Various Artists

For Dancers Also

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Like its earlier sister compilation of sorts (For Dancers Only), For Dancers Also is a grab bag of soul tracks -- 16 in all -- originally issued on the Kent/Modern family of labels in the mid- to late '60s. (And, as with For Dancers Only, no bonus tracks or additional historical liner notes were added when it was reissued on CD about 25 years after its original appearance in the early '80s.) Kent/Modern soul releases, with some exceptions, weren't too commercially successful when first issued, and the label didn't cultivate one of the stronger company identities or rosters among '60s soul labels. Why, then, this devoted base of collectors, particularly in Britain, where the modern-day Kent imprint (administered by Ace Records) is based? In part it's because even the generic Kent/Modern soul sides were well suited for midtempo dancing, which is a big deal among the Northern soul aficionados in the U.K. who collect this stuff. To be honest, though, much of Kent/Modern's soul output was on the generic side, though at least For Dancers Also isn't as heavy on the Motown imitations/derivatives as For Dancers Only. These tracks are pleasantly upbeat period soul, though none of the songs are outstanding, and some are mediocre. In its favor, it has some cuts that have a bluesier edge than most '60s soul, particularly Lowell Fulsom's "Talkin' Woman," the Johnny Otis Show's sly "Country Girl," and Jackie Day's convincingly pained "What Kind of Man Are You?" The strain to emulate Motown is in full force, however, on Mary Love's "Lay This Burden Down," which could almost pass for a Martha & the Vandellas stormer with a different singer. If you want some heavily Impressions-influenced stuff, there's Z.Z. Hill's "You Just Cheat and Lie" and Danny Monday's "Good Taste of Love." And was Booker T. Averhart & the Mustangs' "Take Your Shoes Off, Pt. 1" instrumental a deliberately tongue-in-cheek takeoff on Booker T. & the MG's?

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