Some mid-70s R&B and soul

Spinners - Live! and Earth Wind & Fire - SpiritFound these at a “Savers” thrift store recently. Made a few trips there and wasn’t too impressed initially…lots of pretty common, fairly trashed records, and they were $2 a pop (which in thrift store terms is on the high end of things). But this last time I actually found a few nice records in good condition, including these two. Earth Wind & Fire and the Spinners are a couple of favorites for me when it comes to 70s-era soul and R&B.

I’m a bit more familiar with Earth Wind & Fire, having a bunch of their albums already. Actually, my favorite records of theirs are the first two, which nobody ever talks about, but I digress…Spirit was one I hadn’t heard before. At first listen I like it, but I think I need to give it another chance as I don’t think I was in the right frame of mind when I first checked it out. One odd thing: the track listing on the record cover doesn’t match that on the inner sleeve, and they are both wrong. The correct order is on the label only. Also, much to my dismay there’s a skip on the second side. Anyway, I know this LP is pretty highly regarded so I’m going to give it another shot.

As for the Spinners LP, musically it’s about 50-50 for me. When it comes to these guys, I know and like the hits a whole lot, but am not really familiar with their deeper catalog stuff. There are many tunes here I know, but I was kinda bummed that it was missing some of my favorites (“I’ll Be Around”, “Games People Play”). This double LP is taken from a Vegas show, so I guess they felt they had to do the cheeseball “Superstar Medley” wherein they imitate Tom Jones doing “It’s Not Unusual”, Elvis doing “Hound Dog” etc… it’s far from their finest moment. Having said that, there are an equal number of great moments:  “One of a Kind (Love Affair)”, Linda Green‘s guest spot on “Then Came You”, and a kickin’ version of “Mighty Love” where the band really gets to stretch out. Both records (and the cover) are in near-mint condition so this one’s a keeper, though I may only listen to half the songs again.

The Verdict: MIXED BAG
My Cost: $4 FOR BOTH

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