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The Falcons: You're so Fine

Album Notes

The Falcons started as a racially mixed group; Eddie Floyd was the nephew of Bob West, the owner of Lupine and Flick Records. West routinely farmed their singles out to United Artists Records for national distribution. After the exit of the two Caucasians, Bob Manardo and Tom Shetler, one got drafted, and the other joined the Army, the group continued with Joe Stubbs, Willie Schofield, Bonny "Mack" Rice, Lance Finnie, and Eddie Floyd. Rice previously recorded with the Five Scalders, and later scored as a songwriter with "Mustang Sally" and "Respect Yourself." You couldn't call the Falcons R&B until Joe Stubbs joined, adding his rough tenor leads. "You're so Fine," led by Stubbs (Levi Stubbs' brother), had a bouncy, shuffle beat; a plucky guitar also played a prominent role. It became their biggest-selling single, charting at number six R&B and placing number 17 pop. A copy-cat follow-up, "Just for Your Love," stalled at number 26 R&B. They only released two or three singles a year during their peak. Some of their better numbers were never released as singles. One such track, "Girl of My Dreams," features a righteous lead from Stubbs and perky unison backing blends. Many of the songs were recorded prior to Stubbs joining, and all are pre-Wilson Pickett, who took Stubbs' place when Joe left. The pre-Stubbs material sounds like a different group, they were straight pop '50s and had no edge. Supposedly, "Goddess of Love," a slow, Johnny Mathis-type ballad, is led by Eddie Floyd. Like other Floyd leads from this era, he sounded nothing like he did years later at Stax Records. In fact, you'll think it was one of the white members. As there is no resemblance to the guy who later scored with Southern-fried soul confessions like "Knock on Wood" at all. You're so Fine is a mixture of the two different styles. ~ Andrew Hamilton


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