Over the years we have been asked to issue CDs versions some of the most
popular Kent LPs we put out in the 1980s. With the exception of
“Slow’n’Moody, Black & Bluesy”, a few releases in our Hip Pocket
series and some solo collections, we have held off until now. “On The
Soul Side” is a good place to start, as it was our first compilation
drawn from a catalogue other than Kent/Modern. A superb collection of
mainly big budget 60s soul sides sourced from the Capitol, Liberty,
Minit, Imperial and United Artists family of labels, only a quarter of
the tracks on the LP have since appeared on Kent CDs. With an extra 10
like-minded soul songs added, it means that no more than 15.3846%
(approx) are likely to be in even the most avid Kent fan’s collection.
For nostalgic souls the first 16 tracks are sequenced as on the LP.
Reliving those numbers brought home how good a collection of soul this
was. The opening bars of Patrice Holloway’s ‘Love And Desire’ are
brimming with instrumentation and backing singers, with her terrific
vocals topping it off. Patrice also contributes the fabulous previously
unissued ‘The Thrill Of Romance’ from her ‘Stolen Hours’ session – a
must for 60s soul fanatics. The collection storms on to more uptempo,
metropolitan soul classics from Little Anthony, Bobby Sheen and Jimmy
Holiday with Clydie King. We then move south to Memphis for Homer Banks’
brass-fuelled ‘A Lot Of Love’ and Bobby Womack’s ‘What You Gonna Do
(When Your Love Is Gone)’. Deeper into the south we hit R&B central –
New Orleans – for crucial dance discs from Benny Spellman, the Showmen
and Earl King.
Let’s not forget the ballads –Kent was always an all-inclusive soul
provider. From the original LP we have monumental, smouldering songs
from the O’Jays, H.B. Barnum and Garnett Mimms, while Marv Johnson, Lou
Rawls and Merry Clayton are fitting additions to the much-loved genre.
White soulsters Ginger Thompson and Timi Yuro are joined by blue-eyed
soul brothers the Magnificent Men whose LP track ‘Nobody Treats Me The
Way You Do’ is a highlight of late 60s Chicago soul written by Marvin
Smith, arranged by Sonny Sanders and produced by Carl Davis – top
Los Angeles also featured heavily on the LP with numbers from Gene
McDaniels, Jimmy Holiday and several already mentioned. Additional West
Coast gems on the CD come from June Jackson with the cute dancer ‘It’s
What’s Underneath That Counts’ and Clydie King with the beautiful and
poignant soul song ‘If You Were A Man’.
New York was home to ace composer Ellie Greenwich who penned the
Exciters’ pugnacious ‘Do-Wah-Diddy’ with her husband Jeff Barry and
later covered Jon Hendricks’ raucous ‘I Want You To Be My Baby’. Sylvia
Robbins cut the groovy ‘Don’t Let Your Eyes Get Bigger Than Your Heart’
in NYC after she had split from her singing partner Mickey Baker. She
would go on to become the successful owner of the All Platinum label and
the first to release hip hop records. That’s a story for another day.
Meanwhile, let’s enjoy soul music from its (and Kent’s) heyday.