Monday, 23 February 2009

Masterpiece Vol. 7 - Various Artists

Vinyl Masterpiece are seriously dedicated to the 1980s, which is something I can really connect with too. With lots of new material being released in an 80s retro fashion, some of my old favourites – although, to me, timeless – are being breathed new life and sound totally fresh and today again! This series of compilations, then, really are worthwhile. Volume 7 is no let down and I was so happy when I saw classics such as “Touch Me (All Night Long)” by Wish, featuring Fonda Rae included, and Mtume's brilliant 1984 jam, “Prime Time”. Tracks such as the O'Jays “Love You Direct” were excellent examples of soulful 80s dance, and Frankie Rodriquez has edited and remixed this track to great effect. Michael Wycoff's “Tell Me Love” is here in it's full extended glory and so is the Whispers' “Tonight”from their 1983 LP, “Love For Love”. An excellent slice of Leon F. Sylvers at his best.
UK act Freeez appear with the excellent “Can't Keep My Love” with it's addictive bassline reminiscent to Colors' “L.O.S. (Love On Sight)”. Lee Prentiss' “Love This Way” is a new one on me, but I love it – it epitomizes the mid 80s club scene perfectly. Yes, what a great year 1986 was. Such a shame this sound was swept away by 'New Jack Swing'. How passé and dated that sounds now! Another cut I was hitherto unaware of was the brilliant Julius Brown and “Sho Nuff (Sure Look Good)” - produced by the superb Butch Ingram back in 1985 on the Society Hill imprint. The late Brandi Wells is also included with her excellent “Watch Out”. Fans of the Real Thing have “Street Corner Boogie” to add to their collection, and that should please a lot of people. I am grateful to the guys for the top class remastering of these tracks. Brilliantly done and faultless. If only all vinyl could be remastered this well!

Barry Towler