Sunday, 16 May 2010

Various artists - Nighttime Lovers Volume 12 - 2010 - Vinyl Masterpiece

Although I seriously question the vinyl remastering on the Vinyl masterpiece album releases, the quality of these compilations is superb - having, I suppose, being taken from superior twelve inch singles and not LPs. These compilations never fail to address our most deep needs as far as having a fix of 1980s soulful dance tunes are concerned. The breadth and depth of knowledge from these stables re our fine music is seriously applaudable. We are now up to volume 12, and here we have 13 more tracks - all of which are new to me! How embarrassing and wonderful is that?! BUT with the current trend to stick a middle finger up at the thuggish 'yo yo yo' mentality in today's R&B renders these songs as new and fresh now as they were back in the day. Lisa Richards, for example and her "Hooked On Your Love" is totally new to me - though the sound and style is not. A Patrick Adams production for Special k records, this track simply burns and smolders the longer it runs. Lisa is a great performer and would not have been out of place on Salsoul or Gold Mind. Fresh from their work with the SOS Band we have the powerhouse Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis working on Real To Reel with the hand-clapper "Can You Treat Me Like She Does". Almost in "High Hopes" territory, this simply is a treat on the ears.

The Kashif penned "Loveline" by Shawne Jackson should satisfy demand for a cooler groove. This has a flavour of Shot's 1986 anthem, "Main Thing", and one can hear the Kashif influence here on this fine 1983 jam. A real surprise to me is the 1983 single by Michael Henderson called "You Wouldn't Have To Work At All"...a Paul Lawrence production that has Michael Henderson in a fresh modern soul mode standing alongside contemporaries such as Kashif, and Paul Lawrence himself. Not exactly his "Goin' Places" best but no-one could accuse him of not moving with the times. I recommend the Cd for the aforementioned tracks especially but even as a lover of the 80s I found a lot of other inclusions rather dates and not very strong as far as that era went. I would not want to use 'scraping the bottom of the barrel' but you may understand where I am coming from. i will watch with interest as to whatever makes an appearance on future compilations...there is still a LOT of quality stuff to reissue out there and I hope that this will usurp the lesser material that we have included on here. NOT one to be overlooked, though.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe