Various Artists

Dick Bartley Presents Collector's Essentials: On the Radio, Vol. 5

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Although there's nothing on the sleeve notes or packaging to indicate that this was consciously intended as a soul compilation, that's what it is. It happens to be included in Dick Bartley's series of anthologies of oldies presented in rare versions, whether they were single-only, stereo, mono, or radio edits. This 16-track disc is entirely comprised of soul hits (all of which also crossed over to the pop chart) from 1966-1973, the collector's hook being that these are the "stereo single versions" (with the exception of the 8th Day's "She's Not Just Another Woman," which by contrast is the "mono single version"). Since the liner notes usually don't go into any details about significant differences between these and the ones which are more familiar to radio listeners and record collectors, it's hard to say exactly what you might be getting out of it if you already have different mixes/versions in your library. It's better just to treat this as an above-average crossover soul compilation, including such smashes as Johnnie Taylor's "Who's Making Love," the Capitols' "Cool Jerk," the Dells' "There Is," Deon Jackson's "Love Makes the World Go Round," the Five Stairsteps' "O-o-h Child," and the Fantastic Johnny C's "Boogaloo Down Broadway." Of greater interest are the cuts that don't appear all that often on CD reissues (or oldies radio), like Al Wilson's "The Snake," the Winstons' "Color Him Father," the Intrigues' "In a Moment," and James and Bobby Purify's "I Take What I Want."

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