Various Artists

Living the Nightlife

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Kent Records has set the standard for various-artists CDs in the U.K., displaying as much care with the packaging as they do compiling the songs, and this compilation features another sterling line-up of soul rarities and classics. Jack Montgomery's excellent "Dearly Beloved," for instance, is worth a fortune on 45, and you'll search long and hard to find a copy of Walter Johnson's obscure "Love Keeps Me Crying." Fred Hughes' "Send My Baby Back" was a mild R&B hit and Maxine Brown's "It's Torture" should have been. Big Maybelle is always magic, and the Shirelles' "Groovy Guy" is one girl group gem that you've probably never heard, featuring some male group sounds too. Living the Nightlife's 24 tracks offer plenty for the ears, and the packanging is easy on the eyes as well.

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