THIS IS IT! MORE FROM THE VAN McCOY SONGBOOK 1962-1977.

This Is It! More From The Van McCoy Songbook 1962-77.

Label: Kent Soul.

Everything comes to he who waits. So says the maxim.  And that is the case with the followup long-awaited and much anticipated followup to 2010s The Sweetest Feeling, which was Kent Soul’s first collection of songs penned by Van McCoy. Now nine years later, and This Is It! More From The Van McCoy Songbook 1962-77 has just been released by Kent Soul, an imprint of Ace Records. It’s a welcome release that features twenty-four sought after dancefloor friendly tracks from the pen of Van McCoy, who far too many people only associate with The Hustle. That is only part of the story of this truly talented, singer, songwriter, arranger and producer whose songs have been recorded by the great and good of music over the past six decades. 

Van McCoy’s career as a songwriter spanned a twenty  year period, beginning in 1959, and continuing up until his tragic death on the ‘6th’ of July 1979, aged just thirty-nine. Despite his career being cut so tragically short, Van McCoy left behind a musical legacy that included the 300 songs he wrote between 1959 and 1979. This includes the twenty-four on This Is It! More From The Van McCoy Songbook 1962-77.

Opening This Is It! More From The Van McCoy Songbook 1962-77 is Kenny Carlton’s Lost And Found, a melodic dancer which was released on Blue Rock, in 1968, and is a favourite on the UK Northern Soul scene. So is Major Lance’s Wait Till I Get You In My Arms, which was released on Okeh in 1967 and Erma Franklin’s Abracadabra  from 1967. It’s also a favourite on the Belgian popcorn scene.

Another highly rated dance track is Sandi Sheldon’s You’re Gonna Make Me Love You, which was released on Okeh in 1967. Some collectors and connoisseurs have gone as far as to call it one of the greatest dance records ever recorded.

Betty Everett who contributes Gonna Be Ready, which was released on Vee Jay in 1965, is another of the hugely talented soul sisters on This Is It! More From The Van McCoy Songbook 1962-77. This includes 

Way before Peaches and Herb recorded Reunited, this boy and girl  duo which featured Francine Barker and Dave Kapralik recorded We’re In This Thing Together. It was written, arranged and conduced by Van McCoy  and released on Date in 1966. However, commercial success eluded We’re In This Thing Together, and it wasn’t until the late seventies when  Peaches and Herb released Reunited, which featured the third Peaches Linda Greene, that they enjoyed a hit single. Two of the three Peaches feature on This Is It! More From The Van McCoy Songbook 1962-77. Francine Barker’s Mr DJ, which was released on Columbia in 1968, and Laura Greene ’s Memories and Souvenirs which was released on Capitol in 1972 showcase two talented singers . Interestingly, Memories and Souvenirs which Van McCoy co-produced is a taste of the disco sound that would play such an important part in seventies dance music. 

The Choice Four  who released ten singles during their career, were Van McCoy’s attempt at putting together a boy band. If I Don’t Love You was a track from their Finger Pointers album, which was released in 1974 by RCA, and is a beautiful soulful, string drenched  smoocher. 

The standout track on This Is It! More From The Van McCoy Songbook 1962-77 is Baby Don’t Change Your Mind by Gladys Knight and The Pips. It’s a timeless classic from their 1977 album Still Together, which was released on Buddah. By then,   Gladys Knight and The Pips were enjoying the commercial success and critical acclaim their talent warranted.

For David Ruffin there was life after The Temptations who he left in 1969. By 1976, his career was in the doldrums and he looked like yesterday’s man. Then Van McCoy rejuvenated his ailing career writing, arranging  and producing Everything’s Coming Up Love which was the title-track to David Ruffin’s 1976 album for Motown.

Closing This Is It! More From The Van McCoy Songbook 1962-77 is Melba Moore’s This Is It, an infectiously catchy dance track released on Buddah in 1976. This version is the Tom Moulton mix, which will still fill a dancefloor forty-three years after its release.

The nine year wait for the followup to The Sweetest Feeling, has been worth it with the release of This Is It! More From The Van McCoy Songbook 1962-77 by Kent Soul. It features songs by superstars, famous faces and new names. There’s hits,  hidden gems, B-sides and tracks that should’ve lit up the charts on this lovingly curated compilation . It’s a reminder of just how talented, a singer, songwriter, musician, arranger and producer Van McCoy was during a career that lasted just twenty years. However, during that period, Van McCoy wrote 300 songs, including the twenty-four on This Is It! More From The Van McCoy Songbook 1962-77, which is a fitting and homage to the man and his music.

This Is It! More From The Van McCoy Songbook 1962-77.

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