Sunday, 3 January 2010

“Bring Back The Love: Classic Dells Soul” by THE DELLS [feat Terry Callier, Larry Wade, Bobby Miller and Charles Stepney] (1996 US MCA/Chess CD with Erick Labson Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...

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"...What A Day...Everything's Going My Way..."

First appearing in February 1996 - "Bring Back The Love: Classic Dells Soul" is a US-only CD compilation that gives us 14 Primo Sixties & Seventies tracks by Illinois' wonderful Soul/Vocal Group THE DELLS covering their recording output from early 1969 to late 1974 on the Chess label imprint - Cadet.

All tracks are lovingly remastered by one of Universal's top engineers ERICK LABSON (has handled huge swathes of the Chess/Cadet/Argo catalogue to great effect) and the 12-page booklet has affectionate and informative liner notes by ANDY McKAIE and contributions from two of the group members - McGill and Barksdale.

"Bring Back The Love: Classic Dells Soul" by THE DELLS on MCA/Chess CHD-9360 (Barcode 0076732936023) features 5 Cadet albums and some of the singles issued off them and it breaks down as follows (52:11 minutes):

1. The Glory Of Love [January 1971 US 7" single on Cadet 5679, A]
2. Oh What A Day [January 1970 US 7" single on Cadet 5663, A] (lyrics above)
3. I Can't Do Enough [March 1969 US 7" single on Cadet 5636, A]
4. Darling Dear
5. Strung Out Over You
6. A Little Understanding [July 1970 US 7" single on Cadet 5672, B-side to 12]
7. Bring Back The Love Of Yesterday [1974 US 7" single on Cadet 5703, A, 1st issue of 5703]
8. If You Move I'll Fall
9. Doe Anybody Know I'm Here [January 1969 US 7" single on Cadet 5631]
10. If You Really Love Your Girl (Show Her)
11. Be For Real For Me
12. Long Lonely Nights [July 1970 US 7" single on Cadet 5672, A - see also 6]
13. I'm Not Afraid Of Tomorrow
14. Sweeter As The Days Go By [October 1974 US 7" single on Cadet 5703, B-side to "Learning To Love You Was Easy (It's So Hard Trying To Get Over You)", 2nd issue of 5703]

Tracks 3 and 9 are from the US LP "Always Together" released January 1969 on Cadet LPS-822
Tracks 1 and 6 are from the US LP "Love Is Blue" released August 1969 on Cadet LPS-829
Tracks 2, 4, 12 and 13 are from the US LP "Like It Is, Like It Was" released February 1970 on Cadet LPS-837
Track 8 is from the US LP "The Dells" released in November 1973 on Cadet LP-50046
Track 5 is from the US LP "The Dells Vs The Dramatics" released in March 1974 on Cadet LP-60027
Tracks 7, 10, 11 and 14 are from the US LP "The Mighty, Mighty Dells" released in September 1974 on Cadet LP-60030

For these recordings THE DELLS were:
Marvin Junior (Baritone Lead), Chuck Barksdale, Verne Allison, Michael "Mickey" McGill and Johnnie Carter

If you already own the stunning 2CD set "Standing Ovation" compilation from 2007 (39 songs with equally wonderful remasters - again by Erick Labson), the good news is that there's only 2 duplicates - ""Strung Out Over You" and "Bring Back The Love Of Yesterday". 

Another draw is the involvement of CHARLES STEPNEY in 8 of the songs. Along with songwriter BOBBY MILLER, Stepney arranged and conducted the sessions at Cadet for luminaries such The Rotary Connection, Terry Callier, Ramsey Lewis and Minnie Riperton's first solo LP "Come Into My Garden". A sort of a Phil Spector of Soul - Stepney was a bit of a genius really and is a big name in small circles (see also my reviews for "Occasional Rain" and "What Color Is Love" by Terry Callier and The Dells double mentioned above).

These Dells albums are now increasingly hard to find - and most of the tracks are also elusive on the CD format.

A lovely compilation then - and even though the playing time should have been bumped up way over the seventy-minute mark, the superb quality of the remasters makes up for it.

"Bring Back The Love/Classic Dells Soul" is great soul music in great sound. Classic indeed…

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