In the 1970s black music took on a different edge. Although soul had always been about love, heartbreak, loss and cheating, men and women doing what men and women do, it had also been down home or at least raw. Even the big city soul of the 60s kept this feeling. As the 70s dawned it brought on a different aspect. Whether it was through an increasing sense of affluence among a substantial chunk of black America, or an escapism foisted on the whole nation through television's ability to bring the consumerist ideal into anyone's home, is anyone's guess. But it was undoubtedly helped by an increasingly sophisticated set of production values and studio technology.
Isaac Hayes and, later, Barry White, were the most obvious manifestations of this phenomenon - all furs, Rolls Royces and champagne - but even records such as Stevie Wonder's greatest albums, or Marvin Gaye's I Want You could not have happened even five years previously. Motown's 60s attempts at elegance had a distinctly white feel to them-.-what happened next was on different terms.
This compilation takes this change to heart - even the most traditional record here, It Hurts So Good, has a distinct sheen - and appreciates these records for what they are. And that is some of the mightiest slices of soul ever recorded, allied to a sense of production - big drums, plenty of space, lots of strings - that makes them an essential hunting ground for today's producers.
A1 –Dennis Coffey Sweet Taste Of Sin
A2 –Phillip Mitchell I'll See You In Hell First
A3 –Betty Everett Keep It Up
A4 –The 3 Pieces* Backed Up Against The Wall
B1 –The Fantastic Four* Don't Risk Your Happiness On Foolishness
B2 –The Detroit Emeralds* Set It Out
B3 –Eddie McLoyd Baby Get Down
B4 –Natural Essence (2) Killing Time
C1 –Shirley Brown Love Starved
C2 –Isaac Hayes & Millie Jackson Sweet Music Soft Lights And You
C3 –Eramus Hall Your Love Is My Desire
C4 –Millie Jackson It Hurts So Good
D1 –Isaac Hayes I'm Gonna Have To Tell Her
D2 –Johnny 'Guitar' Watson* If I Had The Power
D3 –Caesar Frazier I Got To Have Your Love
D4 –Fatback* Do It To Me Now