Birth of Soul: Special Chicago Edition

Birth of Soul: Special Chicago Edition


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The concept behind this compilation is to go beyond the more obvious, well-known landmark recordings that launched Chicago soul. So while quite a few of the performers on this 24-track CD are famous, none of these recordings were hits, though a couple of the songs are pretty renowned. That might limit this anthology's appeal to serious collectors and historians, but for the kind of people who read soul history books and want to actually hear the numerous obscure records mentioned only in passing, it's a godsend. The collection's existence is justified by the remarkable lead-off cut alone, a previously unissued, sparsely arranged 1957 demo of Jerry Butler & the Impressions' "For Your Precious Love," the song that (when re-recorded shortly afterward for a hit single) more than any other got the Chicago soul sound off the ground. Don & Bob's 1961 single "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" is another exciting inclusion, as it was the model for the cover version issued on the Yardbirds' second single in 1964 (although Sonny Boy Williamson's different song of the same name is usually, and incorrectly, cited as the original). Those might be the highlights, but there's plenty of interest to be found in obscure early singles -- sometimes pre-dating the performers' first hits and more familiar bodies of work for other labels -- by the likes of Major Lance, Betty Everett, the Impressions, and Jan Bradley. What keeps this from reaching the level of a compilation that would focus on more familiar Chicago soul from the late '50s through the mid-'60s is the material, which is often pretty derivative of other trends being blazed by Motown and the Drifters (or even cross-town trends like the ones being innovated by Butler and Curtis Mayfield). Still, a few of the songs are first-rate, like Etta James' 1962 orchestrated pop arrangement of the obscure Bacharach-David song "Waiting for Charlie to Come Home." Also excellent is the Drew-Vels' 1963 doo wop-dipped girl group single "Tell Him," reworked by the group's Patti Drew into a bigger hit in 1967. And almost all of the selections hold some historical interest, including several little-known Mayfield compositions: Rosco Gordon's "Let 'Em Try," of which Alton Ellis did a popular reggae cover; the Chanteurs' "You've Got a Great Love," a 1963 single featuring a young Eugene Record (who wrote the Ben E. King soundalike), and Sugar Pie DeSanto's "My Baby's Got Soul," a previously unissued 1964 recording with soaring orchestration and her customarily gritty vocal. Noted Chicago soul historian Bill Dahl's detailed liner notes ably fill in the back story behind these rarities.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/26/2009
Label: Kent Records Uk
UPC: 0029667232227
catalogNumber: 6723222
Rank: 60150


  1. For Your Precious Love
  2. I've Got a Girl
  3. I'll Weep No More
  4. Senorita I Love You
  5. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
  6. My Heart Cries
  7. Phyllis
  8. Isle of Sirens
  9. Behind the Curtains
  10. Let 'Em Try
  11. Enchanted Garden
  12. Father Knows Best
  13. Tragic
  14. At the Party
  15. Waiting for Charlie to Come Home
  16. You've Got a Great Love
  17. I've Got a Story to Tell You
  18. Cool Breeze
  19. Puppy Love
  20. Hi Diddley Dee Dum (It's a Good Good Feelin')
  21. Tell Him
  22. That's My Girl
  23. My Baby's Got Soul
  24. Think Nothing About It

Album Credits

Technical Credits

Willie Dixon   Composer
Etta James   Composer,Source Material
Jerry Butler   Composer
Rosco Gordon   Composer
Barbara Lewis   Composer
Curtis Mayfield   Composer
Larry Williams   Composer
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Dee Clark   Composer
Eugene Record   Composer
Arthur Brooks   Composer
Harvey Fuqua   Composer
Bob Hilliard   Composer
Gerald Sims   Composer
Neil Slaven   Source Material
Billy Vera   Illustrations
Robert Walker   Composer
David Ritz   Source Material
Bill Dahl   Liner Notes
Tony Rounce   Illustrations
Robert Pruter   Source Material
Mike Leadbitter   Source Material
Maurice McAlister   Composer
Bernice Williams   Composer
Joel Whitburn   Source Material
Peter Gibbon   Illustrations
O.C. Perkins   Composer
Robert Staunton   Composer
Mick Patrick   Illustrations
Karl Tarleton   Composer
Carlton Black   Composer
Roquel Davis   Composer
Kermit Chandler   Composer
W.A. Jennings   Cover Photo
Eddie Thomas   Composer
Michel Ruppli   Source Material
Ed Novitsky   Source Material
Delena Nelams   Composer
Donald Level   Composer
Rob Love   Composer

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