Tuesday, 10 February 2009

The Falcons - Good Good Feeling - 2008 - Soul Junction

The excellent Soul Junction Records have put together this must-have compilation of the music by the legendary Falcons; a comprehensive collection pieced lovingly together by David Welding and with sleeve notes written by the knowledgeable John Ridley the album is topped by being nicely presented. Lots of notes, photographs and information as well as 20 cracking tracks from the Big Wheel label out of Detroit. Sounds like a no-brainer to me, which is exactly what it is. Even more of a selling point is 7 unissued gems from Carlis “Sonny” Monroe and one modern re-cut from today's Falcons. There is lineage and pedigree to this outfit, boasting members such as Wilson Pickett and Eddie Floyd in their early days! This group certainly attracts quality! I love the music of the 60s equally as much as any other decade, and more so if the flavour of the Motor Town comes through strongly. And strong is exactly how it comes through. Take the ultra-rare single 1967 single, “I'm Tempted”, by Sandy Hollis, which featured the Falcons on backing vocals: this is serious, serious quality and has already won a place in my heart and has been spun many times since receiving this CD, as has her second inclusion “Tables Will Turn”.

A solid four to the floor beat pounds your brain on “Good Good Feeling” and will be loved by those who label this material as 'Northern'. I tend to shy away from that tag myself – it's recorded in the 60s and I either like it or I don't! Thankfully I love most of it! “Has It Happened To You Yet” is less intensive on the heavy beats stakes, but should still get the talcum powder kicking up clouds! I also highly recommend “I'm A Fool I Must Love You”, another track that exudes the virtues of 60s Detroit. Of the unissued material I cannot fault any single cut. From the brassy “You've Got The Power” - reminding me very much of a Detroit styled Impressions when the backing support kicks in, is superb, and so are Sonny Monro's solo '70s cuts for Epic. The gentle Disco flavour, strings and hi-hat aplenty of “Happiest Days Of My Life” stands up to scrutiny as does the Z.Z. Hill inspired “Why Do I Let You Do The Things You Do” which is excellent. The Ronnie McNeir-ish “Your Love Is Dy-No-Mite” is noteworthy too and so wraps up a classy, classy package on many levels.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe