Back Beats Records is strictly a compilation company based in the U.K. and distributed throughout the European Union at a budget price. What they do is simply compile collections of dance music by well-known and obscure artists from the disco era to the late '90s. And for what it’s worth, when it comes to licensing, they do a terrific job, and this set is a case in point. Compiled by Ian Dewhirst, Windy City Soul collects 21 tracks of Chicago soul recorded during the '70s, most of it in 7" versions. There are plenty of “name” artist mainstays here, such as Barbara Acklin, Major Lance, Gene Chandler, Tyrone Davis, the Chi-Lites, the Impressions, the Dells, etc. What isn’t so obvious are some of the track choices and artists included, such as Sidney Joe Qualis and his slippery, positive groover “Run to Me,” or Mighty Doug Haines original 45 rpm mix of “I’ll Be Right Here,” a stellar example of Northern soul from its latter period. The same goes for Otis Leavill's gorgeous falsetto on “I Love You.” Also check the female vocal trio the Promises' “(I Can Feel Those Vibrations) This Love Is Real,” There isn’t a weak track in the bunch, and this is essential listening for any soul music fan.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek