Various Artists

Dore L.A. Soul Sides

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Sensing an opportunity in the marketplace, the Los Angeles-based Dore label made a conscious decision to pursue the soul market in 1964, deciding that it was one place where the British Invasion couldn't encroach. Prior to that, Dore primarily released pop records by white acts, including some of the earliest songs and productions by Phil Spector -- this era is chronicled on the 2011 Ace compilation The Dore Story: Postcards from Los Angeles 1958-1964 -- but from 1965 on, they focused on soul, and this 2014 compilation from Ace collects 24 sides from this time, including a couple previously unreleased cuts from the vaults. Compiler Ady Croasdell stretches the time frame slightly, finding Slim & the Twilites' "Family Man" from 1962 and Tommy & Leon's "Your Love Belongs to Me" from 1963 and also stretching all the way to 1975 for Starbright!'s "Sunshine," but this chiefly consists of singles from 1965-1969. As such, most of this music follows the fashion of the time, which would be the joyous, orchestrated pop-soul coming out of Motown balanced by a similarly sweet and exuberant sound from Chicago -- in other words, the strains of soul that would later be branded as Northern soul. Being based on the West Coast, Dore's version of this bright, danceable groove was slightly splashier and also found a little room for some slower, steamier sounds coming out of the South, and these subtle distinctions do give the label's roster some character, particularly when compiled in a set as smart as this. It's one for serious soul collectors, to be sure -- there aren't hits here, nor are there stars (Toussaint McCall & the Whisperers are about as big as the names get) -- but it's not only satisfying to this breed, it's also so much fun that casual soul fans will get sucked into its sway and style quite easily.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:38
2 2:14
3 2:49
4 3:29
5 2:33
6 2:30
7 2:26
8 2:22
9 2:09
10 2:07
11 2:45
12 2:23
13 2:29
14 3:36
15 2:27
16 2:19
17 3:10
18 2:27
19 2:32
20 2:13
21 2:32
22 2:20
23 2:28
24 2:38
blue highlight denotes track pick