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  1. #1

    "This Is It! More From The Van McCoy Songbook 1962-1977" (Kent UK) 6/28/2019

    Description
    Some years have passed since “The Sweetest Feeling”, Kent’s first dip into the catalogue of the late Van McCoy, was issued to acclaim from soul fans all over the world. Back then we made a promise that, should sales warrant a second volume, we would release one. Well, it’s taken a while for it to come together – nine years, in fact – but we are delighted to finally bring you that long-promised follow-up, “This Is It!”

    As we promised in the notes to the previous set, the accent this time is predominantly on the upbeat. “This Is It!” collects a significant number of Van’s biggest and rarest 60s/Northern Soul favourites, multiple modern-crossover treats from the 70s and, for balance, a few slower opportunities to get their breath back for those who mostly like to dance but occasionally like to listen. Although the inevitable licensing issues prevented us from securing a couple of tracks we would like to have included, we feel certain that everyone who loves the work of Van McCoy will be more than happy with the contents.

    As well as Northern and modern rarities by the likes of Sandi Sheldon, Kenny Carlton, the Vonettes and Bill Harris, among others, “This Is It!” also contains several of Van’s most commercially successful songs and productions, including Melba Moore’s title track and Gladys Knight and the Pips’ UK chart monster ‘Baby Don’t Change Your Mind’. Several artists featured here, including the Spellbinders, Chris Bartley, the Ad Libs and Brenda and the Tabulations, are indelibly associated with Van, having spent most of their careers working with him.

    It’s been 40 years this summer since Van succumbed to a fatal heart attack, at the age of just 39. Van may have left us a long time ago but his timeless music never will, and here are 24 more of the very best examples of “Van McCoy Magic”.

    Tracklist
    1. Lost And Found - Kenny Carlton
    2. The Sweetest Thing This Side Of Heaven - Chris Bartley
    3. You're Gonna Make Me Love You - Sandi Sheldon
    4. Hard Way To Go - The Exciters
    5. I Wanna Love You So Bad - Bobby Reed
    6. Gonna Be Ready - Betty Everett
    7. We're In This Thing Together - Peaches & Herb
    8. Baby, I Miss You - The Spellbinders
    9. Abracadabra - Erma Franklin
    10. Wait Till I Get You In My Arms - Major Lance
    11. Just In The Nick Of Time - Toni Lamarr
    12. Touch My Heart - The Vonettes
    13. Mister DJ - Francine Barker
    14. Ain't It Funny What Love Can Do - Kenny Young
    15. Show A Little Appreciation - The Ad Libs
    16. Where Did You Learn To Make Love The Way You Do (Album Version) - Sharon Ridley
    17. Little Bit Of Love - Brenda & The Tabulations
    18. If I Don't Love You - The Choice Four
    19. Memories And Souvenirs - Laura Greene
    20. You're My Peace Of Mind - Faith Hope & Charity
    21. Baby Don't Change Your Mind - Gladys Knight & The Pips
    22. Am I Cold, Am I Hot - Bill Harris
    23. Everything's Coming Up Love - David Ruffin
    24. This Is It - Melba Moore
    Amazon USA
    Available for pre-order soon:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RQ3V1HG/?tag=imwan-20

    Amazon UK
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RQ3V1HG/?tag=imwan-21

  2. #2
    Wonderful - a great find - will follow up. Thanks!

  3. #3
    Interesting collection. Might have to investigate.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    Description
    Some years have passed since “The Sweetest Feeling”, Kent’s first dip into the catalogue of the late Van McCoy, was issued to acclaim from soul fans all over the world. Back then we made a promise that, should sales warrant a second volume, we would release one. Well, it’s taken a while for it to come together – nine years, in fact – but we are delighted to finally bring you that long-promised follow-up, “This Is It!”

    As we promised in the notes to the previous set, the accent this time is predominantly on the upbeat. “This Is It!” collects a significant number of Van’s biggest and rarest 60s/Northern Soul favourites, multiple modern-crossover treats from the 70s and, for balance, a few slower opportunities to get their breath back for those who mostly like to dance but occasionally like to listen. Although the inevitable licensing issues prevented us from securing a couple of tracks we would like to have included, we feel certain that everyone who loves the work of Van McCoy will be more than happy with the contents.

    As well as Northern and modern rarities by the likes of Sandi Sheldon, Kenny Carlton, the Vonettes and Bill Harris, among others, “This Is It!” also contains several of Van’s most commercially successful songs and productions, including Melba Moore’s title track and Gladys Knight and the Pips’ UK chart monster ‘Baby Don’t Change Your Mind’. Several artists featured here, including the Spellbinders, Chris Bartley, the Ad Libs and Brenda and the Tabulations, are indelibly associated with Van, having spent most of their careers working with him.

    It’s been 40 years this summer since Van succumbed to a fatal heart attack, at the age of just 39. Van may have left us a long time ago but his timeless music never will, and here are 24 more of the very best examples of “Van McCoy Magic”.

    Tracklist
    1. Lost And Found - Kenny Carlton
    2. The Sweetest Thing This Side Of Heaven - Chris Bartley
    3. You're Gonna Make Me Love You - Sandi Sheldon
    4. Hard Way To Go - The Exciters
    5. I Wanna Love You So Bad - Bobby Reed
    6. Gonna Be Ready - Betty Everett
    7. We're In This Thing Together - Peaches & Herb
    8. Baby, I Miss You - The Spellbinders
    9. Abracadabra - Erma Franklin
    10. Wait Till I Get You In My Arms - Major Lance
    11. Just In The Nick Of Time - Toni Lamarr
    12. Touch My Heart - The Vonettes
    13. Mister DJ - Francine Barker
    14. Ain't It Funny What Love Can Do - Kenny Young
    15. Show A Little Appreciation - The Ad Libs
    16. Where Did You Learn To Make Love The Way You Do (Album Version) - Sharon Ridley
    17. Little Bit Of Love - Brenda & The Tabulations
    18. If I Don't Love You - The Choice Four
    19. Memories And Souvenirs - Laura Greene
    20. You're My Peace Of Mind - Faith Hope & Charity
    21. Baby Don't Change Your Mind - Gladys Knight & The Pips
    22. Am I Cold, Am I Hot - Bill Harris
    23. Everything's Coming Up Love - David Ruffin
    24. This Is It - Melba Moore
    Amazon USA
    Available for pre-order soon:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RQ3V1HG/?tag=imwan-20

    Amazon UK
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RQ3V1HG/?tag=imwan-21
    I already own a lot of these tracks, but i will be supporting this album. Such releases are becoming increasingly rare and they may dry up completely if the demand is no longer there. Thanks for the heads up Eddie.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    I already own a lot of these tracks, but i will be supporting this album. Such releases are becoming increasingly rare and they may dry up completely if the demand is no longer there. Thanks for the heads up Eddie.
    Agree with your sentiments. I have several tracks but have pre-ordered directly from Ace Records. In UK it's free postage just short of £13.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    Agree with your sentiments. I have several tracks but have pre-ordered directly from Ace Records. In UK it's free postage just short of £13.
    That is not bad but i usually buy mine from my friends local independent record store. He usually sells the Ace releases for £10. I hope many people will support this release, and any other forthcoming ones.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    That is not bad but i usually buy mine from my friends local independent record store. He usually sells the Ace releases for £10. I hope many people will support this release, and any other forthcoming ones.
    That's a brilliant deal. Rarely see Ace cheaper than that. Plus support for the record shop.😀

  8. #8
    THIS IS IT was a club favorite within the same time frame that LOVE HANGOVER was peaking. What worked well for these two songs in conjunction was the way THIS IS IT would sign off in that crescendo cry of "this is it!" followed by a single orchestral punch, which would then create a moment of silence that would allow the DJ to follow up with any song of his choosing. Perfect fodder for then bringing in the slow intro of LOVE HANGOVER.



    Always liked the exuberant attitude of this song , lyrically and compositionally.
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 05-13-2019 at 03:32 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    That's a brilliant deal. Rarely see Ace cheaper than that. Plus support for the record shop.
    Yes, it is a win win situation. He has had the shop since 1979, and it is still going strong. There are not many left sadly.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    THIS IS IT was a club favorite within the same time frame that LOVE HANGOVER was peaking. What worked well for these two songs in conjunction was the way THIS IS IT would sign off in that crescendo cry of "this is it!" followed by a single orchestral punch, which would then create a moment of silence that would allow the DJ to follow up with any song of his choosing. Perfect fodder for then bringing in the slow intro of LOVE HANGOVER.



    Always liked the exuberant attitude of this song , lyrically and compositionally.
    Totally agree. I recall buying the 7" single back in the day. A truly inspirational song with a fantastic lead vocal by Melba. Remains one of my all time favorites.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    Totally agree. I recall buying the 7" single back in the day. A truly inspirational song with a fantastic lead vocal by Melba. Remains one of my all time favorites.
    I don't know why it didn't do better. Should've been Melba's "big" song. I sometimes think she was really tested in pulling it off vocally. There's a lot to it.

    Another song on this release I visit regularly is:



    Not many disco songs feature a harmonica, but here's one!!

  12. #12
    I, too, have most of these tracks in my CD collection already, but I'll gladly support this release. Thanks, Eddie!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    I don't know why it didn't do better. Should've been Melba's "big" song. I sometimes think she was really tested in pulling it off vocally. There's a lot to it.

    Another song on this release I visit regularly is:



    Not many disco songs feature a harmonica, but here's one!!
    It was Melba's "big"song in the UK. She had a few other hits too, but this is the one that gets most of the airplay on the oldies stations. What an absolute classic tune.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    It was Melba's "big"song in the UK. She had a few other hits too, but this is the one that gets most of the airplay on the oldies stations. What an absolute classic tune.
    I agree, Bluebrock. The entire "This Is It" album is a Van McCoy masterpiece thanks to Melba AND Faith, Hope & Charity. Their back-up vocals are gorgeous throughout.

