searchin’ and I Am You are predominately acoustic, tastefully arranged and have some great hook laden CSNY harmonies. Good News, a song that begins with a telephone conversation, eventually segues into some pretty country-rock harmonies. It’s a typical relationship hard rocker in which the band humorously shouts out “don’t be a jerkoff” at the end of the chorus. The third track of the original lp is the real highlight of this very solid collection. Big Brother has classic late 60’s psych lyrics (“listen to the words he is saying, conjuring the games he is playing”) and intense early Who power chords (it really sounds like an excellent Nazz outtake) that make it a real killer and a treat for fans of British rock.
The American Dream stood out from the local crowd with their strong, exciting songwriting and 3 guitar lineup.

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Count Ossie & Mystic Revelation of Rastafari - Tales Of Mozambique 1976

The triple LP Grounation is generally considered the essential Count Ossie set, but that shouldn't sway the listener from checking out Tales of Mozambique. They are, after all, very similar recordings. Grounation, as it turns out, was the first session -- save for some sporadic field recordings -- to really give nyahbinghi drumming a quality recording date. It was the first LP of its kind produced for public consumption aside from, again, releases on labels like Folkways or UNESCO, which do not generally find their way to the Jamaican or U.K. public. As a result, it holds a sacred place in Jamaican music history that later recordings, regardless of their comparable quality, simply cannot live up to (rather, it seems, like any fusion recording Miles Davis made after Bitches Brew; many of them are of equal or better quality, but the first one is the one that sticks in the minds of the people). That said, Tales of Mozambique, like its predecessor, combined traditional Rastafarian drumming with chanting vocals and, on occasion, horns. The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari was essentially Ossie's crew of drummers and Cedric BrooksMystics band. The result is a traditional nyahbinghi group augmented by bass and horns. On some numbers, like "Selamnnwawadada (Peace and Love)," the addition of the Mysticsis hardly noticeable, but on others, such as "No Night in Zion" or "I Am a Warrior," an almost free funk tendency emerges. Fans of Sun Ra's early Saturn work (e.g., Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy/Art Forms of Dimensions Tomorrow) or certain Art Ensemble of Chicago records (e.g., Certain Blacks) will find a great deal to enjoy here. These are very loose, loping arrangements that should, with any luck, find a new home with modern beat-conscious fans. AMG.

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The American Revolution - The American Revolution 1968

Signed by the MGM-affiliated Flick Disc label, the quartet's 1968 debut "The American Revolution" found the quartet working with four separate producers (Harley Hatcher, the team of Mike Lloyd and Mike Curb, and Larry Brown). Musically the collection was all over the spectrum, including haphazard stabs at Rascals-styled blue-eyed soul ("Come On and Get It"), Beatles-styled psychedelia (the hysterically inept "In the Late Afternoon" and "Opus #1") and Buckinghams-styled horns ("Love Has Got Me Down). Unfortunately, while all four principles sang, none could really hold a tune (be sure to check-out their attempt at close-knit harmonies on "Crying Eyes and an Empty Heart"). Combined with the fact they couldn't write worth a damn and their choices of outside material sucked, and you were left with an album that was largely unlistenable. Give them an extra star for the hopelessly dated album cover. Of course today the project's earnestness is hysterical. Richard Barcelona turned up in one of the later (post GNP Crescendo) line-ups of the Seeds.

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Barbara Acklin - Love Makes A Woman 1968

Always classy and elegant, Barbara Acklin's debut album, Love Makes a Woman could survive on the reputation of the title track alone. One of the premier recordings of writer/producer Carl Davis, "Love Makes a Woman" features the bright horns and relaxed rhythms that are hallmarks of his productions for the Brunswick label. Coupled with Acklin's tense, confident delivery, the results are one of pop-soul's true shining moments. Well-written originals here, like "Be By My Side" and "Come and See Me Baby," more than stand up to covers from the Bacharach/David canon, making this one of the most solid soul debuts ever released. AMG.

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