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  1. #1

    The Formations/AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS (1967)

    Written by Jerry Akins & Leon Huff (before Gamble &).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Un-q9fISwE

  2. #2
    Reached 28 in the UK Pop Chart in 1971.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    Reached 28 in the UK Pop Chart in 1971.
    Indeed .. re-released on John Abbey's Polydor distributed Mojo label .. and charting around the same time as two other NS favourites on that label .. "Girls Are Out To Get You" by THE FASCINATIONS and the UK top tenner "I'm Gonna Run Away from You" by TAMMI LYNN.



    Roger

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by roger View Post
    Indeed .. re-released on John Abbey's Polydor distributed Mojo label .. and charting around the same time as two other NS favourites on that label .. "Girls Are Out To Get You" by THE FASCINATIONS and the UK top tenner "I'm Gonna Run Away from You" by TAMMI LYNN. Roger
    ...all 3 were included on a fab UK Mojo label compilation LP ...Workin' ...that also included... Jean Knight's ...Mr Big Stuff ...and Chuck Wood's ...Seven Days Too Long ...as I recall ...I also recall that I had said LP nicked at a party ...c. 1972 ...and have not seen hide nor hair of it since ...not even on ebay...!


  5. #5
    I liked this one. I probably have it somewhere on a northern soul comp, but I don't know where to look.

  6. #6
    This is a great one!

    Look for it on:
    Ocean Drive Volume 4
    http://www.amazon.com/Ocean-Drive-Vo...Drive+Volume+4

    WOGL Oldies 98 Philly Favorites
    not on Amazon

    Jerry Blavat Presents The Untouchables
    http://www.amazon.com/Blavat-present...e+Untouchables

    In the U.S. it hit the Pop chart on 3/16/68 and reached #83, but didn't make the R&B chart.
    See this ARSA page for information on how high it charted in local areas. #2 in Lancaster PA, #15 in Philly PA, #12 in New York, #24 in Detroit MI, and #21 in Cleveland OH. I love checking this site to compare how certain songs did locally compared to nationally. I was a teenager in the Lancaster / Philly area at that time and I do remember it being a huge hit.

    http://www.las-solanas.com/arsa//cha...srt1=chartweek

    Oldies

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by oldiesmusicfan View Post
    This is a great one!

    Look for it on:
    Ocean Drive Volume 4
    http://www.amazon.com/Ocean-Drive-Vo...Drive+Volume+4

    WOGL Oldies 98 Philly Favorites
    not on Amazon

    Jerry Blavat Presents The Untouchables
    http://www.amazon.com/Blavat-present...e+Untouchables

    In the U.S. it hit the Pop chart on 3/16/68 and reached #83, but didn't make the R&B chart.
    See this ARSA page for information on how high it charted in local areas. #2 in Lancaster PA, #15 in Philly PA, #12 in New York, #24 in Detroit MI, and #21 in Cleveland OH. I love checking this site to compare how certain songs did locally compared to nationally. I was a teenager in the Lancaster / Philly area at that time and I do remember it being a huge hit.

    http://www.las-solanas.com/arsa//cha...srt1=chartweek

    Oldies
    Oldies - What a great link. Many thanks. Never seen it before.

  8. #8
    You're welcome again Methuselah. You could spend HOURS going through that site.

    Mike - when you say "way back", you don't mean before At The Top Of The Stairs, do you? Gang War sounds much later, reminds me of Papa Was A Rolling Stone.

    Oldies

  9. #9
    I knew the chubby one on the right, Buddy Turner. We par-tayed many a time at the club. Great song and thanks Methuslah.

  10. #10
    Love it, remember it well from 1968 in N.E. Pa. It's one of my favorite Philly sounds!

  11. #11
    This week has been a lesson for me on the forum. I first heard this record here thanks to Methuselah2.

  12. #12
    The members of The Formations were very, very successful songwriters for a host of acts such as The Futures, Barbara Mason, The Trammps, Eddie Kendricks, The Persuaders, The Vibrations, and had a huge hit with Wilson Pickett on "Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You". They were also "Silent Majority" on Hot Wax.....


  13. #13
    But way back, they were The Corner Boys on Neptune...


  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEW-UK View Post
    But way back, they were The Corner Boys on Neptune...

    The "B" side of that CORNER BOYS release was called "Take It easy Soul Brother" ..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwJDfPYRtFo

    Which was the instrumental/backing track version of "Great Big Liar" by BUNNY SIGLER ..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21t_gA7wli0

    Roger

    I think 144man is correct at dating it as a 1969 release.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by roger View Post
    The "B" side of that CORNER BOYS release was called "Take It easy Soul Brother" ..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwJDfPYRtFo

    Which was the instrumental/backing track version of "Great Big Liar" by BUNNY SIGLER ..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21t_gA7wli0

    Roger

    I think 144man is correct at dating it as a 1969 release.
    Roger - Many thanks for these recordings. Well, you certainly shed some light on the orchestration piece added onto Mike's posting of GANG WAR. Now I get it. And I thoroughly enjoyed Bunny Sigler's great vocal added to it. It now gave the track a sound very much like J. J. Barnes' BABY PLEASE COME BACK HOME. And, in turn, J. J. Barnes always brought Marvin Gaye to mind for me. What a fascinating linked chain of recordings here. Thanks again Roger.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEW-UK View Post
    But way back, they were The Corner Boys on Neptune...

