Neatly balancing a few great rare grooves with familiar classics, Really Heavy Soul concentrates on the days of early-'70s funk, when bands inspired by Sly and James Brown mixed up hard rock, soul, funk, and psychedelia to make some of the most seriously gritty music of the popular era. The collection starts off in the right place too, with James Brown's "Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved," and also hits some classic moments from dirty-soul essentials like Curtis Mayfield ("If There's a Hell Below, We're All Goin' to Go"), Mandrill ("Fencewalk"), the Chi-Lites ("We Are Neighbors"), Wilson Pickett ("Don't Knock My Love"), and Roy Ayers ("Virgo Red"). Even big fans of this style aren't neglected, as the compilers selected plenty of obscure acts like the Politicians, Glass House, the El Dorados, and Swamp Dogg, who come up with great tracks as well.
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AllMusic Review by John Bush