  15. #15
    Hey guys, do you own that great remix album Dancin' With Melba - Expanded Edition cd?
    It includes the 12-inch version of This It it.
    I also have an original vinyl version of that album on Buddah

  16. #16
    Hey Jack! I have the Melba Moore "This Is It" Expanded album CD which contains the 12" version of "This Is It". Have you heard the Tom Moulton mix? It isn't that different from the original, but it's still neat. Check it out:

    (Thanks to Cap Oldies Belgium for uploading to YouTube.)

    https://youtu.be/MgrcGK4b2Ys

  17. #17
    And here she is performing "This Is It" on Soul Train:

    (Uploaded to YouTube by Grant Smith)

    https://youtu.be/IrTbhEWmJJY

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by jack020 View Post
    Hey guys, do you own that great remix album Dancin' With Melba - Expanded Edition cd?
    It includes the 12-inch version of This It it.
    I also have an original vinyl version of that album on Buddah
    Thanks for the heads up, Jack. I just ordered a a copy of the "Dancin' With Melba" CD. I had completely forgotten that Funky Town Grooves had somehow managed to chop off part of the intro on the 12" Mix of "This Is It" on Melba's "This Is It" Expanded CD. Hopefully, "Dancin' With Melba" will give me a perfect 12" version.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    It was Melba's "big"song in the UK. She had a few other hits too, but this is the one that gets most of the airplay on the oldies stations. What an absolute classic tune.
    Oh! I'm glad to hear that! It barely cracked the Hot 100 here , basically a club song.

    Oh , when I say she sounds tested vocally on it (imo), I should also say , she nonetheless, delivers , and I like the distinct quality of her voice and the way it works off of FH&C.

    This is an interesting compilation , everybody on it gets one shot at a song.

    Of course David Ruffin also had a turn with PEACE OF MIND :



    I think Van heard a hit in this tune , and I agree. Too bad it didn't happen.

  20. #20
    My copy arrived today. Betty Everett on as we speak. The usual high standard of artwork and info from Ace. I could be spinning this quite a bit this week.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Oh! I'm glad to hear that! It barely cracked the Hot 100 here , basically a club song.

    Oh , when I say she sounds tested vocally on it (imo), I should also say , she nonetheless, delivers , and I like the distinct quality of her voice and the way it works off of FH&C.

    This is an interesting compilation , everybody on it gets one shot at a song.

    Of course David Ruffin also had a turn with PEACE OF MIND :



    I think Van heard a hit in this tune , and I agree. Too bad it didn't happen.
    Boogie, you're a Van McCoy fan, too? Incredible! If I didn't know better, I'd swear you're my clone -- at least musically!!!

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    Boogie, you're a Van McCoy fan, too? Incredible! If I didn't know better, I'd swear you're my clone -- at least musically!!!
    You betcha! ( shall we discuss Barry White next!?!)

    TO EACH HIS OWN seemed to be expressing me exactly at the time when it came out , that's when I noticed Van McCoy.
    But for fun let's listen to this one he produced for Aretha Franklin. She wrote it , for her last Atlantic venture, and its one of Van's last before his death.



    Gary , do you know anything about Charles Kipps , whose name seems to usually pop up in McCoy's projects?
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 06-29-2019 at 03:36 AM.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    You betcha! ( shall we discuss Barry White next!?!)

    TO EACH HIS OWN seemed to be expressing me exactly at the time when it came out , that's when I noticed Van McCoy.
    But for fun let's listen to this one he produced for Aretha Franklin. She wrote it , for her last Atlantic venture, and its one of Van's last before his death.



    Gary , do you know anything about Charles Kipps , whose name seems to usually pop up in McCoy's projects?
    Boogie, I'm a huge Van McCoy fan, too! His music compositions and productions are another one of the categories I 'specialize' in within my CD collection. A few years back, I made it a point to research and obtain as much of Van's music that I could possibly find. I came up with a ton of it, too, by a huge array of artists -- and it's all of amazingly high quality! It's interesting to note that most of the U.K. fans prefer Van's 1960's productions, while most U.S. fans seem to prefer his '70s productions. I'm the latter. I didn't really know much about Van until his hit with "The Hustle" in '75. Then his other artists started having hits like Melba's "This Is It", David Ruffin's "Walk Away From Love", Gladys & The Pips' "Home Is Where The Heart Is", The Stylistics' "Keeping My Fingers Crossed", etc. They all had that instantly-recognizable "sound" with the tom-toms and stacotto strings, all backed up beautifully by Faith, Hope & Charity. For me, my first favorite FT&H track of their own was "Don't Go Looking For Love" followed closely by "Just One Look", "You're My Peace Of Mind", and "Life Goes On".

    Yeah, Aretha's "La Diva" album was supposed to get a CD release a few years ago, but then Aretha changed her mind. She decided she wanted more money than she had agreed to with the record company who was set to release it. (I forget which one.) The whole thing fell through. Now that Lady Soul has passed, I wouldn't be surprised if her surviving family members agree to a CD release. Got my fingers crossed!

