Various Artists

Gangster of Souldies, Vol. 1

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Twenty tough songs by some tough groups, whose recording careers can be summed in two words: Tough Luck. None of these acts, even the familiar names, got their just dues. The Superlatives are cool as cucumbers on the syncopated "I Don't Know How (To Say I Love You)"; the Falcons are stunning on "Standing on Guard"; the Artistics' "I'm Gonna Miss You," carried by Marvin Smith's engaging falsetto, is still a winner; the Five Stairsteps' obscure "Little Boy Blue" and the C.O.D.'s "Pretty Baby" are also standouts. Other notables among the 20 tracks include James Conway's "I Know I'm Sure," the Four Holidays' "Step By Step," and others by the Soul Sounds, Filmotions, Sons of Soul, Cashmeres, and the Five Du-Tones.