Artist: Various Artists

Date Released: 1985

Label: Atlantic

Produced By: Bob Porter and Aziz Goksel


  1. Donny Hathaway - The Ghetto
  2. Tyrone Davis - Turn Back the Hands of Time
  3. Les McCann & Eddie Harris - Compared to What
  4. Aretha Franklin - Don't Play That Song (You Lied)
  5. King Floyd - Groove Me
  6. Clarence Carter - Patches
  7. Beginning of the End - Funky Nassau (Part 1):Funky Nassau (Part 1)
  8. The Persuaders - Thin Line Between Love and Hate
  9. Aretha Franklin - Rock Steady
  10. Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway - You've Got a Friend
  11. Betty Wright - Clean Up Woman
  12. The Spinners - Could It Be I'm Falling in Love
  13. Roberta Flack - Killing Me Softly With His Song
  14. Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway - Where is the Love?
  15. The Spinners - I'll Be Around
  16. Roberta Flack - Feel Like Makin' Love
  17. The Spinners - Mighty Love
  18. Major Harris - Love Won't Let Me Wait


Though being the 7th and final installation in the Atlantic Rhythm and Blues box series, the music released by the major label between 1969 and 1974 was far from being on the way out. The Ertegun brothers and Jerry Wexler did an amazing job of staying on top of the latest R&B trends as well as continuing to branch out moving into the 70s. Recording mostly in New York and Chicago, Atlantic managed also to save the fledging Miami scene with heralded records from an aging Aretha Franklin not to mention grabbing hold of the developing Philadelphia sound. Not so much R&B as straight out secular soul, most of the songs featured on this compilation are very much influenced by deep soul, jazz, funk and of course, gospel. The album kicks off with the amazing and socially conscious Donny Hathaway track, The Ghetto, which pre-dated Marvin Gaye’s What's Going On by a full year. While sadly the track did not make the impact that it should have, his two collaborations with his long time friend Roberta Flack, You've Got a Friend and Where is the Love? certainly did. Also featured on this comp is Flack’s two biggest crossover hits, Killing Me Softly With His Song and Feel Like Makin' Love. While Aretha Franklin’s reputation as a hit-making powerhouse was steadily declining, she did manage to put out two significant singles during this period, the Ben E. King remake Don't Play That Song (You Lied) and the Arif Maden arranged Rock Steady, before disappearing in the late 70s/early 80s. Other notable tracks include Les McCann & Eddie Harris’s soul-jazz call-out Compared to What, the ridiculously funky Groove Me by the recently deceased King Floyd, Clarence Carter’s bluesy (and catchy) Patches, and two huge pop-soul hits, Could It Be I'm Falling in Love and I'll Be Around, from the one-time Motown act, The Spinners, which solidified the Philadelphia Soul sound. This may have been the beginning of the end for Atlantic’s 30-year grasp of R&B, but it does not disappoint for one second. Mpardaiolo

Further readingEdit

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