Archie Bell & The Drells
Let’s Groove: The Archie Bell & The Drells Story (50th Anniversary Collection)
Big Break Records

Before I get to the music I have to say a BIG thank you (again) to Christian John Wikane for his continued sterling work on the sleeve notes for bbr. Always a pleasure and always more than informative. That said, this two cd compilation starts with one of favourite all-time grooves in the shape of Tighten Up which still plays like the supremely, soulful party piece it is. If music is about feelings then here they are in abundance. And in ways that to me is what Archie Bell & The Drells are most definitely about: life and confirmation of joy. From the low down Soulful delivery of A Soldiers Prayer, 1967 to the explosively beautiful I Could Dance All Night, and Northern Soul gem Here I Go Again, it’s great to hear just how they evolved in terms of the song writing eventually provided by the supreme team of Philadelphia International Records writers, plus of course it’s fascinating to hear how music production has developed over the timeframe – Let’s Groove, still sounds like a masterpiece of six minutes in ecstasy. As indeed did Disco/ up-tempo R&B became the dominant force by the mid to later seventies they were also creating numbers like: The Soul City Walk, Where Will You Go When The Party’s Over, and the most apt ‘Everybody Have A Good Time. Very recommended.

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