Rhino's three-disc series Brown Eyed Soul intends to document the underappreciated Chicano soul scene of East Los Angeles in the '60s. Although many of the artists featured on Brown Eyed Soul are indeed Hispanic, many of the cuts on the series are by artists, such as Brenton Wood, that were simply popular in East L.A. and weren't Chicano. Throughout the late '50s and '60s, East L.A. was vibrant, filled with excellent R&B, soul and rock & roll that was rarely heard outside of the city. Regrettably, Brown Eyed Soul is not sequenced chronologically -- on this first volume, it jumps from 1956 to 1980 to 1971 to 1954 -- but there's a wealth of terrific music scattered throughout the series, even if none of the volumes make for cohesive listening. On this first volume, there are cuts from War ("All Day Music"), the Penguins ("Hey Senorita"), Tony Clarke ("The Entertainer"), Van McCoy ("Mr. D.J."), Brenton Wood ("Me and You"), Chuck Higgins ("Pachuko Hop"), and the Five Satins ("Our Anniversary").
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine