The Second Disc

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Houston, Laws Reissues On the Way from Funky Town

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Our friends at Funky Town Grooves have recently announced a pair of new reissues restoring to catalogue three LPs by two deeply soulful ladies: Thelma Houston and Eloise Laws.

Earlier this year saw’s reissue of Houston’s 1969 baroque soul classic, Sunshower, and now Houston’s fans can rejoice with the reissue of two RCA LPs dating from 1980 and 1981: Breakwater Cat and Never Gonna Be Another One. While neither made much of an impression on the album charts, both boast Houston’s rich voice in its prime tackling originals and covers alike. Of the latter, Breakwater‘s take on “Suspicious Minds” garned some radio airplay and dented the dance charts, as did Never‘s “96 Tears.” Another dance hit was “If You Feel It,” and the same LP saw Houston wrapping her pipes around Bacharach and David’s defiant “Don’t Make Me Over.” The versatile Houston, with a career spanning many labels, continues to record today, and this two-fer fills a nice gap in her recording history on CD. Mark Wilder handles the mastering chores.

Eloise Laws began her career with Holland-Dozier-Holland at their post-Motown Music Merchant label. Her first LP, Ain’t It Good Feeling Good, was released on H-D-H’s Invictus in 1977, but within months, the label had folded, and Laws found herself at ABC Records (one of Houston’s former homes, ironically).There she recorded the LP Eloise, now being reissued by Funky Town Grooves. Eloise was produced by Jerry Goldstein and Linda Creed, with arrangements by the very-much-indemand Gene Page.  Creed, of course, brought her songwriting abilities to the table, too, and Eloise included a rendition of “His House and Me,” originally penned by Creed and frequent colaborator Thom Bell for Dionne Warwick. Laws’ recording catalogue is not a deep one, but she continues, like Houston, to make music today; in recent years, she even conquered Broadway, performing in the Tony-nominated musical revue It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues.

Breakwater Cat Never Gonna Be Another One can be pre-ordered here, and Eloise (expanded with both sides of a rare 12-inch single) can be pre-ordered here. Both releases are due this month from FTG’s site. Hit the jump for full track listings and more information.

Thelma Houston, Breakwater Cat / Never Gonna Be Another One (Funky Town Grooves HTS-005, 2010)

  1. Breakwater Cat
  2. Long Lasting Love
  3. Before There Could Be Me
  4. Gone
  5. What Was That Song
  6. Suspicious Minds
  7. Down the Backstairs of My Life
  8. Understand Your Man
  9. Lost and Found
  10. Something We May Never Know
  11. Never Give You Up
  12. Too Many Teardrops
  13. Tears
  14. There’s No Runnin’ Away from Love
  15. Never Gonna Be Another One
  16. If You Feel It
  17. Don’t Make Me Over
  18. Hollywood

Tracks 1-10 from Breakwater Cat (RCA LP AFL1-3500, 1980)
Tracks 11-18 from Never Gonna Be Another One (RCA LP AFL1-3842, 1981)

Eloise Laws, Eloise: Expanded Edition (ABC LP AB-1022, 1977, reissued as Funky Town Grooves FTG-223, 2010)

  1. Baby You Lied
  2. His House and Me
  3. 1000 Laughs
  4. Someone Who Still Needs Me
  5. Love Is Feeling
  6. Number One
  7. You’re Incredible
  8. Love Comes Easy
  9. Forever Now
  10. Number One (Extended 12″) (12″ A-side – ABC DM-9, 1978)
  11. 1000 Laughs (Extended 12″) (12″ B-side – ABC DM-9, 1978)

Written by Joe Marchese

August 11, 2010 at 17:09

One Response

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  1. I need to get into some of Thelma’s early stuff; there’s a video of her singing “the candy man can” from the early 70s, before disco really kicked in, that’s just out of this world.


    August 12, 2010 at 18:57

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