Various Artists

Big City Soul, Vol. 3: The MGM Story

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This collection from the MGM vaults offers a solid cross-pollinated look at soul in the early to mid-'60s from Detroit, New York, Philly, and even Texas. Comprised of 27 tracks, this collection of rare soul from MGM features performers usually associated with other labels, such as Millie Jackson ("My Heart Took a Licking"), Kim Weston ("I Got What You Need" and "You're Just the Kinda Guy"), and Johnny Nash ("You Never Know"). But there are also stellar tracks by the likes of Detroit's obscure but truly amazing Spyder Turner ("I'm Alive With the Love Feeling" and "I Can't Make It Anymore") and Roy Hamilton ("You Can Count on Me" and "The Panic Is On"). Some of the other performers included here are Dean Courtney, Tony Middleton, and Lou Roberts. Among the groups are the amazing Velours, who hail from the '50s originally and came straight from doo wop, the Broadways, an obscure and highly refined quartet, the Charades, the Solitaires, the Formations, and the Superiors, and there is one track from Marlina Mars. What these tracks have in common is the restlessness and vision of the MGM A&R department staff, who were interested in trying to capture anyone and everyone capable of landing them on the singles charts. While it didn't exactly translate into that en masse, there were more than enough contenders and this is just a small sampling of the best the label had to offer. Soul collectors and fans would be well advised to scarf this one up.

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