The Spinners – No Price On Happiness: The Thom Bell Studio Recordings – SoulMusic Records

The Spinners, I’ll Be Around is one of my favourite songs. That cool combination of hazy melancholy, coupled with its breezy grooves, talk up lost summer nights like an intimate conversation of times past. Specifically 1972. Which is what brings me to this collection from SoulMusic Records in the first place. Their sound produced throughout by Thom Bell oozes a score of soulful class, pulsing with heightened emotion while underpinned by varying tough rhythm sections. The downtempo ballads are plentiful here, though don’t really talk to me, then of course the extra drive of Could It Be I’m Falling In Love and those string rushes, igniting the timeless voices, are purely irresistible in any language.

Thom Bell was an exceptional producer and arranger having worked on a diverse array of artists from Dusty Springfield to Elton John, as well as being an integral part of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s team, including releases on their own Philadelphia International Records. This compilation comprises of a vast seven cd’s representing their recordings together from 1972 to 1979, so as you would expect traverses the Disco imprint via the Philly Sound to more modern variations by the end of the decade. There are also extended remixes from the likes of Tom Moutlon and Mike Maurro plus a wealth of 7” versions included too.

Tracks like I’m Coming Home demonstrate the sheer vocal dexterity of the chorus of voices defining The Spinners, in this case touching upon bluesy roots. Also try the latter, more urgent excitement of I’m Gonna Getcha from 1977. Not forgetting their take on Are You Ready For Love. Or the sassy extension of If You Wanna Do A Dance as it works up to fever pitch on the final album, From Here to Eternally. In more than one sense there is something for everyone to be discovered, from the dancefloor to a heart full of surprises. No Price On Happiness.

Release: September 29 September

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