Wednesday, 27 August 2014

"Platinum Hook" by PLATINUM HOOK (2014 Big Break Records (BBR) 'Expanded Edition' CD Remaster with Three Bonus Tracks) - A Review by Mark Barry...


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“…It’s Time To Come Together…”


This is a smart reissue of a long-forgotten Soul/Funk Motown LP and typically Big Break Records of the UK (BBR) have done a bang-up job.

UK released August 2014 - Big Break Records CDBBRX 0196 (Barcode 5013929049635) breaks down as follows (52:37 minutes):

Tracks 1 to 8 are their self-titled debut album "Platinum Hook" - released April 1978 in the USA on Motown M7-899R1 and June 1978 in the UK on Tamla Motown STML 12086.
Tracks 9, 10 and 11 are Bonuses - 7" single versions of "Hooked For Life", "Standing On The Verge (Of Getting It On)" and "Gotta Find A Woman".

The 12-page booklet has detailed liner notes by Hi-Fi Magazine author J. MATTHEW COBB that features new interviews with band founder and songwriter GREG WRIGHT as well as photos of American and UK Motown singles, pictures of the band and discography info etc. But the big news as ever is the superlative new remaster by WAYNE A. DICKSON (from work originally carried out by another top engineer KEVIN REEVES at Universal). The clarity and quality is huge and reflects the world-class production values given the album. This is a fantastic sounding CD.

"Platinum Hook" was the first of three albums they did at Motown between 1978 and 1983 and apart from the cover of Funkadelic's classic "Standing On The Verge (Of Getting It On)" - the other 7 songs on their debut are largely GREG WRIGHT and ROBERT DOUGLAS originals. The band also used two great lead vocalists to alternate between tunes - TINA RENEE STANFORD and STEPHEN DANIELS.

It opens with a gorgeous 45-second instrumental passage ala Soulful Earth, Wind And Fire before "Bittersweet" launches into the club Funk of 1978. Better is the uptempo message Soul of "Hotline" (lyrics above). Mid tempo Disco/Soul Numbers "Hooked For Life" and "Gotta Find A Woman" sound like Heatwave with a female vocalist fronting the brass and catchy melodies. Having heard the 3:49 minute 7" single edit of "Gotta Find A Woman" in particular for years now - what a blast it is to hear the full album version stretch out at 6:06 minutes - and in such stunning sound. It's the kind of great Stepper Soul tune that shouldn't be forgotten - brilliant stuff. The album ends on the high tempo piano Soul of "City Life" - bound to fill a dancefloor somewhere.

Another winner from BBR - quality presentation and superb sound - fans need to own this...

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