    Ooo-wee. I like this. Very CLOUD 9 in some ways, and very, very good. And that orchestration track just when I thought it was over--terrific. Thanks Mike.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEW-UK View Post
    The members of The Formations were very, very successful songwriters for a host of acts such as The Futures, Barbara Mason, The Trammps, Eddie Kendricks, The Persuaders, The Vibrations, and had a huge hit with Wilson Pickett on "Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You". They were also "Silent Majority" on Hot Wax.....

    A beautiful posting, Mike. Thanks so much for this new one to me--and the great info, as well. This recording has a few traces of that Intruders/Delfonics-like styling and sound to it that I have loved forever.

  18. #18
    And then they became Hot Ice....


  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEW-UK View Post
    And then they became Hot Ice....

    Another beauty, Mike. And another I had missed. Thank you for correcting that oversight.

  20. #20
    I used to collect the Neptune label. I'd guess "Gang War" was about 1969.

  21. #21
    1967 Top Of The Stairs on Bank, licensed by MGM 1968, 1969 for Corner Boys on Neptune, oddly enough the same year release as the HotWax release Silent Majority 'Frightened Girl'. (I am assuming so many name changes due to contractual issues?)

    Members of the team were co-writing with Leon Huff from the very outset, and I can see how their collaborations with Leon, Thom Bell, Roland Chambers etc led to them being such prominent writers producers with all the acts i mentioned above.


    Anyway, here's an seldom heard Formations track issued after 'At The Top of The Stairs', flip side to the inferior 'Love's Not Only for the Heart', with all the trademarks of the emerging Philly sound - french horns etc, great harmonies

    <span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Palatino Linotype', 'Book Antiqua', serif; line-height: 22.5px;">

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEW-UK View Post
    1967 Top Of The Stairs on Bank, licensed by MGM 1968, 1969 for Corner Boys on Neptune, oddly enough the same year release as the HotWax release Silent Majority 'Frightened Girl'. (I am assuming so many name changes due to contractual issues?)

    Members of the team were co-writing with Leon Huff from the very outset, and I can see how their collaborations with Leon, Thom Bell, Roland Chambers etc led to them being such prominent writers producers with all the acts i mentioned above.


    Anyway, here's an seldom heard Formations track issued after 'At The Top of The Stairs', flip side to the inferior 'Love's Not Only for the Heart', with all the trademarks of the emerging Philly sound - french horns etc, great harmonies

    <span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Palatino Linotype', 'Book Antiqua', serif; line-height: 22.5px;">
    Wait a second. Wait a second. B-side? Say it isn't so, Mike. Clearly literally wreaks of A-sidedness, from start to finish. A-sidedness on the order of HDH's GOING DOWN FOR THE THIRD TIME by The Super Dolls (as DJ Hy Lit would call them). LONELY VOICE OF LOVE is terrific--very Isley Guys (yes, Hy Lit again). Thank you so much for posting this. A true beauty--a neglected beauty.

  23. #23
    For those who have the 45 of "At The Top Of The Stairs" the "B" side is pretty good too ..



    Roger

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by roger View Post
    For those who have the 45 of "At The Top Of The Stairs" the "B" side is pretty good too ..



    Roger
    I totally agree, Roger. And another new one to me. I like the light trace of Eddie Kendricks that I heard in the lead in this one. The Formations were awfully good.

  25. #25
    and one they wrote for Eddie Kendricks recorded with the whole MFSB crew in Philly under Norman Harris..

  26. #26
    Methuselah2, Thanks for the appreciation, glad you like 'em!

    As we are on a roll with Akines, Bellmon, Turner, Drayton, here's one they wrote and produced on Barbara Mason..... one of them also contributed the strong male vocal that comes in now and again... Sunday Saint Weekday Sinner


    A favourite album, that sadly does not get the respect it is due......
    Last edited by MIKEW-UK; 01-28-2013 at 10:36 AM.

  27. #27
    I don't remember "Lonely Voice of Love". Very much the sort of thing I was [and still am] into.

  28. #28
    Another comp with "At the Top of the Stairs" is the UK Goldmine Soul Supply CD, "Out on the Floor Again".

    They also wrote "Something Fishy Goin' On" by Universal Mind, which came out on Gene Redd's Red Coach label, which begs the question...were they Universal Mind as well? It comes after the Hot Ice track chronologically, which makes me believe that this could be true.

    Best,

    Mark

  29. #29
    Mike - Hadn't heard either SUNDAY or MUSIC MAN before. Both really enjoyable. Greatly appreciate getting the chance to hear them. Thanks very much.