    John, have you ever heard Zulema's "Praying For A Miracle" (written and produced by Van)? Why this was never a hit is STILL a mystery to me. I don't remember it even getting any airplay. What a waste, man!

    https://youtu.be/9zzER7tr1Ws

    You know, as much as so many of us love Van McCoy, he really had very few hits compared to the number of records and artists for whom he wrote and produced. And they're ALL top quality, too. Check out this little masterpiece by Anacostia -- "Baby I'm Available". Shoulda been a hit!

    https://youtu.be/4jI1kdhuH-g

    Yes, I'm familiar with Charles Kipps. He was Van's co-producer on most of those 1970's productions that I love so. Another big surprise which I didn't know at the time is that Charles Kipps, like Rhodes Chalmers Rodea, is white!

    http://www.charleskipps.com/

    And, finally, do I love Barry White? Heck, yeah! I have ALL of his albums on CD as well as all of Love Unlimited's and those by the Unlimited Orchestra. Good stuff, for sure!

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    Boogie, I'm a huge Van McCoy fan, too! His music compositions and productions are another one of the categories I 'specialize' in within my CD collection. A few years back, I made it a point to research and obtain as much of Van's music that I could possibly find. I came up with a ton of it, too, by a huge array of artists -- and it's all of amazingly high quality! It's interesting to note that most of the U.K. fans prefer Van's 1960's productions, while most U.S. fans seem to prefer his '70s productions. I'm the latter. I didn't really know much about Van until his hit with "The Hustle" in '75. Then his other artists started having hits like Melba's "This Is It", David Ruffin's "Walk Away From Love", Gladys & The Pips' "Home Is Where The Heart Is", The Stylistics' "Keeping My Fingers Crossed", etc. They all had that instantly-recognizable "sound" with the tom-toms and stacotto strings, all backed up beautifully by Faith, Hope & Charity. For me, my first favorite FT&H track of their own was "Don't Go Looking For Love" followed closely by "Just One Look", "You're My Peace Of Mind", and "Life Goes On".

    Yeah, Aretha's "La Diva" album was supposed to get a CD release a few years ago, but then Aretha changed her mind. She decided she wanted more money than she had agreed to with the record company who was set to release it. (I forget which one.) The whole thing fell through. Now that Lady Soul has passed, I wouldn't be surprised if her surviving family members agree to a CD release. Got my fingers crossed!

    John, have you ever heard Zulema's "Praying For A Miracle" (written and produced by Van)? Why this was never a hit is STILL a mystery to me. I don't remember it even getting any airplay. What a waste, man!

    https://youtu.be/9zzER7tr1Ws

    You know, as much as so many of us love Van McCoy, he really had very few hits compared to the number of records and artists for whom he wrote and produced. And they're ALL top quality, too. Check out this little masterpiece by Anacostia -- "Baby I'm Available". Shoulda been a hit!

    https://youtu.be/4jI1kdhuH-g

    Yes, I'm familiar with Charles Kipps. He was Van's co-producer on most of those 1970's productions that I love so. Another big surprise which I didn't know at the time is that Charles Kipps, like Rhodes Chalmers Rodea, is white!

    http://www.charleskipps.com/

    And, finally, do I love Barry White? Heck, yeah! I have ALL of his albums on CD as well as all of Love Unlimited's and those by the Unlimited Orchestra. Good stuff, for sure!
    hi and thanks for those links Gary! I'll have to listen to them for another round or two, but so far so good! It is a shame that McCoy maintained a stable of talents including Zulema , for which he just couldn't hand over major breakthrough records to.

    Speaking of Anacostia you likely know they released this one record with the BHY gang ?



    RE: Charles Kipps . He seems to be an important figure when it comes to Van's work. I wonder if he offered something valuable to the sound , if he was more inspirational or was vitally hands on in the studio? He didn't seem to venture off much into the recording industry beyond working with Van. Maybe Van utilized him as sort of a (economic) favor? And pure speculation here , based on nothing, perhaps beyond working together musically , they were particularly close privately ?


    OK now Gary , ........if you tell me you have a particular fondness for this album, I WILL FALL OFF MY CHAIR!!!!



    I have always imagined this album is mostly known by me and me alone. It was a stiff at the time , and I see now reason for it to have been discovered since. I got my hands on it back then and never forgot it.

    It is Van reaching his best imo. He really put his all into it!! Sounds like a labor of love.
    AND ....... it features a McCoy disco interpretation of MOON RIVER!!



    That alone should be enough! well that and his other song choices, but also something really special happens at the 3:20 mark . The medley strays off into some sort of orchestral jam session. Who ever heard of such thing??

    This is one more thing I love about the disco era. It gave these experienced arrangers one more chance to present their talents, their appreciation of orchestration to the mainstream. Van McCoy, Meco Monardo, John Davis, Bob Esty, Harold Wheeler...... Percy Faith put out a disco LP, Peter Nero , James Last .....


    Van McCoy loved music .

    and as for LIFE GOES ON ....think I'll go listen to it now! Seems appropriate.
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 07-02-2019 at 01:47 AM.

  25. #25
    As a big fan of Van McCoy I was real happy to see some of his final lps in a second hand vinyl shop.
    But after listening to them I decided not to buy them: Van himself is the vocalist on these albums and that is not his forte!

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    hi and thanks for those links Gary! I'll have to listen to them for another round or two, but so far so good! It is a shame that McCoy maintained a stable of talents including Zulema , for which he just couldn't hand over major breakthrough records to.

    Speaking of Anacostia you likely know they released this one record with the BHY gang ?



    RE: Charles Kipps . He seems to be an important figure when it comes to Van's work. I wonder if he offered something valuable to the sound , if he was more inspirational or was vitally hands on in the studio? He didn't seem to venture off much into the recording industry beyond working with Van. Maybe Van utilized him as sort of a (economic) favor? And pure speculation here , based on nothing, perhaps beyond working together musically , they were particularly close privately ?


    OK now Gary , ........if you tell me you have a particular fondness for this album, I WILL FALL OFF MY CHAIR!!!!



    I have always imagined this album is mostly known by me and me alone. It was a stiff at the time , and I see now reason for it to have been discovered since. I got my hands on it back then and never forgot it.

    It is Van reaching his best imo. He really put his all into it!! Sounds like a labor of love.
    AND ....... it features a McCoy disco interpretation of MOON RIVER!!



    That alone should be enough! well that and his other song choices, but also something really special happens at the 3:20 mark . The medley strays off into some sort of orchestral jam session. Who ever heard of such thing??

    This is one more thing I love about the disco era. It gave these experienced arrangers one more chance to present their talents, their appreciation of orchestration to the mainstream. Van McCoy, Meco Monardo, John Davis, Bob Esty, Harold Wheeler...... Percy Faith put out a disco LP, Peter Nero , James Last .....


    Van McCoy loved music .

    and as for LIFE GOES ON ....think I'll go listen to it now! Seems appropriate.
    Hey Boogie! Hope you enjoyed your re-play of FH&C's "Life Goes On"! It's a perfect album/CD from start to finish!

    Yes, I'm aware of Anacostia's Philly Soul track "All I Need". I have it in my collection and I love it! Did you know that Anacostia were originally The Presidents (of "5-10-15-20-25 Years Of Love" fame whose LP was produced by Van) and, who later became Ray, Goodman, & Brown?

    I hope your floor is well-padded, John, because you're about to take a tumble off of that chair! I LOVE Van's "Magnificent Movie Machine"! Always have since I bought it upon its release! In fact, it's one of my favorites! It's a perfect showcase for Faith; Hope & Charity throughout. And, out of the 4 medleys, your favorite "Moon River" medley is my favorite! It's a pity it tanked on the charts. Had it been released as the follow-up to "The Hustle", it may have stood a better chance at chart success. Of course, that's mere speculation on my part. You and I would have loved it no matter when it came out. At the 3:20 mark where the instrumental goes funky, I love it when the strings come in hot and sassy! You're right! Van was stretching.... and succeeding magnificently! So, you see, you weren't alone in buying that album. At least 2 copies were sold!

    Speaking of Meco.... Have you ever heard of his girl group Camouflage? (I believe it's actually Arlene Martell, Linda November, Vivian Cherry, and Helen Miles whom Meco used for back-up vocals on his productions with Gloria Gaynor.) Camouflage's album "A Disco Symphony" is another one of my favs. The 15-minute medley from 1977 covered all of Side 1 and includes "A Disco Symphony" / "I Hear A Symphony" / and "McArthur Park". I loved it so much I played it for everybody who came by to visit that summer. I even wrote to Meco and told him what a masterpiece he and Harold Wheeler had come up with! Meco wrote back and, to thank me, sent me a promo copy of his soon-to-be-released "Wizard Of Oz" album pressed on yellow vinyl. A very cool moment in my life! (At the 12:40 mark, the glorious Supremes-like ending STILL gives me goosebumps! Whatever you do, CRANK IT!!!)

    CAMOUFLAGE - "A Disco Symphony"
    https://youtu.be/hkOM9I3paYQ

    I, too, have often wondered what Van's relationship with Charles Kipps was. As McCoy/Kipps productions, they sure "made some beautiful music together"! I do know that, according to the CD credits, the two late-'70's Anacostia albums (including the track "Baby I'm Available" which I linked for you in my previous post) were both produced by Charles Kipps alone without Van (for McCoy/Kipps Productions). With the exception of a couple tracks, Charles' productions sound very much like Van's -- full of hooks and beautiful chord structures to grab you and reel you in -- hook, line & sinker. Van & Charles were obviously two peas from the same pod, and I say that with utmost respect. Here's what I mean and why:

    ANACOSTIA - "Your Unchanging Love"
    https://youtu.be/RTsMJaHJvZQ

    ANACOSTIA - "Everybody Dance" (McCoy/Kipps productions were gettin' down!)
    https://youtu.be/erPqc4JkeX4

    ANACOSTIA - "What Kind Of Love" (w/Faith, Hope & Charity)
    https://youtu.be/gMqoB-1bT20

    ANACOSTIA - "Someone Else's Eyes"
    https://youtu.be/cala2ESn7_M

    ANACOSTIA - "Face The Fact" (Sure sounds like Philly Soul to me -- highly reminiscent of Thom Bell's productions for the group New York City backed up by The Sweethearts Of Sigma.)

    Now that I'm re-hearing these fresh, I guess you could say that Charles Kipps' productions sound like Van minus the tom-toms.

  27. #27
    Boogie, the link for this somehow got left off above:

    ANACOSTIA - "Face The Fact" (Sure sounds like Philly Soul to me -- highly reminiscent of Thom Bell's productions for the group New York City backed up by The Sweethearts Of Sigma.)

    https://youtu.be/pSWNq3O8kY0

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by jack020 View Post
    As a big fan of Van McCoy I was real happy to see some of his final lps in a second hand vinyl shop.
    But after listening to them I decided not to buy them: Van himself is the vocalist on these albums and that is not his forte!
    Why, Jack! How dare you!!! I LOVE those vocals! 😁 HaHa! To each his own.

    Actually, they sound much better on CD -- much better than the vinyl versions. Every copy of the "Lonely Dancer" LP I've ever owned was pressed off-center which was annoying as all hell. Every track suffered from "wow" (as in 'wow & flutter' minus the flutter.) So glad I don't have to put up with that any more.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    Hey Boogie! Hope you enjoyed your re-play of FH&C's "Life Goes On"! It's a perfect album/CD from start to finish! Yes, I'm aware of Anacostia's Philly Soul track "All I Need". I have it in my collection and I love it! Did you know that Anacostia were originally The Presidents (of "5-10-15-20-25 Years Of Love" fame whose LP was produced by Van) and, who later became Ray, Goodman, & Brown? I hope your floor is well-padded, John, because you're about to take a tumble off of that chair! I LOVE Van's "Magnificent Movie Machine"! Always have since I bought it upon its release! In fact, it's one of my favorites! It's a perfect showcase for Faith; Hope & Charity throughout. And, out of the 4 medleys, your favorite "Moon River" medley is my favorite! It's a pity it tanked on the charts. Had it been released as the follow-up to "The Hustle", it may have stood a better chance at chart success. Of course, that's mere speculation on my part. You and I would have loved it no matter when it came out. At the 3:20 mark where the instrumental goes funky, I love it when the strings come in hot and sassy! You're right! Van was stretching.... and succeeding magnificently! So, you see, you weren't alone in buying that album. At least 2 copies were sold! Speaking of Meco.... Have you ever heard of his girl group Camouflage? (I believe it's actually Arlene Martell, Linda November, Vivian Cherry, and Helen Miles whom Meco used for back-up vocals on his productions with Gloria Gaynor.) Camouflage's album "A Disco Symphony" is another one of my favs. The 15-minute medley from 1977 covered all of Side 1 and includes "A Disco Symphony" / "I Hear A Symphony" / and "McArthur Park". I loved it so much I played it for everybody who came by to visit that summer. I even wrote to Meco and told him what a masterpiece he and Harold Wheeler had come up with! Meco wrote back and, to thank me, sent me a promo copy of his soon-to-be-released "Wizard Of Oz" album pressed on yellow vinyl. A very cool moment in my life! (At the 12:40 mark, the glorious Supremes-like ending STILL gives me goosebumps! Whatever you do, CRANK IT!!!) CAMOUFLAGE - "A Disco Symphony" https://youtu.be/hkOM9I3paYQ I, too, have often wondered what Van's relationship with Charles Kipps was. As McCoy/Kipps productions, they sure "made some beautiful music together"! I do know that, according to the CD credits, the two late-'70's Anacostia albums (including the track "Baby I'm Available" which I linked for you in my previous post) were both produced by Charles Kipps alone without Van (for McCoy/Kipps Productions). With the exception of a couple tracks, Charles' productions sound very much like Van's -- full of hooks and beautiful chord structures to grab you and reel you in -- hook, line & sinker. Van & Charles were obviously two peas from the same pod, and I say that with utmost respect. Here's what I mean and why: ANACOSTIA - "Your Unchanging Love" https://youtu.be/RTsMJaHJvZQ ANACOSTIA - "Everybody Dance" (McCoy/Kipps productions were gettin' down!) https://youtu.be/erPqc4JkeX4 ANACOSTIA - "What Kind Of Love" (w/Faith, Hope & Charity) https://youtu.be/gMqoB-1bT20 ANACOSTIA - "Someone Else's Eyes" https://youtu.be/cala2ESn7_M ANACOSTIA - "Face The Fact" (Sure sounds like Philly Soul to me -- highly reminiscent of Thom Bell's productions for the group New York City backed up by The Sweethearts Of Sigma.) Now that I'm re-hearing these fresh, I guess you could say that Charles Kipps' productions sound like Van minus the tom-toms.

    Ha ha that's funny ...Van was all about the tom toms!

    Ok , so you've managed to knock me off my chair twice Gary! First with MAGNIFICENT MOVIE MACHINE , and , I cannot believe you are bringing up the Camouflage lp .....another secret project on a tiny label that I was certain was noticed by me at best !! It's a great composition , another example of an arranger going for it all the way to the point of being over the top ! That ending ( that never wants to end!) is music perfection! Someone at the helm ( Meco I presume, Wheeler?) was having fun.

