Soul Drops.

Label: Acid Jazz Records and Miles Away Records.

Format: CD.

In April 2019, Acid Jazz Records and Miles Away Records decided to reissue some of their favourite 45s. This included many soul sides released from 1969 onwards. Many of them were long out of print and nowadays, are real rarities coveted by crate digging record collectors. Given their rarity they’re also beyond the budget of most soul fans. However, reissues gave them the opportunity to own these rarities.

Since the reissue of these vintage soul singles they’ve also become collectors items. That’s no surprise as they were in-demand  limited editions and soon sold out. 

However, on the ‘8th’ of April 2022, Acid Jazz Records and Miles Away Records released Soul Drops a new compilation that features some of the best 45s from the past three years. It’s an eclectic section of soulful sides that will appeal to anyone with an interest in soul music.

Opening Soul Drops is Ungodly War by Lamont Butler. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, music was in his family. His father Clifford was a well known gospel, blues and R&B singer and pianist. It was no surprise when he followed in his father’s footsteps becoming a member of The Enterprise, The Dynamics and The New Beginnings. Eventually, he embarked on a solo career and in 1981 released his only album It’s Time For A Change. It was reissued in 2020 by Miles Away Records. The highlight is Ungodly War which sets the bar high as soul, jazz, gospel and funk melt into one on a track that’s reminiscent of the late, great Gil Scott-Heron. 

 The Tom-Emmanuel And Ron Experience feature twice on the compilation. Their contributions are their one and only single. This was Why (The Knower) which was released on Golden Three Records in 1970. It’s a heart-wrenching ballad that will also appeal to fans of Northern Soul. Tucked  away on the B-Side was You Lose Your Groove. This slice of crossover soul features a vocal that’s a mixture of hurt, frustration and emotion and is a hidden gem.

In 1979, the Patterson Twins released Gonna Find A True Love on Commercial. This slice of modern soul was produced by Troy Shondell. Dancing disco strings, stabs of horns, soaring harmonies and funky guitar play their part in the sound and success of this joyous and timeless dancer.

The tempo drops on Rita Joyce’s beautiful, sensual sounding Dancing Close. It was released on Ren Cen Records in 1979 and this rarity is a welcome addition to Soul Drops. 

Time Is Long by Rick Hickman was released by Special Edition Records, which was based in Houston, Texas. This ballad was written by the singer, songwriter and producer and features a heartfelt, emotive and soul-baring vocal. It’s a beautiful, dreamy track with a yacht rock influence, and is, without doubt, one of the highlights of the compilation. 

Although The Fantastics recorded We Got Good Lovin’ in 1968 the track lay unreleased until 2012. That was when it made its debut on the EP Graham Dee’s Hitsville London which was released by Acid Jazz Records. Ten years later and this deeply soulful ballad returns for a well deserved encore.

Delores Fuller released One More Chance Lord as a single on Intro Records in 1983. It features an impassioned vocal as soul, gospel and funk are combined on this rarity.

Stabs of horns open Family Tree which was released by Family Tree featuring Sharon Brown. She unleashes a soulful vocal powerhouse on this slice of oft-overlooked and vastly underrated modern soul released on Anada Records in 1975.

 Leon’s Creation released their debut album This Is The Beginning in 1970, on the Studio label. The San Francisco-based band combine soul, funk and gospel and sometimes, sound as if they’ve been influenced by Sly and The Family Stone.

Tony and Tandy with Les Fleur De Lys released Two Can Make It Together on Atlantic in 1969. It’s a memorable mixture of soul, funk and pop where that will appeal to dancers and DJs.

Bookending Soul Drops is Thank You Lord by Lamont Butler. It’s another track from album It’s Time For A Change. It finds him giving thanks as he delivers a vocal that’s heartfelt and full of sincerity against an understated arrangement. This is the perfect way to close the compilation.

Soul Drops is a lovingly curated compilation, and is the perfect opportunity to own some of the finest soulful sides released by Acid Jazz Records and Miles Away Records over the last three years. Some of the tracks will be new to many soul fans. Singles, B-Sides and album tracks side-by-side on Soul Drops which doesn’t disappoint and oozes quality. Quite simply, Soul Drops is a compilation that’s all killer and no filler, and will appeal to anyone who likes their music soulful.

Soul Drops.

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