  30. #30
    A seldom heard composition / production by Akines Drayton Bellmon Turner on Shelly Black on Vigor....Arranged By – Ron Kersey ANV*Producer – Akines*, Bellmon*, Turner*, Drayton*
    Written-By – J. Akines*, J. Bellmon*, B. Turner*, V. Drayton*


    Recorded in Philadelphia at Delite Recorded Sound.
    Delightful Music (BMI).

    Bit of a hoedown thing going on at the back end with the strings....

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEW-UK View Post
    A seldom heard composition / production by Akines Drayton Bellmon Turner on Shelly Black on Vigor....Arranged By – Ron Kersey ANV*Producer – Akines*, Bellmon*, Turner*, Drayton*
    Written-By – J. Akines*, J. Bellmon*, B. Turner*, V. Drayton*


    Recorded in Philadelphia at Delite Recorded Sound.
    Delightful Music (BMI).

    Bit of a hoedown thing going on at the back end with the strings....
    That's a good one, Mike. Nicely Honey Cone-like but with its own snap and jump. Thanks.

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Methuselah2 View Post
    That's a good one, Mike. Nicely Honey Cone-like but with its own snap and jump. Thanks.
    Nice tune, and not one I think I'd heard before .. vocally Shelly sounded to me very similar to JEAN TERRELL during her SUPREMES days ..

    Roger

  33. #33
    The guys tried again with Shelly Black on No Turning Back...


    Attachment 5908

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEW-UK View Post
    The guys tried again with Shelly Black on No Turning Back...


    Attachment 5908
    That is a nice number, Mike. Really moves.

  35. #35
    And on Johnny Williams on Philly Intl.......


  36. #36
    And on Double Exposure - Ice Cold Love - Salsoul


  37. #37
    Mark, might be a slim lead, but I guess Bobby Eli is probably best placed to answer your question on Universal mind, given that he and BHY played on the sessions -
    BHY and I played on the sessions at Jesse James Future Gold Studios at 19th and Cheltenham ave in Philly in 1973

    http://soulfuldetroit.com/archives/1019-APR%20MAY%2004/1635.html?1083644126

    I moved on to to read an interesting debate in the archives on what qualifies for the Philly Sound
    http://soulfuldetroit.com/archives/6...tml?1092305432

    and another from Universal Mind... Bacharach and David composition

    Last edited by MIKEW-UK; 01-29-2013 at 05:57 AM.

  38. #38
    Meth, you started the whole thing off with your original post. I have always rated these guys and it's a crying shame that talent like this lost its market

    And then with Chapter One - Let Me Down Easy (Have It Your Way).
    Very much in The Futures styleArranged By – John Davis (5)
    Producer – Jerry Ross
    Written-By – Aikens*, Bellmon*, Turner*, Drayton


  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEW-UK View Post
    Meth, you started the whole thing off with your original post. I have always rated these guys and it's a crying shame that talent like this lost its market

    And then with Chapter One - Let Me Down Easy (Have It Your Way).
    Very much in The Futures styleArranged By – John Davis (5)
    Producer – Jerry Ross
    Written-By – Aikens*, Bellmon*, Turner*, Drayton

    That's a real beauty, Mike. That smoothness of sound never fails. Always gets me. My, oh my. Brings back a slew of memories of so much music. Many, many thanks.

  40. #40
    Mike - LOVE DON'T RUB OFF is a good one that's new to me. ICE COLD LOVE was a real kick. And new to me, also. Really got a charge out of the back-up singers. A bit of a 40s-feel to what they were doing, and what that was was awfully good. Thanks very much.
    Last edited by Methuselah2; 01-30-2013 at 07:44 AM.

  41. #41
    The Vibrating Vibrations..... "Right On Brother - Right On"


  42. #42
    Akines Bellmon Drayton Turner on the Dells " Don't Trick Me, Treat Me"


  43. #43
    Akines Bellmon Drayton Turner composition and production for Black Ivory - "What Goes Around (Comes Around)". Kind of Eddie Kendricks "Boogie Down" vibe


  44. #44
    Some good ones here, Mike.WHAT GOES is definitely very Kendricks' BOOGIE DOWN as you say and RIGHT ON is pretty good. But The Dells' one is the charm. Thank you.

  45. #45
    Strange.... I went to a party in 1972 with nothing and came out with an LP called....Workin'

    Shortly posting on ebay 300 no questions asked......
    Last edited by MIKEW-UK; 01-31-2013 at 10:05 PM.

  46. #46
    May I mention, if it has not been already, that 'At the top of the stairs', may have been originally released on 'Bank' records locally before being picked up by MGM. Also Buddy Turner told me it was recorded at 309 Broad Street/Philly at the Cameo Parkway studios. The group was originally told to go away and work on their vocals, so they did at Jerry Akines home in the basement. Note Richard Rome (The Ritchie Family) was the arranger. A fabulous song and production. Yes, Magic melody on the flip is good too. Well done NS jocks for never playing it ;-)

  47. #47
    Not that good,a b-side in my opinion.

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