This 17-track compilation by the Detroit-born and bred Rance Allen Group (Rance on guitar with brothers Steve on bass and Tom on drums) showcases the trio's developing mix of gospel, soul, blues, and -- later -- funk and even gospelized disco. Released by Ace in the U.K., it does have some overlap with the great U.S. release Stax Profiles, but there is a sufficient contrast in tunes to make both worthwhile -- especially since most of the band's recordings remain out of print on CD (though the 1979 classic Soulful Experience was reissued by Ace in a killer-sounding edition). This set focuses tightly on the Rance Allen Group's early singles -- which did appear on LPs -- from their radical reworking's of Ocean's "Put Your Hand in the Hand" and Stevie Wonder's "Just My Imagination" (retitled "Just My Salvation") to the funky gospel-disco masterpieces "Stand Up for Love" and 1979's "Smile." It also showcases some fine album cuts from the catalog, such as their cover of David Porter's "The Painter." There is one more track here, making this an almost irresistible buy (Ace titles are never terribly expensive anyway, especially if purchased online). If one had to choose between this set and the domestic compilation, it would be difficult for a couple of reasons: this one has superior sound, while the slight edge in the track listing goes to Stax Profiles.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek