Sunday, 18 January 2009

Harold Melvin + The Blue Notes - Talk It Up (Tell Everybody) 1984 Philly World Records

Soulchoonz' René played me a phenomenal 12” release on Philly World Records by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes called “Today's Your Lucky Day”. I was totally shocked as I had no knowledge of this release and to say my underpants were suitably soiled goes without saying! My delight was multiplied tenfold when I discovered that the album it was lifted from “Talk It Up (Tell Everybody)” was available on CD! Once the CD was in my sticky paws it was most embarrassing to realise I'd missed out on this gem for all these years. The album is simply an 80s masterpiece crammed with Philly ballads and typical 80s dancers and it has to rate as one of their strongest and most consistent albums – definitely better than the bland “All Things In Time” album from 1981. This has been in constant rotation at home and in the car and all for under a tenner at Amazon! The album has a very Temptations “Truly For You” feel where the dancers are concerned, and the ballads remind me of of the mid-80s Four Tops output. The overall experience is simply magic.

The amazing “Leave You Alone” cannot fail to impress either – again very much what we expect today. The synthy, spaced out “Put It In Real Good” sounds superb and fits in perfectly with recent sets such as Nick Van Gelder's “Choose Music”. “Find Me, Love Me” is one of my chief favourites. The track summery and very hook laden and, again, feels like a new Tonies track. Fans of the wonderful Xantoné Blacq will appreciate “Try Me” - which was releases as a limited single – in 1976. Oh, but my favourite of favourites has to be “Teach Me How” which is simple feel-good summertime soulfulness captured on CD. The quality of all these songs, it has to said, puts most – if not all - reissue labels to shame. If a reissue is legit there is NO excuse for not using the master tape where it exists. This sounds so damn fine, clear and...brand spanking new! More brilliance exudes unashamedly from “Stay” and “Trying To Tell You How I Feel” which has a slight Isleys feel courtesy of some stunning organ and acoustic guitar work. Again, “We Should Get It Together”, has lots to offer and should the Tony's “If I Had No Loot” be your bag, check out “Do You Know”. Quite Stevie Wonder a la Innervisions to in my honest opinion! I get a feeling that this is a limited press, so don't be a Silly Billy and miss out. Quality evergreen soul.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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