Filed under: Eccentric Soul 45s
A few years before Maurice White and Earth, Wind & Fire established their Los Angeles outpost, James Dockery made that same Chicago-to-LA trek alone and deeply embedded himself in the soul music culture of the Left Coast. Alert soul aficionados will note the name Art Monday IV, better known as Arthur Monday for his “What Goes Around Comes Around” 45 on Stage Music. Monday brought that record’s same buoyant production to Dockery’s solo turn on “My Faith In You Is All Gone,” penned by one-time Syl Johnson— and future Al Green—songwriter Earl Randle. Sporting Soul Craft’s unadorned red label, “My Faith” is not only gold in the North of England, but a contagious soul eccentricity with appeal for ears in every cardinal direction.
Though boxing titan Joe Louis was throwing his last professional punches before they were born, teen group the Brown Bombers befit the Detroit ring legend’s ballistic nickname. Standouts among pubescent groups of their era, the Bombers naturally got lost in the fog of Motown’s Jackson Family explosion. While their unflappable energy is a prime mover on the a-side, the real treat here is elegant work from backing band the Soul Partners. Bearing the Amazing banner, this disc marked the first recorded appearance of the band that evolved into Al Hudson’s Soul Partners (“Spread Love”) and eventually One Way. The flip hands the band its chance to shine with “Just Fun,” a simple—and essential—reprise of “Wait For Me” as instrumental.
The nothing that is known about the Young Souls corresponds perfectly to the band’s brief existence, during which it never even eked out a single release. Their bid to leave a recorded legacy was left to producer/manager Earl Wiley, who commissioned a demo session to capture several of his own compositions. Stripped down to their bare bones, the Young Souls burn brilliant over minimal arrangements. “Quit Waiting For Tomorrow To Come” is a midtempo stepper guaranteed to instantly earn its spot in discerning deejay play boxes, while “Puppet On A String” fulfills the tasteful group harmony ballad prerequisite.
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