Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Whisper in your ear!

This entry is having to be prepared in Notepad(tm) as throughout today my internet has been flipping itself off just at the moment when you've typed a well thought out comment and hit 'submit'.  Most frustrating.
Frustrating also is when HMRC decides to apply VAT on a item posted in the European Union  which realy isn't ment to happen however I feel they often make up the 'rules' as they go along.
Anyway to business and matters soulful.
In 2002 apart from the Shalamar reissues I once talked about Sanctuary who own the UK rights to the SOLAR back catalogue decided to start a complete Whispers reissue campaign which got me interested as someone who did like this soul groups music having bought both the 1994 30th Anniversary set and 1999's And The Beat Goes On 2 cd compilation albums.
For reasons that I honestly can't remember, this 8 cd series laid incomplete in my collection as I think I'd started at the end(!) probably because my original cd of 1987's Just Gets Better In Time had gone all sticky in the way many cds made by Nimbus in the UK during that period were prone to and I was thinking more about getting a  replacement.
In time I did get "The Whispers" famed for the smash hit And The Beat Goes On as well as My Girl coupled with 1987's seasonal album Happy Holidays and Imagination from 1981 with its smash It's A Love Thing coupled with This Kind Of Loving from the same year that suffered from the same fate as other albums on SOLAR at this period little promotion as the distribution deal was changing. A few years later I found the second disc in the series Bingo-The Janus Years which as the name suggests covered all the material recorded for Janus Records  a division of Chess featuring the Bingo album and a favourite song  by them of mine Mother For My Children from 1974 but that was it.
Recently I've finally get around to completing it aided by something I didn't have back then - Amazon - although quite a number of these discs are discontinued with single cds versions still available new from Unidisc of Canada.
The Whispers story on album begins around 1969/70 and the Soul clock label so I picked up 'Planets Of Life the Soul Clock recordings' because apart from that album you do get the other non album 45's which set the scene for the moved to Janus from 1972 through 1974. A word of warning the Canadian cd doesn't have the title track and the German is poorly copied from a lp with lots of filtering to hide crackles etc.
From Janus they moved in 1975 to Soul Train a label created by the people behind the legendary Soul Train black music tv show releasing One For The Money (also a 45) and Open Up Your Love from 1975 and 1976 respectively.
1979 saw the release of the acclaimed Headlights abum a favourite of mine a with it's singles (Olivia) Lost and Turned Out and the 'quiet storm' Lets Go All The Way which in this series is coupled Whisper In Your Ear featuring the single Can't Do Without Your Love. These were the first albums they issued on the SOLAR imprint.
Finally we get to 1981's Love Is where You Find It featuring In The Raw as well as Emergency, one of the first albums to have a uptempo dancing and slow romancing side configurations which for this series is coupled with 1983's Love Is Love released during a period of very rapid change in R&B  music as electro and rap was making its way into the mainstream.

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