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Jimmy Helms: Gonna Make You an Offer...: The Complete Cube Recordings 1972-1975

Album Notes

Although British chart history remembers Jimmy Helms as an early-'70s one-hit wonder, his effervescent "Gonna Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse" remains a shining light in the annals of early-'70s non-Philly soul. Under the aegis of producer John Worth, himself seemingly no more than a footnote in R&B lore, Helms' surprisingly broad range stepped out of the Gamble & Huff book of tricks, but injected a gritty glamour that only the best of their work could compete with. Taking its title from the hit single (which itself was inspired by the movie The Godfather), Helms' debut album has little to match "Gonna Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse," but is nevertheless a buoyant and extremely enjoyable listen. His version of Stevie Wonder's "Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer" is one of the best, while the loping "Black Joy" infuses a lighthearted rhythm with some remarkably sexy soul. Other highlights include the whimsical "Jack Horner's Holiday" and the gentle "Uncertain," an emotive number that wraps up the album in memorable style. Heavy on the balladic soul, Gonna Make You an Offer is certainly a long way from Helms' later (and better-known) work with Londonbeat. But its versatility and range pinpoint the musical restlessness that would ultimately lead him to that peak. ~ Amy Hanson


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