Various Artists

'80s Soul Classics, Vol. 3

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The third volume of PTG's '80s Soul Classics series is another two-disc compilation of mostly forgotten A-sides and album cuts. The series goes so deep that the Bobby Nunn inclusion isn't the oft-compiled "She's Just a Groupie," or even the goofy "Hangin' Out at the Mall," but "Sexy Sassy" -- a single that failed to chart. Compared to the first two volumes, these selections are more obscure, with a higher quantity of rare independent releases, major-label one-offs that failed to gain traction, and second- and third-tier A-sides from well-known artists (such as Lamont Dozier, Lonnie Liston Smith, and the Blackbyrds). The biggest hit here is Kool & the Gang's "Let's Go Dancin' (Ooh, La, La, La)," a lightweight Top Ten R&B single. The plush 52nd Street ballad "I Can't Let You Go," produced by the unsung Nick Martinelli, is a pleasant surprise. Its quality level is similar to that of Martinelli's contemporary output with Loose Ends and Phyllis Hyman.

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