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Various Artists: Mainstream Modern Soul 1969-1976

Track List

>I Can't Give You Up - Linda Perry
>Come Back, Pt. 1 - Fantastic Puzzles
>It Ain't Like It Used to Be - Randolph Brown
>No Rebate on Love - The Dramatics
>You're a Friend of Mine - The Words of Wisdom
>Satisfy My Woman - Calvin Arnold
>I'm the One Who Loves You - J.G. Lewis
>These Memories - Almeda Lattimore
>Stop and Think a Minute - Charles Beverly
>It's So Real - McArthur
>When Something Is Wrong with My Baby - Jackey Beavers
>(What Am I Gonna Do) What Am I Gonna Say - Lee Bates
>Don't You Care - Alice Clark
>That's the Way She Is - Bobby Earl Williams
>Let the People Talk - Steptones
>It's All in the Back of Me Now - Linda Perry
>Hundred Pounds of Pain, A - Lenny Welch
>Plain Out of Luck - Nia Johnson
>To Whom It May Concern (All I Need) - Ellerine Harding
>We're Not Too Young to Fall in Love - Jackey Beavers
>What Am I Going to Do - J.G. Lewis
>Ain't Nobody Gonna Make Me (Turn My Back on My Baby) - Linda Perry
>I'm on Sick Leave - Randolph Brown
>I Need You More (Than Ever Now) - Sarah Vaughan

Album Notes

Ace's 2016 compilation Mainstream Modern Soul 1969-1976 concentrates on recordings Bob Shad's New York-based Mainstream label recorded during the glory days of soul's fracturing into smooth soul, funk, harmony groups, proto-disco, and, finally, disco itself. Although they wound up signing famed jazz vocalist Sarah Vaughan for a 1974 disco side called "I Need You More (Than Ever Now)," Mainstream and its affiliates IX Chains, Brown Dog, and New Moon didn't have many stars or hits, so this 24-track functions as something of an alternate history of this era: the sounds feel familiar yet none of the songs are. This aesthetic belongs to the tradition of rarity-heavy Northern soul comps, even if all the music is a generation or two late for that uptown soul: it's a compilation that prizes freshness of sound over the songs. Fortunately, Mainstream assembled a stable of fine songwriters to accompany their house bands, so this compilation isn't merely a collection of supple, funky grooves. Often, this disc offers nicely crafted, elegant R&B where there's genuine swing in the rhythms, a satiny shimmer to the production, and passion in the performance -- a combination so winning, it often compensates for the slight bent toward the generic in the construction. In other words, not one of these 24 tracks is an obvious lost hit, but taken together, they provide a diverting digression into the wonders of early-'70s soul. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine


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