Friday, 19 November 2010

“Love Songs” – THE DELFONICS. A Review Of The 2005 Legacy CD Compilation.

"…Isn’t This Moment What It’s All About…"

The truly cheesy artwork that graces the paltry gatefold inlay of this CD compilation might put you off entirely, but don’t let it – “Love Songs” wins out where it really matters - in the sound department.

Released in early 2005, Arista/Legacy 82876 66931 2 breaks down as follows (44:26 minutes):

1. Somebody Loves You
2. La-La Means I Love You
3. Can You Remember
4. Ready Or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide From Love)
5. Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)
6. Trying To Make A Fool Of Me
7. Everytime I See My Baby
8. Over And Over
9. When You Get Right Down To It
10. Break Your Promise
11. Hey! Love
12. I’m Sorry
13. I Gave To You
14. Hot Dog (I Love You So)

Tracks 1, 4, 7 and 14 are from their debut album “Sound Of Sexy Soul” released February 1969 on Philly Groove Records PG-1151 in the USA and September 1969 on Bell Records SBLL 121 in the UK

Tracks 2, 3, 10 and 12 are from the album “La La Means I Love You” released May 1968 on Philly Groove Records PG-1150 in the USA and September 1968 on Bell Records SBLL 106 in the UK

Tracks 5, 6, 8, 9 and 13 are from the album “The Delfonics” released August 1970 in the USA on Philly Groove Records PG-1153 and January 1971 on Bell Records SBLL 137 in the UK

Track 11 is from the album “Tell Me This Is A Dream” released June 1972 in the USA on Philly Groove Records 1154 and February 1973 on Bell Records BELLS 217 in the UK

As you can see from the playing time above, it could easily have had 10 more tracks - especially from the hard-to-find latter albums (there are no tunes for instance from 1974’s “Alive & Kicking” on Philly Groove), but being a 'Legacy' remaster, what is on here sounds great.

The Delfonics were a Soul trio from Philadelphia - Randy Cain with brothers William and Wilbert Hart. Almost all of their music was written by the legendary duo of Thom Bell and Lead Vocalist & Founder of the band William Hart. After 1971 the line-up also included Atlantic Records singing star Major Harris.

The Delfonics produced a sort of high-drama high-octane vocal Soul that some love, but others find too affected – even coy. It’s very much of its time, but once you get into it – you grow to love it. Highlights for me are the Rotary Connection feel of “Ready Or Not Here I Come…” and the cool orchestral arrangements on “When You Get Right Down To It” (lyrics above). Quentin Tarantino famously used “La La Means I Love You” and “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” in his 1997 movie “Jackie Brown” to great effect.

It’s an acquired taste for sure, but if you’ve a hankering for some smoochy shagpad lyrics like "…I gave my heart and soul to you girl…didn't I do it baby…” - then this unassuming little CD is where to get a good stiff breeze up your flared-trousers.

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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