    I've always been certain that Giorgio heard this version of MacArthur Park and based his Donna Summer version on it.
    The rumor at the time was that this was Gloria Gaynor , who because of contractual limitations , was presented as "Mysti"- (mysterious singer) whose true identity was being camouflaged. That's been largely dispelled , it really doesn't sound enough like her once one is familiar with her voice.
    But yes it is uncanny to me that you would bring that LP up! I listen to it regularly. Meco's UP THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD too, love it! And Metropolis.... holy moly , let's see what comes up next!! I will now brace my chair in the future! lol!

    Very nice that you took the time to write Meco and tell him of your admiration. You never know how something like that arriving at the right time may have encouraged him to move forward. And yes , I too like how the strings finally join in on the jam in McCoys MOON RIVER medley. The B side has a lot more of that jamming style mixed in with SHAFT , also good stuff as I'm sure you are aware.

    (the b-side of the ALL I NEED 45 is McCoy produced and is not on any Anacostia lp)

    their YOU'RE UNCHANGING LOVE is definitely Spinners influenced imo.

    Added :Listening to FACE THE FACT , wow! And yes , Thom Bell/Spinners !! Philip Wynne moonlighting!

    Adding more : Just for fun Gary , I'm throwing this Meco composition your way. Maybe you know it already:



    Boy that sound , that style seems very familiar.... almost like .....
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 07-03-2019 at 05:52 PM.

  30. #30
    Well, John, I've managed to knock your sox off twice so far. We'll see if the 3rd time is the charm. But first....

    You couldn't be more accurate! That big, emotionally-charged, Supremes-like finale of "A Disco Symphony" is pure perfection! Every time I hear it, I picture the girls with their arms outstretched to the Heavens-above until the last, drawn-out note has ended in all its glory!

    Meco/Camouflage's version of "McArthur Park" was released in February '78, and Moroder/Donna Summer's version in September '78. I suppose it's possible that Moroder might have rush-released Donna's version to compete with Camouflage's, but the two don't sound that much alike to me. Camouflage's is a mid-tempo Hustle, and Donna's is an uptempo disco charger. I love them both, but, if I had to choose between the two, it would be Camouflage's. Man, it's just so beautiful from start to finish!

    What song is on the B-side of your "All I Need" by Anacostia, John? If I recall, my copy was a Promo UK 45 with a small hole, with "All I Need" on both sides -- probably one side in Mono and the other in Stereo. (Years ago, I burnt it to CD and then foolishly ditched the 45.)

    Thanks for introducing me to Simon Said's "Love Song"! I never knew it existed. I love it and, thanks to you, I've ordered a NM copy of the Roulette 45 on eBay, backed with "I'm So Lonely". I should pay you a commission for your promotional services! (Not really!!!)

    Speaking of "Simon Said", I forgot to mention that when Meco thanked me with the yello-vinyl Promo copy of his "Wizard Of Oz" LP, he also included a copy of Simon Said's 1975 "Smile" 45 on Atco.

    https://youtu.be/Xz_wgxnisEE

    All of which brings us up to the present, topic-wise. Are you familiar with Van's 1971 artist Sharon Ridley? His productions on her sort of bridge the gap between his 1960's productions and his '70s productions. Sharon's first and only album with Van was titled "Stay A While With Me". Released in 1971 on the Sussex label, it was available with two different photo covers (one which was cheap and risque, not at all representative of the beautiful music contained within, and the other with a plain cover without a photo which may have been on a different label; I can no longer recall.)

    When I first heard the title track, I was already familiar with Melba Moore's uptempo dance version of "Stay A While With Me", which has always been my favorite track from her "This Is It" album. Like you, I nearly "fell off my chair" when I first heard the intro to Sharon Ridley's version. Taken at a slow, funereal pace, all I could think was, "Huh? What the heck is this?" But by the time the song had finished, I was in love with it and, as it turned out, equally in love with Sharon's voice and her entire album. Van sure knew how to pick his singers! And Faith, Hope & Charity also shine brightly throughout! Hear what I mean and why:

    "Stay A While With Me":
    https://youtu.be/Ii_1RzNs-2Q

    And, also from Van's SHARON RIDLEY's "Stay A While With Me" album:

    "You Sold Me A One-Way Ticket"
    https://youtu.be/-rhLt3WESfk

    "Where Did You Learn To Make Love The Way You Do"
    https://youtu.be/DDwzTUEjiiA

    "Where Does That Leave Me"
    https://youtu.be/9VBVJRCS_W0

    "I Found Him, I Loved Him, I Lost Him"
    https://youtu.be/i1OxwWBQ3xQ

    Also, NOT from the Sharon Ridley LP:

    VAN MCCOY & SHARON RIDLEY's Duet:
    "I'm In Your Corner"
    https://youtu.be/zpn2H61RV7M

    There you are, Boogie. I hope you like!

  31. #31
    Gary thank you for turning me on to Sharon Ridley! STAY AWHILE WITH ME, is a marvelous piece in every respect and it really showcases her vocal skills. Auto tune would be a waste on her. I really like her voice , trained , strong but fluidly in control, trying to think who she sounds like if anyone ? I'm thinking her voice is all her own , do you agree? Van McCoy is giving his all too. Great orchestration.
    I FOUND HIM .....especially striking .

