What with Christmas and party time coming, there suddenly seem to be a lot of hits-crammed compilation albums being released. This should be good news, especially to newer jocks who may be short of material.
‘Atlantic Black Gold Volume 2’ (Atlantic K 50164) has recent disco hits by the Average White Band, Jimmy Castor, Ben E. King, Herbie Mann, Eddie Harris and Gene Page amongst its many goodies.
‘Golden Hour Of Stax Hits’ (Golden Hour GH 841) ranges from the full LP version of Isaac Hayes’s ‘Walk On By’ and ‘Theme From Shaft’ via the Dramatics’ ‘In The Rain’ and ‘Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get’ to Johnnie Taylor’s ‘Who’s Making Love’ and William Bell & Judy Clay’s ‘Private Number’. Some snip at Golden Hour prices, when you consider that also included are big ‘uns by Jean Knight, Booker T & The MGs, Frederick Knight and Mel & Tim!
‘Get Down With Spring – 14 Hunks Of Funk’ (Polydor 2482271) is a collection of material from the US Spring label, which may not have as strong an identity as the others – until maybe I mention some of the artists, that is? How’s about the Fatback Band (‘Yum Yum’, ‘Wicki Wacky’, ‘Keep On Steppin’’ included), Joe Simon, Garland Green and Millie Jackson? Less consistent in content, but that little lot deliver the goods.
The killer set for most will of course be the incredible ‘Motown Gold’ (Tamla Motown STML 12003), which ought to make big bread for the ailing company, even if it does only contain about half of the subtitled 18 greatest hits. With hits included like Marvin Gaye’s ‘Grapevine’, Four Tops’ ‘Reach Out’, Supremes’ ‘Baby Love’, Miracles’ ‘Tears Of A Clown’, Temptations’ ‘Just My Imagination’ and Stevie’s ‘Yester-Me’, who’s to quibble about Syreeta’s ‘Your Kiss Is Sweet’, Commodores’ ‘Machine Gun’ and Ross/Gaye’s ‘You Are Everything’ being less than the greatest? They’re about the only modern things, bar Mr. Wonder, that they’ve broken here in ages! Oh, and there’s more by such as Gladys Knight, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Jimmy Ruffin, Jr. Walker and Martha Reeves! Too much!
Add to these the superbly annotated and chronologically compiled double-LP of all the Stones’ Decca hits, ‘Rolled Gold – The Very Best Of The Rolling Stones’ (Decca ROST 1/2, out next week), and groaning ‘Barry White’s Greatest Hits’ (20th Century BTH 8000), then you should have enough to make DJ’s jump for joy!
ROD STEWART: ‘This Old Heart Of Mine’ (Riva 1)
Slowed to an Al Green tempo and then huskily sung, the Isleys’ oldie makes a much better bet for discos than ‘Sailing’. Good for most audiences, too.
KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND: ‘I’m So Crazy (‘Bout You)’ (Jay Boy BOY 101) (mentioned in Billboard column 7/26/75)
A lot less catchy than “uh-huh uh-huh”, this fast knocker could be good up North, while the slower stomp of ‘Boogie Shoes’ on the flip sounds more like a national hit. Continue reading “November 8, 1975: compilation LPs, Rod Stewart, KC & The Sunshine Band, Billy Butler, Hot Chocolate”