Thursday, 5 November 2009

“The Best Of” by ONE WAY featuring AL HUDSON and ALICIA MYERS. A Review of the 1996 USA-Only CD Compilation on MCA Records.


This review is part of my "SOUNDS GOOD: Exceptional CD Remasters Soul, Funk & Jazz Fusion" Download Book available to buy on Amazon to either your PC or Mac (it will download the Kindle software to read the book for free to your toolbar). Click on the link below to go my Author's Page for this and other related publications:

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"…There’s Nothing To It…Get Up And Do Your Thang…”

One Way’s most famous hit 1979’s “You Can Do It” is the kind of infectious funky little Soul/R’n’B number that I loved then and still do now – and it’s still a guaranteed floor filler.

Released in the USA-only in April 1996, MCAD-11432 breaks down as follows (69:32 minutes)

1. Cutie Pie (1982 USA LP “Who’s Foolin’ Who” on MCA 5279)
2. Lady You Are (1984 USA LP “Lady” on MCA 5470)
3. You Can Do It (1979 USA LP “Happy Feet” on ABC 1136)
4. I Want To Thank You (1981 USA LP “Alicia” on MCA 5181)
5. Mr. Groove (as per 2)
6. Something In The Past (1980 USA LP “One Way featuring Al Hudson” on MCA 5127)
7. Pop It [Single Edit] (1980 USA 7” single on MCA 41298 [A]
(The full album version is on “One Way featuring Al Hudson” (as per 6))
8. Don’t Think About It (1986 USA LP “One Way IX” on MCA 5823)
9. Appreciation (1984 USA LP “I Appreciate” on MCA 5485)
10. Push [Single Edit] (1981 USA 7” single on MCA 51110 [A]
(The full album version is on “Love Is…One Way” 1981 USA LP on MCA 5163)
11. If You Play Your Cards Right (as per 4)
12. Pull Fancy Dancer/Pull, Part 1 (1981 USA 7” single on MCA 51165 [A]
(The full album version is on “Fancy Dancer” 1981 USA LP on MCA 5247)
13. You Better Quit (as per 8)
14. You Get The Best From Me (Say, Say, Say) (as per 9)

1, 2, 5, 8, 12 and 13 are credited to ONE WAY
6 and 7 are credited to ONE WAY featuring AL HUDSON
3 is credited to AL HUDSON and THE PARTNERS
4, 9, 11 and 14 are credited to ALICIA MYERS

The sound quality is fabulous throughout because all tracks have been remastered by one of Universal’s top audio engineers ERICK LABSON (has over 800 mastering credits to his name) while the 12-page inlay features affectionate and informative liner notes by one of Britain’s most famous soul aficionados DAVID NATHAN.

Personally I find some of the early solo Alicia Myers tracks difficult to take in all their over-the-top Eighties production and cheesy lyrics (her "Say, Say, Say" is however a genuine highlight here). What is smart though is to finally see the three rare 7" single edits of “Pop It”, “Push” and “Pull Fancy Dancer…” make their way onto a good CD. In fact the superb remastered sound lifts them and all the other tracks out of their squashed vinyl muddiness into real clarity. The whack out of the funky and soulful “You Better Quit” (their last R&B hit) will make your feet tap and shake your booty (as they say in all the best commentaries)…

It’s not all genius of course, but this well-endowed “Best Of” compilation is still a cracking good soul listen – and it’s bolstered up with really great sound too.

One Way, Al Hudson and Alicia Myers are remembered with affection and on the strength of this – it’s easy to see why.

Recommended.

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