All-female soul trio the Apollas (with changing personnel, though Leola Jiles was a constant as lead singer) recorded quite a bit in the 1960s without making much commercial headway. This 25-track compilation has all of the singles they did from 1965-1968 for Warner Bros. and its R&B-oriented Loma subsidiary, as well as a couple 1963-1964 singles they did for Tiger as the Lovejoys, some unreleased tracks, and a 1967 solo single by Jiles (one of whose sides, "Keep It Coming," appears in a previously unissued, undubbed version). How could a group that often recorded early compositions by Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson (as well as material by Billy Vera, Barry White, Don Everly, and Jeff Barry-Ellie Greenwich) have escaped much notice? Well, the Apollas never did grab a hold of particularly great or obviously commercial songs. They were distinguished from many other African-American female groups of the time by a more heavily gospelish bent on some of their sides, Jiles occasionally letting loose with some particularly intense wails. Maybe she should have done so more often: the adaptation of "Wade on the Water" on a 1963 Lovejoys single (titled "Wait 'Round the Corner") has some uninhibited rawness that would have been welcome as a more regular feature. Not especially girl group-oriented for the most part, their singles explored several directions of mainstream mid-'60s soul, sometimes in a derivative fashion: on "I'm Under the Influence of Love," the Supremes' influence verges on the pronounced. A more orchestrated approach with hints of Dionne Warwick, albeit with more aggression, was tried on Jiles' few solo Warners recordings. You couldn't call these lost classics, but they're decent period soul pieces, and the 28-page liner notes (with many quotes from the Apollas) comprise a definitive history.
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger