The guys from Real Side Records just released their fifth edition of “Soul On The Real Side”, a collection of twenty soulful cuts ranging from 1970 to 2015. As usual, there are real hard-to-find tracks on the album as well as contemporary tunes from Lisa Stansfield (1993) and R Kelly (2015).
Several of the songs here have found their way onto CD for the first time. And we also get to hear a very young Angie Stone, back from the days when she was known as Angie B. from the group The Sequence, one of the first female rap groups. Here, Angie is teamed with Harry Ray from soul trio Ray, Goodman & Brown on the opening track “Love Is A Game” which came out in 1982 on the Sugar Hill label. And 1982, one of the most intensive years in post-disco R’n’B and Soul (and the year I bought most of my LPs), is prominently featured throughout here.
Reggie Griffin can be heard with the grooving “Whisper (In Your Ear)” and Jesus Alvarez (never heard of him before) has the 1981 stepper “Please Stay Don’t Go”. I was never really a fan of Garland Green‘s voice (heard here on the 1977 “I’ve Quit Running The Streets”). A real surprise is the soul reggae “Baby Don’t Wake Me” by Del Davis from 1972, a hard-to-ignore sweet candy.Also, the group Tomorrow’s Edition (aka Kay Gees) is featured with their 1976 winner “Be Real”. The group also recorded their finest work six years later, in 1982 (“U Turn Me On”). The Sugarhill label is again on board with “Aah Dance”, an irresistible cut from 1984 out of the Sylvia and Joe Robinson school (Reggie Griffin is on this one, too) by Fine Quality featuring Cuz.
There is more soulful bliss from 1981, the Salsoul production “No One (Can Love You Like I Do)” by the group Flakes and the 1981 De-Lite track “Just The Way You Like It” from the sympathetic Leon Bryant before we are hit by five more contemporary tunes, among them the cute little soulful house-meets-modern soul anthem “Something For The Weekend” by Ben Westbeech on the consistently brilliant Strictly Rhythm label.
This wonderful collection (also check out my reviews here of Volume 3 and 4) ends with two more soul gems from the early 70s: the Motown-ish “Sha-La Bandit” by the superb Delores Hall (1973) and “Give Him Up” by First Generation (1970).