The long and twisted tale of Andre Williams is far too, well, long and twisted to get into here. If you don't know about him, check the bio. What's here are three tracks recorded in 1967 in Detroit with many of the Motown session players and ten tracks recorded in 1977 in Chicago with a band Williams put together called the Velvet Hammer. The Detroit songs are smooth, soulful ballads, with Williams oozing some of his unique charm, "The Velvet Groove: Blue" being an especially nice instrumental. The Chicago session marks Williams' foray into the world of disco and, as usual, he does it his way. "Whip Your Booty" is a nasty and funny dancefloor-filler; "I Don't Need Mary (Juana)" an ode to Williams' newly clean lifestyle. Williams sings lead on that track and "Betcha Gonna Like It" only; the rest he gave to the other members of the group. A highlight of the set is Karl Tarleton's soaring vocal on the sweet ballad "Impossible." The tracks were originally slated to be released on the Susie label, which Williams started with a Chicago-area restaurant-owner, but the plans fell through and the tracks were in limbo for many years. Fans of Andre Williams will find this disc to be fun, but not essential. For anyone else, you won't miss much if you pass this one by.
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra