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R&B Releases: A Classic “Thing,” Plus Some Buried Grooves

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If you’re itching for some vintage R&B from around the way, a few labels have some new releases to keep you satisfied. One is a classic soul LP making its debut on CD, the other two are some solid disco efforts with some bonus cuts to boot.

Iconoclassic Records has planned a June 22 reissue of It’s Our Thing by The Isley Brothers. Released on the Isleys’ own label after leaving a solid but fleetingly successful tenure at Motown, this disc includes the funky, anthemic “It’s Your Thing.” This is the first release of this R&B Top 5 LP on CD, if you can believe that, and a nice complement to the label’s reissues of the Isleys’ latter-day LPs Showdown and Go All the Way.

The underrated Funky Town Grooves label has a pair of new expansions of nearly-forgotten dance/R&B records. One is Hot Butterfly, the 1978 sophomore album by Gregg Diamond and Bionic Boogie. Diamond, a power player in the disco era, is perhaps best-known for writing and producing “More, More, More” for The Andrea True Connection, but the real secret weapon here is the man on lead vocals – the one and only Luther Vandross. This first-time remaster from the original tapes (a previous, Japan-only CD issue was a vinyl rip) includes four bonus remixes and is slated to ship in June.

FTG also has an expansion of Glenn Jones’ Finesse ready to go for June as well. This LP – Jones’ first for RCA (following the Everybody Loves a Winner EP from the previous year) – was a Top 20 R&B hit and yielded the Top 5 R&B single “Show Me.” This new package comes with three remixes, including two vintage mixes of “I Am Somebody” from Everybody Loves a Winner.

Order these discs here, here and here. Check out all the track lists after the jump.

The Isley Brothers, It’s Our Thing (Iconoclassic ICON 1011 – originally released as T-Neck TNS 3001, 1969)

  1. I Know Who You Been Socking It To
  2. Somebody’s Been Messin’
  3. Save Me
  4. I Must Be Losing My Touch
  5. Feel Like the World
  6. It’s Your Thing
  7. Give the Women What They Want
  8. Love is What You Make It
  9. Don’t Give It Away
  10. He’s Got Your Love

Gregg Diamond & Bionic Boogie, Hot Butterfly: Expanded Edition (Funky Town Grooves FTG 215, 2010)

  1. Hot Butterfly
  2. Chains
  3. When the Shit Hits the Fan (Rocket Pocket)
  4. Paradise
  5. Cream (Always Rises to the Top)
  6. Fess Up to the Boogie
  7. Hot Butterfly (12″ Extended Version)
  8. Chains (12″ Gregg Diamond Mix)
  9. Fess Up to the Boogie (12″ Extended Version)
  10. Chains (12″ Jim Burgess Mix)

Tracks 1-6 released as original LP – Polydor PD-1-6162, 1978
Track 7 from 12″ promo – Polydor PRO 088, 1978

Track 8 and 9 from 12″ promo – Polydor PRO 066, 1978
Track 10 (possibly) from U.K. 12″ – Polydor 2141 077, 1978

 Glenn Jones, Finesse: Expanded Edition (Funky Town Grooves FTG 212, 2010)

  1. Finesse
  2. You’re the One I Love
  3. Show Me
  4. It Hurts So Much
  5. Meet Me Half Way There
  6. Bring Back Your Love
  7. Everlasting Love
  8. On the Floor
  9. Finesse (Dance Mix)
  10. I Am Somebody (Vocal Version)
  11. I Am Somebody (Instrumental)

Tracks 1-8 released as original LP – RCA NFL1-8036, 1984
Track 9 from 12″ single – RCA PW-14122, 1984
Tracks 10 and 11 from 12″ single – RCA PD-13436, 1984

Written by Mike Duquette

May 24, 2010 at 14:02

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