Monday, 4 August 2014

“The Complete Invictus Studio Recordings: 1969-1978” by CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARD – A Review Of The August 2014 9CD Box Set By Edsel Records Of The UK…




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“…Skin I’m In…” - The Complete Invictus Studio Recordings: 1969-1978 by CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARD (2014 Edsel 9CD Box Set)

There’s a huge haul in this mini box set – so let’s get to the Soulful nitty-gritty right away:

UK and USA released August 2014 - “The Complete Invictus Studio Recordings: 1969-1978” by CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARD is a 97-track 9CD British Box Set on Edsel COTBOXO1 (Barcode 501479789094). It offers fans their 4 studio albums, 3 solo LPs and 2CDs worth of Bonus Tracks – non-album singles, rarities and four previously unreleased tracks (two of which are new Tom Moulton remixes). Each CD-album is housed a hard-card 5” repro sleeve (American artwork) while the Bonus Tracks come in gatefold hard card 5” sleeve that uses the Invictus Label Bag as its artwork. It breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 is their 12-track debut album “Give Me Just A Little More Time” (38:16 minutes) – released April 1970 in the USA on Invictus ST-7300 and November 1970 in the UK as “Chairmen Of The Board” (with the same track list) on Invictus SVT 1002

Disc 2 is their 12-track 2nd LP “Chairmen Of The Board/In Session” (40:21 minutes) – released November 1970 in the USA on Invictus ST-7304 and April 1971 in the UK on Invictus SVT 1003

Disc 3 is their 9-track 3rd album “Bittersweet” (41:14 minutes) – released October 1972 in the USA on Invictus ST-9801 and SVT 1006 in the UK

Disc 4 is their 11-track 4th and final LP “Skin I’m In” – October 1974 in the USA on Invictus KZ 32526 (37:19 minutes)

Disc 5 is a 10-track solo album by GENERAL JOHNSON called “Generally Speaking” (41:41 minutes) – released 1972 in the USA on Invictus ST-9803

Disc 6 is a 9-track solo album by HARRISON KENNEDY called “Hypnotic Music” (38:02 minutes) – released 1972 in the USA on Invictus ST-9806

Disc 7 is a 10-track solo album by DANNY WOODS called “Aries” (42:41 minutes) – released 1972 in the USA on Invictus ST-9808

Disc 8 is BONUS TRACKS: 1971-1973 (36:07 minutes) – all track are by COTB except where noted:
Tracks 1 and 2 are Savannah Lady and I’m In Love Darling by GENERAL JOHNSON – the A&B sides of a 1972 USA 7” single on Invictus IS-9093
Track 3 is Men Are Getting Scarce – it’s the USA 7” single A-side edit at 3:13 minutes (the album version is 5:19 minutes) - released 1971 on Invictus IS-9103
Track 4 is Hanging On To A Memory – the non-album B-side to Tricked And Trapped (By A Tricky Trapper) – released 1971 on Invictus IS 9089
Tracks 5 and 6 are Elmo James (Single Edit – 3:28 minutes) and Bittersweet (Single Edit – 3:24 minutes) – the A&B-sides of a 7” single released 1971 in the USA on Invictus IS-9105
Track 7 is Let Me Down Easy – released 1972 as the non-album A-side 7” single on Invictus IS-9126
Tracks 10 and 8 are Everybody’s Tippin’ and Roller Coaster (Single Edit) by DANNY WOODS – the A&B-sides of a USA 7” single issued in 1971 on Invictus IS-9132. The A-side is non-album – the B-side a 2:53 minutes edit of the album version at 3:41 minutes
Track 9 is Everybody’s Got A Song To Sing (Single Edit – 2:52 minutes) – the B-side of Working On A Building Of Love - a 1972 USA 7” single on Invictus IS-9122
Track 11 is Up-The Organization (Instrumental) by GENERAL JOHNSON – the non-album B-side to Sunday Morning People – a 1972 USA 7” single on Invictus IS-9112
Track 12 is Finder’s Keepers (Instrumental) – the non-album B-side to “Finder’s Keepers – a 1973 USA 7” single on Invictus ZS7 1251

Disc 9 is BONUS TRACKS: 1973-2014 (42:30 minutes) - all track are by COTB except where noted:
Track 1 is Finder’s Keepers (Vocal) – the non-album A-side version – a 1973 USA 7” single on Invictus ZS7 1251
Tracks 2 and 3 are Only Time Will Tell and Only Time Will Tell (Instrumental) by GENERAL JOHNSON – the A&B sides of a 1973 USA 7” single on Invictus ZS7 1252
Track 4 is Skin I’m In (Single Edit) – the A-side to the 1974 USA 7” single on Invictus ZS8 1276
Track 5 is Everybody Party All Night (Single Edit) – the A-side to the 1974 USA 7” single on Invictus S INV 2523
Tracks 6 and 7 are You’ve Got Extra Added Power and Someone Just Like You by COTB featuring PRINCE HAROLD – the non-album A&B-sides of a 1976 USA 7” single on Invictus ZS8 1278
Track 8 is Come On In And Dance – the non-album A-side of a 1978 USA 7” single on ICA Recording Group ICA-023
Tracks 9 and 10 are What’s The Use and Where There Is Faith There Is Hope – two PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED tracks. There are no writers credits and were found in the vaults in 2014.
Tracks 11 and 12 are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED 2014 TOM MOULTON REMIXES of You’ve Got Me Dangling On A String and Give Me Just A Little More Time

I love the aesthetic feel of the oversized 5” Repro Sleeves – very nice indeed front and rear. The 36-page booklet is gorgeous – full colour-plates of all 7 LPs - with further photos of the band and rare Euro 7” picture sleeves. The superlatively detailed and informative liners notes are provided by long-time Soul aficionado DEAN RUDLAND (with help from TONY ROUNCE) – their huge knowledge and love for the label and the period lifting every paragraph. The remasters are done by PHIL KINRADE at Alchemy in London and are wicked – full of presence and power. Comparing them – they sound better to the 2009 versions Edsel gave us when they presented this catalogue in 2CD sets years back.

It’s cool to hear the albums again minus the bonus tracks – just as I remember them. The first two LPs had the Invictus hits – “You’ve Got Me Dangling On A String”, “Everything’s Tuesday” and “Pay To The Piper”. But for me it’s the lesser-heard “Skin I’m In” album from 1974 that has more magic and the American “Aries” solo album by Danny Woods is a bit of a forgotten Seventies Soul masterpiece. The only slip-up I can see is the absence of the Instrumental of “Morning Glory” which was a B-side – other than that – this is exemplary stuff.

Pitched at twenty of our pounds – it works out at a few pence over two quid per CD – which is a bit of a deal frankly.


Top job done by Edsel and congrats to all involved…

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