Today marks the 5th anniversary of this blog, so we're celebrating by spinning volume 5 of this 20 volume Rhino series, released in the early '90s. The series is now out-of-print and these volumes used to be difficult to find and obtain. However, as more and more people foolishly cast away/sell their CD collections in favor of files/streaming, CDs in this series are now hitting the secondary markets at reasonable prices (which is a wonderful development in my world). Most songs on this disc hit the charts during the summer of 1971, when I was celebrating another 5th anniversary: my fifth birthday.
- Want Ads - The Honey Cone: Peaked at #1 pop, #1 R&B in June 1971. Classic Detroit girl-group soul. Great groove, strong vocals, and hooks that understandably took it to the top of the charts. "Wanted: young man single and free, experience in love preferred but we'll accept a young trainee." I don't meet any of their qualifications or I'd apply for an internship.
- She's Not Just Another Woman - The 8th Day: Peaked at #11 pop, #3 R&B in July 1971. Typical Holland–Dozier–Holland goodness. Even though they used pseudonyms, the sound gives them away.
- Cool Aid - Paul Humphrey & His Cool Aid Chemists: Peaked at #29 pop, #14 R&B in June 1971. This one reminds me more than a little of Joe Tex's Show Me. Nonetheless, a good groove is a good groove and with some tasty organ licks from Clarence McDonald, this instrumental hits. The liner notes call this the "feel-good hit of the summer of 1971."
- Are You My Woman? (Tell Me So) - The Chi-Lites: Peaked at #72 pop, #8 R&B in January 1971. These guys are crushing it and all my son can say is, "That's not Beyonce." I feel like I've failed as a parent. Still, this Temptations sound-alike works for me, regardless of a generation gap.
- Treat Her Like A Lady - Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose: Peaked at #3 pop, #20 R&B in July 1971. Sounds a like Knock On Wood until you get to the chorus which takes it to another level. The background vocals make this. Can't hear it now without thinking of the movie Anchorman.
- Baby Let Me Kiss You - King Floyd: Peaked at #29 pop, #5 R&B in May 1971. Lots of grunts and James Brown wannabe screams like you expect from Floyd, but over a New Orleans funk groove that is one of the best on this compilation.
- Funky Nassau (Part 1) - The Beginning of the End: Peaked at #15 pop, #7 R&B in July 1971. This one can't decide if wants to be funk. Latin, or Bahamian, but those work together here and this thing is catchy in spite of the questionable horn playing.
- Double Barrel - Dave & Ansel Collins: Peaked at #22 pop in August 1971. I wouldn't call this a soul hit and it seems oddly out of place on this CD, but I find myself bobbing along with the reggae beat and simple piano lick. And how can I resist the bravado of "I am the magnificent W-O-O-O"?
- Bring The Boys Home - Freda Payne: Peaked at #12 pop, #3 R&B in August 1971. A classy war protest song. This sounds like a Tammi Terrell or Diana Ross song, but, once again, Holland-Dozier-Holland put their distinctive production style on it. I don't know who wrote their string parts, but they had a great arranging sense. Sadly, this song is just as timely now as it was 44 years ago.
- Mr. Big Stuff - Jean Knight: Peaked at #2 pop, #1 R&B in August 1971. One of Stax Records' most popular and recognizable hits, and deservedly so. Rarely have two chords and an ostinato bass line sounded so good.
- Stick-Up - The Honey Cone: Peaked at #11 pop, #1 R&B in September 1971. In the exact same vein as the group's earlier contribution (track 1), this has a Motown sound to it. Not much to it but just when I'm about to give up on the thing, the girls hit me with a little "boom boom shucka lucka ba boom boom" and recapture my attention.
- Smiling Faces Sometimes - The Undisputed Truth: Peaked at #3 pop, #2 R&B in September 1971. One of those times when the music and lyrics are in one glorious, seamless agreement. In other words, if you heard an instrumental version of this, you'd know exactly what the song was about. Ominous, but oh so good.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None
Previously revisited for the blog:
First post, 2010: Paul Simon - Graceland (1986)
First anniversary, 2011 (post #378): Electric Light Orchestra - Time (1981)
Second anniversary, 2012 (post #694): Seal (1994)
Third anniversary, 2013 (post #948): Fun Boy Three - Really Saying Something: The Best of Fun Boy Three (1997)
Fourth anniversary, 2014 (post #1127): Ultravox - Quartet (1982)
Today's post is #1231.