Just in time for the first real spring weekend with lots of sun and temperatures in the lower 60s here in Berlin, the folks at Real Side Records, the soul team that was founded in 2002, have come up with the third installment of their wonderful “Soul On The Real Side” Collection, a 20-track album with soul gems dating back from 1972 (a groovy medley of “Mercy Mercy Me/Inner City Blues/What’s Going On” by The Shirelles) right on to today (the Jesse Gomez & TCB mover “The Walk”).
The album opens with the comeback Al Green album of 1993 and the “Let’s Stay Together of the 90s” track “Keep On Pushing Love”. A real winner. Haven’t heard that song in about ten years. Some of the tunes here get their first ever release on CD, like “Just To Be With You” by The O’Jays which was produced by the great H B Barnum.
Elsewhere, there’s the brilliant cover of the Isley Brothers classic “Work To Do” from The Main Ingredient, the almost forgotten General Johnson with his heartbreaker “Don’t Walk Away”, still oozing soul and class, or the 1974 anthem “Be Thankful For What You Got” by William DeVaughn as the second song on this album, perfectly fitting the open air season. Some of the newer cuts here belong to the Real Side Records roster, like the sexy swayer “Getaway” by Walter Thomas. Other timeless songs are from Angie Stone (“Wish I Didn’t Miss You”) and the 12″ mix of one of my favorite mid/late 70s disco burners, the still mesmerizing “Native New Yorker” by Odyssey.
There are, as usual, some nice surprises as well. Totally unknown to me was the group Convertion, included here with the 1980 released “All I Want Is You”, a real diamond. And then there is an R Kelly track which really got my attention because I wasn’t aware of the fact that he could really get into the Philly Sound. His own piece “Share My Love” is superb.
The selection here once again is woven together perfectly. The Latin groove of The LTG Exchange from the Fania label of 1974 builds into the afore-mentioned “The Walk” and the way too short The Pasadenas-esque “Goin’Places” by Derobert and the Half Truths from 2013 to the swell “This Girl” by Cookin’ On 3 Burners featuring the wonderful Kylie Auldist. Spring is here! Recommended!