GOOD ALL OVER-RARE SOUL FROM THE WESTBOUND RECORDS VAULTS 1969-1975.

GOOD ALL OVER-RARE SOUL FROM THE WESTBOUND RECORDS VAULTS 1969-1975.

It was in late 1968, that music veteran Armen Boladian founded Westbound Records, in Detroit. This was a boost for Detroit’s ailing independent music scene. During the previous years, Motown had put most of Detroit’s independent labels to the sword. Gradually, Detroit’s independent labels fell by the wayside. Motown had a monopoly over Detroit soul music. Not any more.

Armen Boladian had been running record labels since the fifties. So he knew his way around the music industry. He’d also established a reputation amongst major and local labels. They respected Armen, and would help him establish Westbound Records and later, its label Eastbound Records.

Ironically, as Westbound Records’ reputation grew, Motown left Detroit, heading for Los Angeles. This left the stage clear for Westbound Records’ to become two of Detroit’s biggest, and most successful labels. No wonder. Westbound Records’ was home to funk royalty, including the Ohio Players, Funkadelic. That’s not all.

The Detroit Emeralds, Denise LaSalle, The Fantastic Four, A.C. Tilmon, The Motiviations, Damon Shawn and Unique Blend all called Westbound Records home. They all feature on Ace Records’ latest compilation music from Westbound Records’ back-catalogue, Good All Over-Rare Soul From The The Westbound Records Vaults 1969-1975. It’s a twenty-three track compilation, which features two previously unreleased tracks. They’re A.C. Tilmon and Denise LaSalle’s Tender Moments and Bob and Harold’s You Can’t Take This Love From Me. These are just two of the twenty-three tracks on Good All Over-Rare Soul From The The Westbound Records Vaults 1969-1975, which I’ll tell you about.

The Fantastic Four’s I’m Falling In Love (I Feel Good All Over) opens Good All Over-Rare Soul From The The Westbound Records Vaults 1969-1975. It’s the first of three contribution from The Fantastic Four. I’m Falling In Love (I Feel Good All Over) was released as a single on Eastbound in 1973.  An uptempo, joyous track, it’s The Fantastic Four at their soulful best. The B-Side was a beautiful ballad, I Believe In Miracles (I Believe In You). Both tracks were penned by Albert Hamilton and Norma Toney, and produced by Al Kent. Another single released in 1973, was  I Had This Whole World To Choose From (And I Chose You). The B-Side was If You Need Me I’ll Come Running. Written by Wallace Childs and William Garrett, it’s a hidden gem of a ballad that plays to The Fantastic Four’s strengths.

In 1972, Unique Blend signed to Eastbound Records. A year later, in 1973, they released Old Fashioned Woman as a single on Eastbound Records. The flip side, was Mommy and Daddy a delicious fusion of the smoothest soul and jazzy horns. It was written by Charles Holman and Milton Overton. Sadly, Old Fashioned Woman failed to chart and is now, something of a rarity. Unique Blend’s other contributions is the heartfelt ballad, Does He Treat You Better. Penned by Lorenzo Smith, it was released as a single in 1973. Just like Old Fashioned Woman, Does He Treat You Better failed to chart. After this, Unique Blend released just one further single on Eastbound Records. Their finest moments were the balladry of Old Fashioned Woman and Does He Treat You Better.

I Don’t Know How (To Say I Love You) Don’t Walk Away was The Superlatives only release on Westbound Records. It was released in 1969, and was one of the nascent label’s first releases. Penned by Robert Washington, I Don’t Know How (To Say I Love You) Don’t Walk Away somehow manages to be dramatic, soulful and wistful all at once.

The Magictones spent three years signed to Westbound Records. Between 1969 and 1971, they released  a quartet of singles on Westbound Records. This includes the 1969 single Doc Paul produced Trying Real Hard (To Make The Grade). The same year, The Magictones released the George Clinton penned I’ll Make It Up To You. It’s two minutes of beauty, emotion and regret. Two years later, in 1971, The Magictones fused soul and funk on I’ve Changed. They plead and promise their way convincingly through I’ve Changed. In 1972, My Dreams Have Got The Best Of Me proved to be The Magictones swan-song on Westbound Records.