    Here's the b-side to Anacostia's ALL I NEED :




    And curiously , I almost threw SMILE your way but decided LOVE SONG with its Barry White influence might interest you !
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 07-08-2019 at 03:38 AM.

  32. #32
    Gary , back to Van McCoy, apparently James Brown was a fan of his too. Here he is paying "homage" if you will.

    Does the song ring a bell for you?


  33. #33
    I wonder if an American artist ever cut this song? I've only ever heard it in the version below:


  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by smallworld View Post
    I wonder if an American artist ever cut this song? I've only ever heard it in the version below:

    Not that I know of, smallworld, but what a great song! I collect Van McCoy-related tracks (his compositions, his productions, his own performances), yet I've never stumbled across this song until now. Really nice! The melody structure is undoubtedly Van, while the bridge with its echoed bongos sounds like Phil Spector! It's a good way to get the best of both worlds! Thanks for introducing me to this.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    Not that I know of, smallworld, but what a great song! I collect Van McCoy-related tracks (his compositions, his productions, his own performances), yet I've never stumbled across this song until now. Really nice! The melody structure is undoubtedly Van, while the bridge with its echoed bongos sounds like Phil Spector! It's a good way to get the best of both worlds! Thanks for introducing me to this.
    Lulu could sound wonderful when given the right material to sing. She recorded so much garbage which she hated, but if you are willing to dig there are a few gems here and there to be discovered.

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebrock View Post
    Lulu could sound wonderful when given the right material to sing. She recorded so much garbage which she hated, but if you are willing to dig there are a few gems here and there to be discovered.
    A few years back, a friend in the U.K. introduced me to some of Lulu's dance tracks which were really top-notch. Up until then, the only song I had ever heard by her was "To Sir With Love" from the '60s. What a pleasant shock it was to hear her sounding so hip with tracks like "Goodbye Baby And Amen" and Jackie Moore''s ""This Time Baby". I should have thoroughly checked out her dance music back when, but I never got around to it. Anything special you could recommend by her, Bluebrock?

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Gary thank you for turning me on to Sharon Ridley! STAY AWHILE WITH ME, is a marvelous piece in every respect and it really showcases her vocal skills. Auto tune would be a waste on her. I really like her voice , trained , strong but fluidly in control, trying to think who she sounds like if anyone ? I'm thinking her voice is all her own , do you agree? Van McCoy is giving his all too. Great orchestration.
    I FOUND HIM .....especially striking .

    Here's the b-side to Anacostia's ALL I NEED :




    And curiously , I almost threw SMILE your way but decided LOVE SONG with its Barry White influence might interest you !
    You're welcome, John. It was my pleasure. And you're right -- Sharon Ridley has a beautiful voice. I can't think of any other singer who sounds like her, but that doesn't mean one doesn't exist. Sharon's voice fit Van's songs and his productions like hand-and-glove. It was a perfect fit which should have earned them some hits but, unfortunately, it didn't.

    Sharon did have at least one post-Van hit record on the disco charts. It was a mid-tempo number called "Changin'". It's a great song with neat interplay in the chorus between Sharon and the back-up girls. Interesting to note, I've read that the all-night DJ at the Paradise Garage in NYC would faithfully play this record every Sunday morning at 5:00 a.m. like clockwork.

    SHARON RIDLEY - "Changin'"

    https://youtu.be/wyrJxSs9C3E

    As long as we're on the subject, Linda Clifford also did an uptempo version of "Changin'" on which she sounds surprisingly like Scherrie Payne:

    LINDA CLIFFORD - "Changin'"

    https://youtu.be/VLRHKx6p7aE

    Thanks, John. I just checked my word processor CD Playlist. I do indeed have Anacostia's "One Less Morning" in my Van McCoy collection.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Gary , back to Van McCoy, apparently James Brown was a fan of his too. Here he is paying "homage" if you will.

    Does the song ring a bell for you?

    (My eyes are rolling right along with yours!) It sure does "ring a bell", John. It's a direct rip-off of one of Van's early instrumentals (although I can't think of which one off-hand).

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    (My eyes are rolling right along with yours!) It sure does "ring a bell", John. It's a direct rip-off of one of Van's early instrumentals (although I can't think of which one off-hand).
    Gary hear ya go:




    I can't believe James Brown has his name on his as the song's writer!! Would love to hear the fallout / the story on that one!! Cease and desist!!

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Gary hear ya go:




    I can't believe James Brown has his name on his as the song's writer!! Would love to hear the fallout / the story on that one!! Cease and desist!!
    Thanks, John. "Disco Baby", of course! How could I forget that? I don't recall there ever being any fallout about James Brown stealing songwriter's credit for Van's composition. In fact, come to think of it, I've never heard ANY kind of negativity, controversy, nor trouble regarding Van throughout his entire career. He was so busy and productive composing and producing his own records as well as other artists (of which there were MANY), he probably didn't have time to notice James Brown's record, although you'd think Van's business people would have been keeping an eye on such things.

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