Under the guiding hand of Harvey Fuqua (former Moonglow, record label owner, and Motown producer/songwriter), the New Birth cut some of the '70s' grittiest and funkiest sides. Three male vocalists sang lead -- Melvin and Leslie Wilson and Alan Frye -- and were complemented by the atmospheric soprano of Londee Loren. Their rendition of Skylark's "Wildflower" put them in demand on the concert circuit; people just had to see the group responsible for transforming a good pop song into a gutbucket, yet tender, emotionally charged drama. The male vocalists outdo themselves, and Loren's skyscraping screams are delicately placed throughout. The other monster here, "It's Been Such a Long Time," captivates from the beginning with its heartbeat rhythm. The lead singing is Bobby Womack-influenced, but with a stark freshness and newness, and the interaction between the lead and the background near the refrains will have you bouncing. Other keepers are "Heaven Says" and the soul-dripping "Pains of Love," while Londee gets a chance to solo on "I'd Spend My Whole Life Loving You." New Birth hit their stride on this one. AMG.