Various Artists

Soul Hits of the 70s: Didn't It Blow Your Mind!, Vol. 3

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By the latter half of 1970, '70s soul had clearly identified itself as an entity different from '60s soul, and with their funky rhythms, exotic instrumentations and soulful strings, the 12 songs that comprise Didn't It Blow Your Mind, Vol. 3 are certainly different from '60s soul. Again, it's a polished, stylish sound, even on the funkiest tracks, but it's not necessarily slick. The Flaming Ember, for example, has two songs on this disc -- "Westbound #9," "I'm Not My Brothers Keeper" -- which have elaborate productions, but blistering vocals as well. That's a keystone for this volume of Didn't It Blow Your Mind, with Edwin Starr's "War," 100 Proof Aged in Soul's "Somebody's Been Sleeping" and Ike & Tina Turner's "I Want to Take You Higher" all in the same mold. These hot cuts are balanced by pop-soul from the Chairmen of the Board ("(You've Got Me) Dangling on a String," "Everything's Tuesday") and Gene Chandler ("Groovy Situation") and smooth soul from Ronnie Dyson ("(If You Let Me Make Love to You Then) Why Can't I Touch You?"), the Presidents ("5-10-15-20 (25-30 Years of Love)" and the Spinners, whose "It's a Shame" is one of the first masterpieces of Philly soul. Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band's groovy Californian funk on "Express Yourself" is equally classic, and its presence reconfirms the depth and diversity of early '70s soul; there's arguably no better place to hear that diversity than here on Didn't It Blow Your Mind, Vol. 3.

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