The Radiants

The Regal Theater Presents the Radiants: The Singles Collection 1962-1970

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Only the omission of any post-Maurice McCalister Radiants tracks keeps this excellent collection from being Bo Derek's number. It was the labels' choice, and not a bad one really. The post-McCalister Radiants were bogus, and their best release, "Don't It Make You Feel Kinda Bad," a soulful self-pitying tune with stinging lyrics and great harmony, was really done by the Confessions. Chess renamed it and found new guys to masquerade as the Radiants; this was long before the Milli Vanilli fiasco. These tracks feature the original group and their original lead Maurice McCalister, who if nurtured like the Motown artists would have made bold marks in the music industry. Unfortunately, he did his best work for Chess Records who didn't exactly groom their artists. Everything the Radiants recorded with the possible exception of some unknown vault cuts is on this CD. The title is misleading, as not all of the tracks are by the Radiants. Two cuts ("I'd Rather Do It Myself" and "Baby Hang On") are both sides of a solo by McCalister, and nine are deep soul slayers recorded with ex-Radiants original McLarin Green as Maurice & Mac. According to McCalister, he made more money touring the South as Maurice & Mac then he ever did with the Radiants. The duo's stark, gutbucket sides are all here including "You Left the Water Running," "Lean on Me," "Lay It on Me," and others. McCalister is heard on many cuts exhorting Green to "Sing it Mac." Their inclusion gives the compilation a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde feel as the duo's tracks are a complete departure from what the Radiants were about. The Radiants thrilled Midwesterners with catchy creations from McCalister's pen such as "Father Knows Best," "Heartbreak Society," "Shy Guy," and "I Gotta Dance to Keep My Baby" -- all on this collection -- long before they went national with "Voice Your Choice" and "It Ain't No Big Thing." Rack O Ribs Records tacked on every B-side including "I'm in Love," "Noble the Bargain Man," and "One Day I'll Show You." They mimic the Impressions on "Whole Lotta Woman" and you won't be able to resist the plugging "Baby You've Got It." What more could you ask for? Chess never released an album by the Radiants so this thorough collection is long overdue.