Back in 1973, The Motivations released their one and only single on Westbound Records. This was I Love You. Just like the B-Side, I’m Loving You You’re Loving Me it was written by Albert Tilmon Jr. I Love You is fusion of soul and funk, where the hooks haven’t been spared. I’m Loving You You’re Loving Me is a tender ballad, which shows another side to The Motivations.

A.C. Tilmon was a singer, songwriter and guitarist. Sadly, his career was cut short, when he died in 1982, aged just thirty-seven. In 1974, he released  Girl You Thrill Me as a single on Eastbound Records. The B-Side was I Love To Dream. Both were written by Albert Tilmon Jr. Of the two tracks, I Love To Dream is my favourite. It features a truly tender and heartfelt vocal. 

A year later in 1975, A.C. Tilmon and The Detroit Emeralds collaborated on two singles. One of these singles was The Rosetta Stone. It was penned by Barry Blue and Dave Jordan. That’s All I Got was the B-Side. Hook-laden and dance-floor friendly, it’s a delicious fusion of soul and funk. 

The Houston Outlaws released three singles on Westbound Records. This included What Am I Gonna Do, in 1972. It was written by Junie Morrison and produced by Cholly Atkins and Pearl Jones. Floaty, elegant and seriously smooth, this is The Houston Outlaws finest moment.

Emanuel Laskey released More Love (Where That Came From) in 1969. It was one of Westbound Records’ first released. Written by William Garrett and Michael Hanks, this was one of two singles Emanuel released on Westbound Records. It’s an outpouring of emotion, that’s very different from the social comment of B-Side, A Letter From Vietnam.

The final two tracks on  Good All Over-Rare Soul From The Westbound Records Vaults 1969-1975 come courtesy of Damon Shawn. He released a trio of singles on Westbound Records. Admit Your Love Is Gone was released as a single in 1971. Then in 1972, Damon released Feel The Need. Tucked away on the B-Side was I’m Wishing, an understated, melancholy ballad. It’s a tantalising taste of  Damon Shawn’s music. He delivers a needy, hopeful ballad on a track that’s quite simply, a glittering hidden gem.

Good All Over-Rare Soul From The Westbound Records Vaults 1969-1975, features twenty-three slices of the rarest soul. That’s no exaggeration. Many of these tracks will be new to many people. They may have heard of The Fantastic Four, The Detroit Emeralds, and Denise LaSalle, but not the tracks on Good All Over-Rare Soul From The Westbound Records Vaults 1969-1975. Similarly, many people won’t have heard the delights of A.C. Tilmon, The Motiviations, Damon Shawn and Unique Blend. That’s until now. 

Ace Records recently released Good All Over-Rare Soul From The Westbound Records Vaults 1969-1975. It’s the latest instalment in Ace Records’ journey through the Eastbound and Westbound Records’ back-catalogues. Just like previous releases, Good All Over-Rare Soul From The Westbound Records Vaults 1969-1975, is a lovingly compiled compilation. The man behind Good All Over-Rare Soul From The Westbound Records Vaults 1969-1975, is Tony Rounce.

Tony has compiled a compilation where a sprinkling of old favourites rub shoulders with B-Sides, unreleased tracks and hidden gems. That’s the perfect way to describe Good All Over-Rare Soul From The Westbound Records Vaults 1969-1975. It’s one of the finest soul compilations of recent months. No wonder. Look at the quality of music on Good All Over-Rare Soul From The Westbound Records Vaults 1969-1975. That’s not all. Much of the music on Good All Over-Rare Soul From The Westbound Records Vaults 1969-1975, is truly timeless, even forty years after its original release. 

GOOD ALL OVER-RARE SOUL FROM THE WESTBOUND RECORDS VAULTS 1969-1975.

 

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