Various Artists

The Brunswick Years, Vol. 1

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In the 1960s and early 1970s, the Brunswick label recorded some of the best soul to come out of Chicago. This two-disc, 40-song collection would have ranked higher if the organization was a little less scattered. The cuts by Jackie Wilson, Gene Chandler, Tyrone Davis, Young-Holt Unlimited, and the Chi-Lites are mostly good, but are better heard in the context of those artists' own compilations. Collectors will welcome the presence of rarer items by Barbara Acklin, Billy Butler, the Artistics, Otis Leavill, and Erma Franklin (Aretha's sister), though these tracks are pleasant period fare, not obscure classics. This isn't a bad anthology for those who prefer their vintage soul on the sweet side, but it's probably only worthwhile for specialists.

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